Making full-flavoured alcohol-free beer has always been difficult. No doubt about that. But we knew it wasn’t impossible, the process just needed to be redefined. Taking an existing beer and removing the alcohol isn’t enough. We would have to revisit everything: design a recipe specifically to be alcohol-free, source the best ingredients, rethink every part of the brewing process and develop our own yeast strain.
Process is at the core of what we do and we want to share that. So in this first post we talk about one stage of our process.
A crucial part of the brewing process is the mash. This is where the grain is steeped in hot water to convert the grain’s starches into fermentable sugars. Ordinarily, this is done in what’s called a single infusion mash where hot water is added to the mash tun at a single, constant temperature.
We use a more complex process known as a step mash where the temperature is increased through a series of steps. This gives us greater control over the creation of fermentable sugars and the final wort. It allows us to balance the sweetness and bitterness – something that is vital in the absence of alcohol. The result is a brew with a fuller flavour, one that’s slightly drier and more balanced than we would otherwise be able to achieve.
So that's the mash, a brief window into some of the processes we use to create lucky saint. Next time we’ll talk fermentation…