The Brewing Process (Abbey of Sint Sixtus)

The brewing process is composed of five main ingredients: Malt, Hop, Yeast, Water, Sugar.

  1. Malt

Malt is a barley soaked in water under required circumstances and made to partially germinate. At a certain moment, the germinating process is restricted by kilning or drying the malt in an oast-house. The term malt is used for barley grains from which the little shoot has been completely removed. During germination, the barley secretes enzymes that gradually turn the insoluble starch and protein of the barley into soluble barley sugar and soluble protein. After all, the malting process aims at making the content of the barley soluble in order to make extraction possible while brewing. The composition of barley and other cereals is such that only a small proportion of them can be solved or extracted in water.

The malt provides a larger quantity of the sugars that are converted on fermentation and for the most part, it also determines the color and taste.,/p>

  1. Hop

Hop plants are tendrils that climb up to 7-8m. Only non-fertilized flowers of female plants are eligible for the making of beer. The most important hop constituents are the alpha acids. During the boiling of the wort (malt barley mashed with warm water), they undergo a specific thermic isomerization resulting in the formation of iso-acids which give the beer its fine bitterness. This formation of iso-alpha acids is seen as a key reaction in the brewing process. Apart from that hop favours the shelf life of the beer.

  1. Yeast

Yeast is a unicellular micro-organism that converts the sugars in the wort into alcohol and CO2. From the proteins, on the other hand, the aromas, taste, and olfactory components are formed needed to give beer its own individual touch.

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