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Alcohol Industry Research
The Process of Making Beer
Beer is made from malted barley. These barley grains germinate over a period of a few days. During
this process, the starch in the grains is broken down into sugar by enzymes. The grains are left in a
kiln to dry out and this process is called malting. These barley grains contain the sugar needed to
ferment into alcohol.
This malted grain is mashed up and water is added. This creates a sugary solution which is diluted
slightly by the water. The water will have many pieces and bits in it and therefore the solution needs
to be sieved. This is called clarifying. The solution will also become clearer.
Hops are added to the solution to give the beer its bitter flavour. This whole mixture is then sterilised
to remove any unwanted or harmful bacteria. This is the same as keeping equipment aseptic and
therefore the mixture will also be aseptic as far as possible. It is sterilised in a brew kettle.
After cooling, the yeast is added to the mixture and this mixture is left in tanks to ferment. The
mixture is incubated. The fermenting vessels are designed to stop any unwanted microorganisms and
air getting in. This means that the yeast will be able to respire anaerobically, without oxygen. The
rising concentration of ethanol present in the fermentation mixture eventually starts to kill the yeast.
This means that the process of fermentation slows down. The yeast is producing alcohol.
Chemical called clarifying agents are added to the mixture to remove particles and again, make it
clearer. The beer is pasteurised to remove any remaining yeast and to stop the process of
fermentation. Beer tastes better if it is not pasteurised but it is usually not done because unless it is
kept in the right conditions, it will spoil easily. Finally, the beer is casked and then sold.
The source material for the sugar in the case of beer is malted barley.
Hops are added to the beer to give it a bitter taste.
Yeast is used in the process of fermentation and they work anaerobically to turn a sugar
source into alcohol.
Clarifying A process that removes bits and some particles and also makes the beer clearer.
Pasteurisation A process of heating the mixture so that any unwanted and harmful bacteria
are not present in the beer.
Fermentation The process of yeast breaking down sugars to alcohol. The yeast does this
Glucose ethanol + carbon dioxide
C6H12O6 2C2H5OH + 2CO2
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The products of fermentation are distilled to increase the alcohol content. This produces different
spirits. Rum is created from fermented cane sugar. The idea of distillation is to separate the alcohol
from the water and make the alcohol concentration bigger.
The fermentation products are heated to 78 degrees. This is the temperature that which the alcohol
turns into gas with leaving the water as a liquid. The alcohol is evaporated and turns into vapour.…read more