Ingredients are selected based on desired flavor profile. Malt has a sweet, bready, and sometimes nutty or roasted flavor. Malted barley, is the backbone of any brew and is the source of beer grain. Malting germinates the barley, which creates the enzymes that enable the starch from the grain to be broken down into fermentable sugars.
Flavors from the malt are balanced by bittering and aroma hop varieties. Other outcomes considered include mouth feel feel (from lighter/crisp to thicker/full-bodied), and strength (alcohol level). Choosing the right yeast is also important. Some impart notes of spice or fruit, others are selected for their ability to handle stronger alcohol levels.
On brew day, milled malt are combined with hot water to convert the grain’s starch to fermentable sugars in a process called the mash. In practice, the mash can be imagined being similar to making a giant batch of oatmeal.
Water is heated to a specific temperature and is stirred in with the grains. This mixture is held at the specific temperature, for a specific period of time (usually an hour, but depends on the beer).
After the mash, the liquid sugars must be separated from the grain. Even hotter water is first rinsed throughout to stop the starch conversions. The resulting liquid known as “wort” is drained and collected in the kettle. Wort contains the sugars extracted from the malt, and will go on to become the beer you know and love, and the grains...well, this is where ReGrained comes in. ReGrained picks up the beer grains from our brewery partners, and head to the bakery as the brew day continues.
The wort is next boiled and hops are added at specific intervals, varying by recipe. The hops introduce flavor, aroma, and also serve as a preservative. The boil also sterilizes the wort, which ensures that the brewer’s yeast strain is the only bacteria present during fermentation.
Now, life is quite literally introduced to the party. The hopped wort is cooled and yeast is pitched into a temperature-controlled oxygen-free vessel. This all sets the stage for the wonderful natural process of fermentation.
During fermentation, the yeast begins to multiply, divide, and conquer on a quest to consume sugars in the hopped wort and convert them to alcohol and carbon dioxide. When the yeast civilization runs out of food, the population falls dormant to the bottom of the fermentation vessel and is removed.
When fermentation is completed, beer is packaged in bottles, cans, and/or kegs and is distributed out to the taproom or your local stores and watering holes.
Now it is your turn to take part in the story by purchasing your favorite craft libation to pair with your favorite ReGrained product. That’s what we call having your beer...and eating it too.