Beer – How Is It Made?

Beer – How Is It Made?

glass of beer with bottle opener
Photos by Vecteezy

If you love beer, then the probability is that you have tasted different varieties aiming to identify a brew that excites you think tastes awesome. The chances are you are familiar with different beer distinct flavors that differentiate lagers, ales, pilsners, IPAs, stouts, porters, and witbiers. However, the million-dollar question is, have you ever tried making beer yourself? You never know, maybe, your favorite beer you will ever taste may just be a brew that you made yourself.

According to the co-founder of Hops & Yeasts, a Brooklyn local brew shop, Mr. Al Smithington; said; “a majority of people spend about $200 for equipment, and other supplies like ingredients to brew with.” He added, “The first thing to do is find a commercial brewery supply store close to you. To make things simpler, consider buying a kit to get you started at HomeBrewers Association. At our shop, a 5-gallon setup will cost you $150, and this will include ingredients, recipes, and all the equipment needed to begin.”

The best thing about brewing your beer is that you do not need an industrial size beer brewing facility with a 15 barrel brewhouse, a background in chemistry or science, or a garage; you can do it in your kitchen. According to Douglas Amport, also a Co-founder of Hops & Yeasts, he started brewing beer in his kitchen, then moved it to the bathroom that wasn’t being used, then a closet, and finally to the garage.

Although there is no specific time to brew beer, it is important to note that is best between 62 to 75 degrees. During summer (hotter climate), you can purchase specific yeast that is effective well up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Below is a guide for making beer and will help you get on your way with your homemade beer. Enjoy

1. Cleanliness Is King

To make the perfect beer, you must maintain a high level of sanitation. What does this mean? Well, it simply means anything intended for brewing beer (bottles, bottling wand, siphons, bucket, and others); must be sanitized. If you fail to observe this, your beer may be contaminated and collect flavors you do not intend.

Hospital level cleanliness is not necessary, but on the other hand, it is wise to avoid harmful bacteria. As such, soap and water are enough to sanitize the brewing equipment and working surface. Star San, which is a popular sanitizing tool, kills the microorganisms that will alter the flavor profile of your suds. All you have to do is spray it all over your brewing equipment and allow for about 30 to 60 seconds to pass.

Do not forget, yeast is an important part of making beer. Alcohol is made when fungi consume the sugar found in yeast. As such, the more the yeast cells, the higher the alcohol quality. The yeast cells are the first step in the beer brewing process.

2. The Ingredient Part

The ingredients you will need are: –

• 6 ounces of dry malt extract
• 2 quarts of water
• 1 quantity of instant starter wort

It is important to ensure that you have all the ingredients before you begin. Furthermore, it is recommended that you follow each step by step to achieve the best results.

3. The Brew Making Process

Begin by boiling the malt and water for the starter wort for about 15 minutes and then allow it to cool to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You can either use a temperature gauge or use the ‘Rule of Thumb’. If you are using your thumb, it is important to note that it should be near room temperature, which is 70 degrees. Using a sterilizer or any method recommended by the manufacturer, sanitize a container. Place the 70-degree wort into the container, and Depending on your starter kit, toss in the yeast cells.

NOTE: do not forget to cover your starter wort but do not make it Airtight. Something simple like aluminum foil will do.

4. Making The Mash

The good news is that making a mash is optional. That is because you can still brew a perfect ale or lager with ready-to-go malt extract. However, if you wish to make yours, you can still do it. However, the recipe outlined in this document is for beer crafted in the Wit or Belgian white style. This recipe was created by the brew magazine called Zymurgy. The mash recipe is known as “Wit Ginger, Not Mary Ann.”

The ingredients are: –

• 11 quarts of water
• 11 Ib of grain

NOTE: our grain contains 0.5 Ib of caramel Pils malt, 16 ounces of flaked oats, 4.5 Ib of German wheat malt, and 5 Ib Belgian pilsner malt.

Place most of the ingredients mentioned into a kettle and warm it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain this temperature for 1 hour. The main goal of mashing is to convert starches that are located in the grain into sugar and then extracting it. After 60 minutes, you must make ensure that this has occurred.

Therefore, to test this, take a full spoon of grain mix and water and add a small amount of iodine to it. If the iodine changes the color from murky brown to black, you’ll likely have to continue mashing. If the color remains the same, then it is ready.

Add the 11 Ib of yeast to the mash and mix it up well. After this, the next step is filtering, and many people prefer using rice husks. Now you are ready for sparging and straining. Using a Lauter Tun (a large strainer), separate the wort out of the grain. If you do not have a Lauter Tun, you can drill 1/4 inch holes into a 6-gallon bucket to make your budget-friendly strainer.

5. The First Runnings

In your brew pot, catch the extra liquor that runs off. The goal is to capture the smallest of the grain from your sweet liquor. This is what is known as the first of the run. After you have completed this process, heat the remaining water (1/4 gallon per grain pound) at a temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit or based on your recipe. Pour the water on the husks in the Lauter Tun. Once again, you’ll want to catch the extra liquor that runs off in the brew pot (the second Runnings). The brown alcohol in the brew pot is now what is called wort.

Conclusion

It is important to note that home brewing kits vary. As such, it is important to ensure you understand what is going on in every step. All home brewing kits will provide instructions to make a 5-gallon beer. These kits cover all the processes one must undertake while making the beer.