Beer Brewing | Its Origin and Production

Beer Brewing- Beer Brewing is one of the oldest arts known to man which was known to be carried out in Egypt as early as 400BC. From Egypt, the Greeks carried the art to Europe, and the Romans learned about beer during their contest with Greece and later introduced to England by the Roman armies.

Beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by fermenting sugary solution called wort, obtained by dissolution of malted grain. Brewing beer is therefore the process of converting the wort into alcohol by yeast through a fermentation process. The sugars are traditionally derived from cereals such as barley (Hordeum vulgare), rye (Secale cereale), rice (Oryza sativa), maize (Zea mays). The four basic ingredients needed for production is malt, hops, water and brewer’s yeast.

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Processes of Beer Brewing

  1. Malting

This is the germination of cereal grain that is able to ferment sugars.  Properly weigh and clean the grain for the next process.

  1. Steeping

Soak clean grains in a fermenting tank containing water for 6-8 hours and then drain off after then to give it “air rest”. This dispels the heat generated by the grain during the germination stage. Re-steeping with fresh water to keep the grain sweet. This process could last at most sixty hours depending on the region. Enzymes and an optimal level of brewer’s extract are present.

  1. Kilning

This is the controlled drying in hot air. Enzymatic activity stops, promote the development of flavor, reduces moisture content of the grain to enhance storage, and also helps in producing friable millet.

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Treatment of the grain with a plant hormone, gibberellic acid stimulates the synthesis of enzymes from the aleurone layer and this treatment reduces the steeping time, germination time to 4-5 days and kilning to 1-15 days.

  1. Milling

After the grains have been dried through the kilning process, they are ready for milling. They are ground in the mill and the husks of the barley are left intact substantially. This process releases malt materials during the next stage.

  1. Mashing

This involves mixing the milled malt in water at a temperature suitable for both carbohydrate breakdown and protein breakdown of the enzymes in the malt. This process aims at extracting those materials from malt and other carbohydrate sources added during mashing or in the brewing of raw materials. There are different Mashing method used in various places; Infusion Mashing, Decoction Mashing, Mash Filtration, Wort cooling, and Wort Boiling. Wort is the clear substance obtained from mashing and is boiled for sterilization, fix the composition of the wort, to extract substances that cause bitterness to the beer, and to activate the surviving enzymes that may still be present.

  1. Fermentation
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After cooling the wort in a heat exchanger that assists in the removal of tannin complex, a protein, inoculate or pitch it  with the brewing yeast fermentation vessel. The two types of yeast employed in beer brewing are; Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is present in ale and stout production and Saccharomyces carlsbergensis (uvarum) present in beer production.

  1. Conditioning or Aging

After the fermentation process which is the primary fermentation, ‘a green beer’ is produced possessing harsh taste. A secondary fermentation process within 0-3°C. Here, the green beer is primed with sugar to improve both taste and appearance in a maturation tank.

  1. Pasteurization

After the secondary filtration called clarification, charge carbondioxide gas into it to give its carbonated effect which enhances taste, color, and its foamy head in a cup. Pasteurize at 140°F for 20 minutes before bottling.

  1. Bottling

Most beer happens to be in bottles and cans as packages. But in some countries, beer is packaged in large barrels and kegs. The most important thing here is the excellent presentation to increase the demand of the customer.

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There are two types of beer

  • Ale or Stout which is a top fermenter and has a higher alcohol content and also contains an increased amount of hop flavor and has its yeast strain as Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
  • Larger beer which is a bottom fermenter, less alcohol and hop flavor content, and can be aged in tanks for a long time. It is lighter and has its yeast strain as Saccharomyces uvarium.
Beer Spoilage in Beer Brewing.

Very funny but infection of beer happens at the industry level. The presence of some contaminants, such as bacteria, and yeast results in poor maintenance of perfect sterile condition in the production right from the planting. The spoilage pattern is classified into four namely; Ropiness caused by different species of bacteria such as; Acetobacter, Lactobacillus, etc, Sarcinae sickness which produces diacetyl and causes a butterscotch aroma, Sourness due to the presence of increased levels of ethanoic acid produced by acetic acid bacteria, and Turbidity caused by Zymomonas anaerobia, Saccharomyces spp.

The benefit of Beer is numerous but an excessive intake can lead to a whole lot of health damage.

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