The Process of Beer-Making and Qualities of Good Beer
What is the process of beer-making?
- Sanitizing the equipment
- The brewing stage
- Cooling process
What are the qualities of good beer?
Alcohol distributors all around the world are providing people with the best beer possible. From bold lagers to a wide range of quality hand-crafted beers. But how are these drinks made? Unbeknownst to many, the process of crafting beer requires immense skill and patience. Let’s take a look at the process of brewing quality beer and learn about the key factors that make good beer:
Sanitizing the Equipment
Before making use of your equipment to begin the brewing process, thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing everything that will be used in the brewing process is vital. This step should never be skipped. Cleaning every equipment properly involves the use of unscented mild detergents and making use of a sanitized solution. Properly cleaned equipment will ensure that nothing spoils the brew or manipulates the taste of your beer.
The Brewing Stage
The brewing stage, which includes mashing, lautering, and boiling is the part of the process of beer making that will require the most direct attention as you will be forming the base of your finished product. It’s essential to follow the strict timeline required for each step, as the quality of your beer will heavily rely on this process. Closely monitoring the brewing process with each sub-process flawlessly executed will result in outstanding beer.
It is a must to do your absolute best during the brewing stage. Any inconsistencies or even the slightest hint of a mess up will affect the overall quality of your finished product. Get everything right, and you’ll be rewarded. There are three major methods or techniques for brewing beer: partial mash, extract brewing, and all-grain brewing.
- Partial Mash
Partial Mash is a brewing method that makes use of both malt extract and grain. This is a great brewing method that gives brewers the flexibility to play around with the characteristics of the beer they will produce. Even if it involves the use of both grains and malt, no extra equipment is needed for this process.
Those who brew using the partial mash method have the allowance to increase their possibility of creating a beer of a different flavor, body, aroma, color, and overall quality. This method is loved by experienced brewers as they’re able to craft unique blends and experiment with a wide range of options.
- Extract Brewing
Extract brewing is a brewing method that makes use of the extracts from grains, either in their dry or liquid form. Other’s may use a mixture of both. This is when the base of a beer, also known as wort, is made. Other brewers are known to use small quantities of grain to add depth and more body to their beer.
Extract brewing is the perfect method for both beginners and those who want to master the craft brewing beer, as extract brewing allows for countless brewing possibilities with simple ingredients. It is also the most convenient brewing method, which is why it is the most popular form of beer-making for all levels of brewmasters.
- All-Grain Brewing
All-grain brewing is known as the purest method of crafting beer. This brewing method is known requires the most time, equipment, space, and knowledge. This method is known to be used by expert brewers as a great deal of investment with equipment and space is required.
All-grain brewing allows brewers to be in full control of the brewing process. But this will require brewers to know the intricate details of the process, such as the pH levels and water chemistry of the blend. No malt extract is involved in the brewing process of all-grain brewing. All the sugars will be extracted solely from the grains when creating the brew.
This is the first step of the brewing process. Mashing is the process that activates the enzymes in the grain that convert starch into sugar. This is to provide the yeast with their necessary food to convert these sugar into alcohol. The color, body, and flavor of your beer will also depend on this step in the process.
Converting the starch into fermentable sugars involves immersing the grain bill in hot water. This lets the heat gently break down the starches which activate the enzymes in the grain. This is similar to steeping tea, but in a much more complicated manner. The quality of the water, its temperature, and the stirring are factors that need to be taken into careful consideration to make the most out of the mash.
After mashing, you’ll need to separate the wort from the grain. This step is called lautering. This stage in the brewing process relieves the trapped sugars within the grains. This increases the potential for the success of fermentation. The sugar will be the yeast’s “food” and will convert them into alcohol. Without the yeasts, you’ll just be making a sugary non-alcoholic drink. We wouldn’t want that if your goal is to craft beer. The more food there is for the yeast to feast on, the better your chances for successful fermentation.
Depending on the method of brewing, lautering methods may vary. But whatever method will be used, lautering will always involve what is called sparging. This is when water is heated in a separate container and brought to a temperature that is much higher than the mash. Then once heated to the designated water temperature, it is poured over the grain. This helps to rinse the remaining sugars.
Often mixed up with the process of mashing, boiling eliminates and unwanted enzymes and removes factors that might destabilize the brew. The difference mashing and boiling is that mashing does not involve taking the brew to its boiling point, and is meant to convert starch into sugar. Boiling involves heating the water to a higher temperature and the process takes much longer than mashing.
Boiling is done to pave the way for creating the ideal conditions for additional hops. The stabilized wort means its pH levels are lowered and any harmful oxygen in the brew is removed. Hops are a key ingredient in brewing beer, it can be used in a variety of ways and depending on how it’s used, you can achieve a wide range of effects on your beer.
Hops are important due to its effect of balancing the sweetness of the brew with a bit of bitterness. It’s what gives beer its key flavor. But this isn’t the only function of hops. Hops are known as a natural preservative which helps protect the beer from other factors that might ruin it, such as bacteria. With that being said, boiling creates an environment for the brew to ready itself for fermentation.
Now that brewing is complete, it’s time for the wort to cool down and prepare itself for fermentation. The process of cooling the wort down needs to be done in a controlled and swift manner. Those new to the beer brewing scene may use an ice bath, which is the simplest cooling method. More advanced brewers will make use of wort chillers.
In the world of brewing, the process of adding yeast is known as pitching. Brewing yeast comes in two forms, dry and liquid yeast. Both yeasts have their own advantages and will be up to the brewer which type of brewing yeast will be used.
Dry yeast doesn’t require any form of activation, though making use of dry yeast will involve brewing at room temperature. Liquid yeast, on the other, hand needs to be activated by creating a yeast starter before pitching or by vigorously shaking it in a container.
Fermentation is the most important process of brewing beer; this is when your yeast will convert the sugars into alcohol and CO2 or carbon dioxide. During the fermentation process, you would want to maintain a brewing temperature of around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 22 degrees Celsius.
You may notice bubbling in the brew, this means that the yeast is actively converting the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The particles that sink to the bottom of the container are called trub. These are the extraneous proteins and dead yeast cells. The whole process will take about a week, depending on the beer you’re making.
Finally, after fermentation, the finished product will be ready to be bottled and consumed by people.
Qualities of Good Beer
Even before you get to taste your beer, you’ll get a whiff of it. You can actually identify good beer from bad beer based on its smell. Beer that smells fruity, sweet, spicy, or floral may depend on how the beer was made and what are its contents. Beer that smells sour, sharp, or quite vinegary is a sign that the beer is made with improper sanitation or is of low-quality.
The flavor of a beer is what matters to most of us. This is where many people will base the quality of liquor. There is no universal taste for good beer. Depending on the brewer and of the preference of the drinker, the taste or flavor of beer could range from sweet to bitter. What’s important for the flavor of beer is to be of bold taste. For example, sweet beer should leave a sweet taste in your mouth without any distinct after-taste of another flavor.
The process of beer-making involves being proactive with every step. The best brew masters are known to be keen on every detail and aspect of the brewing process. Without missing a single fragment in the process will result in quality beer. Your alcohol distributor will only acquire beer and quality liquor from the best brewers in the world. Alcoline is one of them. To know more about our products, click here!