At the Brewery
The water is mixed with malted barley and is cooked. It goes through a number of temperature controls and changes. At the end of this process, one of the key flavourings are added – the hops, which are a bit like adding special herbs to fine cuisine. The impart aroma and flavour, and also do other subtle things to the beer like improve its keeping quality.
The cooking period takes around eleven hours, and at the end of the process, you end up with a liquid called wort. At this stage there’s no alcohol or beer flavour in the liquid, it’s pretty much full of fermentable sugars, and is also a boiling hot, so it needs to cool down and have yeast added to it. Different types of yeast are used for different beers. Yeast is an important component to beer character because different yeast give different tastes to different styles of beer.
The wort is then left for 24 hours as the yeast grows four-fold until it has used up all the oxygen. It is at this point that the liquid starts to fermentable sugars turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide. To try and reduce wastage, the carbon dioxide is collected so that it can be liquefied and used again.