What is Beer?
What is beer?
Brewing is the process that transforms water, grain (most commonly barley and wheat, although other grains can also be used), hops and yeast into the delicious drink that so many love. Unlike wine and cider, which are simply fermented from fruits or their skins, beer is made with ingredients that are added to the brewing process individually.
Malted barley is one of the main ingredients in beer, which provides the sugars that yeast eats and turns into alcohol. Other grains are called adjuncts and can add flavor or texture to the beer.
Hops, which have been in use for a thousand years, are another important ingredient. Where the hops are grown and when they’re used influence the aroma and flavour of the brew.
Yeast, like the yeast in bread dough, eats the sugars in barley and turns them into alcohol. Different strains of yeast will create different flavors and styles of beer.
Beer is brewed using a number of processes, from extract brewing to partial mash and all-grain brews. All involve heating water with grain, boiling the mixture, cooling it, adding hops and finally letting it ferment to create the liquid base of the beer known as wort.
There are a few common styles of beer including lagers, ales and wheat beers. The way that they are brewed differs significantly, with lagers fermenting from the bottom of the wort at cooler temperatures and ales fermenting top up and from a warmer environment.