We brew our own beer!
All students who participate in our master's lab course will learn about the process of brewing beer and even get to try it out for themselves.
Here you can get an idea how we do it!
Step 1: Malting and milling
The grain, which is usually barley, is soaked in water to start germinating. This is when the enzymes that are needed later in the process are formed. The process is interrupted by drying the grain at around 80°C. Afterwards, the malt is coarsely ground. When we brew beer, we buy malt that has already been ground.
Step 2: Mashing
In the next step, the milled malt is mixed with hot water and stirred for around 1.5 hours at different temperatures. The now active enzymes break down the starch to release simple sugars.
Step 3: Lautering
The mash is now filtered to separate the wort from the residual grain. The wort usually tastes sweet and is further used for the brewing process, while the remaining grain can be used for baking bread.
Step 4: Boiling
Next, the sweet wort is boiled while the hops are added. The hops release bitter flavours into the unfermented beer. Afterwards, the hops and precipitated protein are separated from the clear wort and the wort is cooled.
Step 5: Fermentation
The most important step of the brewing process is of course the fermentation, where brewing yeast is added to the unfermented beer. The yeast turns the malt sugar into alcohol over the course of around one week.
Step 6: Bottling and ageing
To achieve carbonation of the beer, people who brew at small scale often use bottle carbonation. In this process, some unfermented beer (that has been stored at 4°C) is added to each bottle. The remaining yeast will ferment the sugar and produce carbon dioxide that cannot escape from the bottle. After this secondary fermentation, the beer is stored for several weeks at cold temperatures. During this time, fermentation by-products in the beer are broken down and the taste rounds off.