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How to make a beer

如何釀製啤酒

Mashing

After the brewer decides the designated style and formula, the saccharification process begins. I have mentioned before the initiation of single step complex fermentation - the enzymes convert the carbohydrates and proteins into sugar and amino acids in the malt. Therefore let’s start from the saccharification process this time. First, put the malt into the mashing tun and fill it with hot water. Keep the temp at around 67 ℃ to extract the maximum amount of sugar. The saccharification lasts for one hour, in which a thick wort is produced.

 

Lautering

Undissolved husks become the best filtering agent. Coupled with the filtering process taken place in the filter tank, the first wort is produced. Add hot water to rinse off any attached sugar. The step proceeds until enough wort is collected.

 

Boiling

Filtered wort is subject to heating and addition of beer hop, in particular the bitter hop at this stage. Boil the wort for 60 to 90 minutes. The boiling process is crucial in various aspects: 1. Disinfection, which protect the yeast from biological spoilage; 2. Concentrate the flavor of the wort; 3. Release the bitter taste of hop; 4. Tannins in hop assists in coagulating the protein, which in turn stabilize the foam. Near the end of the boiling process, flavored beer hop is added, according to brewers’ preference.

 

Cooling

The wort is cooled down after boiling to prevent bacteria contamination.

 

Fermentation

The cooled wort is sent to the fermentation tank. Selected and adequate amount of yeasts is added depends on designated style. Temperature control is crucial as yeasts are extremely sensitive to it. Inappropriate temperature interferes with the activity of yeasts and may even terminate the fermentation.

 

Filtering

The beer is almost ready once the fermentation is completed. The beer may looks cloudy and need some time for the sediment to subside until it become clear. For the sake of efficiency, commercial breweries would often filter the beer prior bottling, but it is rare in craft beer. Filtering not only remove yeasts, but also part of aromas and flavors. Some craft beers, much of Belgium beer for instance, would undergo second fermentation in the bottle. The yeasts rest in the bottle before they re-ferment the added sugar at the final stage, so extra mousse and alcohol is produced. Therefore beer made by 2nd fermentation would be richer in fizz and alchohol. In contrast, some breweries may use pasteurization to kill yeasts, in order to lengthen the preservation period. In general, pasteurization takes place after filter and before bottling, which involves 2 to 3 min heating at 65℃.

 

Racking

Packages of beer include keg, glass bottle and aluminium can. Keg usally doesn’t involve sterilization so it lasts for a shorter time – around 3 to 6 months, depending on style and alcohol content. A beer with higher alcohol content is more robust than that with lower.

 

 

麥芽糖化

當釀酒師決定釀什麼啤酒,知道配方的材料組合,便開始糖化的工序,之前已說過單行複發酵的原理,糖化酵素能把麥芽內的碳水化合物及蛋白質分解成糖分和氨基酸,所以現在由糖化開始說起,首先把適量的麥芽放入糖化桶內,注入熱水,熱水要保持在67℃左右,因這溫度是能令麥芽釋出最多糖分的一個溫度,保持這個沉泡狀態一個小時便能完成糖化,產生出濃稠的麥芽汁。

 

 

過濾麥芽汁

沒有溶解的麥芽殼成為最佳的天然過濾層,加上大部份啤酒廠再使用過濾槽把麥芽汁進一步過濾,當第一道麥芽汁釋出同時或之後,熱水將會再注入,把還黏在殼上的麥芽汁沖出,直到收集到足夠的麥芽汁為止。

 

 

煮沸麥芽汁

把麥芽汁過濾完後便開始煮沸麥芽汁及加入第一次啤酒花,這次加入的是苦味型的啤酒花,一般煮沸大約60至90分鐘。煮沸麥芽汁是釀啤酒重要的一環,因為在這過程中有很多作用會產生,1. 殺菌,殺菌的目的是為了保護酵母,避免酵母受其他細菌影響,阻礙發酵量。2. 濃縮麥芽汁,使麥芽的風味更加顯著。3. 釋出啤酒花的苦味,所以在這時候加入第一次啤酒花。4. 啤酒花的單寧可讓麥芽汁內的蛋白質凝結,有穩定泡沫的效果。在煮沸的最後階段,通常在完成煮沸前的0至15分鐘,可第二次加入啤酒花,這次加入的是香味型的啤酒花,視乎釀酒師想釀出什麼樣風格的啤酒而定。

 

 

冷卻麥芽汁

完成煮沸後,要盡快冷卻麥芽汁,使細菌不能滋生。

 

 

發酵

把已降溫的麥芽汁送到發酵桶,視乎啤酒風格而定,注入適當及適量的酵母等待發酵,此時控制溫度是最重要一環,因為酵母對溫度很敏感,不同種類的酵母會因應不同的溫度有不一樣的活躍程度,甚至不能發酵,所以溫度如此重要。發酵一般大約需要兩至三星期,同樣要視乎風格而定。

 

 

過濾

這時候發酵完成,啤酒已經釀好了!剛釀好的啤酒外觀比較混濁,但通常只要給予足夠的時間,酵母及其他殘餘物會自然沉澱,啤酒會變得清澈,但由於商業因素,效率要快,有些酒廠會把啤酒過濾才裝瓶,但大部份手工啤酒廠卻選擇不過濾,因為過濾除把酵母和殘餘物過掉外,也會同時帶找一定程度的風味,而且有些酒款會進行瓶內二次發酵,如比利時的啤酒便十分常見,不過濾,把只在「休息」的酵母繼續保留,在裝瓶前加入少量的糖,嗜糖的酵母會再次活躍,把糖分轉化成酒精和釋出更多的二氧化碳,所以採用瓶內二次發酵這技術的啤酒酒精度會比較高,泡沫也比較豐富。但相反,有些啤酒廠會選擇進行一種名為巴氏殺菌(Pasteurization)的技術,進一步把多餘的酵母或細菌殺掉,因啤酒經殺菌後可以延長啤酒的保質期。一般而言,巴氏殺菌是在啤酒經過濾後、裝瓶前進行,以65℃的溫度把啤酒加熱2至3分鐘即可。

 

 

裝瓶

啤酒有桶裝(Keg)、玻璃瓶裝或鋁罐裝。桶裝的因一般沒有殺菌,保質期會比較短,但都要視乎風格而定和酒精度而定,約三個星期至三個月不等,酒精度低的會比酒精度高的較易變質。