Brewing process – from the umbel to the glass

It’s a long process until a fresh Hofbräu beer bubbles in the bottle or flows from the tap into the glass. At the beginning are hops, malt, yeast and water. This is what the German Purity Law stipulates and according to which we have been working for more than four hundred years at Hofbräu München. The unique Consumer Protection Act of 1516 is not only the standard but also seal of approval for the quality of our beers. In addition, we accept only the best and controlled quality when purchasing the ingredients for our beers. We gladly source from regional suppliers or rely on our own production. What this claim specifically means can best be demonstrated by our four raw ingredients.


Valuable water from our own deep wells
The brewing water for Hofbräu München is no ordinary groundwater, it originates from our own deep wells: Our water pipes below the brewery run about 150 meters deep into the earth. There, we have access to water resources that once were left behind in the geological phase of the Tertiary in the Alpine foothills. Since before the Stone Age, this water has been preserved deep below the ground and is fresh as it was on the first day.


“Green Gold” from the Hallertau
The hops, which gives our beers its characteristic aroma, comes from the Hallertau in Bavaria. For our intense flavors, bitter hop varieties such as “Hercules” and “Magnum” are added to the wort; milder aroma hops such as “Hallertauer Perle” or “Select” refine our lighter beers. After the harvest in late summer, the “green gold” of the Hallertau is dried. The stems and leaves are then removed as well as the “base components” of the unfertilized, female umbels. What remains is a slightly sticky, yellowish-green mass: the lupulin. It contains the typical bitter hops and aromatic substances – so-called “pellets” are pressed together and stored for several years at up to 10 degrees Celsius with no loss of quality.


Naturally ripened, unique in coloring
We process approximately 6,000 tons of malt per year from eight different suppliers for our Hofbräu beers. The varieties used include light and dark barley malt, caramel malt, and light and dark wheat malt for our wheat beers. Before it can be called a real malt grain, barley and wheat grains must be prepared for the brewing process. For this, the maltster softens the grain in water; it begins to germinate and grow. The maltster uses the humidity, the temperature and the ventilation to control the natural ripening. After that, the grain is allowed to dry. The longer this takes, the darker the malt will be and the stronger the color of the beer will be.


Our own pure yeast culture for consistently good taste
Glass for glass and bottle for bottle – to ensure that the fans of our Hofbräu beers will experience their beloved beer taste again and again in consistently good quality, we at Hofbräu München rely on our own pure yeast culture production facility: Yeasts are unicellular organisms that are cultured in strains and multiply themselves. Whether bottom-fermented or top-fermented – the yeast decisively influences the taste of the beer. The bottom-fermenting yeast works six to seven days at a cool 7 to 9 degrees Celsius. At the end of the brewing process, it settles at the bottom of the fermentation tank and can be removed from the beer brew. The top-fermenting yeast loves it warmer: At temperatures between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius it really gets active and works for four to five days. It rises to the top with the carbon dioxide where it can be skimmed off.

Open the brewing process diagram