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Beer 101: The Fundamental Steps of Brewing

How to Brew Beer, Anchor Brewing Mash Tuns
Mash Tuns at San Francisco's Anchor Brewing (Photo credit: CJ Martin)

 

Packaging and Carbonation Allagash Beer, Bottled
Once the beer has fermented, it must be kegged or bottled and carbonated, either naturally or by force. Force carbonation involves adding CO2 to a container under high pressure, forcing it to be absorbed into the beer. Most breweries use force carbonation because it’s a much faster process and allows for greater clarity in the beer.

Krausening is a method to introduce carbonation during the fermenting stage. Bottle conditioning – or adding a small amount of sugar and yeast at bottling – is also used to generate carbonation. Cask-conditioned real ale is carbonated by adding sugar, yeast and hops when the beer is first introduced to the cask.

Experimentation

Experimentation is the soul of the brewing process and any facet of brewing from ingredients to temperatures to timing can be altered.

Measurements

Key measurements determined by a hydrometer help brewers follow the process of fermentation.

Gravity: Ratio of water to other substances in the water such as sugar.

Original Gravity (OG) – The gravity reading of the wort taken before yeast is pitched.

Final Gravity (FG) -- The gravity reading taken after fermentation is complete. 

ABV –The Original Gravity and Final Gravity are the key variables in the calculation to determine Alcohol by Volume.

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Comments

Pat Mulloy's picture
This is a good overview of the process of brewing. It covers the essentials and avoids getting too granular. Most regional package breweries offer tours. For a real treat, take the article with you as you go through a tour and see how everything goes together.

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Comments

Pat Mulloy's picture
This is a good overview of the process of brewing. It covers the essentials and avoids getting too granular. Most regional package breweries offer tours. For a real treat, take the article with you as you go through a tour and see how everything goes together.

Pages

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