Surely you have ever wondered how beer is made and why today we can find so many varieties. In a series of articles we will try to give you a first approach to this captivating world.
For beer to be conceived, 4 main ingredients are needed: grain, hops, yeast and water. These ingredients form the basis of all recipes and each one of them plays an important part in brewing.
It is the most used element in brewing. The quality of this ingredient is extremely important since it represents up to 95% of the content of the beer. The minerals in the water can be removed by filtering and then adjusted by adding those that correspond to the desired water profile according to the requirements of the style of beer being brewed. In fact, many styles of beer are known for the water they use.
They are normally barley although other varieties are also used (wheat, oats, etc). This ingredient is practically the soul of the beer, since it provides the sugars that the yeast ferments afterwards. In addition, it provides color to the beer and contributes greatly to the flavor, aroma and final body of the product. Also, the proteins in the grain help form and maintain the head (head) in the beer.
Yeast is responsible for fermentation, the vital part of beer, which does the magic of transforming sugar into alcohol. Brewers have the task of choosing the yeast variety based on the style of beer they want to make.
There are 2 main types:
Ale yeast: Top fermentation (15-23° C)
Lager Yeast: Bottom fermentation (4-15° F)
The yeast also influences the final flavor, usually adding fruity notes, but its main job is still to convert some of the sugars that are extracted from the grain during the process into alcohol, CO2 and other derivatives.
Another very important ingredient is hops, which provides the essential bitterness to balance the beer, compensating for the sweetness of the malt. In addition to adding that bitterness, the hops also give flavor and that peculiar aroma derived from their oils. The moment in which the hops are added determines the flavor and bitterness of the beer. longer useful life as it provides antiseptics that slow down its degradation.
You already know the 4 ingredients of a beer, in future posts we will tell you in more detail the importance of each one and how the different combinations of them can generate an infinite number of different styles.