What is Beer?
What is beer?
At its core, beer is an alcoholic beverage that is made from barley and hops. It also contains water, yeast and other ingredients that help make the beverage unique and tasty.
Grains provide the body and flavor profile of the beer while hops add bitterness that offsets the sweetness from the malt. Yeast is responsible for fermentation that causes the sugar in the grains to turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Yeast strains vary from region to region, and they lend different flavors and aromas to the beers that they’re used in. Brewers use a variety of grains, adjuncts (beans, corn and rice), and hops to produce a wide range of beer styles.
Malting Grain – To get the best possible flavor from barley, it must be malted before brewing. This process converts the starches in the grains into sugars that brewers can easily extract with their water.
Mashing – The next step is to mix the crushed barley kernels with hot water inside a mash tun. This is where brewers activate the enzymes in the barley that help convert the starches into sugars and dextrins.
The mash is cooled, strained and fermented with yeast. During the fermentation process, yeast consumes the sugars in the malted barley and converts them into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
There are two main types of beer – ales and lagers. Ales ferment at high temperatures for a short period of time, while lagers ferment slowly at low temperatures. This allows the yeast to settle at the base of the mash and develop flavours, resulting in a fuller, more robust beer.