Beer brewing equipment of huge breweries may be very costly, be very complicated, and may look intimidating. But even as huge quantities of beer pour out from them every minute, many of these companies had started out with home made beer.
For example, in San Diego, among its premiere breweries is Ballast Point Brewing Company. It started as Home Brew Mart. The small company had been fervent with its advocacy of promoting the knowledge of manufacturing quality home brewed beer. Home brewing also had a huge impact on another company, Mission Brewery which was among the first commercial beer companies to operate in San Diego. The company was closed down during the years of prohibition. It was reopened by home brewers and it was through their effort that the company managed to reclaim its glory.
Surely back when these companies started, their beer brewing equipment had not been as huge as it is now. But as people began consuming more of their beer, they felt the need to expand and eventually, they have grown beyond their humble home breweries.
The usual process of large scale beer brewing involves a malt bin, mash tub, filtering tank, brew kettle, starter tank, fermenting tank, aging tank, filtering tank, racking or bottling or canning, and a pasteurizer. To achieve different colors, tastes, and other variations, the brewer simply has to tweak a couple or so steps in the procedure. For example, the darkness of the beer can be changed depending on the length the barley malt is roasted. This darkness in turn changes the taste of the beer as the more roasted barley malt yields more sugar. Thus, a darker beer is sweeter than a lighter colored beer.
Perhaps one of the differences between a home brewery and huge brewery is the pasteurizer. Usually in a home brewery, especially those that are not into commercial production, the beer is not expected to be stored long. Since it will be consumed immediately, there is no fear that refermentation will happen. This also had been pointed out by some home brewing aficionados as an advantage of the large commercial brewers. The home brews retain the freshness in its flavor.
Some processes however have become available to big breweries to allow them to store unpasteurized beer. The use of microporous materials, for one, would filter out yeast cells and the remaining liquid could be safely stored for a long time. However, this filtering out of the yeast is what others point to as the cause of killer hangovers. Yeasts provide Vitamin B and the hangover is partly caused by a deficiency of this vitamin. Since the yeasts are filtered out so that storage life of commercial beers can be prolonged, these drinks become a pain in the head if you’ve drunk one too many bottles or cans.