Film ID:
YFA 1959



Visitor Tabs


This narrative film explains the process of brewing beer and includes methods of bottling as well as putting the finished product into casks. It was filmed in the Melbourne Brewery in Leeds.

The film opens with a witch in a field brewing something over an open fire in a cauldron. The opening title is written on the side of the cauldron.
Title - What's Brewing.
Title - The 8mm squad investigates.

A car pulls over by the side of a street, and two men and a woman get out. The voiceover states that, "Charlie said he would be there by eight." They are ushered into a pub where order a beer and sit down. As they ponder how beer is made, the film takes us on a journey through the process of making beer. It begins in the malt store where a man is emptying sacks of malt into an elevator where it is taken to the top of the building. From the top of the building is a view over the works and Leeds. The next stage in the process takes place in the malt mill where there are two large electric machines, fed by steel hoppers, for grinding the corn into grist. Next it goes into the funnel shaped grist case until it is mashed. All the cleaning is done by how water and steam produced by two large oil fired boilers.

The mixture of malt and hot water, known as liquor, goes into the pre-heated mashing tub. Here the malt is converted into wort by enzymes. The end product runs along pipes to the coppers where it is joined by the hops. The hops are carefully weighed, and extra sugar is added to the wort. The coppers, where the wort is boiled for 1 ? hours, are heated by steam pipes. The wort is then filtered through the hops and into the cooling room. The spent hops are used as a base for garden fertilizers. The wort is transferred into stainless steel fermenting vessels where yeast is added. The fermentation process takes 48 hours, during which the mixture is frequently roused to allow oxygen to get to the yeast. The yeast is then skimmed off and, having increased about five times during the process, is either re-used or sold as a by-product.

The beer is then allowed to settle for five days before being put into casks and bottles. Temperature and specific gravity are constantly checked. In the coopers shop the casks are examined and repaired. The wooden casks are then stored outside in the yard where, after knocking out the old wooden bung (the spile), they are washed and sterilized by hot water and steam on a machine. After cleaning the barrels pass to the cellar head where cold air is blown through them and they are inspected before being filled in the racking machine. A few extra dry hops are added before being filled with beer, as is a little more sugar for a secondary fermentation - priming the beer. The bottles are filled automatically along a conveyor belt at the rate of 450,000 an hour. After capping the bottles are inspected, counted, labelled and packed into cases before being taken off in Melbourne Brewery lorries.

Back in the pub and time is called, with 'The End' written on the cloth covering the pumps.

End Credits:
'What's Brewing' was produced by the 8mm section of Leeds camera Club, who express their thanks to directors and staff at the Melbourne Brewery for their advice and co-operation.

Director Harold Collins
Editor Cliff Yesson
Script Jack White
Camera Man Jack Dyson
Sound Pat Sandy
Continuity Arthur Hall
Lights Bob Bellwood
Light Porters Fraser Grainger, Brian Holden, Roy Hurley, Duncan McRae, John Slee, Albert Walker.
Technical Advice Mr L. Shaw
Commentator Mr D. Parsons
Camera H8 by Sue Smith

But 'Beer by Melbourne' followed by the Melbourne logo.