Quick Recipes and Easy

Beer, You Never Look at a Pint in the Same Way Again

We all know the effects (and after-effects) of beer. But lifting a glass of cool liquid to your mouth on a scorching hot day, have you ever stopped to consider the processes and ingredients involved in making it? Well maybe not but here is the answer anyway!

Simply, beer is a fermented combination of water, barley, yeast and hops. The major variation in any beer is the type of yeast used in the fermentation process.

Let’s look at the properties of this beverage.
Water is the main ingredient of beer. In the past, the purity of the water influenced the final result and was specific to the region of the earth from which it came. Today, water is filtered of these impurities, although pure water supplies are still ideally preferred by elite brewers.

Barley malt is an extremely vital ingredient in beer as it is the main source of fermentable sugar. Many new breweries use barley malt extract, in either syrup or powder form, as this form ferments much quicker. It also contains many minerals and vitamins that help the yeast to grow.

Without yeast, beer would not exist. Yeast is a unique single cell organism that eats sugar and expels alcohol and carbon dioxide, two of the more recognizable ingredients of beer. Yeast comes in several variations, of which there are two major categories that determine the type of beer produced; Ale yeast and Lager yeast. If yeast alone were used the beer would be extremely sweet and therefore another ingredient needs to be added to reach the final product.

Hops are the flowers of the hop plant, a climbing vine plant that grows well in many differing climates. Hops contain acids which add bitterness to beer. Adding bitterness to beer helps to balance the sweetness, as well as acting as a natural preservative. Add more hops to the mixture and you will get a more bitter taste. This kind of beer is extremely well loved in Britian and is simply referred to as “Bitter” (the original names are always the best!).

Variations of these ingredients make different tasting beers as well as having an affect on the alcoholic content.
When making your own beer many excellent resources are available which provide home brewing kits. It is vital to read the ingredients of the packets in order to ascertain which has the best mixture according to your needs. One quick tip which many home brewers fail to adhere to is this: “Use fresh still water”!

I started my career as a bartender many years ago in a small pub in Ireland. My fantastic passion for the trade has given me the opportunity to travel while expanding my knowledge and experience. During my extensive travels I have worked in many different & flamboyant environments. While I gained flairing, exhibitionist and cocktail mixology skills I had the opportunity to flavour many different cultures and there differing tastes.

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