How is Beer Made

While beer is widely available mostly anywhere and there are thousands of varieties to choose from, making your beer can be an exciting hobby. Your quest to look for the right kind of beer for your taste might be such a difficult journey as there are thousands of varieties out there. Perhaps making your beer is the good way to speed up your pursuit. Making beer is simple if you follow every step religiously. Here’s an overview of how to do it.

Procedures for Making Beer

The main ingredient for beer is barley, which is the source of sugar to be fermented for the brewing process. Rice, corn, and what are sometimes used as extra ingredients. At a certain point, the grains are dried to stop the germination process, and the resulting product from melting is the grain bill. The grain bills are then mashed in a first mill that crushes the grain’s starch center but still keeping the husk whole. This is necessary for the proper change of starch to become sugar.

The next step is sparging, and this is done by rinsing the mashed grain bills to separate the husk from the sugar. In a brew kettle, water is slowly trickled into the bed of crushed grain. Sweet liquor would be drained from the brew kettle and collected. What is collected are known as malt extract. Those who are in a hurry could buy strong malt and start off with that, to make life easier. Malt extracts are classified according to their origin, color and the capacity for fermentation.

One essential element to making beer is yeast. Without it, beer cannot be brewed. A special type of yeast called brewer’s yeast is specifically used for making beer. Brewer’s yeast is even further classified into lager and ale yeasts. Lager yeast sinks during the fermentation process and requires low temperatures of about 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Ale yeast, on the other hand, remains on top during the fermentation process and requires temperatures of about 55 to 65 degrees F. Ale yeast is used more often for home brewing because it ‘s hard to maintain the temperature required by lager yeast.

To brew beer, malted grain is steeped in the brewing water using a steeping bag which is like a giant teabag. The brewing pot is then heated until right before the water boils, at this point the bag is removed. Once the water is boiling well, the heat is turned off. Malt extract is then mixed with the water until the ingredients are incorporated very well. The pot will be heated once more until the mixture, called wort, boils again.

The next step is called hopping. It involves infusing bittering flowers into the wort using shopping bags. The bittering hop bag is just placed into the brew pot and boiled for about an hour to extract the flavors of the hops. As the wort boils, certain proteins will form. Towards the end of boiling, around fifteen minutes before turning the heat off, a teaspoon of Irish Moss should be added to the wort to remove proteins that could make the beer hazy. Towards the end of the wort’s boiling process, finishing hops are added for more aroma and flavor.

Once boiling is done, the hops bag is removed. The brew pot is then covered tightly with an aluminum foil sheet. The wort is then chilled to cool it enough for the yeast by placing the brew pot in a cold bath. The wort should be cooled as quick as possible to avoid prolonged exposure to possible contaminants. The wort would then be aerated to allow fermentation process. The wort is poured into a sanitized fermenter and allowed to splash and form. It is important not to pour everything as there are sediments at the bottom of brew pot that should not be mixed to the final brew. Some cold water is added on top of the wort.

The next step is called pitching. This is done when the fermenter has cooled the wort to about less than 75 degrees F. Yeast would then be sprinkled on top of the wort. It is important to sanitize everything used for this step; even the scissors used to open the yeast’s packet. After pouring the yeast, the fermenter would then be sealed using an air lock. The fermentation process can take from about two to five days. It is important to check the fermentation daily. Fermentation is done when the bubble rate in the airlock becomes less than a time per two minutes; it takes about a week to reach this point. After fermentation, the beer would be bottled in a special process. Afterward, the beer would be aged by storing the beer in a dark place for two weeks at room temperature, and for another two weeks at the cool temperature. Once this is done, the beer may then be chilled for 24 hours, and then it can enjoy.

Making beer takes time and effort, but it is well worth your exertion to enjoy something that you made out of your hands.

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Brief History of Beer

Beer brewing as well as drinking are some of the activities that have been part of human life ever since civilization came round. Beer brewing is among the oldest processes that are known to man. About 10,000 years ago, man started changing their lifestyle from being nomadic hunters and gatherers to settling down in the same spot doing cultivation. This brought forth grain, which is a vital ingredient when making beer. Barley grain was cultivated from 6000BC by ancient Babylonians and Egyptians. The brewing process started off as an accident when barley loaves were found to have fermented after they were left outside in the rain. Here is a brief history of beer.

Oldest Documentation of Beer
There is evidence showing that the oldest written documentation on beer can be traced back to six thousand years ago. This is during the olden civilization of Sumeria. This beverage made the olden Sumerians feel “wonderful, blissful and exhilarated”. This could be the reason why beer was widely considered to be a gift from the gods. In those olden days, beer was not well filtered and thus contained a cloudy appearance due to the high residue it contained. The Sumerians used to drink their beer using straws in order to avoid the bitter solids.

Ancient Babylonians, who were descendants of the Sumerians used to brew around 20 diverse beer varieties by the year 2000BC. Every person was entitled to some portion of beer depending on their social standing. It formed an important part of the early economies as it was used in barter trade and workers were paid their wages using beer. This efficiently eliminated the need for having a middleman.

Improved Beer Brewing
Egyptians improved the beer making tradition by altering the taste of beer by adding dates. The Romans and Greeks used to make beer. However, when wine became more popular, the Romans saw beer as the Barbarians’ drink. Wine was considered as ambrosia given to man by god Bacchus directly thereby limiting the chance of beer becoming popular. This led to beer being found in the Roman Empire edges where it was difficult to import or cultivate wine.

Beer was brewed by a number of Germanic groups from 800 B.C. Later on the Catholic Church was involved in beer brewing as its abbeys were instrumental in improving the methods that were being used to brew it. A number of religious communities were able to exist due to beer as they used to sell it and live on the profits generated. Back then beer was not only taken for intoxication purposes but also for quenching thirst as it was considered much safer than the available drinking water due to poor sanitation.

Beer Brewing Standards
In Germany, soon after the hops were introduced in the 9th century, the brewers created some set of standards on German beer and started mass-brewing it. German brewers formulated the Reinheitsgebot or the Beer Purity Law in 1516. It guaranteed a German beer drinker with an assured level of quality. It consisted of a number of ingredients like hops, water, malted wheat and barley as well as yeast. The 1800s brought along several significant advancements in beer brewing like the role of yeast in the fermentation phase by Louis Pasteur and the pasteurization process.

Final Words
The modern beer drinker today has a lot of choices to choose from. There are both lighter and heartier beers today ever since the World War II when light beer was brewed due to food shortage. There are so many methods of beer brewing available today. All the above information sums ups the brief history of beer.

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There is so much to learn about beer! While we are working on getting the best content ready for you to sample here is a video with a brief (very brief) history of beer!