Are you planning to begin a brewing company? Is beer brewing your passion? Before you establish a brewery in India, there are several techniques and knowledge that you must know. Here, in this guide, we walk you through the simple basics of brewing. It doesn’t matter whether you have tried beer brewing before. This guide will give an idea of the basics. For more advanced articles, check out our other blog posts.
What is brewing?
To phrase it in the simplest of terms, brewing is the practice of controlling the interactions between water, yeast, starch and hops to manufacture an alcoholic beverage known as beer. The actual process of brewing involves other complicated processes like isomerization, lautering, wort and more.
The job of the head brewer is to have control over the elements involved in brewing, so that the end result is as close to what he/she has in mind. In other terms, brewing is the process of controlling the naturally occurring phenomenon known as “fermentation.”
Beer brewing is as a result of the action of single-celled organisms known as yeast. Technically, the saccharomyces pastorianius or saccharomyces cerevisiae variety of yeast eat sugars derived from starch (usually barley). The yeast then converts the sugar into carbon-di-oxide and ethyl alcohol.
When we brew beer, we use a specific type of starch and yeast depending on the type of beer required. Essentially, the yeast feasts on the sugar in the starch to create alcohol. This is the basics of beer brewing.
The hops – the other key ingredient in brewing – is used for adding flavour, stabilising the brew and for seasoning.
The Basic Steps of Brewing
Now, that you know the basics, let’s breakdown the steps involved. We’ll also walk you through the key brewing terms that you should know.
• Malting – A starch source like barley is malted. This means the grains allowed to partially germinate and then sun-dried. The partial germination makes it easier to convert the starches in the grain into sugar.
• Mashing – In this stage, the malted grains are added to water and the mixture is heated to accelerate the natural enzymes in the grain to convert into fermentable sugars.
• Lautering – The mash is filtered to remove the grain husks and other sediments.
• The leftover clear liquid is heated and boiled. Hops are added at the beginning of the boil or at the end of the boiling stage, depending on the beer type. The remaining liquid at this stage is known as wort.
• Fermentation – The wort is then cooled down to a specific temperature. At this stage, yeast is added to the wort to commence fermentation. Fermentation is carried out in several stages, followed by a period of conditioning. Conditioning is the process of further aging the dead yeast cells in the beer.
• Finally, the beer is stored in cans, bottles or kegs, depending on how it will be sold.
That’s great! But, before you open a brewery in India, there are several other factors to be considered. The above steps are rough guidelines. There are myriad other variables to consider:
• Things that you can control – type of grain, type of yeast, flavouring of hops, additional ingredients like fruits, spices, etc.
• Things that you don’t have control over like – the mineral content of the water used in brewing, the environment, etc.
• Brewing equipment to use
Mastery of these factors will give you a great tasting beer and you can soon gain mastery in the craft of brewing. For any further information on craft beer brewing in India or finding the right microbrewery equipment, get in touch with our brew experts here at Microbrewery India.