Materie prime

The yeasts

Yeasts are the precious microorganisms that, through the process of fermentation of the beer, transform the sugars of the wort into alcohol and other chemicals.

In order to control the “personality”of its beer, it is very important for the brewer to dispose of industrial, well-know and tested yeasts. Our team decided to innovate and experiment in this delicate field too.

The sampling protocol

At the beginning of 2012, Birrificio Antoniano and the Institute for Quality and Food Technology of Thiene Veneto Agriculture gave life to an innovative project to verify the existence of yeast’s families in our area (i.e. province of Padua), which may be used for brewing. How can we "capture" these microorganisms?
Thanks to the biologists of Agriculture Veneto we developed a so-called "sampling protocol", a standard procedure to collect flowers and fruits on which the insects or the wind may have deposited different types of yeast. This is a procedure that limits the dangers of environmental contamination.

Last fall, we sampled some of the flowers of plants of wild hops born in different areas of the province of Padua (Camposampiero, Piazzola sul Brenta, Selvazzano Dentro, Abano Terme, Galzignano, Valsanzibio, Mestrino, etc..). These samples were taken in the laboratories of Veneto Agriculture and were immersed in a solution of beer wort to check if they activated some kind of fermentation. The samples were divided into two parts, one of which was brought to the temperature of 10 ° and a temperature of 20 ° to simulate a situation of high and low fermentation. In the early months of 2013 we finally got the results of this first phase of testing. Of the 76 yeast colonies identified, 12 belonged to two species of yeast used for the fermentation of beer (Saccharomyces delbrueckii cerevisie and Torulaspora). After the analysis of mitochondrial DNA emerged that these 12 colonies belongs to only 3 different families of yeast. These three families were made multiply and inoculated in a small quantity of must which were smelled by our brewer. The aromas generated by these "strange" yeasts (coriander, caramel, licorice) was actually interesting. Now is the time for a test in a mini system to verify the yield of these yeasts and Luciano is already in action...We certainly cannot stop now: in the late spring of this year we plan to repeat the sampling operation with different fruits of the Paduan countryside in order to find new local yeasts.

The barley

The choice of being a farm brewery  is not a convenient arrangement or a marketing strategy. It is adherence to the concept of short supply chain and respect for the basic ingredients born from the land and that offer this magical product.

The malt, that is germinated batley grain, is what defines the flavor, the body and the typical color of the beer. To choose this essential raw material we totally rely on our land: Birrificio Antoniano, in fact, directly manages the cultivation of more than 90 acres of land divided into three sites in the Italian Northeast.

The first sowing

The first sowing of 80 hectares of the Muzzanella’s Estate in Marano Lagunare was made last November. It is a rich clay soil, torn from the waters of the lagoon in the early fifties, set within an oasis of wildlife that preserves its natural charm. In most of the plot our agronomist decided to use the “Scarlett” variety of barley, a variety that has demonstrated excellent yields especially in southern Italy. In addition to this settled variety, we decided to try a little experiment using the “Grace” variety.

A relatively new variety that has shown excellent results in continental Europe ... It was worthwhile a try even here in Southern Europe

The buds

In January the small shoots of barley had already sprung up and now it seems that they are growing well.
In June, Birrificio Antoniano will proceed with the first harvesting of the cereal, and between the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, we will drink the first Antoniana beer, produced with a malt totally "made ​​in Italy".

stay tuned: subscribe to our newsletter