Lengenfeld water – a source of flavour
Water is the elixir of life on earth. Full of energy and freshness, giving life to people, animals and plants. The precious liquid is also essential for brewing.
Water is an essential component that is required even during the preliminary phases of the brewing process. It is both flavour component and tool at the same time, because only fresh and natural, pure water can take on the flavours of hops and malt and give Winkler beers a full-bodied aroma where every aspect of the ingredients’ own flavours can be revealed.
At Winkler private brewery, we only use monoculture water from Lengenfeld fields. Icy and clear, it winds its way through the many layers of stone of the Upper Palatinate Jura and comes to the surface after a long, demanding journey. Organically filtered through fossil limestone, it reveals its unique mildness - pure and honest.
Before the spring water is used in the brewing kettle, we "enliven" it using Grander technology. This enables us to intensify the flavour of our exquisite ingredients at Winkler Brewery without using additives and the finer-bubbled carbon dioxide makes the beer pleasant to drink.
Our beer is considered to be particularly delicious and easily digestible for good reason.
Regional cultivation – the highest quality
The road from malting barley to malt is long and hard. After many hours, during which the malting barley must endure wind and weather, but also countless hours of sunshine, in the valley of the Schwarze Laber river, the grains are finally harvested once they have fully ripened.
Only high-quality grains make it into our private brewery, which is why we place great value on conscientiously ordering and looking after the seeds in our fields.
Once the crop has been carefully cleaned, it is malted by our company’s own malthouse, Ireks in Sulzbach-Rosenberg. For several weeks the grains mature in mild spring water to form new bacteria called green malt. Malt – beer’s natural flavouring - is created by heat-roasting, which is known as drying. At Winkler Brewery, we intentionally do not add any artificial flavourings – our hand-brewed beer has a naturalness you can taste.
Depending on the variety of grain, duration of germination, as well as drying duration and temperature, different varieties of malt are created that considerably influence the aroma of the beer: dark, full-bodied beer, such as our Kupfer Spezial is characterised, for example, by drying at higher temperature.
Mashing also determines the flavour of the beer. The ingredients of the malt are heated in a mash tun and constantly stirred while brewing water is added.
At this point, our master brewer alone decides whether the beer should have a rather bitter flavour like our light beer specialities or a fully aromatic character like the Kupfer beers. The master brewer’s experience and skill are crucial here, because beer brewing is still an art that requires sure instinct.
Aromatic hops – the soul of beer
At Winkler Brewery, we try to keep the traditional art of brewing alive and abide by the centuries-old purity law – the incomparable diversity of flavours of our beers is not achieved by adding artificial ingredients, but is based on nature’s flavour enhancer – hops. Hops affect the brewing process in many different ways: the bitter ingredients and essential oils that they contain give our Winkler beers a characteristic, bitter flavour, create a mild, aromatic scent and, as a result, an unmistakable, multi-facetted aroma that is unparalleled.
By using the hop plant’s natural tannins, we have been able to completely renounce chemical additives. The tannins also have a positive effect on the brewing process - clarification happens as if by magic and the beer lasts for longer, without artificial preservatives. That is why only the best aromatic hops from Spalt and Hallertau - the world’s largest hop cultivation area - can be used as flavour components in the excellent speciality beers from Winkler Bräu.
Just like our traditional method of brewing beer, hop cultivation is also characterised by manual work: placing the shoots on the training wire, continually loosening the soil or carefully harvesting the female, unfertilised flowers – many hours of work are required to cultivate high-quality hops for brewing. The hops must be looked after with great care so that the harvest between the end of August and the beginning of September, when the hops are best for brewing, is bountiful. The plants are cut by hand in the autumn to defy the harsh winter and so that the first delicate buds can reach towards the sun in spring.
Finest yeast – for a real flavour
What would Winkler beer be without yeast? The answer is simple – it wouldn’t be beer at all.
To make our unrivalled beers, we need to know precisely the qualities of the brewing yeast. One of the reasons why the master brewers at Winkler Brewery are so successful is because, using their specialist knowledge and wide-ranging experience, they know precisely how to work with this important ingredient.
High-quality yeast of the variety saccharomyces cerevisiae has a decisive influence on the beer-making process at Winkler Brewery – sugar from the pitching wort is fermented by the yeast into alcohol in large containers. Yeast cultures are added to the liquid wort at a rather cool 4 to 12° in our fermentation cellar. The distinctive metabolism of the yeast has a powerful influence both on the character and on the flavour of the beer. Only by knowing the composition of the yeast can the master brewer brew a flavourful and high-quality beer following the Winkler method – timing is crucial.
Fermentation produces not only alcohol, but also carbon dioxide that is partly bound to the beer as invigorating carbonic acid, resulting in a sparkling beer with a captivating flavour.
At Winkler Brewery, we use only the finest, clean, pure selected yeast for our speciality beers.