Authentic German Beer Stein FACTORY TOUR
brought to you by www.beersteinsinternational.com/
All of the steins offered at GermanMart, Ltd. are handcrafted and the process with which some steins are produced has not change in the last century. Take a tour through he facilities of one of GermanMart's manufacturers in Germany. Here you will get a small impression of the amount of work involved and the unique art represented by our steins. Enjoy the tour !
How a stein is produced
1. The Original Model
At the beginning of the manufacturing process artisans create a Model with modeling clay which will be used as template for a mold. It takes a lot of talent to develop such model and the artisans are mastering techniques used for many generations.
2. The Rubber Model
To prevent any damage to the delicate model, the original clay model has to be replicated into a full rubber model which is more durable and flexible enough to allow the development of a gypsum mold.
3. The Gypsum Mold
After the original model is now transformed into a rubber model, this rubber model can be used as a positive to create a gypsum form. The gypsum form is the designed to be used with a centrifuge to produce the steins.
4 The Centrifuge
The previous created gypsum form is now mounted on the centrifuge and filled with clay. The centrifugal forces will force the clay into the mold and a new stein is born.
5. Glazing the stein
After the stein is removed from the gypsum form, craftsmen apply the base coat glaze on the stein. In nearly all instances this is a manual, very labor intensive process.
6. First Firing
After the base coat glaze is applied, the stein will be fired for the first time. The firing oven is heated to 1180 C (2156 F). This first firing is critical as the hardness of the stein is dependent on this firing process.
7a. Decal Application
Many of the steins you see at Beer Steins International do carry a color Decal showing a coat of arm or other traditional decors. Those decals are wet applied to the stein and later on, during the second firing bonded to the stein so you can enjoy the decals for many many years.
7b Hand painting
Many steins you find at Beer Steins International are hand painted and hand colored. Every single stein has to be hand painted by craftsmen. The paint (glaze) is applied in accordance with traditions reaching back many generations and techniques used did not change in centuries.
To assure, that the wet applied decals and the hand applied paint (glaze) securely bonds with the stein, all steins are being fired a second time. The second firing is done at a much lower temperature of 650 C (1202 F) to prevent the structure of the stein to change. Constant temperature are critical to guarantee for secure bond of glaze or decal with the stein.
Many time the lid on a beer stein is taken as granted and often it is speculated on how the lid is actually produced and mounted to the stein. We finally put an end to the speculation and show you how it is done.
1. Pouring the lid
Pewter Lids on steins found at Beer Steins International are not mass produced. Every lid is poured by hand which will guarantee the highest possible quality and result in a sturdy lid which does not bend like some mass produced lids. All lids are poured using 97% pure and lead free pewter.
2. Cooling of the mold
After the mold is filled with pewter, the mold will be gradually cooled down in a water bath. It will take several minutes for the mold and the lid to cool down to a temperature, where it can be handled safely.
3 Opening the mold
After the mold is cooled down, it can be opened carefully and the raw lid will be carefully removed and prepared for the next step.
In the first two steps, a strip heat resistant material will be tied around the handle. Then everything will be covered with a heat resistant putty, which will create a mold for the lid mount.
In the next step liquid pewter is poured into the artificial mold which will build a seamless connection between the lid and the handle.
Final Touch Up
After the pewter is cooled down, the hinges will be smoothen using a router to produce a nice even look.
Last but not least the lid and stem will be polished to give it a nice glossy shine.
We hoped you enjoyed our little factory tour. All of the beer stein you find at Beer Steins International are produced in this or similar process. Every stein is a unique handcrafted item and as such one of the most valuable