Homebrew: An introduction to beer brewing

I got into beer brewing after receiving my first starter kit. Beer has a long tradition in Germany and hence the brewing process is very well understood both empirically and technically. In this post I’m going to give you a general introduction to the ingredients and process of brewing your own beer.

For brewing beer four ingredients are required:

  1. Malt: grains that have been germinated and temperature treated (germination produces enzymes which at the end get deactivated by hot temperature)
  2. Water: quality and mineral composition of the brewing water has impact on the taste (since beer consists mainly of water)
  3. Hops: plant belonging to the Cannabaceae family (the other member being Cannabis), brings the unique and bitter flavor to the beer
  4. Yeast: microorganism belonging to the Fungus kingdom, responsible for the fermentation process that converts carbohydrates / sugar to ethanol

And just like that, the brewing process can be divided into four main steps:

  1. „Maischen“: Add malt to water under a controlled temperature curve with defined resting times
  2. „Läutern“: Filter out residual malt particles, the so called draff („Treber“), from the raw yield and so called wort („Würze“)
  3. „Würzekochen“: Boil the wort and add the hop
  4. „Anstellen“: Add yeast to the wort to start the fermentation process

(Some intermediate and finish steps have been omitted, but will be explained later).

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