Reader Week – CJ Mills – Beer 101 – How is beer made?

Today’s guest post comes from CJ Mills. CJ is the author of Visual:Trademark::Blog. Take some time and go read about his family’s amazing journey as they had their son, Asher, 2 months early and on vacation away from home.  CJ is an amazing man of faith and a great father and husband.

I want to thank CJ for helping out this week while I take a break to spend time with my son.  I know all too well now how stressful a new kid can be, but he decided to write a guest post anyways.  Thanks CJ.

Not all of us have the power to turn water into wine, or your favorite lager. So, for those of us who are stuck paying for the drink, let me tell you how this drink is made.

The first step in brewing is called malting. This involves mixing grain with water for several days until it beings to germinate, converting the grain to a type of sugar, eventually creating malt. After a few days, the malt is heated and dried, preventing the malt from further germination – a process called kilning. After kilning, the malt is processed in a mill, which cracks the outer coating of the grain. The cracked malt is then moved to a mash tun and mixed with hot water for one to two hours. This process, called mashing, breaks down the sugars in the grain and releases them in water, producing a liquid known as wort. Temperature and amount of time affects the body and flavor of the beer.

The wort is then transferred to a large brew kettle and boiled, sterilizing the wort and killing any bacteria that could spoil the wort during fermentation. During this stage of the brewing process, hops are added to provide flavor and to balance out the sweetness of the wort.

After brewing, the wort is cooled, strained, and then transferred to a container where it can ferment. Yeast is then added into the wort to allow fermentation. When the yeast has consumed the fermentable sugar, wort officially becomes beer. The beer is then transferred to an airtight container where the beer becomes naturally carbonated through an aging process, lasting a few weeks to several months. To kill any remaining yeast after the aging process, the beer is heated to 180°F after it has been sealed in cans or bottles and then packaged for shipment to a town near you.

For a look into a microbrewery, take a look at the video below:

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