Even if you may know many facts about beer, you may not be aware that the ancient Egyptians drank this alcoholic beverage. That’s right — over 4,000 years ago, early brewers discovered the fermentation process. They would heat jars containing bread and water, allowing the mixture to ferment and promising them a fun night!
Of course, the modern beer-making process has come a long way. Today’s breweries use more advanced equipment and techniques, allowing them to mass-produce beer. They also add more flavor through hops, a plant that ancient Egyptians were unaware of.
This “How is beer made?” guide will help you understand today’s process. While they may use different techniques to result in unique products, most manufacturers use the basic steps we discuss.
The first step of the beer-making process is malting. Brewers frequently use barely, but they can also substitute rye and wheat. They dry out the grains and heat them until they crack, allowing them to isolate the enzymes.
Note: One of our favorite facts about beer? It doesn’t necessarily have to contain grain. Modern advancements have allowed consumers to choose from many types of beer that are gluten-free.
Next, manufacturers use advanced brewing and milling equipment to mash the grains. Then, they place the malted grains into hot water to steep, a process that activates the enzymes. It takes about two hours for the sugars to completely seep into the water. Finally, the equipment removes the grains to leave the wort (unfermented beer).
After steeping, it’s time to boil the wort. Manufacturers add spices and hops to the unfermented mixture and increase the water temperature, allowing the wort to become as flavorful as possible. An ideal boiling phase lasts about an hour, as this amount of time permits full flavor extraction.
Note that up until fermentation, the mixture is just sugar water and contains no alcohol. We need to fix that by adding yeast! This catalyst reacts with the sugars to create alcohol. Manufacturers will usually store the mixture for several weeks after adding the yeast, ensuring that the mixture undergoes proper fermentation. They will move on to the next step once the desired alcohol content is reached.
The final step of the beer-making process is bottling. Manufacturers bottle the now-alcoholic beverages and may add their own carbonation. In some cases, they will let the fermentation process naturally carbonate the drinks.
Manufacturers might choose to age their drinks. In this case, they should store them upright in a dark storage area. They should also set the room at an ideal temperature, as cold temperatures can slow the process and warm temperatures can affect the taste.
How Is Beer Made? — The Bottom Line
Hopefully, this guide on “How is beer made?” provided you with a good overview of the manufacturing process. The information should make you appreciate that even though today’s techniques are more advanced, we rely on the same fermentation process that the ancient Egyptians did. Plus. you can use our brewery facts to show off the next time you’re at a bar!
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