Beer is an alcoholic and carbonated beverage that is fermented from ingredients such as water, malt, and hops. The addition of yeast triggers the fermentation process in a controlled manner.
In a broader sense, beer is understood to mean any alcoholic beverage produced on the basis of saccharified starch without the use of a distillation process. The difference with wine is that wine uses sugar from plants (fructose) or animal sources (such as honey), while beer is always made of starch.
Generally, sugar is obtained from the starch of grains (barley, rice, wheat, corn), and less from other vegetables such as potatoes or peas. According to this definition, Japanese sake made from rice is also a beer beverage. Barley contains many natural enzymes that can support the conversion of starch into fermentable maltose. For other starch suppliers, these must be added first.
The origin of the word beer is uncertain. People believe it comes from the Latin word "bibere" to drink (in a hurry) or from "bibo" = "I drink". However, in the materials of the early Middle Ages, the word "cerevisia" is often used, which is derived from the name of the field crop goddess Ceres, which can also be translated as "barley or grain juice"
Hops give beer sour and bitter taste, extend shelf life and stabilize foam. In addition, the addition of hops makes the beer have a relaxing effect. Only female, unfertilized hop cones are used to brew beer. The largest hop growing area in the world is Hallertau in Bavaria.
Malt is made from barley, wheat or rye. In the malting barn, the grains are germinated by adding water and then dried (drying).
In the beginning, malt was the raw material of good beer, good brewed barley, and wheat beer was also a special brewed wheat. Varieties that sprout particularly well are suitable for brewing grains. Freshly harvested grains are stored in the malting barn and germinate after dormancy. To do this, the barley is washed, sorted, and then soaked in a large container for one to two days. Water awakens new life in grains. Then the malt manufacturer lets it germinate in a special germination box.
During the germination process, several processes occur in grains: root formation, leaves begin to grow, vitamins and enzymes are produced, and most importantly, insoluble starch is converted to soluble starch. Because starch is actually the nutrition of seedlings that should grow now.
But the malt manufacturer will intervene in this process and dry the so-called green malt at a temperature of around 85° to 100° Celsius. This process is called "drying." The higher the temperature, the darker the malt color. Dark malt produces dark beer, while light malt produces pale beer. Malting has a decisive influence on the characteristics, taste and color of beer, as well as foam and shelf life.
Then the malt came to the brewery. Here, it is ground in a large mill and mixed with water in a mashing bucket. The water must be pure, soft and neutral in taste. Brewers call it mashing. Then the mash is gradually heated to different temperatures over a period of two to four hours. At a certain temperature, the enzymes contained in the malt will be activated. These enzymes convert existing starch into maltose and protein into amino acids. In the filter barrel, the (liquid) wort in which the maltose is dissolved is separated from the solid content of the malt. This residue, the so-called grain, is used as valuable animal feed.
Raw wort describes the proportion of substances dissolved from the malt in the still unfermented wort. These are mainly maltose, protein, vitamins and minerals. During the fermentation process, with the help of yeast, about one-third of alcohol and one-third of carbonic acid are produced. One third of the remaining extract is not fermented. The higher the original wort content, the stronger the beer.
|Bottom fermented beer|
The bottom fermenting yeast requires a lower temperature than the top fermenting yeast, and settles on the bottom of the fermentation vessel after fermentation. In the past, they could only be used in areas where enough ice could be spread in winter to ensure adequate cooling even in the warm season. The successful development of bottom-fermented beer began with the invention of the freezer.
Copper fermentation tank
With the help of the latest technology, it is a complicated process to produce high-quality beer in a natural way using traditional manual methods. Brewing beer used to be an art!
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