The brewery has been based in Puidoux since 2018. It’s here that we create, brew, bottle and store our beers! It’s also where we ship all our products from.
Before you can even think about brewing, you need to come up with a recipe! Why? Because brewing and fermenting for different lengths of time and at different temperatures changes the end result! For the Ténébreuse (the “dark one”) we add roasted barley to give it its colour and its aromas of roasting.
Once we know which malt we want to use (and how much) we then have to crush the grain. Every grain of malt is coarsely crushed so as to release its aromas. With the Tempête, this stage is very lengthy because of the huge amount of malt we use.
The crushed grain is then fed into the mash tun and mixed with water. During the actual “brewing” part of the whole process, the malt-water mixture (known as mash) is brewed and heated to different temperatures. This allows the enzymes in the malt to break down the starch into sugar.
The mash then moves into a second tun for filtration, or lautering. This removes the grain residue (the dregs) from the liquid extracted from the mashing process – known as beer wort. We rinse the mash several times to recover as much malt sugar as possible.
Boiling and hopping
The wort passes into a third vessel where it is boiled. The first hops are added (hopping) as boiling begins, which adds the characteristic bitterness to the beer.
The hopped wort is pumped into a vat at high pressure, causing it to create a whirlpool. As the mixture spins, the hops cluster at the centre of the vat. Aromatic hops are added at this stage to provide not bitterness, but aromas.
A drain at the bottom of the whirlpool vat draws off the hopped, clarified wort. At this stage, the wort needs to be cooled (to around 20°C). The cold water used for this process, which emerges hot, is collected and reused for the next production batch.
Once cooled, the wort feeds into a fermenter where we add the magic ingredient: yeast. This single-cell micro-organism eats up the sugars in the wort, converting them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The process takes around a week at temperatures of 20–24°C for top fermentation and 10–15°C for bottom fermentation.
Once the yeast has done its work, the vat’s temperature is reduced to 0–2°C for 2–4 weeks for the cellaring period. This stage is important for the beer to clarify and mature. It means that our Swaf is clear and refreshing.
When it’s ready for packaging, we clarify the beer one more time inside a centrifuge (not too much for the Houleuse, to keep the cloudiness that’s characteristic of white beers). After that, the beer can be bottled, canned or kegged.
Finally, the beer is brought to our warehouse. Here it’s kept – dry, fresh and out of the light – while it waits impatiently for your order.
Switzerland has the most breweries per resident.