At the end of the boil it's time to chill your wort. Doing this as fast as possible is important for several reasons, and to me, the most import is to minimize the risk of bacterial infection. There are many ways to get this accomplished, and one of the best ways is using a Wort Chiller. After cooling your wort it's time to get it in a fermentation vessel and pitch your yeast. Now it's time for the toughest step...waiting for your beer to mature.
These are only basic steps to brewing and not meant to be a step by step guide.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
One of the most important aspects for any brewer is cleaning and sanitizing all your equipment. This is done for obvious health reasons, but also to minimize the chance of off flavors in your beer. Cleaning your equipment before, while brewing, and after to me is the most important piece of the puzzle.
Mashing and Sparging the Grains.
The scents and tastes of your beer start here. A mash tun full of grains is soaked in warmed water for 90 minutes. After the time is up we begin to sparge. This is done by slowly adding hot water over the top to rinse the sugars from the grains. Once you are done sparging you now have WORT (unfermented beer). Again, if you're doing an extract it can be as simple as pouring it out from a bottle into your pot.
Serve it up.....
Now the beer is ready to be bottled. A little more waiting time is necessary for the beer to carbonate in the bottle. Then the moment of truth, the first taste. CHEERS!
Brew Day actually begins before you brew the beer.
As an all grain brewer I begin by going on a trip to my home brew supply store. I am like a kid in the candy store. I pick up what is NEEDED to do my next brew and usually a few items that may not be necessary; but, what the hell I'm here. Staff can assist you with what you need and answer any questions.
Now we turn up the heat.
Bring your wort up to a boil. Control your heat and watch it closely so you don't have a boil-over. During the boil is when your hops are added. Bittering Hops are added at the beginning of boil, Flavoring Hops are added in the middle, and Aroma Hops are added near the end of the boil. Each beer recipe will differ and each addition has it's own role in your beer.