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.