Beer is not just a beverage in the bottle or glass. It is an emotion for the beer enthusiast, a witness of many precious moments, a therapy against a long exhausting day, and a pleasant relaxation component.
While there are so many emotions and happiness revolving around this great drink, ever wonder what is in your beer? You perhaps think that there might be a combination of numerous components in beer. But in reality, it is a combination of a few main ingredients. The use of fruits and additive flavours are also visible in some styles, but they are rare.
Main ingredients that make up modern beer brewing supplies
Water is the most important and main ingredient of beer production. The water content percentage is around 90 to 95 percent in a single brewed beer. Other ingredients get mixed with the beer step by step. The quality of water also plays a crucial role in the finished product. Water can be soft or hard, and calcium levels vary depending on the local area supplies.
Therefore, the fluctuation of minerals and PHP balance can negatively affect the taste as yeast requires a tiny amount of calcium and iron to survive. In this matter, the brewer should be extra careful with their local water supplies. As a simple solution, beer brewers can enable a water supply that remains unchanged and consistent.
Grain is the next essential ingredient in beer production. It provides colour, extracts the maltose flavour, and sources sugar that interacts with the yeast. Malted Barley is the most common and popular grain used by brewers. It is the primary source of sugar that does the final wonder into beer.
Besides, malted barley has high starch content - an essential catalyst to convert the sugar and protein into starch needed in fermentation. After harvesting, grain needs to soak in water for a different time frame to prepare the starch. The starch processing is called germination and firmly produces the necessary sugar.
Finally, the process gets stopped by heat - making the barley roasted. Skilled brewers use these roasting grains to change the colour and flavour. More so, the husk of the barley that plays the role of the natural filter while mashing is a bonus to add.
Apart from the barley, other grains like rice, corn, wheat, oats, rye, and sorghum are also used for brewing beer, although they are used as sub-ingredients of barley for different styles.
In general words, modern beer brewing is not possible without adding hops. Beer without hops is way sweeter to taste while adding it makes beer taste bitter. Hops are a type of flower acquired from hop plants, which come in a small bud shape that adds the overall spark to the final product. It is possible to add hops in both wet and dried ways.
Hops appear in three different forms: whole concentrated and pellet and mainly provide bitterness, boldness, stability, and flavour. You can add hops before the boiling to get the unchanged bitterness in taste at the end or right in the middle of fermentation. Hops taste prominently in the two most popular beer styles - Pale Ale and India Pale Ale (IPA).
Yeast helps to get the perfect fermentation. Although people crafted beers way before the introduction of yeast, it is now almost fundamental to most brewer's beer brewing supplies. In biological terms, yeast is a living fungus that necessarily doesn't require sunlight to survive.
While fermenting, yeast's job is to convert the necessary sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol content. Yeast typically does not contribute much to the flavour and taste of beer, but the beer will fall flat without it. Choosing the flocculated yeast stains will be perfect for getting the crystal-clear beer.
Brewers mainly use two types of yeast: Ale yeast and Lager yeast. Ale yeast requires a warm temperature while fermenting and is placed on the top of the vessel. On the contrary, Lager yeast needs to ferment under lower temperatures where it drops in the bottom.
While lager provides lighter and crispy flavour, Ale brings bold and fruity notes. However, how the beer brewer controls the production environment often influences the yeast's effectiveness.
As we drink our beer with eyes first, the presentation plays a crucial role in beer brewing. Therefore, you will never want your beer to be cloudy and hazy. After completing the fermentation, it is time to clear the beer.
There are a variety of fining agents available in the market. The most common fining agents are Irish Moss, whir flock, gelatin, isinglass, poly gel, etc. The fining agents come in two different forms: You can choose other fining agents depending on your beer style to get the maximum clarity.
Clarifying chemicals contain large molecules which cause a positive charge. The positively charged create an alignment with negatively charged proteins and tannins- leaving them at the bottom of the vessel while fermenting.
There are a variety of ways for adding fining agents. A popular way is to add it at the end of boiling. In this way, it is best to add as soon as the boiling gets finished. Otherwise, you can also add it while fermenting, where it can take some time to settle. In this case, the more appropriate way of adding clarifying agents is to add them a few days before bottling.
It's nice to learn about beer ingredients and the chemicals we drink with them. It could make you star in the bar, at least. When you know what's in your beer, the taste of the drinks may increase, too! Hence, the best way to know what's in your beer is by making your batch, as nothing can beat the benefit of practical experience.
By the way, are you attempting to be a homebrewer or craving to have your batch of self-crafted beer? If so, we recommend you visit aeb-group.com to get the best beer brewing supplies effortlessly.
Did you know there is a whole art of making soju and beer in Korea? Check out our guide on how to prepare Korean soju bomb, somaek and somaekcol!