Although we’ve looked at fermentation in a lot of detail, beer making is a complicated process made up of many different parts. In this week’s instalment of the ABCs of Beer, we’re going to look at all the actions and processes that go into transforming a few raw ingredients into a golden elixir.
Aeration is the action of adding oxygen to wort prior to fermentation.
Carbonation is the process of introducing carbon dioxide into a liquid.
Hopping is the addition of hops to wort or beer.
Fresh hopping is the addition of freshly harvested hops, which have not yet been dried, to different stages of the brewing process.
Mashing is the mixing of powdered malt with hot water to form wort.
Infusion mash is a method of mashing that achieves target mashing temperatures by adding heated water at specific temperatures.
Step infusion is a mashing method that sees the temperature of the mash raised by using an external heating source.
Kilning is the process of heat-drying malted barley in a kiln. The process stops germination and produces dry, easily milled malt. Kilning also removes the raw flavour (or green-malt flavour) associated with germinating barley, and new aromas, flavours, and colours develop according to the intensity and duration of the kilning process.
Lagering is the process whereby lager beer is aged for extended periods at cold temperatures.
Lautering is the process of separating the sweet wort from the spent grains in a lauter tun.
Pitching is the adding of yeast to the wort once it has cooled down to desired temperatures.
Racking is the process of transferring beer from one vessel to another.
Sparging refers to using hot water to wash out residual sugar that is still present in the grains. This happens once the strong worts have been separated from the spent grains in the lauter tun.
Vorlauf is the recirculation of wort from the lauter tun outlet back onto the top of the grain bed in order to clarify the wort.
And there you have it – another instalment of the ABCs of Beer done and dusted! Join us next week when we will be learning about some of the equipment and measurements used in the beer-making process.