But we owe an amazing debt to the professional breweries and their track record of improving the brewing method enough where we are able to enjoy home beer brewing being the satisfying hobby that it is.
Long ago in Mesopotamia some 50 centuries ago beer and bread were staples of the daily diet and both were made in individual homes by the women of that time period. While the entire process of fermentation was understood very early, the various technologies required to centralize the brewing process into one location in greater amounts would not begin to come into use until the tenth century when European monasteries started to expand their beer brewing methods of include additional product that could be implemented as payment for the monasteries bills. The monks can also be credited with much improving beer brewing recipes by discovering adding hops to the process. The addition of hops was initially described in the eighth century and again in the tenth. This move from mostly home brewed beer to more of a commercial undertaking additionally marked the exclusion of women from brewing duties.
These earlier breweries were more often than not built in multi-story buildings and established so that the first stages of the brewing process occurred on the highest possible floors hence the brewers could count on simple gravity for helping move the product from one brewing stage to another. The state of the brewery, with fairly few improvements, such as the using copper vats rather than wood, remained fairly a very similar for several millennium. It wasn’t before the 1700s the brewery started to assume the appearance we would recognize today.
The development of the steam power plant in 1765 brought a chance to mechanize aspects of the brewing process including the blending and stirring of the batch. Pumps operated by steam energy were also developed which offered the brewers the capability to mix more dependably while heating which reduced the chance of the mash scorching. In general, steam power gave the brewery opportunity to manufacture greater quantities of beer simply because they no longer were forced to count on just human powered mechanisms.
The subsequent great enhancement in brewery engineering happened the late 1800s when the ability to refrigerate the beer was invented. Prior to refrigeration, due to the fact yeast is quite temperature sensitive, most beer was made through the cooler winter season in large enough volumes to last through the rest of the year. With the ability to keep a preferred cool temperatures yeast requires, beer could be reliably and easily brewed year round.
The work of Louis Pasteur was to also greatly influence beer brewing methods. His discovery that yeast is actually a living microorganism that fermented the wort resulted in creation of pure yeast cultures selected because of their fermentation potential and flavors they generate.
Today’s contemporary brewery, whether huge or even a local micro brewing business, are virtually all fabricated from stainless steel which has distinct advantages over the materials used years ago. It does not flavor the beer itself in the way wood casks did, plus its not hard to decontaminate because it doesn’t interact with many chemicals.
Boiling the wort is now done with pressurized steam but some smaller breweries still employ direct fire methods. Cooling is achieved by installing cooling jackets over the tanks. This arrangement helps control the temperature of every tank individually and very accurately.
Possibly the best improvement in today’s breweries is how much testing that happens for quality control. Not only is the batch sampled frequently during the process for any impurities or unwanted variations, so also are the incoming shipments of the raw ingredients tested for compliance to quality standards.