The Process of Creating Beer

Beer is a sweet liquid with yeast. It’s produced through a process known as brewing. Starch in cereal grains such as barley is steeped in water for fermentation to brew beer.

Also known as ale or lager, beer is brewed commercially or at home. The former is done by a commercial brewer while a home-brewer does the latter.

Traditional brewing techniques are used in communal brewing. For instance, when Brazil’s indigenous people brew cerium.

Dating back to 12,000 years ago in the 6th millennium BC, beer was brewed during emerging civilizations such as Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Many western economies integrated the brewing industry in the 19th century.


The various ingredients used for brewing beer:

  • Water
  • A brewer’s yeast for fermentation
  • A fermentable source of starch such as malted barley
  • Hops for flavoring beer
  • Wheat helps retain beer’s foamy top
  • Grist or ground cereal – the most common starch source
  • Grist is also known as mash ingredients or grain bill.

Other less popular sources of starch include:

  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Cassava
  • Rice
  • Maize or corn
  • Sugar – cost-effective

Beer Brewing Process

The process of brewing beer involves:

  • Malting
  • Mashing
  • Boiling
  • Milling
  • Fermenting
  • Lautering
  • Filtering
  • Conditioning
  • Packaging

Brewing Methods

Fermentation occurs in closed or open fermenting vessels such as a bottle or cask. The brewing process is categorized into cool, warm, and spontaneous fermentation techniques.

Other methods of brewing beer include:

The brewing of malt beverages adds aroma, flavor, color, clarity, foam stability, foam production, and alcohol percentage to brewed beer.

The 8 Steps of Producing Beer

  1. Malting

Barley grains are used to brew beer.

First, the grains are cleaned and soaked in water for at least a couple of days. Excessive water is then drained off and incubation done for the grains to germinate.

During barley grain germination, the following are produced:

  • Proteases enzymes
  • Color
  • Flavor
  • β-amylase
  • α-amylase

Malt adjuncts (starchy or sugary materials)

Barley is rich in protein, leading to a dark and unstable drink if used without grains. Dilute the malt protein with extra sugary or starch materials.

For example, dextrose sugar syrup.

  1. Kilning

This is the process of killing germinated seeds at a slow heating temperature of 800. The temperature is kept low to ensure that no amylase enzymes are destroyed.

What’s more, higher kilning temperature darkens brewed beer.

  1. Mailing

Rollers are used to crush dried barley grains into a coarse powder known as grist.

  1. Mashing

Warm water is mixed with grist at 650C for approximately 1 hour.

Amylase enzyme hydrolyzes starch into maltose, single sugar and dextrose, among others. On the other hand, proteolytic enzymes hydrolyze proteins into amino acids and tiny fragments.

Temperature and pH are major factors in the level of enzymatic hydrolysis. Whereas α-amylase occurs at 70 – 750, β-amylase is optimal at 57- 650C.

Mashing produces a liquid known as wort. During filtration, the residue of other grains, husks, and precipitated proteins are eliminated.

  1. Wort boiling

Wort filtrate is boiled and stirred for about 3 hours, and hop flowers added at different intervals.

Wort boiling:

  • Extracts hop flavor from hop flower
  • Coagulates any proteins left and hydrolyzes them partially to facilitate their removal.
  • Inactivates enzymes used in mashing to prevent sugar caramelization.
  • Concentrates and sterilizes the wort filtrate.
  1. Hops

Hops are dried hop plant female Humulus lupulus flower. Every beer barrel uses about a quarter pound of a hop flower and two pounds for ale barrels.

The benefits of hop include:

  • Provision of tannin for protein coagulation
  • Provision of beer with an aromatic and pungent character
  • Has pectin for foam beer character.
  • It has β-resin and α-resin with a bitter flavor and a preservative against gram-positive bacteria.
  • It also has pectin for beer foam characterization
  1. Fermentation

Saccharomyces carlsbergens and S. varum are used to brew beer.   

Beer brewed with top yeasts such as S. cerevisiae. Yeast cells from past fermentation processes are used for inoculation. They’re treated with tartaric acid, phosphoric acid, and ammonium persulphate to eliminate bacterial contamination and reduce the pH.        

This process takes 14 days and may be carried out at temperature ranges from 3 – 140.        

The fermentation yeast produces:

  • Ethanol
  • Sugar
  • Acetic acid,
  • Carbon dioxide.                                        

Open or closed fermenter tanks are used; this allows for carbon dioxide collection for use later. Carbon dioxide is formed in about 5 days. In the 7th to 9th days, yeast cells die, becoming flocculate and inactive.

Most brewed beer has about 3.5% to 5% of alcohol content.

  1. Finishing, maturation, aging, and carbonation

Green beer is stored at low temperatures for many months; precipitation occurs on the following:

  • Yeast
  • Protein
  • Ester and related compounds
  • Resin
  • Undesirable substances
  • 45% to 0.52% of carbon dioxide is used in carbonation.

Finally, cool the beer, clarify and filter to pack in barrels, bottles, and cans. Beer fermentation is complex.