Whether you’re creating your first craft beer or are continuing to look for the ideal beverage for your brewery, it’s important to understand the process of making beer. This begins with understanding the key ingredients of beer. Before you can even begin brewing beer, you need to know the main ingredients; water, fermentable sugar, hops, and yeast. Every one of these ingredients is needed to make beer and has to be cooked just right to get the perfect brew. Understanding more about the ingredients helps you understand how to make better beer.
Water accounts for around 90% of your brew, so you need to use good tasting water. If you feel that the tap water you have tastes good, then it should be good enough for the beer. If you don’t, then you may want to get some bottled or distilled water to use instead. Boil tap water first so that you can evaporate the chemicals such as chlorine that interfere with brewing. The water should cool down before you brew with it.
Malted barley is typically used to cover all the sugar needed in a micro beer. Some brewers substitute some corn, wheat, rice, or other grains to give the beer a lighter flavor. You should buy yourself some ready-to-use malted barley such as malt extract or malt syrup rather than trying to malt your own grains when just starting out. Malt extract guarantees that you have the right kind of fermented sugar for your craft beer.
Hops are the flowers found on a hop vine. They give beer the better flavor to balance out the sweetness. Hops also prevent beer from spoiling and ensure the head of the beer lasts longer.
The first thing you need to know about yeast is that you should never use bread yeast in your brewery! Yeast for beer has been specially cultivated to use in brewing. Brewing beer is basically mixing malted grains such as barley with hops and then fermenting it with a lager or ale yeast. Ale and lager are the two broad beer yeast categories.
Which yeast you use determines the brew you make. Lagers tend to be light and crisp, while ales are darker and have more alcohol content.
Ale yeasts are top-fermenting; they stick to the top of the carboy during the fermenting process and sink to the bottom when the fermenting is finished. Ale yeasts don’t actively ferment under temperatures of 50F or 20C. Lager yeasts ferment at the bottom and work best at temperatures between 55F/25C and 32F/0C. As you can tell by the name, the kind of yeast used determines the kind of beer you end up with. It’s important to not rely too much on the yeast to define your beer however, as each ingredient in the process plays a role in determining the taste and kind of beer we create at our Singapore brewery Beerfest.
Try our freshly brewed craft beer and enjoy a taste!