Earning our Badges part 2… Ottakringer Beer Sommelier Course

by Will Stafford, Assistant Bar Manager, Charlie P’s

Luckily it was not long before we were back upstairs watching Martin move the mash into the brewing kettle. This process separates the mash, the malts and oats from the now sugar-rich water in which it was boiling, known as ‘wort’. The mash was then rinsed with water to ensure all the sugar is removed and put back together in the mash tun, where the liquid would once again be boiled. This boil, which sterilises and concentrates the ‘wort’, as well as precipitating proteins and releasing flavours through ‘isomerisation’, lasts between 45-90mins. For us, this meant we would once again be dragged away from the process, but not before we got our first taste. A small glass was siphoned off along with a second portion, which would be used to measure the gravity. The first taste was of a loose tea looking colour, but sweet and tasty. In this context, it is important to note that the smells going on all through the process were incredible. Before heading off for lunch, Martin introduced us to the last of his toys, the hops. Smelling the different varieties, for any discerning beer drinker, will evoke memories of certain drinks they have had in the past, and there was a clamour of excitement as they were passed around. Afterwards, we adjourned for lunch…


After lunch there was unfortunately little for us to actively participate, asides from adding the hops, smelling and tasting. We listened and watched as Martin moved the ‘wort’ from the kettle to the whirlpool. In the whirlpool, the excess proteins and residual substances are removed and the wort is then cooled to 20-26 degrees Celsius and moved to the fermentation tank with the yeast.

At this point Martin announces to us that it would ferment for 4 weeks, but that we were welcome to come back and help bottle it. He was saying it in such a way to make us believe that this was the end of the tour and therefore the day, leaving enough of a dramatic pause to let us feel disappointed that we would not get to try our creation before we left. Then he announced that he luckily had a finished batch for us to try, and not only of the IPA, but also of the Blonde and the Porter, if we would all kindly head to the second floor…

I won’t go into all that annoying BS of how each beer is delicately balanced, lightly hopped with essences of chocolate, grapefruit etc. What I will say is that all three of these are lovely and definitely worth a taste if one was to stumble across them somewhere. They are beginning to roll out around the city, including Charlie P’s, but if you were dead keen then the best would be to head straight to the source, the Brauwerk Bar which is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 4pm – 8pm. Prost!


For more information on the sight, tours and courses on offer at Brauwerk, follow the link to their website: http://www.brauwerk.wien/?intro

For our full Craft Beer Menu see: http://charlieps.at/our-selection

For part 1 click here: http://wp.me/p3mkJQ-5F