Two brew days at Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen

Published on March 22, 2018.

Once the mashing of the grains is completed, the grains are raked or shoveled out of the mash tun, and put into a container, hoisted onto a forklift, and dumped into the back of a truck. This process is repeated a number of times, until the mash tun is fully cleaned out. A farmer will take the spent grains and feed it to his cows the next day. Very happy cows…

The 3 Fonteinen mash tun, full of spent grains.

The 3 Fonteinen mash tun, full of spent grains.

Spent grains being raked out of the mash tun at 3 Fonteinen.

Spent grains being raked out of the mash tun at 3 Fonteinen.

Spent grains being raked out of the mash tun at 3 Fonteinen.

Spent grains being raked out of the mash tun at 3 Fonteinen.

Inside the mash tun at 3 Fonteinen.

Inside the mash tun at 3 Fonteinen.

Brewer Diego Sachem raking out the last of the spent grains from the mash tun.

Brewer Diego Sachem raking out the last of the spent grains from the mash tun.

Spent grains in a container at 3 Fonteinen.

Spent grains in a container at 3 Fonteinen.

Diego Sachem dumps a container full of spent grains into the back of a truck.

Diego Sachem dumps a container full of spent grains into the back of a truck.

Diego rolls the container back into the brewery.

Diego rolls the container back into the brewery.

Diego Sachem cleans out the rest of the grains in the mash tun with a water hose.

Diego Sachem cleans out the rest of the grains in the mash tun with a water hose.

and the mash tun is finally clean.

and the mash tun is finally clean.

3 Fonteinen brewer Diego Sachem flips a switch to start wort flowing into the coolship at 7:15 pm on November 29, 2017.

3 Fonteinen brewer Diego Sachem flips a switch to start wort flowing into the coolship at 7:15 pm on November 29, 2017.

Water is first run through the pipes running to the coolship to clean out any particles that might remain from a previous day.

Water is first run through the pipes running to the coolship to clean out any particles that might remain from a previous day.

Once water has run through the lines for a few seconds and appears clean, wort is pumped into the coolship.

Once water has run through the lines for a few seconds and appears clean, wort is pumped into the coolship.

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The wort is first run through this fitting, which acts as a filter for any particles which might be in the wort.

The wort is first run through this long pipe, which acts as a filter for any particles which might be in the wort.

The cleaning out of the mash tun is usually almost completed by the time the wort is pumped into the coolship. The filling of the coolship late in the afternoon or early in the evening is the most magical part of a lambic brewing day. At 3 Fonteinen, the double-decker, four section coolship is filled one section at a time, with the lower front section being filled first.

Once the coolship has run for a few seconds through the long filtering pipe, the flow is stopped.

Once the coolship has run for a few seconds through the long filtering pipe, the flow is stopped.

During my November 2017 visit, brewer Diego Sachem and I took a break. Photographing and filming a brew day is hard work, and a beer break was required. (The brewing itself is much harder work, of course!) Diego walked into the former site of the 3 Fonteinen retail shop, a few feet away, and Diego opened a 75 cl bottle of Framboos from a few years ago. It was superb, and hit the spot well. At this point, Diego removed the long filtering pipe so that wort could be pumped directly into the mash tun.

A glass of several year old 3 Fonteinen Framboos, savored while overlooking the partially filled coolship.

A glass of several year old 3 Fonteinen Framboos, savored while overlooking the partially filled coolship.

A glass of several year old 3 Fonteinen Framboos, savored while overlooking the partially filled coolship.

A glass of several year old 3 Fonteinen Framboos, savored while overlooking the partially filled coolship.

Here, the long filter pipe has been removed and wort is pumped directly into this section of the mash tun.

Here, the long filter pipe has been removed and wort is pumped directly into this section of the mash tun.

Another shot of the wort being pumped into the coolship, with the action frozen.

Another shot of the wort being pumped into the coolship, with the action frozen.

Close up of wort being pumped into the coolship at 3 Fonteinen, at action speed.

Close up of wort being pumped into the coolship at 3 Fonteinen, at action speed.

Another closeup of the coolship filling, with the action frozen.

Another closeup of the coolship filling, with the action frozen.

Hot wort being pumped into the lower deck of the coolship at 3 Fonteinen.

Hot wort being pumped into the lower deck of the coolship at 3 Fonteinen.

The only problem with photographing coolships and lambic brewing is that the hot wort hitting the cold surface of the coolship creates so much steam that eventually it is nearly impossible to get good photos. Following are some shots to demonstrate the steaminess of a brew day at 3 Fonteinen.

Hot wort in the coolship at 3 Fonteinen.

Hot wort in the coolship at 3 Fonteinen.

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The top deck of the 3 Fonteinen coolship, full of hot wort.

The top deck of the 3 Fonteinen coolship, full of hot wort.

Brewer Diego Sachem checks out the progress in the upper deck of the coolship.

Brewer Diego Sachem checks out the progress in the upper deck of the coolship.

Wort being pumped into the lower deck, far side section of the 3 Fonteinen coolship.

Wort being pumped into the lower deck, far side section of the 3 Fonteinen coolship.

A view of the steamed up coolship.

A view of the steamed up coolship.

3 Fonteinen brewer Diego Sachem looks at the progress of wort filling the top deck of their coolship.

3 Fonteinen brewer Diego Sachem looks at the progress of wort filling the top deck of their coolship.

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The steamed up brewery from the outside.

The steamed up brewery from the outside.

***CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE***: A visit to the lambik-o-droom cafe

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