Hops.com Craft Beer Reviews

How is Beer Made?

Brewing is the production of beer by steeping a starch source (commonly cereal grains, the most popular of which is barley) in water and fermenting the resulting sweet liquid with yeast. This process dates back to the 6th millennium BC.

There are several steps in the brewing process, which may include:
  • Malting
  • Mashing
  • Lautering
  • Boiling
  • Fermenting
  • Conditioning
  • Filtering
  • Packaging
Brewing Process graphic

Malting

Malting is the process of converting barley or other cereal grains into malt. The cereal is spread out on the malting floor in a layer of 8 to 12 cm (3 to 5 inch) depth. The malting process starts with drying the grains to a moisture content below 14%, and then storing for around six weeks to overcome seed dormancy. When ready, the grain is immersed or steeped in water two or three times over two or three days to allow the grain to absorb moisture and to start to sprout. When the grain has a moisture content of around 46%, it is transferred to the malting or germination floor, where it is constantly turned over for around five days while it is air-dried. The grain at this point is called "green malt". The green malt is then dried and pre-toasted in an oven (or kiln) to the desired color and specification. Malts range in color from very pale through crystal and amber to chocolate or black malts.
Malting
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