How Beer is Made: Understanding the Brewing Process

Malt:

The basis of most beers is fermented grains. This includes malted barley which is simply barley that has been partially sprouted to speed up the brewing process. This barley lends sugar to the process which is then converted into alcohol by the yeast.

Hop :

A flower of the Humulus Lupulus plant, hops have a natural antimicrobial and stabilizing effect on the infusion. This allows the beer to ferment cleanly while adding bitter, floral, and fruity flavors to the mix.

Water:

Yes, you can pretend to hydrate yourself with a glass of beer (although we wouldn’t recommend it full time). The main ingredient in almost all beers, water is essential to help convert the starch content of grains into sugars and later into alcohol.

Yeast:

The hard worker of the mix, yeast is a living organism that feeds on the sugars in the mix and converts them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The flavor of a beer can change depending on the yeast you use.

The process

1. Malting

For barley to be worthy of beer, it must be malted. It involves taking a living seed and nurturing it to start the growth process. The process creates the starch enzymes needed to create fermentable sugars when yeast is added later.

2. Brewing

The malted barley is then ground and steeped in warm water to create a sweet solution called wort. Additional grains are added now and the temperature is gradually increased from 38 to 77°C so that the enzymes react. Enzymes break down the starch in the grain and convert it into simple sugars. The solid elements sink to the bottom of the tank.

3. Filtering

The liquid in the mash is transferred to another tank called a lauter tun and boiled. This is accomplished by drawing the liquid through the bottom layer of mash solids, which acts as a filter, hops are also added now for cleaner fermentation. Hot water is added to the top of the mash tank to rinse the remaining liquid, now called wort, from the mash.

4. Fermentation

After the mixture is boiled and sterilized, the solid grains and hops are removed and the mixture is cooled. Yeast is then added and begins to ferment. It is at this stage that the alcohol is actually created. For every gram of sugar consumed by yeast, it produces two halves. Half carbon dioxide, half alcohol. This process takes about a week depending on the type of yeast and style of fermentation, and it will determine what type of beer is ultimately produced.

5. Aroma

The last step is to add any additional flavors that might be desired. Things like fruit can be introduced earlier in the process and fermented with the beer, but most solid and artificial flavors are added after brewing.

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