Brewing is the production of beer through steeping a starch source (commonly cereal grains) in water and then fermenting with yeast. Brewing has taken place sincearound the 6th millennium BC, and archeological evidence suggests that this technique was used in ancient Egypt. Descriptions of various beer recipes can be found inSumerian writings, some of the oldest known writing of any sort. Brewing takes place in a brewery by a brewer, and the brewing industry is part of most western economies.
The basic ingredients of beer are water; a starch source, such as malted barley, which is able to be fermented (converted into alcohol); a brewer’s yeast to produce the fermentation; and a flavouring such as hops. A secondary starch source (an adjunct) may be used, such as maize (corn), rice or sugar. Less widely used starch sources include millet, sorghum and cassava root in Africa, potato in Brazil, and agave in Mexico, among others. The amount of each starch source in a beer recipe is collectively called the grain bill.
There are several steps in the brewing process, which include malting, milling, mashing, lautering, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, filtering, and packaging. There are three main fermentation methods, warm, cool and wild or spontaneous. Fermentation may take place in open or closed vessels. There may be a secondary fermentation which can take place in the brewery, in the cask or in the bottle.
Brewing specifically refers to the process of steeping, such as with making tea, sake and soy sauce. Wine and cider technically aren’t brewed, rather vinted, as the entire fruit is pressed, and then the liquid extracted. Mead isn’t technically brewed, as the honey is used entirely, as opposed to being steeped in water.
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