Ever thought that there was more to drinking beer than just, well, drinking beer? New to North by Northwest is our Beer School, where you can learn the ins and outs of one of the world's oldest and most popular beverages: BEER!
A blend of malted barleys are cracked in a mill to expose the starch inside of the grain kernel. The crushed grain is mixed with hot water at around 150 degrees Fahrenheit to make an oatmeal-like consistency. The mixture is allowed to steep while enzymes found naturally in the grain will convert all of the starch into sugar. The sugary liquid is strained away from the grain material into a kettle where it is boiled for about an hour. During the boil, hops are added which provide flavor and bitterness to the final beer.
At this stage the sugary liquid is called wort (pronounced wert). After the boil is complete, the wort is quickly cooled and pumped into a conical-bottom vessel called a fermenter. Brewer's yeast is added to the wort and fermentation begins.
During fermentation, the yeast consumes the sugar and releases alcohol, carbon dioxode, and flavor compounds. After a fermentation period of about a week, the liquid can rightfully be called beer. The beer is usually aged another 2-6 weeks to allow the flavors to mellow.
After the aging period the beer might be filtered (depending on whether the particular beer style calls for clarity). It is then transferred into a serving tank where it will be carbonated by injecting carbon dioxide under pressure. The beer is finally done and is ready to be served to the customer.
Want to know more? Then Beer School is for you!