It wasn’t that long ago that we were limited to one brew a day on our 15-barrel gas-fired brewhouse stationed under the antique store in downtown Blanco. Now we brew over 61,000 barrels of beer each year, utilizing a 60-barrel, four-vessel system consisting of mash tun, lauter tun, kettle, and whirlpool, with an output of 6 brews a day.
Each brew day starts in the mash tun where hot water and milled grist are mixed with the primary goal of converting starches to sugars creating a sweet liquid known to brewers as wort. The mash is then transferred to the lauter tun where, with the aid of the grain bed, the wort is clarified and run off into the kettle. When the kettle is full we commence the boil. Hops are added throughout the boil to provide bitterness, balancing the sweetness of malt, and to provide the requisite flavor and aroma for each beer.
At Real Ale, all of our fermenters are cylindroconical (otherwise known as unitanks), which allow the beer to ferment and condition in the same vessel before being moved to a brite tank for packaging. We currently average a daily output of 2,400 cases of bottles, 1,200 cases of cans, and 200 kegs.
Yet for all the things we do to make our beer, we’re probably most proud of what we don’t do — processes like filtering and pasteurization. Want to learn even more about how we brew? Check out our free brewery tours.