»The yummy droplet« – this is how it’s made
The Obergärige Hausbrauerei Uerige (top-fermented craft brewery) is not a museum, but an exceedingly modern food business where a craft rich in centuries of tradition is carried out. It goes without saying that the Reinheitsgebot, or Purity Law dating from 1516, is still adhered to, because its results are good and lasting, relying, as it does, on nature as one of its main factors. Which is exactly what we do, too: our yummy droplet is made of nothing but water, barley, wheat malt, and our Uerige yeast.
Don’t miss the eleven-minute animated documentation "Expedition Ueriversum" which explains the brewing process in a truly unique way!
zur Schrotmühle zur Maisch- und Würzpfanne zum Läuterbottich zum Doldenhopfen zum Kühlschiff zum Berieselungskühler zum Gärkeller und zur Uerige-Hefe zum Lagerkeller zur Filtration und zum Seperator zur Abfüllung
Malt – from barley and wheat
The yummy droplet basically originates directly in the fields, where select two-row summer barley and quality brewer’s wheat are harvested. The controlled addition of water brings to life every single grain. During this germination process, important enzymes, the so-called biocatalyst, are activated. The maltster determines when the so-called ‘green’ malt is exactly right by watching the growth of sprouts and radicles. Once it has reached the ‘perfect’ state, i.e., that in which it can be processed by the brewer, the germination process is ended by means of drying, or torrefying.
Already here, the flavor and character of our Uerige is determined through the color and flavoring agents, which are naturally created during torrefying. The finished malt used for Uerige beer has to age long enough first, i.e. four weeks, before it is brought to our brewery in the historical city center. The first step taken at the Uerige is the grinding of the malt.
Mash and Wort Tub
In the mash tub, the ground malt is mixed with water of a specific temperature and left to soak (mashing). This sounds simpler than it actually is, because only the exact temperature and the perfect timing gives the enzymes their power, which they need to break down starch into malt sugar.
To check if the enzymes are working efficiently, we put some drops of mash onto a white porcelain plate and add some iodine. Since starch takes on a blue color if iodine is added, once all of the starch has been transformed into sugar there is no more color reaction (normal iodine). At this moment, we can pump the mash into the lauter tub.
Lauter Tub
During the process of lautering (German for refining), the mash drips through the lauter tub, a kind of large filter which separates the solid components of the mash (the spent grains) from the fluid, the so-called wort. The wort is rich in carbohydrates (malt sugar) and vitamins.
But the spent grains are precious, too: on the one hand, they are very popular as foodstuff for animals (rich in cellulose); on the other hand, the regulars at the Uerige have long grown to love the wonderfully nutty flavor of the popular spent-grain rolls, which are baked with 5% spent grains. All that’s missing now is the hops.
Umbel Hops
How come that hops are such an ideal ingredient for brewing beer? Well, the hop plant, lat. Humulus Lupulus, contains resins and oils that are perfectly suited for the certain bitterness and aroma of the beer – and eventually they are also beneficial for our health. Botanically speaking, the hop belongs to the Cannabaceae family; it is a climbing plant that winds its way clockwise, and it is cultivated in hop plantations, where it grows up to seven meters high. In order to allow the hop to develop to its full size and bloom, no more than three shoots per bine are attached to a wire ‘guiding’ it upwards.
Once harvested, the blossoms are severed from the remainders of the plant, dried, and then pressed into bales (German: Ballothopfen). The blossoms, also called umbel hops, contain resin, which is later responsible for the bitterness of our beer, and oils, which lend the beer its aromatic hop flavor. Umbel hops are generally distinguished into two different categories: bittering hops with a high percentage of resin, and aroma hops with a high percentage of oil and a distinct, delicate aroma.


It goes without saying that we at the Uerige only use the finest aroma hops for our beer. Every year, directly after the harvest, these hop species are probed by hand. In other words, the Baas Michael Schnitzler himself carries out a manual and visual quality control directly on the premises to ensure that the hops fulfill the high quality standards expected for the Uerige beer.
The southern German Hallertau region, situated between Munich, Ingolstadt, and Regensburg, is probably the most famous hops-growing region to supply the Uerige with hops. Another important region is the Spalt, which lies to the southwest of Nuremberg – this is where the Uerige obtains most of its highly aromatic hops.
It goes without saying that in our brewing process we only use hops in its natural form; we do not use pellets or extracts.
Cool-Ship



After all of this heat, let us move on to the opposite – cooling in the cool-ship. Before nature can again become active in the fermentation process, we allow the wort to come to rest a while in the cool-ship. The wort cools off to 55ºC while in the meantime the cloudy sediment is separated from the wort.
Drip-Cooler



The drip-cooler is responsible for further lowering the temperature, eventually to 20ºC. The cooling water in the copper pipes of the drip-cooler take the warmth from the hopped wort, until finally our Uerige yeast can be added.

Fermenting cellar and Uerige yeast
What actually happens during fermentation was a big mystery to our forefathers, something close to a miracle. Of course, today we know only too well that in the fermentation process taking place in our brewhouse, the starch is converted into malt sugar, which then, in an equally natural process, is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The right choice of the yeast is highly important to us: our yeast strain is safe and sound in the yeast store of the Technische Universität München/Weihenstephan.
Every year, our Uerige yeast receives a rejuvenating cure from the yeast strain, and is brought into action in our top fermenting craft brewery. Our yeast is top-fermenting yeast because during the fermentation process it rises to the top. Successful fermenting very much depends on the brew master’s expertise and sure instinct: he knows exactly when and how the fermenting matter needs to be given a finely dosed cooling phase. Once the fermentation process is completed, the former wort is called ‘young beer’.
Maturation Cellar



The young beer – or rather, the young ‘old’ Altbeer – is further monitored by our brew master during its secondary fermentation and vital maturation, for which it is deposited in our Uerige storage cellar. It is given (at least) three more weeks to develop that inimitable taste which gives it the pet name ‘yummy droplet.’
Filtering and Separator
The natural cloudy components and suspended solids that swim in the beer are very gently filtered in a separator and a filter consisting of various filter beds, mostly made of cellulose – filtering with feeling.
Here, too, our craft brewery adheres to the tradition of the Reinheitsgebot, the Purity Law. In accordance with our expertise, our personal conviction, and your well-being, we do not use any additives, stabilizers, or other artificial means of vamping up. Once our Uerige is mature enough to be enjoyed, we simply fill it into bottles, casks, and kegs – the natural way.
Bottling
In 2007, we opened our STICKUM annex, which also holds state-of-the-art cleansing facilities and a bottling plant for our – and eventually your – bottles and casks. Modern technology and absolute hygiene reign supreme here.

Come and find out more during one of our tours of the brewery (due to high demand, prior booking is recommended).
Our fresh Uerige is available in casks of five (called "Pittermännchen") to fifty liters as well as in crates of eight (0.5 l) or sixteen bottles (0.5 l or 0.33 l). But, to be honest, Uerige really belongs in a beer glass!
Overall view