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The Production of "Malt Wine" Genever

This page shows you the most important steps of the production of "Old Schiedam Genever, produced from Malt Wine", as it was produced by W. Hasekamp & Co. in Schiedam. These old pictures show you a process that is no longer in existence.

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Malt Wine is a product, made out of grain (mainly barley), that is being fermented, in order to produce natural alcohol. This Malt Wine is the basis for (only the best quality) of "Old Dutch Genever".

As you may have read on the page about the history of W. Hasekamp & Co., around the end of the nineteenth Century there were hundreds of Malt Wine factories in Schiedam.
Some years after the First World War, in 1922, there were only seven left: W. Hasekamp & Co., "Hollandia", Hulstkamp, Jansen, De Koning, "De Maas" (Nolet) and Wittkampf.

Although the next description is written in the present time for convenience of reading, this proces will probably no longer exist anywhere!



The grain, used in the production of "Malt Wine" mainly came from abroad. In the first place from the USA.

Loading barley Boat of W. Hasekamp

Here we see two pictures of one of the boats of W. Hasekamp & Co., loading grain from a sea vessel in the harbor of Rotterdam.

The first steps in the production process of Malt Wine consist of milling the barley, germinating it and boiling the milled and germinated barley. The starch from the barley is mixed with malt, that can work on the starch of the barley grain. The mixture of malt and germinated barley is put into a sort of pan. The correct temperature is essential. The resulting mass is called "mash".

Barley is germinated in the Malt House Boiler for grain

On the pictures above you see the floor of the Malt House (left hand side), covered with grain in order to let it germinate and the boiler for the grain (right hand side).
A small quantity of the mash is brought into contact with lactic acid bacteria, in order to accomplish a complete acidification. This small part of the mash is added again to the rest of the mash and yeast is added for fermentation.

Rows of mash-backs

In the large "Mash-Backs" on the above picture the fermentation takes place and the Malt Wine is born.
Any "connoisseur" will prefer this malt wine above products, based on synthetic alcohol, diluted with water. The processes described above (very much simplified) give the alcohol a special flavor.

Warm-room

The yeast cells have strongly multiplicated during the fermentation process and are skimmed off, pressed dry and are then ready for sale to bakeries. The yeast to be used in future malt wine production is being cultivated under sterile conditions (see picture above). The malt wine formed is separated from the mash and can be used as food for cattle.
But the product formed -although I called it malt wine already- is not yet the real malt wine to be used in Genever. It is called "Crude fluid". It has an alcoholic strength of only 11%. To increase the strength it has to be distilled over juniper berries (jeneverbessen in Dutch) to make Genever (also written ad "jenever") -with its characteristic flavor- out of it.

Malt wine distillation

The picture shows you some of the distillation kettles, as they were used by W. Hasekamp & Co. in Schiedam, obtaining the premium quality Genever where the Company was famous for.

I have shown some of the most relevant steps in the production of "Malt Wine Genever", as it does no longer exist.



The last thing that has to be done is filling the bottles and shipping the product.

Shipping the product

This final picture is a view of the shipping department as it was in the great days of the company

W. Hasekamp & Co. of Schiedam.

Back to the history of the Company


Link to a website (in Dutch) about the history of Schiedam

Link to a page (in Dutch) about Malt Wine production in the past


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