Copper plays a pivotal role in the brewing process. One of the most recognizable pieces of equipment at a brewery the huge copper tanks where various flavors are added to the wheat and made into different types of beer. Whether you prefer your drink fruity or bitter, hoppy, or bitter, the related tastes are added in the copper kettles. Copper is used over other types of metals because it has the highest heat conductivity and is relatively inert to both beer and wort (don’t worry you will know what that means by the end of this article). First, we will take a deeper look into the brewing process, then take a look at some of the oldest breweries around the world that utilize copper kettles.
The brewing process consists of several steps including malting, mashing, lautering, boiling fermenting, conditioning, filtering, and packaging. Malting, the first step is the preparation stage to get the barley grain read for brewing. Mashing coverts the starches released during the malting stage into sugar that can be fermented. Grain and water are mixed together creating a cereal mash. From there, the mash is broken down into simple sugars creating a sugar rich liquid or “wort” which is strained through the bottom of the mash during the lautering stage. The wort is moved into large tanks knock as a “copper” or kettle where it is boiled with hops and sometimes other ingredients, such as herbs or sugars, are added to make the beer more flavorful. This stage is critical, many chemical and technical reactions take place and where crucial decisions are made about flavor, color, and aroma. Once complete, the hopped wort settles and clarifies in a vessel called a “whirlpool”, where particles in the wort are separated. Next, the liquid moves to a heat exchanger where it is quickly cooled to a temperature where yeast can be added and transferred into the fermentation tank. When fermentation is complete, the brewer may move the beer to a conditioning tank where it can age to be smoother and fuller in flavor. Finally, the beer is ready for bottling and is available to be served worldwide.
Here is a list of the oldest breweries in their respected region around the globe:
Shanghai Metal Corporations has copper components that can be utilized in the brewing process. For our full list of products that we offer check out our website here. Be sure to join the conversation in our LinkedIn group, Facebook, and Twitter. Cheers!
Sources: The Brewer’s Handbook: The Complete Guide to Brewing Beer, Holiday Byte
Kristie K.//SMC Editor