Maize Valley BeersAn Ohio Craft Brewery
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SRM: Standard Reference Method, used to determine beer color. The higher the number, the darker the beer. IBU: International Bittering Unit, used to determine bitterness in beer. The higher the number, the more bitter the beer.
Process, Descriptions and Ingredients in our beers
The process by which enzymes in malted grain are activated by hot water at different temperatures to convert starches in the grains into different fermentable and non-fermentable sugars. Mashes usually consist of a highly convertible, lightly kilned base malt such as 2-row or 6-row barley malts like Pale ale and Maris Otter. In addition to the base malt, there are less convertible grains that are kilned at varying levels of roast called Character Malts that lend color and flavor to the beer. Mashes are usually converted in the temperature range of 148-160 degrees fahrenheit. On the low end of this temperature range, the enzymatic reactions produce more fermentable sugars which result in drier beers while on the higher end of this temperature range less fermentable sugars are produced which can lead to a sweeter, more full bodied beer.
Now that we’ve converted the sugars from the grain into our liquid solution, this sugary water solution is now referred to as wort and is run off of the mash tun into the boil kettle in a process that is called sparging. During this process the wort is run off, then the grains are rinsed with hot water to collect the remainder of their sugar until final boil volume is reached. Boiling the wort serves a few purposes. One is to sanitize the wort for a clean fermentation. The other is to add hops whose compounds volatize at different points during boiling to lend bitterness, flavor and aroma. The last purpose of the boil is to concentrate the wort further to it’s final desired volumed and starting specific gravity.
Chilling and fermentation:
Once the boil is complete, the wort is rapidly cooled through a heat exchanger or cooler to get it down to its desired temperature to pitch yeast and ferment. Beer yeasts come in wide range selected for style and desired fermentation characteristics. These characteristics are usually defined by the yeasts ability to tolerate varying levels of alcohol productions, attenuation of the wort and flocculation out of solution when fermentation is complete. Beer fermentation can vary in time from a week or two to several months. More information on beer yeast characteristics can be found at https://byo.com/resources/yeast