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Intro To Beer & Brewing

Malting  the process of converting barley, or other cereal grains into malt for use in brewing.  The cereal is steeped in water, and then spread out until they begin to germinate (sprout). The sprouted grains are then dried by kiln.  By malting grains, the enzymes that are required for modifying the grain’s starches into sugars aka fermentation fuel.

Milling  breaks apart malt and other cereal kernels to expose the carbohydrates and sugars making it easier to extract the sugars during mashing.  It also keeps the husks in tact to create a grain bed.


Mashing  converts the starches released during the malting stage into sugars that can be fermented. The result of the mashing process is a sugar rich liquid or "wort."


Lautering  separate sweet wort form spent grains (malt husk) by filtering through.


Boiling  halts enzymatic process, sterilizes and concentrates wort, isomerizes hop alpha acids, reduces volatile compounds (such as DMS), increase wort color, reduce wort pH, and precipitate proteins.


Whirlpool  separates precipitated proteins and spent hops (trub) from the hopped wort resulting in “clear” hopped wort.


Cooling  wort run through heat exchanger to drop the temperature to where yeast can be added safely (68°-78°)


Fermentation  converts fermentable sugar to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. Other beer flavors occur here thanks to yeast!


Maturation  improves beer flavor, purges unpleasant flavors in young beer (diacetyl, acetaldehyde, DMS, Amylacetate), increases concentration of CO2 in beer, separates excess yeast from beer, reduce haze forming potential.


Filtering  makes beer bright and more stable. Removes suspended particulate material (yeast & chill haze), adjust CO2, and adjust gravity.


Ale vs. Lager

Ale (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

  • Top fermenting

  • Warmer fermentation temperatures (62°f-75°f)

  • Adds "fruity" esters



Lager (Saccharomyces pastorianus)

  • Bottom fermenting

  • Cooler fermentation temperatures (40°f-58°f)

  • Sometimes refered to as Saccharomyces carlsbergensis (term now defunct)

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