Exploring The Science Of Beer Making

If you’re like many people, you enjoy sipping on an ice cold beer. Beer is one of the most popular beverages throughout history. If you’ve had even limited exposure to beer, you are probably familiar with the essential ingredients that go into making it. But how do these ingredients combine to create this beverage that we love so much? Let’s take a brief look at the actual science of beer making.

Beer brewing is a relatively natural and necessary process that has been around for thousands of years. The essential ingredients of beer have remained the same throughout time. They include water, yeast, grain and hops. With so few components involved, it’s easy to think brewing beer is a simple process. However, the way these ingredients react with each other make the science of beer making quite fascinating.


Out of all the ingredients used to make beer, obviously, water is what you’ll need the most of. You’re probably wondering what else needs to be said, after all, it’s just water. In the science of beer making, some consideration needs to be given to the type of water you’re going to use. The water that comes from your tap can adversely affect the quality and taste of your beer due to the filtration and treatment it receives before reaching your home. Boiling the water before you use it for brewing is recommended. This can remove, not only the massive amounts of chlorine that are in it but also other impurities.

Malted Barley

Malted barley is the next ingredient to consider in the science of beer making. Different types of grain are used to make different kinds of beer. For brewing purposes, the barley is soaked in water until it begins to sprout. It is then dried by one of some different methods. Basically, this process allows the grain to create fermentable sugars that will come in to play later with another ingredient. The malted barley then undergoes a process called mashing, which is basically grinding the malted barley into smaller grain-sized pieces. It is then mixed with water to dissolve the sugars and starches. This creates a syrup-like sweet liquid called malt extract, which is a crucial ingredient for beer making.


Hops are small flowers that resemble tiny green pine cones. In the science of beer making, hops are what gives the beer it’s distinctive bitter taste and aroma. These are typically added to the mixture of water and malt extract toward the end of the boiling cycle. Hops are available in a couple of different forms, such as powder and pellets.


In the science of beer making, there’s no ingredient as essential as yeast. Yeast is a living organism that is essential to making beer what it is in the end. Yeast will feed on the fermenting sugars and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process is what gives the beer it’s alcohol content, as well as it’s foamy head. Yeasts used for beer making are either top fermenting or bottom fermenting yeasts. The top-fermenting yeast is used for ale-type beers, and bottom fermenting yeast has handled the production of lagers.

As you can see, even though there are very few ingredients, a lot is going on in the beer brewing process.

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