Ferdinand is a traditional Czech brewery, which preserves the regional brewing traditions. The beer goes through a bottom fermentation and the end of fermentation takes place in lager cellars. Our brewery uses only high-quality ingredients, among others, our own malt from a unique malt house, that produces over 2 200 tons of malt a year. Not only is this malt used in various breweries and microbreweries in the Czech Republic, but also abroad. The famous Bavarian Weyermann malt house distributes our malt all around the world, including the US. Our experienced chief brewer Jaroslav Lebeda oversees the production, working side by side with the manager of the brewery, Mr. Petr Dařílek.

Brewing process

Malt house

 

Our malt is produced from barley that is mostly purchased from local farmers. The barley is soaked in soaking vessels for 48 hours with the use of air breaks. The humidity of the soaked barley (the so called humidity/moisture degree) is around 45 %. The soaked barley is squeezed on the threshing-floor and that is where the process of germination takes place. Every eight hours, a process of plowing is performed (originally manual, or later mechanical by a plowing machine). This ensures that the pile does not coalesce; it regulates the temperature of the pile (up to 25°C) and brings oxygen to the grain.

 

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Germination takes from 4 to 5 days. Meanwhile, the cell walls of the grain are split and enzymes are activated. When the grain is properly germinated, the process at the threshing floor is terminated. The pile is picked and it is moved to the kiln, where the process of kilning or drying according to the technological process takes place. The kilning temperature varies between 30°C to 80°C. By virtue of the temperature, melanoid substances, which ensure the color and taste of the malt, appear in the malt. The kilning process takes 48 hours and the moisture of the kilned malt decreases to about 4 %. The last procedure is cutting-off the germs (roots). Cleaned malt is then put into the attic for 6 weeks to stand.

 

Wort kettle

Hopped wort is boiled in the wort kettle. Basic ingredients are malt, fresh water and hops. The first procedure in the wort kettle is scrapping. This is done so that plows of the grain remain in large pieces. These plow pieces are called threshing and they serve as a filtration layer.
 

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The production of hopped wort itself is divided into 5 stages:

 

1. Pulping

Malt grist is mixed in the straining vat with water, and heated to 37°C. At this temperature, an enzyme acts as an acidase, which produces the correct pH.

 

2. Steaming

With the help of hot water we perform steaming, which raises the temperature of the mash to 52°C (the protein-splitting temperature). This temperature activates and splits proteins.

 

3. Mashing

Mashing is a process where starches are converted into sugars with the help of alpha and beta enzymes. The double mashing method is performed. During the first mashing – approximately 1/3 of the mash is released to the mash kettle. It is heated up to 63°C and 72°C which is when starches start to be converted. This sugaring is tested by an iodine test. After proper sugaring, we boil the mash for 30 minutes. The mash is then overdrawn back to the mash tank. The second mashing proceeds in a similar way. The final temperature of the product is 72°C to 75°C after mashing. The whole product is then transferred to the lauter tank and there it rests for 20 minutes. Straining proceeds after.

 

4. Straining

For the first two hours, the front part of the product flows (about 150 hl). In the next two hours, plow is sweetened by hot water (approximately 140hl). Threshing is then thrown into the hopper which ends the straining.

 

5. Wort Boiling

Malt wort (mash) is boiled in the wort kettle with hops. Wort boiling takes about 2 hours. Granulated hops are added in the amount of 100 to 200g/hl, considering the hopped wort concentration. Hops is added in three stages: at the initialization of the wort boiling, after 20 to 30 minutes of boiling, and 10 minutes before the termination of wort boiling. During wort boiling, bitter substances of hops are leached, hopped wort is scalded by boiling, and water evaporates (7 to 10 %). Part of the proteins that originate in malt is precipitated and like this, we can establish the concentration of the hopped wort. Finally, hectoliters of boiled hopped wort are measured and saccharimeter measures its concentration. Hopped wort is overdrawn to the whirlpool tank, where the precipitated proteins settle at the bottom as sediments. Hopped wort is then cooled down on the plate cooler to the temperature of 6°C to 7°C (fermentation temperature). In fermenting cellar, refrigerated hopped wort is drawn to fermentation vessels.

Fermenting cellar

Fermented hopped wort is enriched by yeasts (seed yeasts) and the main fermentation starts. The yeasts process sugars and alcohol; carbon dioxide and heat are created. The appearing heat is regulated by cooling, so that the fermentation temperature does not exceed 10°C to 11°C. The main fermentation takes approximately 6 to 10 days. In this time, yeast converts approximately ¾ of the sugar content. The rest of the sugars are converted in the beer-storage cellar during lagering. Yeasts of bottom fermentation are used and after being washed, they are reused five or six times. New beer is transferred into the beer-storage cellar, where the beer lagers in the tanks.

In the cellar, new beer is filled into the lager tanks. Tanks must be closed, so that pressure is created. The pressure is regulated, so that it does not exceed 1 atm. Carbon dioxide, which is created under pressure and low temperature (2°C to 3°C), is satiated in beer and the frothing quality and CO₂ saturation is provided.


 

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In the cellar, new beer is filled into the lager tanks. Tanks must be closed, so that pressure is created. The pressure is regulated, so that it does not exceed 1 atm. Carbon dioxide, which is created under pressure and low temperature (2°C to 3°C), is satiated in beer and the frothing quality and CO₂ saturation is provided.

 

Beer-storage cellar

 

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One-month lagering is used for draught beer, two-month lagering for lager beer.

 

After lagering, filtration follows. We use kieselguhr and plate filtration. Beer treated in this way is further bottled and barreled. While tapping-off, pasteurization is carried out; this means increasing the beer temperature to pasteurizing level (60°C to 70°C). Increased temperature destroys micro-organisms that would participate in the devaluation of beer. This process ensures increased durability of the beer. For beer that is barreled for the national market, pasteurization is replaced by micro-filtration.

 

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