Homebrewing
Beer and Brewing

How do you make beer?

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Wiki User
2017-09-13 16:59:03

Grain is malted and the sugars pulled out of it to create wort.

Yeast is added to ferment the sugars into alcohol. Hops are used to

help preserve the beer.

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Wiki User
2017-09-13 04:59:20

Making beer

Beer making, or brewing, is a simple process in theory but actually

takes a bit of effort and organization to pull off successfully.

There are many great websites that describe the brewing process,

but here are the basic steps for making an ale from malt extract.

(Making lagers takes longer and requires cold storage.)

1. Clean. Clean and sterilize all your gear.

2. Steep. Steep your specialty grains (if there are any)

in hot -- but not boiling hot -- water in your brew pot for about

30 minutes, and then remove the grains.

3. Add malt extract. Increase the heat and slowly add

your liquid and dry malt extracts, stirring all the while.

4. Boil. Bring the wort to a rolling boil. The wort

should boil like crazy for at least 90 minutes. Within the first

half hour, if not sooner, the "hot break" will occur, and the wort

will produce a lot of foam. Make sure the pot does not boil over at

this point. Turn down the heat to prevent boil-overs. When the

danger of boil-overs is past, you can crank up the heat again.

5. Add hops. You will add hops at different times during

the boil depending on the type of beer you're making. There are

many types of hops, which all have unique characteristics.

Bittering hops are added early in the boil; aroma (and flavor) hops

are added late. Aroma hops are sometimes called "finishing"

hops.

6. Cool. Remove the heat and cool the brew pot quickly in

an ice bath. This is an important process that produces the "cold

break." Cool the wort down to about 70 degrees.

7. Transfer. Transfer the wort to your fermenter and

pitch (add) your yeast. Agitate the wort thoroughly at this point.

This aerates the wort, which is desirable at this point.

8. Ferment. Seal the lid securely and insert your

airlock. Fermentation should start in 12 to 24 hours and last a few

days.

9. Condition. After about a week in the primary

fermenter, carefully transfer the beer -- it's beer now, although

it's flat -- to a secondary fermenter. Do not transfer the ick at

the bottom to the secondary. Let the beer condition in the

secondary fermenter for about two weeks. Longer is okay.

10. Prime. After at least two weeks of conditioning,

transfer the beer to a bottling bucket. Add your priming sugar, but

be careful not to agitate the beer too much. This helps prevent

oxidation of the beer. The priming sugar must not be added directly

to the beer; dissolve it first in a cup of water. Make sure the

sugar water is thoroughly incorporated in the beer (but remember

not to over-agitate the beer).

11. Bottle. Bottle your beer and store it in a cool, dark

place -- but not in the fridge. The carbonation will occur

naturally in the bottle.

12. Be patient. Wait three weeks before trying a bottle.

You can experiment with aging your beer longer at cellar

temperatures and in your fridge.

To make beer from grain (the way the professionals do it), you

have to change a few steps. It's quite a bit more involved than

brewing from malt extract:

1. Mill the grain. To allow the starches in the grain to

be exposed, you must first mill your malted grain to crack the

husk.

2. Mash the grain. Mashing is reaction involving enzymes

and starches in the grain. At a certain temperature (about 145-155

degrees F) these enzymes become active and break the starches in

the grain down into sugar. Sugar is the food of yeast for

fermentation.

3. Stop conversion. Next you want to bring this mixture

up to 170 degrees F. This denatures the enzymes and stops

conversion.

4. Sparge. In this step you strain our the grain from the

liquid (called wort) using a lauter tun. The spent grain is now

brewing waste, but the wort will be what turns into beer.

5. Boil. At this point, see Step 4 from the malt extract

directions. It's all the same from here on out.

The all-grain method will give you more control over your

finished product than using malt extract, but will take more time

and skill.


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