Beer Brewing Ingredients

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,881
    Gary Glass from the American Homebrewers Association discusses beer brewing ingredients.

    Gary Glass: Hi! My name is Gary Glass. I'm the Director of the American Homebrewers Association. I'm teaching you how to make beer at home.

    In this segment, we will cover the basic ingredients that are used by homebrewers to make beer. Starting out, we have malt. Malts can be made from a variety of different grains including wheat, rye, and oats. But it's primarily made from barley, and there are two main forms of malted barley that you can use. We've got our base grains which are light and those need to go through a mashing process. And then we have specialty grains. The maltsters do it in different ways, either by roasting in in a different level or producing more sugars in the malt. Those different specialty grains are what create different colors within the beer. Malt in general provides sugars which add sweetness to the beer as well as body, it adds to the mouth feel of the beer. For homebrewers, we can skip the whole mashing process in which the starches and the grains are converted to sugars by using extracts and I've got a couple of examples of that extracts here. Extracts come in two different forms for homebrewers. You can either buy dried extracts or you can use a liquid extract, which comes as syrup. Those extracts allow you to skip that whole mashing process. So it's very easy to do. Beer of course contains hops. Hops is a flower that are used as an herb in the brewing process. They provide bitterness which balances the sweetness from the malt, as well as aromas and flavors that can range from herbal to floral, to fruity, to spicy. For homebrewers, you can get hops in two different forms, either whole hops or you can use pelletized hops that look much like rabbit food. You'll also need yeast. Yeast is a single-celled organism that consumes sugars and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. There are two main classes of yeast that are used in brewing. There is ale yeast, which are fermented warm at room temperature, and those produce the fruity esters that are characteristic of ale styles. There is also lager yeast which is fermented cold down around 50 degrees Fahrenheit and lager yeast produce a clean crisp lager character. From homebrewers, there are two main packages for yeast. You can get yeast in either liquid form or dried form. The liquid form comes in either a foil package or a vile. With the liquid yeast, you can brew all kinds of different styles. It's a little more expensive than the dried yeast. Dried yeast doesn't have as many varieties as the liquid yeast does. And it also has go to go through a re-hydration process. Of course, with beer, the main ingredient is going to be water. You can use any kind water as long it is clean tasting. So if your tap water tastes good to you, you can use that. Though, if the water has a lot of chlorination in it, then you probably want to use filtered or bottled water for your brewing. Well that covers the basic ingredients. Next, we'll talk about the equipment that you'll need to brew beer.