Beer crafting is an incredibly rewarding hobby that anyone can get into with just a handful of special equipment and ingredients. The process is a little daunting at first, but once you master the basics, you can hone your skills and create a unique, personalized beer that’s guaranteed to impress your friends.
The exact details of the brewing process vary from one brewer to the next, and even among different employees at the same brewery. But a basic understanding of the fundamental steps can help you from your first batch as a nervous novice to the last beer you brew as a satisfied centenarian.
To make a beer, the brewer starts with malted grain such as barley, wheat, rye, or corn. The brewer soaks the grains in water to loosen their husks, then grinds them into a powder called grist. The type of grain used determines the flavor of the final product, and can be combined with other grains to create a particular style of beer.
After soaking, the brewer heats the malt in a kiln, and sometimes roasts it to impart additional flavors. The brewer then mixes the grist with water, adds hops (if desired), and then ferments the mixture to produce alcohol.
Breweries aren’t just a great place to drink delicious beer, they also provide jobs and boost local economies. Most of the employees work in the same town where they live, so their wages stay right within the community, helping to support families and keep young people from moving away.