The Basics of Beer Crafting

Brewing beer is part science and part art, with recipes dating back thousands of years. While there are many complexities and nuances to the craft, the basic process has four simple ingredients: water, malt (barley or other grains), hops and yeast. By manipulating these four ingredients a brewer can produce a wide range of styles and flavors from around the world.

First things first, it is important to thoroughly clean and sanitize all equipment before starting brewing. It is best to use unscented mild detergent and an approved brewery-grade sanitizer such as Five Star Star-San or an iodine based food grade sanitizer.

Once cleaned and sanitized, the ingredients are combined in a large vessel called a “Mash Tun.” In the mashing process the malt is steeped in hot water until the enzymes present break down the complex starches into sugars that can be turned into alcohol. The end product of this process is a sweet liquid known as wort.

The wort is then boiled and mixed with a handful of dried or fresh hops. The purpose of the boil is to steep and extract the flavor from the hops, as well as to bring the wort to the appropriate temperature for fermentation.

The wort is now cooled quickly, which reduces the risk of infection by bad bacteria. As the wort is cooling, it is often stirred to help the yeast get off to a fast start in producing the alcohol and other flavours that will make your beer unique and delicious.