Summer is heating up, and while we’re trying to stay cool in the taproom, the crew in the back is continuing to brew up plenty of delicious options for us. Somehow July is upon us and something - not just allergies - is in the air. So, it seems like the perfect time to take a crash course on what is in the beer! There are four main ingredients: water, hops, malt, & yeast.
An easy peasy ingredient, but one that can be manipulated to enhance certain flavors or to mimic qualities from regions around the world!
The flavor queen (or king). In addition to plenty of flavor and aroma, hops contribute bitterness, and they also help in preserving the beer!
Usually malted barley, but many other grains are used: wheat, corn, rice, rye, etc. Malt gives beer all of its color, and adds a touch of flavor (bread, toast, roast, coffee, chocolate). The magic of malt is in the sugars that are extracted during the mash. There is no beer without barley!
A final step in the brewing process is adding yeast for fermentation. Either ale or lager yeast is used, and it eats up the sugars that are extracted from the malt. Ale yeast is a fast & furious worker, and ferments at higher temperatures; lager yeast takes its time and chills at lower temperatures which leads to a crisp, clean finish.