BrightBeer is a platform for brewing beers to scale. It features the BrightBeer® BeerStyler™ For Retailers & Event Hosts for helping to define beer requirements and beer styling, the BrightBeer® RecipeDesigner™ For Brewers to craft supplier needs and the BrightBeer® TasteCommunicator™ For Tasters to help with beer communication for customers, retailers and brewers alike, as a tool for monitoring beer quality and to help our clients improve their consumer's experience.
We knew there had to be a better way to design, communicate and brew beer to scale. And for retailers and special event hosts, an easy way to outsource the beer they wanted.
BrightBeer is a service for the development and brewing of fresh, delicious beer for third parties by which ever means - we have an open mind and the name is incidental to any brewing process or stage. But in case you're wondering what brewers' mean by the brewing terminology 'bright beer', it means beer in which yeast is no longer in suspension.
For the beer drinker, the brewer has to do his best to preserve character. In the UK, the time honoured way has been to sell beer from the cool cellar of the typical British pub. In the early 1970s, the consumer movement CAMRA coined the term 'real ale' to make it easy for consumers to differentiate a style of beer devoid of extensive processing to extend shelf life. 'Real ale' is beer which has been taken straight from fermenter or warm conditioning tank and put into cask by gravity (racked) with a fish preparation called isinglass finings. The finings binds to the yeast, and the resulting larger particles quickly sediment or 'drop out' to the bottom of the cask over 24 hours. The yeast carries out a further fermentation to naturally condition (carbonate) the beer. In this case, bright beer is decanted from the cask by gravity or pulled through a hand pull (beer engine) on a bar which syphons it from the cask.
For the brewer, it is the ultimate treat to take a glass of beer directly from the sample tap (a 'zwickel' in Germany) of a fresh cold tank of beer after fermentation and conditioning (lagering in Germany). This is when enough yeast and hop debris have sedimented out to prevent the beer from tasting overly bitter. The resulting beer has the most vibrant and deliciously fresh hop character, further enhanced through the natural condition (carbonation) created by the yeast as it chews on the remaining sugars left over from the primary fermentation.
Except for dark or very strong beers, one drawback of cask beer is that after 6 weeks in a cellar, yeast begins to break down to produce a 'tangy' flavour. Unfortunately the same is true for bottle conditioned beer. Like cask beer, bottle conditioned beer allows yeast to be carried over from the fermenter for secondary fermentation (or it is removed and added in known amounts). Unfortunately the supply chain for bottled beer means there isn't much time available for the drinker to get nice beer. Warm storage for the natural conditioning of bottled beer is necessary to trigger a secondary fementation, but in turn, ultimately this can accelerate the problem of tangy flavours resulting from yeast break up. Different beer styles and yeasts behave differently resulting in insignificant effects to pronounced. Further, with bottle conditioned beers, it's all too easy to disturb the sediment in transit or on pouring. This of course results in the earlier problem of suspended yeast making beer excessively bitter.
For these reasons, some brewers lightly filter their beer just to remove yeast. As yeast cells are quite large, with the exception of weiss beer where yeast is an integral part of the experience, this can only have a positive effect on flavour. Beyond light filtration, or centrifugation which greatly accelerates sedimentation, sterile filtration and pasteurisation can give packaged beer an extended lifespan. For many markets those methods make absolute commercial sense, but there is a trade off in terms of flavour.
Zwickelbier is a naturally carbonated Bavarian Kellerbier, brewed at a slightly lower strength and less hoppy. The name Zwickelbier is taken from the term 'zwickel', the German name given to the sample tap mounted on a beer tank for tasting beer during and after fermentation. Like Kellerbier, Zwickelbier originated in Franconia. It is rarely seen outside Franconia and is unfiltered and unpasteurised. Tanks are bunged or closed off ('gespundet') just before the end of fermentation. This allows natural carbon dioxide to dissolve into the brew. As a result, Zwickelbier, unlike Kellerbier, builds up effervescence and has a nice creamy head when poured into a glass. While Kellerbier is aged for months, Zwickelbier tends to be served as soon as it is finished fermenting. Because Zwickelbier has fewer hops than Kellerbier (the acids in hops serve as a preservative) and the ABV s lower, it tends to have a shorter shelf life which is why it is not shipped afar.