Brewing beer is very easy, and we recommend that anyone interested give it a try at some point. You can brew all grain or use extracts, or do a partial extract. This is where you use some grains and some extracts. For someone completely new and starting out, I would recommend the first thing you do it buy an easy to do kit. Once you hold your very own homebrewed beer, I guarantee you will quickly jump to the next step.
So the basic steps of brewing are simple. When people ask me, I often always over simplify the process and tell them that you take some hot water and mix it with some grain for an hour. Then drain the liquid out and boil it with a few hops. Then seal it up with some yeast for a week and BAM! Beer. Obviously there is a bit more to it than that…but not much! Here are the basic steps involved in the brewing process.
In this step you take all the malted barley that makes up your recipe, and crush it into grist. This step is vital as you will want your water to be able to get into each grain to extract all the compounds from it.
heat up water
You will need to get your water up to a certain temperature(varies slightly depending on the recipe) so you will be ready for the Mash. The tank you prepare you water in is called the Hot Liquor Tank.
During this step you mix your prepared water and milled grains together in a vessel you call a “mash tun”. It is during the mash that all the the sugars are extracted from the grains. The length of this step varies but on average it may be around 60 to 90 minutes.
Once the mash is complete, you need to separate the liquid, now known as wort(pronounced wert) from the grains. This is known as lautering.
During this stage you boil the wort and hops together to add bitterness and aroma. Many other chemical reactions are happening during this step including sterilizing the wort to remove unwanted bacteria.
Once the boil is complete, the wort needs to be cooled down so the yeast can be safely added. Also, it is during this step that we add fresh oxygen back into the wort, as the boiling process has stripped it all out.
Now that the wort has been cooled, it is now yeast time. The temperature during this step varies depending on the recipe and type of yeast. During fermentation, the yeast converts all the sugars into alcohol and co2 is produced. This step can take a couple weeks.
In this step the beer is left to age. This step can take several weeks or even years if necessary. Once complete, there is now tasty beer to drink!