Malted barley is delivered to the brewery in 29 tonne loads from our maltsters, and transferred to one of 8 x 38 tonne silos.
After passing over a destoner and a dust screen the malt is coarsely ground by passing it through a mill – crushed malt is known as GRIST. It is collected in a silo called a Grist Case, which sits above the Mash Tun.
Brewing water from our own exclusive borehole is heated to 70°c and mixed (MASHED) with the ground malt as it goes into the Mash Tun. Brewers refer to all water used for brewing as LIQUOR. This mash is allowed to stand in the mash tun for a period, during which time the starch in the malt is converted into sugar and solubilised.
After the mash stand the extract solution, which we call wort, is drawn off from the base of the Mash Tun and collected in a large boiling vessel, known as a Copper. To ensure the maximum efficiency of extraction, the mash is sprayed thoroughly with additional brewing liquor, a process called sparging.
The wort from the Mash Tun is collected in the Copper, where it will be boiled with the hops. In years past this vessel was actually made of Copper, but modern 'Coppers' are constructed from stainless steel which is cheaper, easier to clean, harder wearing, and allows for greater control of the process.
Before the start of the boil we add the correct weight and blend of hops to the Copper. The boiling process sterilises the wort and helps the extraction of the bitterness and flavour from the hops. Further additions of hops may be made at the conclusion of the boil, to retain the volatile oils which can evapourate during the boil itself. This helps to impart a characteristic hoppy aroma. After boiling for an hour, the wort is pumped through a heat exchanger, which cools the wort to 16-18°c, into the Fermentation Vessel.
There are 96 Fermentation Vessels in 5 rooms around the Brewery. As the wort goes into the Fermentation Vessel yeast is added. The yeast converts the sugars in the wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The active part of the fermentation, where the sugar conversion takes place, usually takes about 3 days. When the wort sugar levels have been fermented to the appropriate level, the yeast from the fermentation is collected from the surface of the beer via a vacuum suction main, into a chilled storage vessel. Each fermentation produces about three times the amount of yeast added at the beginning. The best yeast, as determined by microbiological examination, is used to pitch the following fermentations; the surplus yeast is sold as animal feed. Once the active fermentation has finished, the beer is chilled to 9°c and held in the Fermentation Vessel for a further 4 days to allow the natural flavour of the beer to develop.
A significant proportion of beer brewed at Banks’s is traditional cask beer. Beer from 2 or 3 Fermentation Vessels are blended together in a holding tank before being filled into cask. As the beer is filled into the cask, finings solution, which is produced from the swim-bladders of selected fish, is added. The finings are important in promoting the settlement of
Beer to be packaged into keg, can or bottle receives extra processing at the Brewery to produce beer with a longer shelf life. Beer from the Fermentation Vessel is chilled to -1°c, & held in a cold storage tank for several days. It’s then filtered to remove all the protein and yeast. Keg beer is pasteurised in-line before being aseptically filled into clean sterile containers; bottled & canned beer is filled into the container, which itself is then pasteurised & cooled.
Marston's operates a fleet of around 120 Dray Lorries, manned by 330 Draymen who work around the clock to deliver beer to pubs around the country.
Our training centre in Wolverhampton has training facilities for all our licensees, where they can learn how to ensure that our beers are kept in the perfect condition, to serve you the perfect pint every time. The training courses on offer cover everything from stillaging and venting to cleaning the lines, taps & all other dispense equipment. In addition to our excellent training courses we employ a number of 'Beer Quality Technicians' who work all over the country and ensure our high standards are being upheld in the pubs, clubs and bars which sell our beers.
From cask to consumer we do everything to ensure that your pint is perfect every time. All you need do is enjoy the fruits of our labour!