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Home Brewing INGREDIENTS
Home Brewing EQUIPMENT
BASIC Home Brewing
ADVANCED Home Brewing Procedures
Understanding the Principles of Homebrewing
Overview Summary of the Homebrewing Process
Homebrewing is quite an amazing, yet, surprisingly simple process in essence. The process of homebrewing is basically converting sugars from barley malt into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide through the process of fermentation.
The sugars that are taken from the barley malts are a result of the conversion of starches to sugar in hot water during the mashing process also called steeping. The actual breakdown of starches to sugar is carried out by actual enzymes inside the grain which has been accessed through the malting process and quickly dried in order to save the enzymes for the mashing process which breaks down starch molecules into sugars and dextrin (unfermentable molecules).
The end product after all the starches have been converted by the enzymes is a sweet liquid called wort. This liquid is separated from the mashed grains through a process or repeatedly sifting hot water through the grains while draining the filtered wort into the brew kettle. The process is called sparging.
Soon the wort is brought to a boil and hops are added for bitterness, aroma and flavor. Basically the boiling is to help release the oils trapped inside the hops to provide the proper flavors we all know well in beer.
After the boil is through, the yeast is added and the wort will ferment into beer after the yeast feeds of all the sugars that were converted.
Beer is typically ready after about 5 days, however, most brewers will give the homebrew some time to settle or clear. This stage is called secondary fermentation.
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