Posts Tagged ‘Beer Facts’
There was a time when brewing beer was considered only a women’s work. During sometime in histroy, in ancient Egypt, there was a written law making it illegal for men to make or sell beer. Women were the brewers, bar owners and bartendes.
During the Middle Ages in ancient Europe brewing was one of a housewife’s regular tasks, just like cooking,cleaning and other houshold chores. Some of these women became famous for their great skills as brewers and started supplying to community other than their own families.
But by the start of the late 18th century and the Industrial Revolution, new methods of making beer meant women’s contribution slowly started to decline and be forgotten, until now.
Now the history seems to be repeating itself. Though the number of women involved in brewing is still a small fraction but it is increasing significantly. They are participating in the process of brewing, microbrewing and/or managing brewpubs. New flavors like strawberry and cranberry are now available keeping the women clientele in mind.
J. Wilson, who lives in Iowa,USA kept fast for 46 days and gave up all food and drink except for beer. Wilson undertook the fast with medical advice from his doctor and spiritual advice from his pastor before starting the fast.
He started the fast with four beers a day during the week and five a day on weekends. Towards the end of the fast, he increased his beer intake to five a day during the week to maintain his strength.
At the end of the fast, Wilson had lost about 25 pounds (from 160 to 135) and eased back into solid food.
Wilson is a home brewer and a blogger. He documented the each day his ‘fast journey’ in his blog – Diary of a Part-Time Monk
Beer is a fermented hop flavored, malt sugared, liquid drink. Sounds simple? However the process of making beer and ingredients used are not. Because of the length of the content, I have broken down the post in two. In this post I would be talking about the ingredients of Beer and follow it up with a post that would discuss the process of making Beer.
Ingredients of beer
The basic ingredients of Beer are water, malt, hops, and yeast. They are discussed as below:
Water: The main ingredient in Beer is water and one needs to be very careful about the water, water source that is being used in producing Beer. It must be pure, with no trace of bacteria. This is very important because only then will it allow the other ingredients to release all their flavours. Usually the minerals present in the water available varies regionally, that is why the taste of beer also used to vary in olden day as per the regions. However today we can chemically adjust, to produce the desire flavour/variety of beer.
Barley: Beer is a grain based drink. Traditionally Barley has been the main grain ingredient which went in producing Beer. However today there are alternatives like rye, maize, rice and oatmeal. Barley being a cereal and since it can be preserved for a long time after harvesting, brewers preferred its use. It is the malted barley that gives beer its characteristic color and taste. Barley is malted before being used to brew beer. Malting is a process of bringing grain to its highest point of possible soluble starch content by allowing it to sprout roots/germinate.
Hops: Humulus lupuluare is a flowering plant. Flowers of this plant are used to add flavor and aroma to balance the sweetness of the malt. They are generally dried before use. The variety of hops used, will leave its own distinct flavor\aroma.
Yeasts: To convert the sugars that are extracted from grains, into alcohol and carbon dioxide, yeast is used. Different types of Beer yeast help to give Beer its various tastes. Nowadays there are two main varieties of yeasts that are used in brewing, saccharomyces cerevisiae and saccharomyces carlsbergensis.
Certain other products are also used in the making of beer, in particular spices: Coriander, Ginger, Cloves, Sage, Fennel, Mustard seeds, Aniseed, Cinnamon etc.
So, this is all about ingredients used in beer making. In next post I shall discuss about the beer making process.
Beer is one of the world’s oldest beverages, with the history of Beer dating back to the some 6th century BC. If we talk about in number of years then it is said that Beer has been brewing for more than 8,000 years across the world and in olden days it was considered a food supplement (its true, for me too), with newer studies showing Beer is actually healthy (I knew it!).
Actually the word Beer comes from the Middle English ber(e), and from the Latin bibere meaning “to drink.” In olden days it was considered that because of its brewing process, Beer is actually safer to drink than the water or milk. That is why Beer was frequently used to mix medicines.
Beer is basically a fermented beverage principally made from four ingredients; water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. Each one of these ingredients imparts its own characteristic flavor to the finished product.
There are numerous varieties of Beer. Commercial brewing and micro brewing (also known as home brewing or pub brewing) have made these varieties.
I have always preferred Beer from Microbreweries over the commercial Beer. For me the reason is taste. The Beer is brewed fresh and it tastes just awesome!
If you are a die hard fan of Beer (just like me!). Then keep looking at this space for more and do share your stories about beer.
Hope to have Beer together someday!