On a rainy Saturday, the Brewtour’s guys (Nate, Steve, Casey, and Eric) headed over to Nate’s place for a brew day. As promoters of good craft beer, we take pride in our ability to brew good beer as well. Steve owned a hop farm as has been brewing for over 3 years, Nate has been brewing for over 8 years and is the founder/president of a Bay Area Homebrew club.
The first step in this process is the grain. We traded turns crushing the 2-row barley manually like the good ole days.
Now that we have our crushed grain, we need to mash the grain (as in steeping tea) to make the wort (sugar water). Nate has a variety of advanced techniques to do this including a sparging system and a stacked stair method.
Now that we have our wort we almost have beer. Wort is basically just sugar water and if you taste it, it’s definitely sweet. The sugar from the grain have been released when we were steeping the grain and when the yeast will turn those sugars into alcohol. Before we get there, we need one very special ingredient: HOPS.
So, we now have our boiling hop water going. The last ingredient? Yeast and fermentation. As soon as the boil is done, we want to cool down our beer as fast as we can. Nate has a coil that has cold water flowing in while the hot water flows out. We need to get this liquid into the fermentation tank.
Where is this all going? Into one of Nate’s special fermentation tanks where it will sit for a few weeks. Before we close it off, we need to make sure we add the yeast (pitching yeast)!