What ingredients are used to make beer? Here
I list of the main ingredients used to make
beer. Other ingredients can and are used
depending on the type of beer you brew.
Water - Water
makes up about 90% of beer. Today water
chemistry can be changed and water can be
purchased at your local grocery store, but in the
past many beers has unique flavor depending on
what part of the world the beer was made, in part
due to the water from that region.
Barley - Barley
is a cereal grain that is not particularly good
for making bread, but excellent for beer.
Many types of barley are used from Two, Four and
Six Row barley. Two-row has a higher starch
to husk ratio, while Six-row has a higher
concentration of enzymes and is more
economical. Barley must be processed into
malt before it can be used to make beer.
done by soaking the grain, which causes the grain
to start germinating. When rootlets begin to
sprout the grain is dried, crushed and
roasted. The roasting step stops the
germination process, leaving needed enzymes active
and plays a large part in determining the color
and flavor of the final product.
Hops - Humulus
also known as hops are a flowering vine which
produce pine-cone like flowers that was once used
as a preservative for beer (so I have been
told). Today we mainly use hops for the
resins and essential oils located in there lupulin
glands which add flavor (bittering) and aroma.
The bittering comes from boiling the hops
and can be distinctive depending on which hop
variety is used and how long you boil them.
The aroma hops are used for aroma and are added
during the end or after the boil. Hops help
balance the sweetness of the malt. Many home
brewers try to grow there own hops since they are
fairly easy to grow. Hops are usually dried
before use. Most hops in the U.S are grown in
Yakima Valley in Washington.
Yeast - Eat,
belch and sleep, that's the hard life of
yeast.. Yeast is one of the most important
parts of brewing beer. This unicellular fungi,
is what converts the sugars of the wort into CO2 and
alcohol. In the process the yeast can also add
characteristic flavors to the beer. These
flavors can be due to the particular yeast strain
that you use or the temperature that you ferment the
beer. Many home brewers have also started
culturing there own yeast for economic reasons and
because it can be fun. The more you know about
yeast strains and how they are cultured the better
and can only improve your beer making.