Brewing beer begins with extracting the fermentables from a
starch source (generally barley but some beers are made from wheat,
rice or other grains), by steeping the grain similar to steeping tea.
The temperature needs to be controlled while steeping, and kept under
boiling so the
fermentables are kept intact. When the fermentables (sugars, starches,
etc) are completely extracted, the liquid containing the fermentables
is boiled to make sure there is no contamination. Hops are used to add
a bitterness flavor
to the beer, while preserving it as well. After the the fluid is cooled
to a reasonable temperature, the
yeast can be pitched into the liquid containing the fermentables. The
yeast then consumes the sugars and starches, excretes alcohol (also a
and respirates carbon dioxide (carbonating the beer).
Brewing beer is an art of sorts, which depends solely on your own
taste. If you enjoy a bitter beer, adding hops with a high alpha acid
at the bittering stage will increase the bitterness, and if you do not
like a bitter beer, using a lower alpha acid hops will make a less
bitter beer. There is no end to the combinations of ingredients to make
a respectable and enjoyable home-brew.
Two carboys (fermentable containers) with airlocks that
allow CO2 to escape
without allowing air inside.