During the mash, crushed malt and hot water are mixed into a dough and allowed to rest at between 148-158F for a period of one hour. This stage is responsible for the conversion of malt starch into fermentable sugar. The resulting sweet water, or wort, is washed from the husk on its way to the kettle.
The wort is then collected in the kettle and boiled for one and a half hours. Hops are added during the boil, for bitterness, flavor and aroma. Hops balance the sweet “malty” flavors in the wort. After the boil, the hopped wort is separated from the hops and chilled to 65F for fermentation.
Yeast is added to the wort in the fermenter. Over the next week (Ales) to two weeks (Lagers), the yeast converts the fermentable sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Following fermentation, the beer is chilled to 35F and transferred to the cellar for conditioning.
Conditioned beer has been lagered (stored) for one to three weeks before being carbonated and served. Properly conditioned beer simply tastes better.