Grains Are Key For How To Make Beer By Jeff McIlhenny  |   Submitted On June 11, 2011

One reason to learn how to make beer is to learn about all of the many grains and ingredients that are available to produce great beers. When you are first getting started learning how to make beer, there is a lot of resources available for learning. There are numerous websites, blogs, articles and forums online to provide you with information about how to make beer. Locally, you can see if there is an association of home brewers to network with.

This will give you in depth explanations about what grains work best for which type of beer. Brewing with grains is not something you will likely start off with when you are first learning how to make beer, but at some point you may decide to give it a try. Here are some of the basics you need to know to brew using grains.

Grains are key in the making of beer, and are a huge factor in the overall flavor profile of a beer. Flavors can vary greatly based upon which malt(s) you use, as well as the process of malting and brewing you use. There is a huge variety of grains that are used for making beer, and the good thing about this is that you have so many different ones you can utilize.

There are an almost endless amount of flavor combination’s you can produce. This can seem daunting at first, however this allows the home brewer the ability to experiment with different grains to see which ones appeal the most to you, and will help you develop a home brew that is uniquely you. Fortunately, recipes for these grains are easy to find, and can help serve as guides during the learning curve.

It is important to understand how malting works.

You will probably not actually take your grains through the malting process yourself, but it helps to actually understand how this process works, and why there is such a variety of outcomes to this process. This will help you when you are purchasing malts, so that you will know which ones will give you the color, flavor, and intensity that you wish to produce in your final beer.

The malting process starts with the grain that will be malted. The most common grains used for beer are barley, wheat and rye, but other grains can be used. The seeds of the grain are steeped and germinated, and this begins the active part of the malting and brewing process. Germination is when the seed sprouts and releases stored energy. This energy is designed to start the growth process of the seed, and is used to convert into malt mash that will be used to make beer.

During germination of the grains, the stored energy is changed as it is released. The starches within the seeds are converted into sugars by enzymes, and these sugars are very important to the process of how to make beer. At this point in germination, the process is suspended. Kilns are used to dry the grains, and the sugars and enzymes that were active remain in the malt to be used during the brewing process


This is a simplified explanation of the malting process, but it gives you a background on where the grains come from and the process they must go through to become grains for brewing. Extract brewing does not use actual grains, but the malt extract used is extracted from this malt in either liquid or dry form. Understanding the malting process will allow you to have a better understanding of the grains that will eventually become your beer. Learning all you can about malt will make you a better home brewer, and will produce better beers.

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