As one of the oldest and most popular alcohol beverages, beer is always favored by people around the world. Nowadays, the craft beer culture has rapidly developed due to the mass beer has gradually saturated and people tend to pursue high quality life. Along with the upgrade of consumption and personality needs of people, the craft beer market will have a brighter future. Many people may wonder what craft beer is and how craft beer is made. Let’s explore these questions further in the following part.
What is Craft Beer?
Among so many definitions and discussions of craft beer, the most commonly used one is the standard published by the Brewers Association(BA). BA defines craft beer breweries as small, independent and traditional ones.
- Small: Annual production of six million barrels of beer or less.
- Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
- Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.
How Craft Beer is Made?
There are four basic ingredients involved in brewing craft beer, which are malt, hops, yeast and water respectively. The brewing process of craft beer can be briefly concluded as follows.
The malt should be crushed by a grinder, known as the malting process. The starch enzymes are generally created in this process, which is essential to make fermentable sugars after adding yeast.
Put the crushed malt into a mash tun and boil them, which is known as the mashing process. Being activated, the starch enzymes in the grain can break down to release sugar. The thick wort will be left when the water is drained.
Do solid-liquid separation for mash to obtain clear wort.
Heat the wort to 100℃. Gradually add hops during the boiling process. Hops are capable of providing bitterness balancing out the sugar in the wort. Various hops possess different flavors and levels of bitterness.
Separate the concretion rapidly from the wort after completing the boiling process.
Cool the wort to the temperature required by the fermentation technology through the plate type heat exchanger.
Pour the cooled wort into a fermentation tank and ferment it with yeast. The yeast will break down sugars to create alcohol and carbon dioxide during the next two or three weeks.
Transfer the beer into bottles, aluminum cans or kegs after completing the fermentation process.
There are several systems greatly involved in brewing process, including the malting system, mashing system, fermenting system, cooling system, control system, CIP cleaning system, water treatment system and other systems.