BREWING INGREDIENTS

Welcome to our Brewing Ingredients page! As enthusiasts of homebrewing, we understand that each beer begins with its core components.

Here, we'll delve into the primary ingredients essential for crafting your perfect brew - water, malted grains, hops, and yeast.

Not only will we explore the central role each plays, but we'll also introduce you to their variants and the unique characteristics they bring to the table.

green leaves on gray wooden surface
green leaves on gray wooden surface

Water

  • Tap Water: This is what most homebrewers start with. However, it's essential to ensure it's free from impurities like chlorine. Some brewers use campden tablets to treat their water and remove these impurities.

  • Spring or Bottled Water: This can be an alternative to tap water.

  • Adjusted/Modified Water: Some advanced brewers modify their water profiles (using salts like gypsum or calcium chloride) to mimic the water of specific beer-producing regions, which can impact the flavour profile of certain beer styles.

Malted Grains

  • Base Malts: These provide the majority of the fermentable sugars in the beer. Examples include Pale Malt, Pilsner Malt, and Maris Otter.

  • Specialty Malts: These are used in smaller quantities to add colour, flavour, and body. Examples include Caramel/Crystal Malt, Chocolate Malt, Munich Malt, and Vienna Malt.

  • Adjunct Grains: These are non-barley grains that can be used in brewing. Common examples are Corn, Rice, Rye, Wheat, and Oats.

Hops

  • Bittering Hops: Used early in the boil to provide bitterness to the beer. Examples: Magnum, Warrior, and Columbus.

  • Flavour/Aroma Hops: Added later in the boil or during fermentation (dry hopping) to impart flavour and aroma. Examples: Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, Citra, and Simcoe.

  • Dual-Purpose Hops: These can serve both as bittering and aroma hops. Examples: Chinook, Nugget, and Northern Brewer.

Yeast

  • Ale Yeast: Top-fermenting yeast suitable for brewing ales. Common strains include Safale US-05 (American ale), Safale S-04 (English ale), and Wyeast 1056 (American ale).

  • Lager Yeast: Bottom-fermenting yeast used for brewing lagers. Examples are Saflager W-34/70 and Wyeast 2124.

  • Specialty Yeast and Bacteria: These are for brewing sour beers or certain traditional styles. Examples are Brettanomyces (often just called "Brett"), Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus.

Apart from these primary ingredients, many brewers use various additives and fining agents to help with the brewing process or refine the beer. Some common examples include:

  • Whirlfloc tablets or Irish Moss: Helps to clarify the beer.

  • Campden tablets: Used to remove chlorine and chloramine from brewing water.

  • Gelatin: A fining agent that can help clear the beer.

  • Sugar: Various sugars can be added to boost alcohol content or add different flavours. Examples include corn sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, and molasses.

Lastly, while not ingredients per se, many homebrewers also experiment with flavour additions like fruit, spices (e.g., coriander, orange peel), wood chips for ageing, coffee, chocolate, and many others, to craft unique beer recipes.