Showing posts with label Beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beer. Show all posts

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Getting that First Batch of BEER BREWING

English: Pabst Malt Extract - 1897
Pabst Malt Extract - 1897  - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Beer is such a popular beverage because it has such a deep earthy flavor and because the variety of flavors, brands, colors and textures of beers is so diverse that you can explore a new brew each and every time you want a beer and never get bored. And yet most of us pretty much settle on one taste and stick with it. That is until we discover brewpubs. That is when our eyes are opened to the idea that we don’t have to depend on Budweiser and Miller for good beer. It can be made right at home.

Some of the finest beers you could hope to taste are not made in the big commercial factories but in small brewpubs all around the country. So if you have discovered some particularly flavorful home-brewed beers, it isn't long before you might decide to take a stab at brewing a batch yourself. Be careful because once you start experimenting with brewing your own beer, you may become hooked into an addictive hobby that will provide hours of fun as you tinker with your recipes, get new and better equipment and become a true beer expert in brewing your own custom blends for the best-flavored beer.

But it all starts with that very first batch. You might approach that moment when you decide to make your first batch of beer with some fear and trembling. But keep your spirit of adventure and experimentation because, after all, if you bought good equipment, you will get the hang of it. As the wise man said, that the journey of a hundred miles begins with the first step. So too your journey toward becoming a master brewer starts with your first batch.

The process of brewing that first batch is pretty simple actually. Here are the steps to go through to get your first brew underway.

. Gather the ingredients to have them on hand as you step through the brewing process. You don’t' want to have to stop and go dig something up so have them ready to go when they are added in as the brewing process is underway.

. It all starts with water. One gallon of good water will do. You don't need specialty water as tap water in most areas of the country does well due to a good combination of minerals that actually makes the beer taste better. So get a gallon of water boiling in a large pot capable of holding 2-3 gallons of water. You need that extra space for adding ingredients.

. The first ingredient to add to the boiling water is the brewing yeast that you bought just for this purpose. The yeast will have specific instructions but in essence, you will mix the yeast with piping hot tap water and stir it in a separate pot or pan until it becomes a thick paste.

. You can prepare the yeast while the water boils and when it's ready, add the mixture to the water.

. Once the yeast is mixed in well, add the malt extract that you bought for this brewing process. Make sure the malt is mixed in well and dissolved before moving on.

. Hops will come as pellets when you bought them from the supplier so add them when the water is boiling again and allow the entire mixture to boil for another five minutes.

. During this preparation time, get your fermenting equipment sanitized and ready to go. As the brewing process approaches completion, fill the fermenter about three-quarters full with cold water from the tap.

. The strong beer you have boiled is called the "wort" which is now ready for fermenting. Pour the hot wort into the cold water in the fermenter. What you are looking for is an end result of five gallons of the mixture in the fermenter so if you don't find you are at that level, add more water.

The brewing process is done and you can follow the directions for fermenting that are provided with the equipment or that you learn from other resources about the fine art of fermenting beer. Now it's just a matter of letting nature do what it does to ferment your beer. Enjoy the anticipation as you allow the fermenting to continue and then enjoy the flavor of your very own first batch of home-brewed beer.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Going to the Source to Learn HOME BREWING

Photo: Wikimedia
The time between when it first dawns on you that you could start learning to brew your own beer at home and when you actually take a stab at it is often a long one.  For one thing, it takes a pretty significant learning curve to even begin to visualize that it possible to make beer at home.  Oh, you may have heard about home breweries but to think of doing it in your own home setting is a leap of understanding that takes some time to get through.

The internet is often a source of information that we go to start learning more about a new area of life like home brewing.  Perhaps that is how you found this article and that’s good.  That means you are off on the right foot and using free information from people who have already learned a few things about brewing at home to get your orientation to what it would take for you to learn to brew your own beer at home.

As often happens with any new area of interest, if your fascination with how to brew beer at home starts to get some momentum, it’s a good way to go to log on to the major homebrewing websites and begin to get oriented to the methods, the equipment and the process of brewing beer at home.  Do be aware that some of these sites get very technical and it's easy to get intimidated.

But if you can just get an understanding about the equipment and the ingredients and some basic ideas of how the process would go if you were the one doing the brewing, that is a good start.  Because online articles and websites mix expert knowledge with newcomers orientation, if you do stumble into a section of those sites that you don’t understand, just surf on to pages that are intended to help you where you are and understand that when you get to that level that that technical sophistication, you can always come back to these pages.  Just build a good bookmark library because it will serve you well.

But to pick up speed on learning the real details of what brewing is all about, you don’t have to depend just on reading or books.  Because brewing beer in your own home is more than just book knowledge, it is handling of equipment and ingredients, the more direct exposure you can get to the brewing process, the better.  But it is also very likely that you developed your interest in home brewing while enjoying a good brew at your local brewpub.  Most towns have brewpubs where homemade beers are sold in just about every flavor, colorant texture.  Many times these brewpubs grew up out of a home brewing hobby that just got bigger and bigger until it became an enterprise and a money-making business

That is why most brewpub owners are more than happy to give tours and lessons in home brewing.  This is probably some of the most value exposure you can get to how the process of home brewing works.  By walking through a brewery where the beer you make is made, you can step through the process to get a feel for how you will proceed.  You can see the boiling pots, how the strainers are used and the filters and fertilizers and everything that is needed to take beer from raw materials to the finished state of a fine brewed beer.  In fact, with a little charm and by working for free, you may be able to apprentice in the brewpub making beer.  This time will be tremendously valuable to you to help you learn the ropes of making your own beer.

You combine this hands-on knowledge with what you are learning online and from other training sources along with what you can learn by networking with other experienced home brewers and you have a powerful source of knowledge that will pay you well when you start making your home beer yourself.  And that knowledge will result in some great tasting beers from your kitchen so you will be glad you took the time to learn all you can before taking the plunge.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Discover The Benefits Of Home Brewing With Hydrogen Cells

Photo: Wikimedia
Visualize if George Jetson had his own microbrewery; what would it be like?  Would the look be lustrous and space-like?  How much superior and rapid could it would it operate? How about the formidable S.S. Enterprise?  Can you just comprehend Captain Kirk or Captain Picard enjoying a pint of their own galactic beverage? As well as what would provide power to the machine making such incredible homebrews?  Hydrogen cells are creating waves and news as well as the whole lot in between on a planet where shortages of energy are not about economical folklore.

What exactly is a hydrogen cell? What does home brewing have in common with energy conservation anyway?  Hydrogen cells are a class of fuel cell, which is, on the whole, an energy conservation device. Fuel cells deliver their own energy, almost always wit the service of a specific source of fuel and an oxidant. Hydrogen acts as the primary source of fuel and oxygen act as the oxidant.

Breweries want engine capacity to manufacture their ales and lagers, and in reality cannot be lacking power at any time. That is where hydrogen fuel cells play an important role; they keep the energy flowing.  And being able to "make" energy at home is pretty darn cool. It also helps you being both energy conscious and pretty cost conscious.  You might even grace the covers of some magazines.

What can hydrogen cells be used for? Currently, they can be looked at as especially useful support generators of sorts. Scores of companies, including several respected breweries are looking to fuel cells as a means to be extra self-sufficient as far as energy is concerned.  This could be excellent news for the future of making beer as a hobby; home breweries running on hydrogen cells.  There would be significant reductions in energy usage.

Can hydrogen cells help home breweries?  The hope for persons investigating fuel cells is that every individual will be able to exploit most of the advantages that this invention has to offer.  You would be able to provide electricity to so much, from your microbrewery to each electrical device in your home by reducing your energy consumption.  

There is a general shortage of information on the likely applications of hydrogen fuel cells. Even as some are using fuel cells, the level of what they have got to offer is still being studied.  The Sierra Nevada Brewery is using molten carbonate fuel cells and is projecting a reduction of more than $400,000 a year in energy expenditure.

Friday, September 28, 2018

The History of the Beer Glass

Beer Glasses Collection - Photo: Wikipedia
It is well known that beer has been with mankind for a long time. As beer itself changed, expanded, and improved, so did the way in which we actually got the beer to our mouths. The earlier vessels man used for drinking included earthenware, pottery, carved out wood, and even sewn-together pieces of leather. As time went on, a man saw small improvements in the quality of their beer glasses. Early Europeans living during the time of the Bubonic plague saw the creation of beer steins, which had an enclosed top on the steins to keep flies from landing in the brew and getting the person sick. 

The development of glass may have been the most important aspect of the way beer glasses are made today. As beer glasses became more and more popular, consumers could actually see what they were drinking and demanded a lighter and more appealing look as well as taste. This led to the filtration of beers; people no longer wanted the coarse chunks that were often found in the earlier beers of the breweries. With this new, more aesthetically pleasing wave of beer glasses, it seemed like beer steins were on the way out.

The development of glassware continued and produced a variety of beer glasses for all kinds of different beers. The most popular in the United States is the 16-ounce pint glass. It was originally used to fit the top of a Martini shaker, but bartenders soon found that as the brew flowed out of the beer taps the pint glass was the perfect vessel because it allowed for some of the carbonation to be released and allowed the aroma of the beer to be more pronounced. It is also favored for its storage capabilities; pint glasses can be stacked on top of each other and stored easily upright on shelves, quickly making them a favorite with the bartenders who ended up having to wash out each glass.

A drive to get people to buy their brand of beer by earlier breweries led to some unique and groundbreaking moves on the marketing and promotional front. Early breweries were often prohibited to give away beer or other rewards to their customers but found that giving away beer glasses was a great way to reward customers and also to advertise for themselves. This led to the breweries producing beer glasses that were works of art unto themselves. The first were ornate and expensive; they would often have gold or silver embossed on the sides. Eventually, artists for the breweries began doing detailed etchings on the sides of the glasses or steins and even developed a method of firing enamel paint onto the beer glasses. These enameled glasses remain some of the rarest beer collectibles, even though they were made more recently than the others. Today, some of the beer collectibles and signs are worth thousands of dollars and sought out worldwide by eager collectors. Have you looked up at the top of Grandpa’s old drawer lately?

Sunday, June 3, 2018


This is a beer stein from a gift shop in Meers...
This is a beer stein from a gift shop in Meersburg.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Throughout Germany, beer is very popular with the culture. Germany contains well over 1,000 breweries, which is more than any other location in the world. All beer that is manufactured in Germany must follow the purity law, which lets manufacturers know what ingredients can and can’t be used. Basically, the only ingredients allowed to make beer in Germany are water, hops, and barley malt. 

Due to the strict purity requirements, you can easily notice German beers by their overall level of quality. They have a distinct taste, with little to no aftertaste. Some styles of German ale include Koelsch, Weizen, and Altbier. Some types of German lagers include Bock, Pilsener, Dunkel, Helles, and Maerzen. Keep in mind that the taste, aroma, and color can vary, although all can be identified as being true German beers.

The German beer Altbier is a very common dark ale, that is top fermented in the lower regions of Germany. The beer proposes a yellow color, with a taste that is rich in hops. Another ale, Rauchbier, is known to have a smoky flavor with a smoked color. These beers taste great and happen to be very popular throughout the regions of Germany.

German lagers are also very popular and happen to be popular in other areas of the world as well. Pilsener is one of the most popular and most familiar of all German beers, providing you with more hops and less malt. Pilsener can be found for sale all over the world and happens to be very popular throughout North America as well. Several bars serve it as well, as it happens to be one of the most popular dark lagers out there.

Throughout Germany, there are several different companies, produce over 4,000 different brands of beers. Some of the more well known and larger companies of north Germany are Beck, St. Pauli, Warsteiner, and Krombach. In the southern region of Germany, there are more breweries, although most of them are smaller, as they are locally owned and operated. Southern Germany also contains the Benedictine Abbey, which is one of the oldest breweries in the world. This brewery started producing beer in 1040 - very impressive indeed!

Germany is also home to Oktoberfest, which is held every year in Munich. Oktoberfest starts in late September and carries on for two weeks, ending in early October. During Oktoberfest, beer drinkers from all over the world will travel to Germany and celebrate German beers. Each and every year, over 5 million people attend the event, making it one of the biggest beer celebrations in the world.

During Oktoberfest, local breweries in Munich are the only breweries allowed to serve beer in the bigger tents. There are six breweries in total, producing a variety of different beers. By attending this yearly event, you can learn more about German beer, sample the different varieties, and enjoy the rich bold flavors that make German beer so very popular.

Due to the success, Oktoberfest gets each and every year, other cities around the world try and mimic this event. Even though they have success, their level of success isn’t near as much as the original Oktoberfest - Germany. German beers are very popular around the world, with Oktoberfest helping to prove that very claim. If you drink beer but have never experienced what beers from Germany have to offer, you really should give them a try. Once you do, you’ll quickly realize why German beers are so very popular - and why the taste simply can’t be duplicated with any other beer.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

How to Pair Cigars and Alcohol

Cigar and Alcohol - Photo: Pixabay
The cigar has long been viewed as a luxury of the rich and powerful.  Images of well-to-do men puffing on a stogie and swirling a glass of good brandy have been well documented and memorialized in films and TV.  If you are just becoming interested in cigars and would like to relax with a stogie and drink after a long day's work, here are a few tips to get you started.  

Traditionally, the cigar has been paired with a strong drink.  Popular spirits include rum, brandy, or whiskey.  Some argue that a good cigar should always be paired with a strong drink that has a hint of sweetness.  Indeed, cigar smokers have long enjoyed these popular pairings.  For years, the idea of pairing cigars with beer has gone overlooked.  But why overlook good old beer?  Recently, the trend has been to pair cigars with various varieties of beer.  It seems that as cigars have entered the mainstream, it has been democratized and popularized.  What better way to enjoy a puff of this newly popularized treat than to pair it with beer?  

 Pairing a good cigar with a good beer is not an easy feat, but when accomplished, it is well worth the effort.  Much of the pairing has to do with your experience level.  If you are a novice, you will probably need help in pairing your specific cigar with an appropriate beer.  If you have a more experienced palate, and you know what you like, you can probably make connections between certain types of cigars and beers.  

Because cigars are so strong and flavorful, one of the challenges in pairing is to find a beer that complements the intensity of most cigars.  Most cigars will pair nicely with a good barley wine or a single malt scotch.  If your cigar can be described as woody, spicy, with hints of cedar, try pairing it with a barley wine.  The fruity hint of bare wine should complement nicely with the spicy flavor of your cigar.  The combination of a spicy cigar with a slightly fruity beer can create an overall creaminess that enhances the flavors of each significantly.

If you have no clue as to what flavor combinations might work, experiment.  First, find a cigar that you enjoy.  Try to identify the characteristics that you enjoy it.  Then, find a beer whose flavors you think might 'match' or complement the cigar.  Many incredible discoveries have been made in much this same way.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Making Your BEER Crystal Clear

Beer is about a lot more than just a great tasting beverage.   The fact that a culture has grown up around the joy of making and enjoying fine beer testifies how much beer has become part of how our culture works. The drinking of the beverage is only partially about the taste of the brew itself and very much about where you have your beer, what you drink it out of, how the beer looks in the glass and who you are drinking it with.  And while you as a home made beer brewer cannot control many of those factors, you can control the quality and ambiance of the beer you make so it not only tastes great but is visually appealing as well.

English: Glas of german "Würzburger Hofbr...
Glas of German "Würzburger Hofbräu" beer, enjoy cold! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you pour a commercial beer from a bottle or a can, you may not be aware of how much those beer makers put into not just the taste but the affect of other senses have on the beer drinking experience.  The way the beer pours, the aroma as you pour it, the head that wells up in your mug and how the beer looks in the glass all are just as important as the taste itself.  The emphasis the big beer producers put on ascetics is so extreme that they even make the sound the can makes when you "pop a cold one" to be unique because they know that sound alone can prepare you to receive the taste of a great beer drinking experience.

The truth is none of that will change whether the beer itself is of high quality or is good to drink.  But visual appeal matters.  One area of visual appeal that you have some control over when making your own beer at home is clarity.  Clarity simply refers to how the beer looks in the glass.  If you can see through the beer and it is a consistent beige or amber color, that is visually appealing.  But if things are floating around in the beer, even if they are perfectly harmless byproducts of the brewing process, that can diminish how inviting your beer is to enjoy and even diminish how enjoyable the beer is to drink even if the beer itself is of high quality.

A lot of the "stuff" that floats around is beer comes from the yeast that is crucial to the fermentation process that makes beer beer.  Some yeasts are better than others about settling out of the beer during fermentation.  Another source of visible material in the beer comes from what is referred to as non-microbiological particles or NMPs which are a byproduct of the brewing process.  Again, none of these visible materials are harmful to consume nor do they reduce the value of the beer.  They just look bad and hurt the clarity of the beer which is one way beer is measured for quality.

Many of the NMPs are introduced during the initial creation of the wort which is phase one of any brewing operation.  The wort is boiled at a high temperature for a significant enough period of time to cause the proteins in the ingredients to break down and become part of the fluidity of the wort rather than remain in a substance state or a "floc" which remains visible in the finished product.  To avoid this make sure your boil sustains a temperature of 215F for 90 minutes to assure complete processing of the proteins. 

Another important brewing step that you can do to reduce visible agents in your beer is to cool the wort very quickly.  By bringing the temperature down rapidly, the clarity is vastly enhanced as is the flavor and overall quality of the beer.  The best way to accomplish such rapid cooling is to move the wort quickly from the brewing process to a very cool environment or using a specialized wort cooler to quickly bring that temperature down and eliminate many of the flocs that might be there if the cooling goes more slowly.

Seeking beer clarity can become a major passion of yours as a home brewer and there is a whole science to using clarifying agents such as Irish Moss to enhance beer clarity without diminishing beer quality or taste.  Learning good techniques for making your beer clear and appealing is just another step in your ongoing quest to become the best amateur beer making possible.  And that is a quest worth pursuing.

Monday, March 6, 2017

BEER Culture

Social context
Many social traditions and activities are very associated with drinking beer, such as playing cards, darts, or other games.  The consumption of beer in isolation and excess may be associated with people drinking away their troubles, while drinking in excess with company may be associated with binge drinking.

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.
A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around the world
All over the world, beer is consumed.  There are several breweries in the Middle East countries as well, such as Iraq and Syria.  There is also breweries in African countries and other remote countries such as Mongolia as well.

Glassware serving
Getting an appropriate beer glass is considered desirable by some drinkers.  There are some drinkers of beer that may sometimes drink out of the bottle or can, while others may choose to pour their beer into a glass.  Drinking from a bottle picks up aromas by the nose, so if a drinker wishes to appreciate the aroma of a beer, the beer is first poured into a mug, glass, or stein.

Similar to  wine, there is specialized styles of glasses for some types of beer, with some breweries producing glassware intended for their own styles of beer.  

The conditions for serving beer have a big influence on a drinker's experiences.  An important factor when drinking is the temperature - as colder temperatures will start to inhibit the chemical senses of the tongue and throat, which will narrow down the flavor profile of beer, allow certain lagers to release their crispness.

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The process of pouring will have an influence on the presentation of beer.  The flow rate from the tap, titling of the glass, and position of the pour into the glass will all affect the outcome, such as the size and longevity of the head and the turbulence of the bar as it begins to release the carbonation.

The more heavily carbonated beers such as German pilseners will need settling time before they are served, although many of them are served with the addition of the remaining yeast at the bottom to add extra color and flavor.

Beer rating
The rating of beer is a craze that combines the enjoyment of drinking beer with the hobby of collecting it.  Those that drink beer sometimes tend to record their scores and comments on various internet websites.  

This is a worldwide activity, as people in the United States will swap bottles of beer with those living in New Zealand and Russia.  The scores may then be tallied together to create lists of the most popular beers in each country as well as those throughout the world.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Brewing BEER

Beer drinkers see a pint of beer as a magical golden brew. Many have said that it's surely the Nectar of the Gods. In reality, most beers are based on a basic four-ingredient recipe, and undergo a simple brewing process before bringing joy to the parched bar patrons of the world.

A blend of milled malted barley for beer brewing
A blend of milled malted barley for beer brewing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beer is created using a basic mixture of water, hops, malted barley and yeast. Depending on the type of beer being brewed, taste enhancements such as flavourings and sugar will be added. Starches are also incorporated into the beer so that sugars will easily ferment during the brewing process. The fermented sugars add body and flavour, while increasing the alcohol content.

Beer is mainly composed of water, so the source of the water and its characteristics has an important effect on the character of the beer. Many beer styles were influenced by the characteristics of water in the region. Some beer makers claim that spring water or mountain water create their unique flavour and body. Understanding the effects of water minerals can be complex, but basically soft water is suited to light brews, where hard water is more suitable for dark beers.

Since the seventeenth century, hops have been used as a popular bittering agent in beer. Adding hops is important, as the bitterness helps to counteract the sweetness of the malts. Hops also contribute a variety of aromas ranging from herbal to citrus. The bitterness in beer is generally measured using the International Bitterness Units scale. Hops also provide an antibiotic effect that favors the activity of brewer's yeast over less desirable microorganisms.

Every beer requires malt in its basic recipe. Brew masters can choose to use malted oats, rye, wheat or rice, but malted barley is most commonly used. Malted barley has high amylase content, and a digestive enzyme that helps break the starches down into sugars. The choice of malts depends heavily on what grains are cultivated locally. To create malt the grains are soaked in water, allowed to germinate, then dried in a kilt. As grain is malted, naturally occurring enzymes work to gradually convert starches into fermentable sugars.

Yeast is a living microorganism that creates fermentation. The brew master will choose from different strains of yeast, depending on the type of beer produced. Yeast helps metabolize sugars extracted from the grains, and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide as a result. Before the functions of yeast were fully understood, beers were fermented using wild or airborne yeasts. Today there is a variety of yeasts available, with ale yeast and lager yeast being most commonly used.

Clarifying agent
Many brewers prefer to add one or more clarifying agents to beer, but are not required to publish these agents as "ingredients". Isinglas, bentonite, gelatin finings and Irish moss powder are all commonly used as clarification agents. Isinglas is a gelatinous substance obtained from the swim bladders of fish, so if you're concerned about consuming animal products, be sure to ask of detailed content information from the brewer of your preferred beer.

Next time you pour yourself a cold pint, stop to consider the careful choice of ingredients and the lengthy brewing process that were involved in creating your little glass of heaven. Raise a toast to your brew master, and leave your car keys at home.

Friday, April 22, 2016


The normal batch of homebrewed beer is five gallons in volume, which is enough for 2 cases, or 48 12 ounce bottle of beer.  

Homebrewing malt extracts: liquid in a can and...
Homebrewing malt extracts: liquid in a can and spray dried.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The typical homebrewed beer is produced by boiling water, malt extract and hops together in a largekettle and then cooling the resulting wort and adding yeast for fermenting.  Experienced homebrewers will make their own extract from crushed malt barley by a more complicated process of mashing the grain in boiling hot water.

With both cases, the wort is boiled for 15 min to an hour, to help remove some impurities, dissolve the character of the hops, then break down some of the sugar.  The wort is then cooled down to apitching temperature.

The cooled wort is then poured into the primary fermenter in a manner of aggression, as to aerate the wort.  Sufficient oxygen is also necessary for the yeast's growth stage.  The yeast is then put into the wort. 

The primary fermentation will take place in a large food bucket or carboy.  Sometimes it is left openbut often stoppered with the carbon dioxide gas that's produced by venting through a fermentation lock. 

The process of making microbrews takes a lot of time indeed, although you can take the necessary short cuts once you learn more about how the process works.  If this is your first time brewing, you should always use common sense and know what you are doing.

One of the best things about making your own homebrews is the fact that you can experiment with ingredients and brew your own creations.  You can brew almost anything, providing you have the right type of equipment - which can easily be found.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

BEER Ingredients

The main ingredients found in beer are water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. There are other ingredients such as flavoring, sugar, and other ingredients that are commonly used. Starches are used as well, as they convert in the mashing process to easily fermentable sugars that will help to increase the alcohol content of beer while adding body and flavor.

Seeing as how beer is mainly composed of water, the source of water and its characteristics have a very important effect on the character of the beer. A lot of beer styles were influenced by the characteristics of water in the region. Although the effect of minerals in brewing water is complex, hard water is more suited to dark styles, while soft ware is more suited to light styles.

Malted (germinated) barley for Single Malt Sco...
Malt  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Among malts, barley is the most widely used due to its high amylase content, and a digestive enzyme that facilitates the breakdown of starch into sugars. Depending on what can be cultivated locally, other malts and unmalted grains can be used, such as wheat, rice, oats, and rye.

Malt is obtained by soaking grain in water, allowing it to germinate, then drying the germinated grain in a kiln. By malting the grain, enzymes willeventually convert the starches in the grain intofermentable sugars.

Since the seventeenth century, hops have been commonly used as a bittering agent in beer. Hops help to contribute a bitterness that will balance the sweetness of the malts. They also contribute aromas which range from citrus to herbal.

Hops also provide an antibiotic effect that favors the activity of brewer's yeast over the less desirable microorganisms. The bitterness in beer is normally measured on the InternationalBitterness Units scale.

Yeast is a microorganism that's responsible for fermentation. Specific strains of yeast are chosen depending on the type of beer produced, as the two main strains are ale yeast and lager yeast, with other variations available as well.

Yeast helps to metabolise the sugars that are extracted from the grains, and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide as a result. Before the functions of yeast were understood, all fermentations were done using wild or airborne yeasts.

Clarifying agent
A lot of brewers prefer to add one or more clarifying agents to beer that aren't required to be published as ingredients. Examples include Isinglas finings, which are obtained from swim bladders of fish and Irish moss, which is a type of red alga.

Since these ingredients can be obtained from animals, those who are concerned with either the use orconsumption of animal products should obtain detailed information from the brewer.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Proper Care for Your BEER GLASSES and Steins

Pilsner Glass (Hourglass): An exaggerated shap...
Pilsner Glass (Hourglass)
(Photo credit: 
For many beer drinkers, there’s nothing better than hearing that pop that comes with cracking open a fresh beer can. But is there an even better way to enjoy our favorite beers? Of course there is, the use of beer glasses and beer steins. Drinking from beer glasses and steins has a number of advantages over drinking your favorite beer right from the bottle or can, and it seems that people the world over are realizing this more and more. A glass or stein not only improves the taste and aroma of the beer, it improves the entire beer drinking experience. When a brew flows from the beer taps, the right choice of beer glass is essential in bringing out the maximum tastiness of the beer, but how do you continue to have a great drinking experience every time once you’ve selected your ideal container?

There are a few simple things that a caring connoisseur can do to ensure that they get the most out of their beer each and every time:

1. Whatever glass you choose, use them only for beer. Residue from other drinks may stay on or in the glass, affecting the appearance and taste of the next beer. 

2. When washing beer glasses or beer steins, use hot water and a soft cloth and rinse by hand. Avoid using soap; the residue left on the glass can affect the head of the beer and therefore the taste. If you have to use soap, rub the glass with table salt to remove any soap residue and let the beer glasses or beer steins air dry before putting them up for storage.

3. When storing your glasses or steins, avoid putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. Overly chilled beer takes away from the taste by numbing the taste buds and inhibiting the full aroma to be released. A frozen glass adds to this problem by numbing the lips and mouth as the consumer drinks. It can also weaken the strength of your glasses, leading to chipped edges and lips. Then you’ll just have to throw the mugs away and get some more.

4.Avoid beer glasses that are opaque in color. The breweries carefully formulate the color of the beer and it is essential in the overall experience of drinking it. The Samuel Adams recently released a special glass that brings out the full color of their variety of flavors of beer. This is an example of how more and more people and breweries are catching on to the beer drinking experience

5. Use your own judgment and go with what you find to be your own preference. If you’ve got a sweet disposition for German beer steins, who’s to say that you won’t enjoy an American lager from it? Don’t get too caught up in the pomp of beer drinking, it doesn’t require the snobbery of being a wine connoisseur; It’s just good old beer drinking. So tip it up and enjoy a cold one every time.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dying to Drink an Awesome BEER? Go German!

;de: Kronkorken mit Aufdruck "500 Jahre M...
Kronkorken mit Aufdruck "500 Jahre Münchner Reinheitsgebot
1487 - 1987" einer Augustiner-Bierflasche
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The German people are renowned for a lot of things; one of them is brewing. Beer is a crucial piece of their legacy and civilization, with more than 1300 various breweries spread across the land. As far as per capita beer consumption, the German people are only behind the Czechs and the Irish. The history of Germanic beer spans back to the origin of the country when monks began to experiment with brewing around 1000 A.D. The country's leaders eventually began to regulate the production of beer as brewing started to be more and more profitable. The Bavarian Reinheitsgebot, or purity standard, came about in fifteen-sixteen and remains the most famous and influential aspect to effect German brewing.

The Bavarian Reinheitsgebot was ordered by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria to  ensure that Bavarian beers were only of high quality. Hops, barley, and water are the only ingredients that should go in in beer according to the regulation. The Reinheitsgebot is the oldest legislation placed on beverages in the world and has not been changed in nearly five-hundred years. The only addition to the act is the addition of yeast to the cache of essential ingredients. Manufacturers in the past before that had simply used the yeast found naturally in the air. Because of the stringent standard of quality followed by the purity requirement, Bavarian manufacturers were soon considered the best manufacturers of beer. Other breweries started to adhere to the proclamation as the prominence of the Bavarian breweries continued to rise.

German beers have a long-standing notoriety of producing quality brews made only from the purest ingredients as a result of the Reinheitsgebot. As time passed and Germany started to export beer, many cities became famous brewing spots. By fifteen-hundred, Scandinavia, Holland, England, and  as far as India mainly got their beer from one of the 600 breweries in the city of Bremen. Two more famed brewing towns were Einbeck and Braunschweig. Because of it's full-bodied flavor and right amount of head foam most modern Germans still prefer fabbier, or draft beer, over bottled beer. Used still today, German beer steins became popular around the time the purity standard came about in an effort to prevent more breakouts of the black

Drinking "Maß" of Augustiner
Drinking "Maß" of Augustiner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Germany made a lot of regulations to stop its citizens from getting ill during the time of the black plague. Large amounts of infected flies would fly in people's food and spread the disease. This led to the stein, a beverage container with a closed lid that could be used with the thumb so somebody could stop disease and still be able to drink with one hand. Beer drinking went up exponentially as people started to realize the plague spread in dirty conditions with brackish pools of water. Originally made of stoneware with pewter tops, steins grew in popularity. German beer steins started to be made entirely of pewter for nearly three-hundred years as the pewter guild grew. Still manufactured today, silver and porcelain German beer steins were eventually introduced.

More than five-thousand types of beer are made today from over thirteen-hundred and fifty breweries within Germany's borders. The oldest brewery in the world that continues operation today is the Benedictine abbey Weihenstephan, that has been producing beer since one-thousand and forty. The most concentrated area in Germany for breweries is the Franconia region of Bavaria near the city Bamberg. German breweries manufacture a wide variety of tastes and kinds of beer with the majority of them able to be placed under ales or lagers. Most beers have an alcoholic content ranging from 4.7% to 5.4% but some kinds can be as high as 12%, making them more potent than a lot of wines.