The Brewing Process
The process begins in the milling room where a variety of specially malted barley and other grains are cracked to make grist that will be used in the mash. The mash-tun (on the left in the brewhouse) is filled up with hot water and grist and held at a temperature of 154-157 deg. F. for one hour, allowing enzyme activity to convert starches in the grain to fermentable sugar. The resulting wort is then transferred through a screen to the kettle (on the right in the brewhouse) where it is boiled for ninety minutes. Hops are added during the boil for bitterness, flavor and aroma. In a batch of beer produced by the Mt. Hood Brewing Co., a formula will call for 550 to 1200 lbs. of malted barley, and from 6 to 16 lbs. of hops; the end result is eleven 31-gallon barrels (22 kegs) of beer.
At the end of the boil, the beer is whirlpooled to separate hop and protein solids from the finished wort, and the wort is transferred down to the cellar, chilled by passing through a heat exchanger, and into a waiting fermenter (the tanks with the cone-shaped bottoms in the cellar) where yeast has been pitched. One to three weeks later, the beer has completed its fermentation and conditioning, and it is ready to filter and keg. As the beer is filtered, it is transferred to a bright-beer tank for storage; then eventually kegged and shipped to waiting thirsty customers.
None of Mt. Hood’s beer leaves the State of Oregon. The brewery’s commitment to serving fresh, high-quality, hand-crafted beer demands that each keg arrives at its destination while still in its prime; fresh and wholesome.