Brewing begins with malted barley, which is cracked in a malt mill. The milled
barley (called "grist") is mixed with hot water in a mash tun causing a reaction
which converts the starchy grain to sugar. This sweet liquid called wort
(pronounced "wert") is filtered out of the mash and transferred to the brew
kettle. The wort is then brought to a boil. Hops are added at various intervals,
some producing subtle bitterness others fine aroma. After boiling, the wort is
transferred through a heat exchanger, cooling the liquid to fermentation
temperature. The hot water produced in the heat exchanger is recaptured and
stored in the hot liquor tank, ready to use for the next brewing cycle. The wort
is then pumped into one of the fermenters. Yeast is added to the cooled wort and
After fermentation and maturation, which takes approximately two weeks, the fresh
ale is filtered. Filtering removes the remaining yeast and improves clarity.
Now, at its height of freshness, the ale is stored in a serving tank. The fresh
ale is transferred directly from the serving tanks to your glass.
Beginning with homebrewing in 1994, Jim Stinson has seen an
accomplished career as Assistant Brewer, Head Brewer and Brewmaster in several
pubs. Since joining the Rockyard in 2002, Jim has amassed a collection of
prestigious awards including the Gold Medal at the 2003 Great American Beer
Festival (GABF) for our Double Eagle American Wheat Ale, the 2007 GABF Silver
Medal for Warning Sign, the 2008 World Beer Cup for our Bourbon Barrel Stout as
well as dozens of State Fair medals.
New to the Rockyard in 2010, Kjell Wygant attended Chicago's Siebel Institute of Brewing Technologies in 2008. He enjoys extreme brewing and creative recipes, feeling right at home adding Whoppers and ice cream to beer (among other things). Kjell helped found the local Rockhoppers Homebrewing Club and served as President during its first year. He has won several homebrewing competitions including ones at Boulder Beer and Dry Dock breweries to name just a couple.