Who doesn’t love beer? A magical golden liquid that refreshes your day. To better understand and appreciate beer, you should understand how is this magic made or brewing beer basics.
This week we are sharing a general overview of what it takes to make a small batch of beer highlighting some information shared by some folks who really know how to craft delicious beer.
How Craft Beer is Made
Kelly Jaegar created this terrific graphic for Discover Magazine. Visually it shares an overview of how to brew beer. The basics pictured here are the same steps that have been used for centuries to create beer.
Important Beer Brewing Tips
The first step to making a truly excellent beer is preparation. Gather all your equipment in advance and have them set ready to go. Select all your ingredients, measure everything that you have. Here is a list of the equipment you will need from our knowledgeable friends at Northern Brewer (https://www.northernbrewer.com/blogs/new-to-brewing-start-here/how-to-brew-beer-homebrewing-101 )
- Fermenter + Air Lock
- Funnel (optional)
- Stir Spoon
- Recipe Kit (or individual ingredients)
For great tips on how to best sanitize everything for your home brew, check out this blog post from ECKraus.
Second = Brew. But what exactly does brewing entail?
You steep the grains, while you heat up a large pot of water. Once the water has come to a boil, remove it from the heat and add the grains to boiling water to create wort. (Follow the recipe of the beer you are making to know when to add the hops) Wort sounds like something you’d find on a medieval witch’s face nut in fact is sugar water.
But wait … There’s More …
(picture from https://learn.kegerator.com/creating-a-homebrew-recipe/ )
Third, Ferment. But a friendly reminder to sanitize all of your tools and equipment you are using to make beer. Cleanliness is close to godliness.
Take your freshly made and cooled wort, poor it into your fermenter. Add water so that the total amount of liquid in the fermenter is 5 gallons. Now the fun part.. aerate the wort. A fancy way of saying, splash! Work air into the liquid. The yeast you are about to add needs oxygen in order to thrive. After you add the yeast, seal your fermenter and store it in a cool dark place. (Refer to your specific recipe for further instructions)
Fourth, bottle that goodness up! Once fermentation is done, you need to bottle your beer. Sounds simple right? Wrong. You must prepare the bottles so that you may bottle your beer safely. Start by sterilizing everything. After everything is clean, boil your priming sugar and then add it to your bottling bucket. Next you will take your freshly fermented beer into the bucket. Finally you will use your bottle filling & capping tools to transfer your beer into the bottles.
Deeper Understanding Crafts a Deeper Appreciation for Craft Beer
Now having seen the cliff notes version of making beer, do you have greater respect for your favorite brewers?
I sure do! Making a small batch of beer at home as proven to be quite a task, the ability to make this on a massive scale is impressive. Especially when just the smallest tweaks can transform the entire beer. Down to what grains you source, the type of yeast you use.. even the water can change how the beer tastes.
To experiment and become a master brewer yourself, check out the fantastic blog and information resource center Brulosophy. This is one of my favorite places to get great new recipes and tips for home brewing. http://brulosophy.com/.
Once you learn and understand brewing beer basics, you develop a much deeper appreciation for your favorite brewer, right? We did! Cheers!