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Beer Brewing Steps

Stage I: Brewhouse

The first stage of brewing is called the Brewhouse. The process takes base ingredients and turns them into wort. It is also known as the "Hot Side" of the process.

Step 1: Prepare Water

To begin brewing a batch of beer, water must be prepared. Water is the foundation for beer.

Brewing water has multiple properties to consider during this step. They can be categorized as pH, alkalinity, hardness, minerals, and microorganisms. Simple, natural treatments exist to adjust each property. Traditionally, each beer style has its own quintessential water properties, so treatments differ for each brewing session.

This stage ends by heating the water to a temperature, where the next section takes place.

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Brewing Step 2: Grains are Soaked in Hot Water

This step is called Mashing.

The temperature of the water should be between 145 to 159 F (between 62.8 to 70.6 C). Malted and roasted grains, known as the grain bill, are immersed in the hot water. As the grains soak, their natural starches are slowly converted into sugar strands by enzymes inside the grain hulls. The sugar is absorbed by the water, which gives a beer body and alcohol. This step takes 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Mashing can be performed in multiple steps to improve sugar extraction. Mashing defines the color of the beer - the type of grains, roasted or malted, affect the color of the body and head it produces.

When Mashing has completed, the solution earns the title "Wort".

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Brewing Step 3: Wort is Boiled

The Wort, water plus grain sugar, is brought back up to a boil in preparation for adding hops. This boil will be sustained for awhile.

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Brewing Step 4: Hops are added to the Wort

The Wort will sustain vicious boiling during this step. Hops are immersed in the boiling water. This step takes 30 to 90 minutes.

Hops are flowers used to balance the flavor and aroma in beer. They also act as a natural preservative. Some varieties of hop flowers add a bitter characteristic to the beer, and are added earlier in the sustained boil. Other varieties have a stronger floral aroma and flavor, and are added later in the sustained boil. The timing has an effect on which characteristics the Wort inherits from the hops.

At the end of the sustained boil, all the bittering and aromatic hops can be removed from the Wort. Immediately following their removal, the cooling step begins.

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Brewing Step 5: The Solution is Cooled Quickly to the Fermenting Temperature

As soon as the sustained boil and hop additions have completed, the Wort is cooled to the Fermenting Temperature.

The temperature change should be done quickly. Cooling should ideally take 15 minutes, and definitely less than an hour. A quick transition from hops boiling to the pitching temperature minimizes unwelcome flavors and reduces cloudiness of the beer.

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Stage II: Cellaring

The second stage is called Cellaring. The process takes wort and turns it into mature beer. It is also known as the "Cold Side" of the process.

Brewing Step 6: Yeast is added to the cooled wort

This step is called Yeast Pitching.

The temperature range depends on the strain of yeast used. The temperature of yeast pitching may be higher than the temperature of fermentation. The population of yeast added to the batch depends on the volume being brewed. The yeast need to be prepared before pitching into wort.

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Brewing Step 7: Fermentation

The yeast pitched in the previous step begin to ferment the wort. They convert the wort sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Ales and Lagers will ferment at different temperatures, from 55 F to 70 F, depending on the exact strain of yeast.

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Brewing Step 8: Conditioning

This step takes Green Beer and turns it into Mature Beer. Typically conditioning involves dissolving carbon dioxide (CO2) into the beer. Occasionally nitrogen (N2) is used. These dissolved gases create the head a beer has. The length of time that conditioning occurs will determine how smooth the head of a beer is. Conditioning can be natural or artificial.

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Brewing Step 9: Filtering for Clarity

Filtering is an optional step. It can be performed at multiple points throughout the progress of the other 8 steps. Bright Beer, Surface Filters, Depth Filters, Vorlauf Process, Finings, Pasteurized Beer

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