Welcome to the Steam-powered Brewery!  (1) We brew the last Saturday of every month. The mixing of the wort in the mash tub starts at 9 a.m. and lasts all the day. You are cordially invited to share this day with us.
Do not forget to call and confirm your visit, or to get further information. The brewery spends approximately one week preparing before the actual mixing in the mash tub. It is necessary to assemble, clean and disinfect the material. For example, we must begin by installing a double filter cast iron bottom in the mashing tub (2).
Friday, the malt is crushed (3). Two points are important in this stage. Firstly, we must pay attention that all the germinated barley grains (the malt) have burst to release the contents. Secondly, it is not necessary that the grinding be too fine since not one is likely to clog the filter. (4) Saturdays, at 9 a.m., the first operation—pasting--starts. The goal of pasting is to make a paste with approximately 45°C  hot water and the crushed malt. After fifteen minutes, temperature is increased by adding hotter water.  Pre-determined pauses at various temperatures are also required (for example, when the water reaches 55°C, one waits twenty minutes).  The goal of these stages of temperature is to break down the starch to make a simple sugar which can be assimilated by yeasts. With the last stage of temperature (74°C), the starch finishes being degraded and, at the same time, the "cake" is formed.
The cake is the thick layer which will form from the solid residue (spent grains) and which will be useful later as a natural filter.  Filtrations then begin. Initially, the musts (fermenting juices that will become the beer) in the mashing tub are still too turbid(5). It will be sent to the boiling tank when it is estimated that the musts are sufficiently filtered.  In the mashing tub, there remain spent grains which contain the sugar which the yeasts need. (6) To recover them, hot water flows down from above the tank and the "sweetened juices" are recovered from below.  This operation is called “hardening” or “washing.” Less dense musts are sent with these first ones in the tank to boil between 90 minutes and three hours.
The more the beer boils, the more the beer will be sunk. During boiling, hops, spices and sugar are added (7). After boiling, the liquid sits for half an hour to allow the residues to elutriate. The must cools from almost 100°C to 25°C (8). It is sent to the fermentation tank where yeasts will be added. Over the course of approximately four days, the yeasts will de their work; they will consume sugar and will transform it into alcohol and carbon dioxide. When fermentation is finished, the temperature of the tank is lowered to approximately 5°C over the course of 7 days to three weeks.  During this cold standby time, the tank is purged every day to remove dead yeasts.
Just before the beer is bottled, sugar is added and yeasts (if necessary). After the bottling, the beer is preserved for three weeks at approximately 20°C. The beer can then be offered for sale, but, as it is a young beer, (just like the wine) it certainly improves with age. We advise you, in general, to keep it from two to five years. In all honesty, beers that referment in the bottle can last up to 20 years if under optimal conditions, of course (very wet cellar, of 12° with 14°C, bottles lying on their sides and in the dark). All that remains is for you to come and visit, to see it for yourself!  you can join us every Sunday at 11h (booking indispensable).. (for a guided tour and a tasting... or more).  If you wish it, you can come to buy beer and souvenirs ... from the gift shop Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m and on appointment.  If you would like more information on the manufacture of beer or the activities of the brewery, you merely need to send an e-mail, and we will do our best to answer it. Thank you for your attention and we hope to see you very soon.
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All the drawings of this site are © their authors and cannot be reproduced without the written authorization of them, and/or the Vapeur Brewery, or of the editions Topgame Conception and graphic realization: Louis-Michel Carpentier - Laurent English Anthony DEL ROSSO Assistance technique : Philippe Vanhaesendonck
Last site update was 10-04-2006 - © 1999/2006 Topgame Editions