How Beer is Made

06 Mar 13


The beer making process is an art. It takes time, patience and quite a bit of experimentation to find that perfect flavour. Once you’ve found the right mix, you can replicate it again and again to ensure that you’re always delivering the same quality product that consumers come to expect from you. Want to learn how to make beer? Start right here by reviewing the SAB beer brewing process.


Creating The Malt

The first step in the beer making process is to create the malt from barley.

  • Grains are steeped for 1 – 2 days
  • They’re then cooled in humid air so that they can germinate for 3 – 7 days
  • Grains are then dried in a kiln for 1 – 7 days
  • A rest period for a minimum of 3 weeks then follows before the grains become malt

This is then relocated to the brewhouse. The malt is added to mash tuns and heated for 2 – 3 hours. From here it goes to the lauter tuns where the malt grains are processed. This converts the malt into a liquid called wort that’s sieved by the lauter tun and then sent to the wort kettle to be boiled. During this process wort is separated from grain in a process that takes about 2.5 – 4 hours. What’s left is grain that is sent to local farmers and used as cattle feed.



The wort is then sent to the fermenting cellar and placed into fermentation vessels, which hold hundreds of thousands of litres of liquid. The fermentation process takes between 18 and 28 days.


Bottle Preparation

In the interim, bottles are being prepared to receive the liquid. Between 42 000 and 45 000 bottles can be prepared per hour. These are then inspected for cleanliness and quality. If any of the bottles are not fit from a quality perspective, a PVI machine or bottle inspector will pick it up and send them back to the washing process.


Filling Up and Sealing

Once the bottles are ready and beer has fermented to the right degree, the last few steps take place. A production line labels the beer bottles – 1 500 bottles can be labelled per minute. The bottles are also filled before three concurrent checks take place:

  • The fill height is correct
  • The labels have been put on straight
  • A tap tone is conducted – a test that makes sure the bottle caps have been securely attached and fastened


Load ‘Em Up

The beers are packed into crates and loaded onto the SAB trucks for secure delivery to traders  who can then sell the beer to you.


Think you have a good idea on how to make beer now?