It is beyond the scope of this book to give a comprehensive description of the brewing process. For this the interested reader should consult the many authoritative texts which are already available (Lloyd Hind, 1940; de Clerck, 1954; Briggs et al., 1981; Hardwick, 1995; Bamforth, 1998). It is important, however, to provide a basic outline of the brewing process in order to be able to place the fermentation stage into its correct context. Of particular note is the subject of wort composition and how this may be influenced by the raw materials used and the practices employed in its preparation. The bulk of this chapter is devoted to this critical aspect of brewing.
It has already been intimated in the previous chapter that beer as a whole comprises a diverse range of products. These are made from an enormous range of raw materials and using plant which varies in sophistication from that associated with a purely domestic undertaking through to the ultramodern brewing 'factory'. Again it is beyond the scope of this book to provide full detail of the manufacture of the many different beers which are encountered throughout the world. Consequently, much of the description provided here applies to the process as practised in a commercial brewery producing a fermented beverage from wort made largely from malted cereals and hops. In this respect the beer most widely brewed and consumed throughout the world is a lager product of the Pilsener type. Hopefully, therefore, it will be understandable that disproportionate coverage is given to the manufacture of such a product. However, for completeness, a brief description is provided of the manufacture of some of the more notable related beverages, particularly those produced at commercial scale.
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