Brewing is the process of converting grain starches to sugar and fermenting them with yeast to produce an alcoholic, light-carbonated beverage. It can be made with barley, wheat, rye, and other cereal grains, as well as with malt extract and some other types of specialty grains.
The history of brewing dates back thousands of years to ancient Babylonia. People in that area gathered wild cereal grain plants and used them to make beer.
In the modern world, the most common cereal grains are barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a type of rye). The first step in brewing is to mill or crush the grain to create a mush called malt. This will allow the starches inside the seeds to sprout and develop enzymes that convert them to fermentable sugars when heated during the brewing process.
A basic recipe involves mashed grains, boiling the resulting wort, adding hops and yeast to create a flavorful alcoholic beverage that is light and carbonated. Some brewers add specialty grains to create different flavors, aromas and color.
Fermentation, the final stage in making a batch of beer, takes place when brewed yeast is added to the wort and allowed to ferment for about two weeks. This step is the most important because it causes the alcohol to form.
A key part of the brewing process is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients. This is why it’s always a good idea to buy your malt and other supplies from a reputable homebrew store or local brewing shop.