How is beer made?

Certificate III in HospitalityHave you ever wondered how beer is made? Most consider the question but don’t take any further action to find out more. The process in which you actually make beer is referred to as brewing, and dependent on the beer, it can be a long process.

There are two main types of beer – ales and lagers. Ales are top fermented, and lagers are bottom fermented; this is also dependent on the type of yeast used to brew the beer.

There are a variety of ingredients used for beer, and the type of ingredients and the quantity to be used depend on the recipe and type of beer you want to produce. They include:

  • Malted Barley

  • Yeast – produces fermentation

  • Hops – flavouring or seasoning

  • Water

The brewing process can be complicated, dependent on the type of beer you want. However, to provide you with a general overview:

Malting: The process of preparing barley for mashing.

–       The barley is soaked in water for approximately 4-5 days, during which time seeds will begin to sprout. The barley is then dried in a kiln.

Mashing: the process of turning the malted barley into wort in preparation for hopping.

–       The malt is crushed and grinded in a mill, then purified with hot water to produce a porridge-like substance known as ‘mash.’ This process begins to break the starch in the malt, down into fermentable sugars. The mash is poured into a large filtering container, where hot water is again poured over it. This removes any spent grains, and the sugary solution is left over.

Hopping: the process of converting wort into alcohol.

–       The wort is added into a wort kettle, where then the hops and sugar are added in. The used hops are then removed once boiled, and the hopped wort is left to cool down.

Fermentation and filtering: Wort is converted into alcohol.

–       A yeast culture is added to the hopped wort. The yeast will then begin to convert the sugars in the wort to alcohol (beer) and carbon dioxide (CO2).  The length of the fermentation process will vary depending on the type of beer being made, but is approximately 4-6 days.  The fermented beer is stored in a maturing container, where it is kept at cold temperatures before being filtered.

There are numerous types of beer which means that the recipe, timings and also ingredients used to create the beer will vary. As each brewery has its own recipes, each brew differs. If you are in hospitality and are serving beer, it is good to have a base of knowledge on the product that you are serving and selling to customers. And if you are able to gain additional knowledge on the beer that you have on offer, customers will thank you for it. This is as they like to know what is in the product they are consuming and, at times, where it originates from. Provide your customers with as much product knowledge.