Milling: Different types of malts are put through a mill to be ground into grist. The object of this is to break open the malt starch, and allow the enzymes to enter the malt.
Mashing: The grist is then put in hot water to form a mash in the 'Mash Tun.' The natural enzymes, produced by the malt starches breaking down, turn into sugar which then dissolves. The result is a sweet liquor called Wort. The ratio of proteins, fermentable sugars, and non fermentable sugars affect the biochemical, and physical process of the brew. The ratio varies according to the style of beer being brewed.
Boiling: The next step is to separate the wort from the solids. During the boiling stage, the enzyme activity seizes, and the beer stabilizes. Hops is then introduced to add flavor, aroma, and bitterness. Proteins, yeast, and carbohydrates are extracted from the mash to clear the wort by boiling it in the kettle.
Cooling: After boiling the wort, it is cooled and aerated in order to add the yeast. This prepares the wort for fermentation.
Fermentation: The fermentation process has been perfected over many thousands of years since the consumption of alcohol, especially beer, was a common element in all civilizations throughout history. The starch which has been converted to sugars is further transformed by the added yeast into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and heat. Quality yeast is the basis of successful fermentation, whilst the temperature of the fermentation process is critical to the beer's flavor. The byproducts of the yeast is what gives the beer its various characteristics, from aroma and taste to the body and color. Many different methods are used for the fermentation of beer.
Maturation: With the use of bottom fermenting yeast, more sugars are broken down. In cool temperatures, this creates a cleaner and crispier taste. The maturation process is most commonly used for lagers.
Filtration: After maturation, the beer is ready to be consumed. However, filtration is only used on some beer styles. For example, it is more desirable for the Witbier to have small solid particles, which are not harmful, in order to give it its hazy appearance. For other products, such as lagers, a transparent finish is more preferred. At 961 Beer, we try to reduce the amount of filtration we put our beers through since it can change the character of a beer entirely. Filtration strips away some of the flavors found in beer.
Packaging: The matured beer is then filled into bottles or kegs.