The basic ingredients of beer are water; a starch source, such as malted barley, able to be fermented (converted into alcohol); a brewer’s yeast to produce the fermentation; and a flavouring, such as hops, to offset the sweetness of the malt.
These ingredients collectively affect the flavor and character of the beer.
Varying mineral contents in water from different regions creates differing flavor profiles. For example, hard water is better suited for making stouts whereas softer water is better for ales. The quality of water also affects the brew. Many breweries use spring water (purity and mineral content) whilst others stick to filtered water.
Grain is malted by soaking it water allowing it to partially germinate. It is then dried in a kiln. Malting allows the starch to be converted to fermentable sugars later on in the brewing process. Different roasting times and temperatures produce various colors of the malt and different flavor profiles. Darker beers are often brewed with darker malts.
Hops are the female flower clusters of the Hop Vine. Hops play an important part for the following reasons:
- Bitterness – This balances the sweetness of the malt.
- Flavor – Besides bitterness hops add floral, citrus and herbal flavors and aroma.
- Head Retention – Hops aid in head retention i.e how long the head of beer lasts after being poured into a glass.
- Antibiotic Effect – helps promote the brewer’s yeast instead of other unfavorable microorganisms.
There are several types of hops found around the world – each with their own bitterness and aroma profile. Hops from America and Germany and very popular.
For a complete list of Hop varieties please visit:
In simple terms this microorganism is responsible for the fermentation process – it converts the sugars from the malt into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast also influences the flavor of the beer.
Additional Ingredients – Some brewers add clarifying agents – these help remove solids from the beer and makes them appear bright and clean. Agents used can be either natural or artificial.
THE BREWING PROCESS
Please click on the image above.
Source: Brewers Association of Canada
In simple terms, this is what the brewing process is all about:
- Mashing – Malted Barley is mixed with hot water in a vessel called a Mash Tun. This converts the malts into sugars which will be used later to create the alcohol and carbon dioxide when the beer is fermented.
- Lautering – the mash is filtered through a mesh to create a liquid called the Wort.
- Copper Kettle – The wort is boiled (sterilized) with Hops at this stage and later the solids are separated out.
- The Wort is then cooled using a PHE (Primary Heat Exchanger) and moved to the Fermentation tanks (FTs).
- Fermentation – Yeast is added so that sugars in the wort can turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process can take two weeks to a month, depending on what style of beer is being produced. Beer is conditioned in these Fermentation Tanks or transferred to Bright Beer Tanks (BBTs) until ready.
- Filling – the conditioned beer is either bottled, placed into kegs or fed into the beer lines that go to the in-house brewpub.
This short five-minute video below gives you a great overview of the brewing process.
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