This wonderful libation has been quenching the masses for centuries and yet most of us admit to knowing very little about the brewing process. Well if a visit to a brewery is not in your near future this article will at least get your on your way to knowing more about one of North America’s favorite beverages.
There are two main families of Beer: Ales and Lagers.
Ales are top fermented and require much less conditioning time than lager. Ales are generally brewed at higher temperatures (between 15 – 24C or 60 – 75F) at these temperatures the yeast will produce a significant amount of esters and aromatic flavors in the ale. This will tend to give Ales “fruity” or floral compounds. Ales tend to be slightly sweeter than Lagers. Some Styles of Ales include but are not limited to, Stout, Barley Wine, Best Bitter and Albier.
Lagers are Bottom fermented and require much more conditioning time than Ales. Lagers are the most commonly consumed of the two families. Lager undergoes a primary fermentation at 7 – 12C or 45 – 55F then it will undergo a secondary phase or the “lagering” phase at 0 – 4 C or 30 – 40 F. This secondary fermentation will clarify and mellow the brew. The cooler temperatures will inhibit some the byproducts associated with brewing to give lagers a crisper taste than Ales. Some familiar styles of Lager are Pilsners and Bock.
Of course to start the brewing process we need to have a few vital ingredients:
Hops are derived from the cone of the Humulus Lupulus plant. Hops were originally added to beer as a preservative. It is now mainly used for its bitterness and aroma. The bitterness of the hops will generally balance the sweetness of the malt. The bitterness of commercially brewed hops is measured on the international bitterness unit scale and other than beer production, there is very little in the way of commercial uses for Hops themselves.
Barley is a cultivated cereal and is major food and animal feed crop. It is heartier than wheat and will thrive in cold temperatures. It was used by the ancient Egyptians for bread and of course beer. The Barley that is used for today’s beer production is malted barley. A process where the cereal grains are forced to germinate and are then quickly dried before the plant develops. This malting process allows the enzymes to convert the cereal grains starches to sugars, most notably of course in Barley.
Water is the primary ingredient to beer and when heated becomes known as the brewing liquid. Different water from different regions will affect the beers taste due to mineralization. Hard water is generally used for production of darker beers such as Stouts and Ales while soft water is better suited for Light beer production such as pilsners or lagers.
Yeast is a microorganism responsible for fermentation. It interacts with the Starches and sugars of Malt barley to create alcohol and carbon dioxide. Before 1876 and Louis Pasteur’s discovery of the single yeast cell, the fermentation process with yeast was a natural occurrence, hence the localized flavors of different regions being affected by the different naturally born yeasts. Now that Science has controlled the formation of yeast it can be broken into 2 main strains. Ale yeast (top Fermenting) or Lager Yeast (bottom Fermenting)
Brewing beer has become a scientific process of late with several variations, filtering characteristics and flavorings but the process itself is a simple five step constant of Mashing, Sparging, Boiling, Fermentation and Packaging.
Mashing is the first process in brewing. The barley grains are crushed and soaked in warm water creating a malt extract. This extract is kept at a constant temperature to allow the enzymes to convert the starches of the grain into sugars.
Sparging is where water is filtered through the mash to dissolve the sugars inside. The result is a dark, sugar heavy liquid called Wort.
During the boiling process, the wort is boiled along with other ingredients, excluding yeast, to kill any microorganisms and release excess water from the brew. Hops are added at some point in this process.
Fermentation then takes place. The Yeast, either Ale or Lager yeast is added to the mix and the beer is then allowed to settle. This is called the primary fermentation process. There can be a second fermentation process but many breweries may simply filter off the yeast at this point.
Packaging the beer is the next step. Beer at this point will have alcohol but very little in the way of Carbon Dioxide. Many large scale breweries will infuse CO2 into the beer through the keg or bottling process. Smaller breweries or craft breweries may add residual sugars or small amounts of yeast to the bottles or kegs to produce a natural carbonization process. This is called Cask or Bottle fermented beer. No matter what process the brewery takes, all beer eventually ends up in steel kegs, bottles, cans and sometimes casks.
Although you now know the beer brewing process iside-out, the proper packaging of this libation has created much debate over whether beer is fresher when bottled or left in a keg.
The answer: A KEG.
The keg captures beer directly from the brewery and is kept refrigerated during transportation to your local pub!
Bottles on the otherhand are transported by unrefrigerated trucks and left on shelves where the beer is exposed to enough light that will inevitably have an affect on taste!
Beer can be generally described as a fermented malt beverage. The word beer is derived from the Latin word ‘bibere’ meaning ‘to drink’. Gilgamesh Epic, which is one of the first great works of world literature, mentions the significance of beer. Beer has always played a significant role in many cultures through the history, though its influence on these cultures is not mostly recognized. It’s amazing that the same beverage that the Samarians prepared 6000 years ago still has an important place in modern day society. This Article will give an outline of the history of beer for those are interested to read about it.
The Samarians from Mesopotamia were the first nation to brew beer. They named it as “Divine Drink” and prepared it to be presented to their gods. The earliest record of beer is a 6000 year old Samarian tablet that showed a group of people drinking from a communal bowl using reed straws.
The civilization of the Babylonians that’s coming from the Samarians and thereafter formulated the art of brewing beer.
They were capable of brewing 20 different types of beer. Master brewers were extremely reputable members of the society, and there is a clay tablet, 4000 year old to show this. These Babylonian master brewers were women as well as priestesses. Some types of beer were set-aside solely for temple ceremonies. In 2100 BC Hammurabi, the 6th King of Babylonia, made the first written laws and there was a law for the daily beer portion based on the people’s social class. During this time, beer could not be sold, it was used for trade. King Hammurabi commanded a saloon keeper to be killed by drowning because he has accepted money for beer.
There is a special writing for “brewer”; this displays the value of beer in the ancient Egyptian society.
The Egyptians used to assemble in a “house of beer” in the evenings, and it was an crucial part the meals of the royal family and peasants. Beer was also utilized as a medicine. Beer was also used as a gift to the gods. Beer is also cited in the “Book of the Dead”, and many other Egyptian wall hangings.
The common belief is that the Egyptians taught the Greeks how to brew beer. Beer was essential to the Greeks. And then Greeks taught the Romans how to brew beer, and Romans taught the savage tribes in Britain the same.
From the Romans beer brewing was passed to the Celtic and Teutonic peoples of Britain and central Europe. But beer did not acquire its respect until the Christian monasteries started to brew and modify it.
In medieval period of time beer was was thought to be a “food-drink” and it was mainly brewed by women, since women were the cooks. And they were known as “ale-wives” because they brewed beer. They used to learn the brewing from the monks, and the monks had discovered the top-quality beer brewing methods. There wee lots of things woven around beer or the “ale”. For example, those days brides used to frequently sell ale to raise money for the wedding, thus the word “bride-ale”, or “bridal”.
Beer evolved into what it is today through industrial revolutions and the continued improvement of the same civilizations that brought it through the medieval period of time.
Larry Steevan is PR Manager at Micro Beer Club. Micro Beer Club is the best beer club in Australia for monthly subscriptions. They offer many best Australian beers and best beer brands in the world such as Murray’s Punch & Judy, Holgate Temptress, Dalgety Strong Ale, Beard + Brau Golden Paw, Boatrocker Hoppbier, Sweetwater Weissbier, Tooborac Hotel Stonemasons Pale Ale, Red Duck Loch Ness, Redoak English Bitter, Badlands Pale Ale. Many Monthly Beer Promotions are available
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Question by Weatherman: Is Bud Light the world’s best selling beer because it’s the best?
It’s a little too tough for me to handle but if it is the best seller do you think I could handle it some day?
Answer by Milkman
No not even close. It’s cheap and has great advertising that’s why it’s the “best” seller. (I haven’t seen the actual numbers) IMHO Miller Light is 100X better. But I still only drink it as a last resort.
What do you think? Answer below!
Article by Floyd P. Dietz
Beer has been around for centuries and for sure this beverage will continue to be with us for other millennia to come. The secret behind a beer’s taste does not only revolve in the ingredients a brewer uses but also in the type of the beer bottle it is stored, hence picking for the right beer bottles for home brewing is one of the things every home brewer must know.Where to Get Them
Beer bottles for home brewing is available in the internet, in the surplus stores, in the rummage sales and even in your neighborhood’s garage – they are practically everywhere. Since we are talking here about glass beer bottles that do not decompose, all you need to do is to sterilize them for a couple of time to make sure they are free from any microorganisms, and then they are ready to go!
But if you are the type who brewed beer for a particular occasion and would want to get customized glass beer bottles for home brewing then, the internet is where you should be. There are numerous stores that sell customized beer bottles at different shapes, color and even sold with attached capping machines to put on some home brewing beer bottle tops. You can start checking out beer drinking blogs in order to have idea where these trusted dealers are.
Beer Bottle Color
Beer bottles for home brewing, just like other types of beer bottles should either be dark brown or dark green in color. This is so to prevent ultraviolet beer degradation to occur, since it was out that light changes beer taste. It might be an interest though that some beer bottles are clear, similar to some best-selling beer found in the market – but these beers are constantly kept in dark cupboards perhaps for the same reason of not letting light damage the original beer taste.
Beer Bottle Size
This is entirely based on your preference, but paying attention to the size of your beer bottle for home brewing can save you from the hassle of decanting the yeast or other precipitated ingredients that may settle at the bottom of your beer bottle if they are too big – hey, you can not simply shake the bottle to mix them up. Moreover, the beer bottle size should just be enough for you to drink it bottoms up, since if there is much beer left, chances are they go to waste for drinking them after resealing may not taste as excellently as the first time it was opened.
Question by jungle.boogie: What was the best selling beer in 2008?
I’m wondering where PBR may have ranked. But a top 5 or something would be helpful.
Answer by Anthony N
Holy – does anyone do their own research anymore??? For the record, this took approximately 30 seconds to google. I queried “top selling beers of 2008″
1. Bud Light
3. Miller Lite
4. Coors Light
5. Corona Extra
6. Natural Light
8. Michelob Ultra Light
9. Busch Light
10. Miller High Life
Give your answer to this question below!