As you sip on your
favorite beer, do you ever wonder how it’s made?
All beer, including
lager and ale, is brewed using the same formula. The first step in the brewing
process is called malting. The grains, which are usually barley, wheat or rye,
go through a germination process to isolate the enzymes needed for brewing.
The next step
is called mashing. The grains are then steeped in hot water to activate the
enzymes that cause the break down and release of the grain’s sugars. After 1-2
hours of mashing, water is drained from the mash, which should now be full of
sugar from the grains. This sweet liquid is called wort.
The wort is
then moved to a kettle where it is boiled for about an hour. During this time,
hops (which provide bitterness and flavor to balance out the sugar) and other
ingredients, as needed, are added to the wort. This boiling process serves to
finalize the enzymatic processes, precipitate proteins, isomerize hop resins,
and concentrate and sterilize the wort.
The next step
is called fermentation. After an hour of boiling, the wort is cooled, strained
and filtered. It is then moved to a fermentation vessel where yeast is added to
it. The brewing process is now complete and the fermentation process begins.
During this process, ales are to be stored at room temperature for a few weeks.
Lagers are kept at cold temperatures for a few weeks.
After waiting for a few
weeks, the beer is then bottled. The next step is to purchase your beer of
preference and enjoy!