Photo from Green Beacon Brewing on Creative Commons
We’ve finally done it. At last we’re going to talk about something we should have talked about along time ago; the beer production process.
Like with any good recipe we’re first going to run down our ingredient list. Most beer contains only hops, yeast, water, and barley. Some brewers will add ingredients later on to give their beer a different flavour however we’re only going to be talking about those ingredients.
First step malt is ground in a mill. I know what you’re thinking, “Wow! We didn’t talk about malt, what’s that?” I’m glad you asked readers. Malt is barley that has been allowed to sprout after soaking in water, a process called malting. After soaking it’s then dried to stop that sprouting. Barley that has gone through the malting process is called malt, fittingly enough.
After being ground the malt is added to a mash tub and mixed with warm water. It’ll sit in this bath for about 90 minutes as the starches in the malt are turned into sugar. Once its bath is done it’s boiled in a kettle and hops join in the party. Hops added early on in this stage are typically the stronger hops that are added to give it flavour, some will be added later purely to give a nice aroma.
The liquid is then separated from the malt and heated in a kettle. The remaining liquid is called wort, and it’s cooled and fermented by the addition of yeast. The yeast then turns the sugar from the starches into either alcohol or carbon dioxide.
It’s then cooled a little more and the yeast is collected at the bottom of the vat. All that’s left to do then is to age it and add some more CO2 before bottling and labeling.
Hopefully you found this interesting and it cleared up a bit of confusion about terms like wort and malt. If we missed anything or you have anything we should have added in here please let us know!