FB : CONNOR’S
Thanks for the wonderful invitation, I recently went to a brewery visit and get to learn more about the brewing process of CONNOR’S Stout Porter, a brew that’s inspired from the 1700’s British Stout Porter recipe, crafted to suit today’s consumer’s taste expectations.
It was part of The CONNOR’S Experience I had few weeks back at Nicsmann 1940s by Lewré and Black Market, for us to further understand how CONNOR’S Stout Porter is being brewed, from milling the malt till to packaging, and there’s even a sensory experience to teach us how to appreciate CONNOR’S Stout Porter in a correct way.
I was excited for the brewery tour. It was really an eye-opening experience for me to see the behind scenes how to make the CONNOR’S Stout Porter, since almost all of the flavors encountered while tasting stout were the result of what happened while it was being brewed.
According to David Bidau, Supply Chain Director of Calsberg Malaysia, the color and flavor of stout begins with malt, which is produced from barley. CONNOR’S Stout Porter is made of a unique blend of 4 different types of malt, Lager Malt, Caramel Malt, Brown Malt and Roasted Barley.
Lager Malt ties the stout by enhancing the body and mouthful substantially. It contributes to give the brew a nice malty flavor. Caramel Malt is added to give its signature bittersweet aftertaste and gentle notes of caramel. Brown Malt provides the intense dark color to the brew and gives the stout a dark chocolate flavor. Roasted Barley is used to give the brew a gentle roasty undertone.
Milling the malt is the first step of making stout. Malt is delivered in containers from overseas and stored in concrete silos, then pneumatically transported to the milling machine to break open the malt’s tough outer surface.
The milling process is to crush the malt enough so that it exposes the starch for subsequent conversion to sugar in the mash kettle.
Next, brewer will moves the milled malt to large vessel, and mixed with hot water to form the mash. Natural enzymes within the malt will be activated under hot water to break down the starch into simple sugar that will give its natural sweetness. Brewer will monitors the mash temperatures closely to control what type of sugar to be produced by the enzymes.
The whole mashing process takes approximately 1.5 hours for enzymes to finish converting starch into sugar. The final mash will then be filtered to remove the spent grain, leaving behind a sweet solution called wort.
The wort will then go through a boiling process in the wort kettle for an hour to sterilize and clarifies the brew. Hops, female flowers of a vine-like climbing plant, are added at the later boiling stage to develop unique aromatic character to the brew and the bitterness that is desired.
Protein and bitter components are precipitated during the boiling process and will be removed through the whirlpool process.
The clear wort is then pumped through the wort cooler to chill down from 100 degree celcius to the right fermentation temperature about 13 degree celcius before yeast is added.
In the fermenter, the yeast converts the malt-sugar to alcohol, aroma and carbon dioxide. The yeast is removed after days of fermentation process and the brew is ready for maturation.
Cold maturation of the brew takes place at -2 degree celcius for at least 1-day to give the brew’s final flavor characteristics before the filtration process through a candle filter to remove yeast cells and proteins.
From the filter, the brew is transferred into a Bright Beer Tank ready for packaging.
After the brewery tour, Alvin Yap, Draught Beer Services Manager of Carlsberg Malaysia showed us the art of pouring the perfect pint. First and foremost, use a room temperature CONNOR’S Stout Porter branded glass. Hold the glass firmly at 45 degrees and 1 inch under the tap.
Pull the handle fully forward towards us, then slowly straighten the glass as it fills when it is half full. Let the stout run straight down into the middle of the glass while maintaining around 2 inches between the surface of the stout and the tap.
That’s me, steadily to continue fill the glass until it is full, then leave the surge to settle allowing the creamy head to foam.
Just hold awhile before taking that tempting sip and have a sniff of the stout. There are more than 600 flavors in a stout, you will get some roasted notes then following with slight nuances of chocolate, toffee and malt.
Now you can break the seal and get that cream on your lips and have a sip. Let the caramel sweetness settle at the front of your tongue, while the gentle undertones of roastiness to the side. The bittersweet aftertaste will then set to the back of your throat.
Thanks again for the wonderful arrangement from Carlsberg Malaysia. I have learnt so much from this brewery visit, and will appreciate more the next time I have a sip of the CONNOR’S Stout Porter, since now I have a better understand on the entire brewing process, from start to finish.
More photos at FOOD Malaysia facebook page, a Malaysian food blogger since 2010