Brewing beer in the quality you expect from Hacker-Pschorr necessitates the very best quality ingredients and a brewing process which has been developed over period of centuries. On the following pages we will show you how we produce our outstanding beers.
Hops are regarded as the taste-enhancing "soul of beer". Without them the characteristic and refreshing bitter taste of the beer would be impossible. The quantity of hops and hop variety used varies for each type of beer.
The hops which we use for our beer all come from Hallertau in Bavaria. Hallertau is the largest hop-growing region in the world. It is in the Upper and Lower Bavaria government regions and is roughly surrounded by the towns of Ingolstadt, Kehlheim, Landshut, Moosburg, Freising and Schrobenhausen.
Malt is a germinated cereal grain which has been germinated in artificial conditions. The process of malting is split into three stages - softening, germinating and drying. We use several different types of malt such as Pilsner (light malted barley) for Helles and Pils and Münchner Malz (dark malted barley) for dark beers.
Under the German Beer Purity Laws barley or wheat may not be used for beer production. The raw grain must first be malted. The malting process induces the barley or wheat germ to germinate. As they do so they form enzymes which are essential later in the brewhouse.
The finished beer contains 90% water. The quality and properties of the water are therefore extremely important for the quality of the beer. We take our water from wells with a depth of 240 metres. Water for brewing must satisfy even higher requirements than drinking water in terms of its purity. This is because its mineral content and hardness have a major influence on the quality of the beer.
The main aim of the mashing process is to convert the starch in the malt into sugar by means of enzyme activity. The aim of the brewer is to control this process whilst maintaining the required temperature parameters.
Lautering is the process of separating the liquid components from the solids. The mash water produces the first wort after lautering. Two secondary worts are used to wash the malt sugar still contained in the spent grains.
The secondary wort seriously dilutes the first wort. This is then concentrated by evaporation by boiling the wort. Some of the hops are added at the start of the wort boiling process. The bitters in the hops are dissolved during the boiling process and give the beer its typical hop bitters. Boiling the wort takes around 60 minutes which also renders the wort sterile.
The mixture of different types of malt in the mash tun decides what type of beer is being brewed. Around 165 kg of malt is required to brew 1000 litres of Vollbier, for example. After being crushed, the grist is mixed with the brewing water. The temperature of the resultant mash is then raised steadily. Certain temperature conditions have to be achieved before the enzymes activated in the malting process convert the starch in the endosperm of the crushed malt into malt sugar.
Ice water cools the hot wort in so-called plate coolers. During the process the ice water is heated to approx. 80°C. This hot water is collected in hot water tanks and is used for mashing and lautering as secondary wort.
Before the wort is cooled to pitching temperature, the hot trub must be removed. This is necessary to prevent fermentation difficulties and off-flavours later in the process. Plate coolers are used to cool the wort.
We use top-fermenting yeasts for top-fermented beer, wheat beer. This fermentation process takes 3 to 4 days at a temperature of approx. 20°C. Top-fermenting yeast forms sprout mycelia (krausen). This means that at the end of the fermentation process the yeast rises to the top of the beer.
We used bottom-fermenting yeast for bottom-fermented beer types such as Helles, Pils, Oktoberfestbier and Dunkles. This yeast requires a fermentation period of 6 to 7 days at around 9 to 11°C and at the end of the fermentation it sinks to the bottom of the beer.
After the cooling process the brewer adds yeast to the wort and thus starts the fermentation process. During fermentation the yeast converts the malt sugar produced in the brewhouse into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The yeast also produces fermentation by-products which are responsible for creating the typical beer taste. There are major differences between fermentation with top-fermenting and bottom-fermenting yeasts.
This is the pipe used to pump the beer from the fermentation tank into the storage cellar. Brewers also call it hosing.
The beer is now stored for between three and six weeks at around 0°C depending on the beer type. Strong beer types may even be stored for up to three months.
The gas released does not escape at this point but is bound in the beer in the form of natural carbonic acid. This is what gives the beer its fizz and its head.
The new beer produced by the fermentation process gains its typical beer aroma by means of maturing, also known as secondary fermentation. This process enhances the taste of the beer since it allows undesirable fermentation by-products to evaporator or to be decomposed by the yeast. The secondary fermentation process also ferments the remaining sugar.
The beer is transported into the filter through the supply pipes. The filter itself uses kieselguhr. This kieselguhr establishes a filtration layer in the filter through which the unfiltered beer flows. The large surface area of the kieselguhr removed particles such as yeast and proteins.
The beer is now crystal clear and is stored in pressurised tanks for bottling.
Residues from the brewing process such as coarse protein particles and yeast cells are filtered out of it. This filtration gives the beer its golden clarity.
Filtration is the final step to produce beer which is ready to drink. Various filtration stages remove particles from the beer and clarify it. The shelf life of the beer is then also extended by an additional filtration process.
The bottles are thoroughly cleaned in the bottle washer in the bottling plant.
The clean bottles pass through a bottle inspector which checks that they are all perfectly clean. Bottles which are still dirty or damaged or have the incorrect shape, colour or size are removed from the process.
The bottles are sealed with the popular Hacker-Pschorr swing top.
The finished beer is poured into cleaned, prepared bottles with swing tops in the bottling plant. The filled bottles are then labelled and packed into clean crates.
Beer tastes best if it is enjoyed at a temperature of 6-8°C.