Beer crafting is a term that has come about to describe the creative process of making your own brews from scratch rather than using commercial kits or recipes. It is a way to put your own unique stamp on the drinks that you produce and it has become popular as people discover the joys of brewing their own beers from start to finish. Creating unique, interesting and limited edition beers requires a lot of creativity but it is possible with four simple ingredients: hops, grain (or malt extract), yeast and water.
The first step in the brewing process is called mashing, which involves combining the grist with the liquids that will eventually become the beer. The malted grain is then heated to varying temperatures which activates natural enzymes that will break down the starches and convert them into sugars that can be used by the yeast as energy to create alcohol. The temperature levels at which the mashing is completed and how long the mash is allowed to rest are decisions that are very much part of the brewing art.
The second stage of brewing is known as lautering which involves filtering out the liquid from the solid material. The resulting wort is then boiled and the hops are added at different points throughout the boil to give the beer its distinctive flavor. This is followed by a second fermentation and the process is completed when the beer is filtered, bottled and then stored in a cool, dark place until it is ready to be enjoyed.