Brewing Basics

Brewing is the process of making beer by mixing a starch (grains such as barley) with water and letting it steep (brygging) . The process of steeping can sound fairly simple but in practice can be very difficult due to the number of elements that need to be controlled in order to produce a great tasting beer.

When brewing it is very important to make sure that all of your tools and equipment are clean and sanitized with unscented non-toxic cleaners.

Here are the steps to making your own beer:

  1. Grind your grains into water to break up grain kernels so that while steep the sugars are able to seep out.
  2. After the grains are ground it is mixed with hot water. This takes the malt and converts its starches into sugars.
  3. After the malt conversion process (step 2) the now sweet liquid is separated from the grains.
  4. The sweet liquid (also known as wort) is then brought to a controlled boil and then the hops are added for flavoring.
  5. After the boiling process is completed the liquid is then strained and cooled (olbrygging) . The straining collects any remaining grain particles and the hops from the wort liquid.
  6. Once the liquid is cooled yeast is added for the fermentation process. This is when the sugars in it are converted to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide gas is produced.
  7. After sifting the brew needs to mature. This allows the flavors to become what they are meant to be. It is a bit like when you make a pot of stew and eat it the next night all the flavors meld and mix together and it taste 10x better than it did when you first ate it.
  8. Once the beer is matured it is time for the cellaring process. This is like when wine sits in a barrel to age. This process takes about 2-3 weeks. Once the time is up it is ready to be bottled.

There are a few different ways to brew beer. The following are the main ways to brew:

  1. Extract Brewing- this process uses the extracts from grains to form the liquid known as wort (bryggeutstyr) . This is also a good way to make small batches of beer and is normally used by homebrewers and beginners.
  2. Partial Mash- This is also known as a mini mash. This involves using malt extract mixed with grains. This mix helps produce full flavor and body for the beer. This is typically the next more advanced phase compared to the extract brewing.
  3. All Grain Brewing- This is the most advance way of brewing and requires more time and equipment than extract brewing and partial mash. This process does not use any extracts, so sugars come straight from grains. This process also has far more room for error and is used by commercial beer brewers and is not recommended for beginner homebrewers.

Beer brewing has been around since as early as the 6thmillennium B.C. There are beer recipes that archeologists found written in cuneiform (the oldest known writings) from Mesopotamia.