How to Brew Beer
Avid home brewers Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh walk you through the entire process of producing beer in this five minute video. Even on a tiny five-gallon system, the all-grain brewing process is identical to the method employed by commercial brewers of all sizes.
Beer Production Steps
- The brewer builds a grain bill with various types of malted barley, according to a specific recipe.
- Malted barley is cracked open in the mill, exposing soluble starches.
- In the mash tun, an enzymatic reaction triggered by the addition of hot water converts soluble starches into fermentable sugars.
- Spent grain husks are separated from the liquid ‘wort’ in the lauter tun.
- Wort is heated to a roiling boil in the brew kettle. Bittering hops are added at the start of the boil, and aroma hops are added at the conclusion.
- The whirlpool separates liquid wort from solid proteins.
- Wort is rapidly cooled to the appropriate fermentation temperature as it passes through a heat exchanger.
- Yeast is pitched to the fermenting tank to convert sugars in the wort to alcohol and carbon dioxide.
- Freshly fermented beer is often cooled during the conditioning process.
- Most beers are filtered to remove solid proteins.
- Filtered beer is transferred to the bright beer tank prior to packaging.
- Optional sterile filtration or pasteurization neutralizes any live yeast in the beer prior to the racking of kegs.
- Bottles are filled in a bottling line.
- Beer is shipped to wholesalers, which distribute to licensed retailers.
The entire process of producing an ale usually takes about four weeks, while lagers generally take about six weeks to produce.