How Beer is Made

How Beer is Made

Beer is a beloved beverage by many and a cure to sadness for others, but does anyone really know the process of how it’s made? Obviously, some people do but for those who do not, this article is for you. We will outline all of the steps of the process so the next time you go out to a bar with your friends, you will be able to tell them all about it.

First, you must have all of the proper ingredients. They are barley, hops, water, and yeast. Throughout the process, sugar is extracted from the grains to allow yeast to be converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide, thus making beer.

The first major step in the creation process is called malting. Grains are the initial product that are heated and dried out. Malting isolates the enzymes that are necessary for brewing to prepare for the next step, mashing.

Mashing the grains follows malting. This is not like mashing potatoes however. This process involves steeping the grains like you would tea in hot water. Enzymes become activated and release their sugars. Next the water is drained from the mash and what is left is called wort, which essentially is unmade beer. Wort is the equivalent of dough to unmade bread.

Next the wort is boiled for about one hour. During this process, hops and spices are added. Hops are what give beer its bitter flavor to counteract the sweetness of the wort. Hops come from vines and are considered a fruit.

After boiling, the wort is cooled, strained and filtered. It is then transported to a vessel where yeast is added to the mixture. This step is called fermentation. Brewing is basically finished at this point. The fermentation process takes time as the beer may be stored for two weeks at room temperature (for ales) or longer times at colder temperatures (for lagers). The yeast in the beer then takes in the sugar content and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide as previously discussed.

Once this process is complete, the beer is ready to be bottled and aged. The carbonation is either added during the bottling process artificially or produced naturally from the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast.

After it ages the appropriate time, it is ready to be enjoyed. Each beer has something unique about it’s brewing process and many breweries offer tours if you would like to learn more.