How to Make Beer
For thousands of years, one beverage has proven to have longer staying power than any other. It has provided nourishment and hydration, as well as many good times. This beverage of course is beer.
As historic and long lasting as it is though, anyone can make beer at home using the following process. Beer is created through fermentation of starches that have been converted to sugars. Almost any starchy grain can be fermented to alcohol, but in order to truly make beer, only a select few will suffice.
The most common grain used is malted barley. Malted barley is produced by taking barley grains and letting them begin to germinate slightly and then drying them out and ultimately roasting them to differing levels. Once you have your malt, it needs to be mashed in order to convert the starches into fermentable sugars.
The mash process involves adding a pre-measured amount of grains to a pre-measured amount of water that is approximately 155 degrees Fahrenheit and letting sit for a period of time, generally around one hour.
While the grains are mashing, enzymes break down the starch chains into sugars. When the mash is complete, you must first drain the sweet wort (pronounced wert), and then run hot water over, or sparge the grains to rinse the rest of the sugars from them.
Once there is sufficient wort, you must boil it in order to decrease its viscosity. During the boil, hops can be added at varying stages in order to create bitterness, aroma, and additional flavor. The boil process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over two hours. When the boil is complete, you must cool your wort down as quickly as possible in order to avoid contamination by wild or unwanted yeast.
After it has cooled down to approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you can transfer the wort into a clean and sanitized fermentation vessel, add your yeast, cover, and let it ferment for about a week. The finished product will be beer.
At this point you have several options available. You can transfer your beer to a new vessel, making sure it’s cleaned and sanitized again; you can transfer into a keg; or you can bottle your beer, let it sit for a week, and enjoy it.
All in all, the art of brewing is not a difficult process. It takes patience, sanitization of time, generally around one hour. While the grains are mashing, enzymes break down the starch chains into sugars.
When the mash is complete, you must first drain the sweet wort (pronounced wert), and then run hot water over, or sparge the grains to rinse the rest of the sugars from them, and the willingness to get a little dirty while putting in a little hard work
But in the end when you crack open that first bottle of your very own beer, you realize that it was worth every second.