What is Beer?
What is beer?
It’s one of the most popular alcoholic drinks worldwide, enjoyed by people from all walks of life. While there are many different styles of beer, they all contain four essential ingredients: water, yeasts, grains (or malt), and hops.
Yeasts are single-celled organisms that convert fermentable sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide during the fermentation process. Brewers use over 1,500 yeast strains to achieve the specific style of beer that they want, from lager yeasts to ale yeasts and others.
Water is a major ingredient in the brewing process, and brewers often purify their water using carbon dioxide. It should be free of sulphur and chlorine and have the right amounts of calcium and acidity to make good beer.
The brewing process starts with the mashing stage, in which barley kernels are heated and then strained to collect a sugary liquid known as wort. The wort is then boiled with hops to create the flavour and aroma of the beer.
When the wort is at the desired temperature, brewers introduce yeast into the mixture, which consumes the sugars and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. The beer is then allowed to ferment for one to three weeks, during which time it’s filtered again and packaged into bottles.
The resulting beer is then shipped to stores where it’s sold to consumers. Traditionally, beer has been brewed in small, artisanal breweries, but in the 20th century this has been eroded by mass production and industrialization. There are now large, international manufacturers of commercial lagers, as well as smaller craft breweries who produce more specialized beers with distinct flavors.