How is Beer Made: Brewing Your Own Beer
Beer has been consumed by man for thousands of years. During the Stone Age, early man could ferment fruits and millet to make alcohol. By 5000 bce, beer had been developed in Middle East, although in Greece, Egypt, and Rome it was more a social beverage than an alcoholic one. From 6000 bce to now, beer has been developed in Asia, North Africa, Western Europe and the United States. In ancient Rome wine was mixed with ale and in medieval Europe it was sometimes drunk with meat, while in the southern part of Europe it was drunk with bread.
Beer has taken many forms throughout the ages. In the early ages, beer was produced by fermenting all the grains that can be sown and that is not stored in casks. This is the way it was first consumed: as a fermented beverage with no additional ingredients added. Ancient peoples such as the Celts, Finns, Thracians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Celiveans used the wild grasses, trees and underground springs as well as animal dung to produce beer. The process of fermenting the grains was called “the mashing of the plain”.
When making beer from grains, wild oats, barley, hops, yeast, malted or roasted corn or other cereals are mixed together and allowed to undergo the process of mashing. After this, the resulting alcoholic beverage was considered “oxidized beer”. Later this process of fermenting became known as “raft brewing” since it gave the drink a distinctive flavor, due to the addition of wild fruit or other fruits that were mixed in with the beer. It also necessitated the use of iodine as a purifying agent to prevent the onset of infections.
In more recent years, commercial brewers have learned how to make a more sophisticated beer from these same ingredients using complex processes involving different kinds of ingredients, yeast and hops, for example. Modern commercial breweries can even boast of a wide variety of beers produced with their proprietary techniques. Some of the more popular brews include German beer, Belgian beer, Australian beer and Irish stout. All of these, however, share one thing in common; all of them contain large quantities of yeast.
The next question that you may ask yourself about beer brewing is how this beverage is made possible with the addition of microorganisms. To answer this question, we should know that during the fermentation process, yeast converts the sugars present into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The beer’s body and head come next, where the beer’s flavor can be enhanced by the addition of additional ingredients. Common examples of these include yeast extracts, priming sugar, water and other additional ingredients.
The final step in making beer is fermentation, wherein the beer is made ready for bottling. During this stage, the yeast is allowed to settle at the bottom of the container, while the remaining water is allowed to boil. The bubbles created encourage the yeast to rise to the top, where it eventually ferments and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. This completes the basic procedure on how is beer made the traditional way.