This process involves converting the glucose in the wort into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide gas; this gives the carbonation and the alcohol content that's present in beer.
Once the wort is cooled it's transferred into the fermentation vessel (once the yeast is added). Depending on whether your brewing ale or lager, the temperature fermentation times will vary.
If you're brewing ale, then generally it needs to ferment for around 2 weeks and kept at 20 degrees. While for lager, the fermentation time is longer at around 6 weeks and the temperature settings are around 9 degrees centigrade.
During the fermentation process, the brewing barrel is sealed. Pressure builds up in the beer barrel due to carbon dioxide being produced; this is the part of the process where beer gets most of its carbonation.
The fermenter even though it's sealed off, will allow carbon dioxide to escape through its pressure valve. The design of the pressure valve allows CO2 to escape but prevents outside air from entering and contaminating the stray yeasts.
When the fermentation process is almost complete, the bottom of the fermenter will have collected most of the yeast. This yeast may be used for the next batch of beer, although usually it is replaced.
With the solids residing at the bottom of the barrel, the beer is transferred out and filtered for any remaining residues. At this point the beer is taken to another process which will raise its level of carbon dioxide.
The Bottling Process
The following part of the process is where you keep the beer away from stray yeasts and oxygen and general contamination. The reason for bottling, apart from storage and handling purposes, is to increase the shelf life of the beer.
First, the bottles have to undergo appropriate cleaning before they are filled with beer. A cleaning solution is used to rinse the bottles, followed by carbon dioxide blown into the bottles to remove traces of the solution.
If you wish, so as to customise your 'brew' you can place labels on the bottles. It's good to place the date the beer was bottled and the 'best consumed before' date.
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