Domestic raw materials
Top quality and short transportation routes: We rely on regional ingredients. Our hops are sourced from the Hallertau region of Bavaria, while our malt and barley come directly from the regions immediately surrounding our four brewing sites. And, of course, the same goes for the water we use. In addition, at OeTTINGER, we cultivate our own yeast.
All of our beers carry the ”GMO-free“ label.
Water is the main ingredient of beer. In fact, beer is composed of more than 90% of this natural resource. State-of-the-art machines condition high-grade water for the brewing process, with the aim of ensuring that our customers are ultimately able to enjoy a top-quality finished product that tastes just right. For light, hoppy beers, we tend to use soft water, although harder water can also be used to brew darker, more full-bodied beers. In this instance, the presence of chalk particles in the water helps to bind the flavor. Water is also used in breweries to clean the empty bottles, kegs, systems and equipment, as well as to cool down the fermentation tank. Not so long ago, we needed 25 hectoliters of fresh water to produce just one hectoliter of beer. Or to put this in more consumer-friendly terms: 25 liters of water for just one liter of beer. Thanks to our exceptionally efficient production process at OeTTINGER, on average we use just five hectoliters of water to produce one hectoliter of beer.
Hops are responsible for the specific aroma and characteristic tang of beer. We also have hops to thank for a firm, frothy head on a freshly pulled or poured beer. Hops also offer a pleasing side-effect by naturally extending the shelf life of beer.
Large breweries work with the best quality hop extract, while some craft beer breweries swear by the properties of fresh hop cones. The decision usually comes down to the volume required, storage space and conditions, as well as the desired length of time for the hops to remain fresh.
A certain amount of hops are added during the brewing process depending on the type of beer in question: For example, pilseners and stouts tend to contain significantly higher levels of hops than rather less tart export beers.
Moreover, this climbing plant is a well-known medicinal herb, the soothing effects of which mankind has used for many years. The addition of hops to a beer also lends the finished product its extremely relaxing effect. Germany is one of the main producers of hops. The Hallertau in Bavaria is the world’s largest continuous hop-growing region, and OeTTINGER hops are also sourced from here as well.
Regardless of whether blonde, brown or black, amber-colored or light, whether sweet or spiced – both the full flavor and color of beer is down to the handy work of brewing malt. Malt is produced in maltings through the germination of selected cereal crops.
The cereal grains are first mechanically cleaned and sorted before adding water. The cereal is then steeped for around three days to allow the grains to swell and germinate. During this time the insoluble starch is converted into soluble maltose. Ensuring that the space is well ventilated helps to produce “green” malt which then has to be dried or “kilned”.
By carefully controlling the temperature during the kilning process, the malthouse is able to determine the color of the malt, which ultimately also influences the color of the beer. Malt for light beer is dried at around 80°C, while malt for dark beer is dried at around 100°C. All the processes in the malthouse are natural – no chemical additives are used. The process is solely controlled by the optimum interaction between moisture, temperature and ventilation. In a final stage, the malt, which is now ready for brewing, is “deculmed” to remove the culm (or small rootlets), then dusted, polished and stored in silos before being sent out for transportation to the customer.
In Germany, barley is predominantly used, although it is also possible to add wheat or rye grains for certain kinds of beer. One thing is common to all varieties of grain: They are natural sources of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins.
Yeast is needed to make the beer wort produced from the malt ferment. It produces carbon dioxide and alcohol from the malt sugar. Yeast is actually fungal spores, which are found everywhere in the air. The effect of yeast has been known since early times, although the results were often rather more down to happy accidents. Yeast was only scientifically researched in the late 19th century. Louis Pasteur and Emil Christian Hansen demonstrated for the first time that different strains of yeast were especially suitable for the brewing of beer. Without yeast cells there would be no fermentation and, without fermentation, there would be no beer at all. Yeast is the most economical raw material since it continues to multiply during brewing. One further benefit is that after brewing, the yeast used in modern systems can be purified and therefore re-used several times. There are a remarkable number of different strains of yeast to be found in the natural world. However, in Germany only pure strains of yeast are used for beer, i.e. strains of yeast from the same variety. The aim here is guarantee a consistently high quality of beer. In brewing, a differentiation is made between top-fermented and bottom-fermented yeasts: While top-fermented yeast floats on the surface during open fermentation, bottom-fermented yeast settles on the base of the fermentation tank. Depending on the use of these different types of yeast, the process results in top-fermented beers (e.g. Original OeTTINGER Alt und Original OeTTINGER Hefeweißbier) and bottom-fermented beers (e.g. Original OeTTINGER Pils and Original OeTTINGER Export).