Beer is a huge part of our culture here in Colorado. It seems no matter what corner you are turning in Loveland or Fort Collins you are stumbling upon yet another brewery that is selling incredible brews. However, even with so much exposure to different types of beers, we find that many people who live in Northern Colorado have no idea how exactly beer is made. In this post, we are going to go into the very basics of where beer comes from, as well as how it is bottled and more. Continue reading below to learn more!
While it may seem quite complicated, beer is actually made from four basic ingredients: Barley, water, hops, and yeast. The key to creating this delicious libation is to extract the sugars from the grains so that the yeast can change into alcohol and CO2, which in the end, creates beer.
When the brewing process first begins, it starts with the grains. As we mentioned above, this grain is almost always barley. The grains are harvested and processed through a process of being heated, dried out, and cracked. The main reason for malting is to get the enzymes that are needed for brewing isolated so that it’s ready for the next step of production.
The grains are then put through a process known as ‘mashing’. During this process, they are steeped in hot water for about an hour and brew somewhat of a tea. This is the key step that will activate the enzymes in the grains. This causes it to break down and release sugars. The water is then drained from the mash which is filled heavily with the sugar from the grains. This sweet sticky liquid is known as ‘wort’. It is to beer what raw dough is to bread.
The wort will then be boiled for about an hour with other imperative beer ingredients like hops and other spices. If you aren’t familiar with what hops are, allow us to explain. Hops are small, green fruits of a vine plant that are in the shape of a cone. They are what gives beer bitterness and balances out all of the sugar in the wort. They are also what provides the beer with flavor. Hops are also the natural preservative in beer that allows for it to last over time without going bad.
When the boil has subsided, the wort is the cooled, strained, and filtered. It is then transferred to a fermenting vessel in which yeast is also added. This is when the brewing process is complete and the fermentation process begins. The beer will then be stored in a room for a couple of weeks. Whether it is stored at room temperature or at lower temperatures depends what variety of beer is being made. As the beer sits, the yeast works to eat up all of the sugar that is in the wort and turn it into CO2 and alcohol waste products.
Bottling & Aging
When the beer has set an appropriate amount of time, you will then have alcoholic beer. However, this beer is still flat and uncarbonated. This liquid, when bottles will then be artificially carbonated like a soda or it can carbonate naturally if it is given the extended time to do so.
Shop a Wide Variety of Beers at World Beverage
Whether you are a fan of Odell, New Belgium, or another one of our popular breweries in Northern Colorado, you are sure to find the latest brews at World Beverage. Stop by today and pick out your favorite lager or ale! We look forward to seeing you.