Ingredients of beer

The basis for brewing
Beer consists of more than 90% water. Large beer brewers have their own water source so that they can guarantee the quality of the water. Depending on the type of beer, this water may contain traces of minerals. The mineral salts in the water determine the acidity (pH) of the wort. And also influence the various processes during mashing such as solubility, enzyme activity, protein behavior and yield. Generally the tap water does not cause major problems for the amateur brewer. He does not necessarily need special water to be able to brew good beer.
The brewer uses malting barley for most beers. This is a barley that is specially grown for brewing beer. Brewed barley contains a lot of starch and few proteins. Other cereals such as wheat, rye and oats can also be used to brew beer. The best known is wheat, which is an important ingredient for wheat beer. Wheat beer is mainly brewed in Germany. During the brewing process, barley is soaked in water so that the barley starts to germinate and malt forms after drying of the sprouted barley. The malt provides a large part of the color and taste of a beer.
Hops is a plant, a member of the hemp family, which is considered an important raw material for the brewing process of beer. Only the hopbell is used during beer brewing. In the past, hops were mainly added to beer as a preservative, but nowadays hops mainly provide the beer’s bitter taste and aroma. During the brewing process, hops are generally boiled for an hour to an hour and a half, but they differ per beer type. The brewer uses the flowers of the female hop plant to give beer the characteristic bitter taste.
Yeast is a single-celled fungus that converts glucose into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast is therefore very important for brewing beer. Three different yeast variants can be distinguished in the brewing process, spontaneous fermentation, high fermentation and low fermentation. With spontaneous fermentation, the beers are stored in open barrels and the beer spontaneously fermentes. Because it happens in a natural way and the process is difficult to control, the beers of spontaneous fermentation are generally complex beers. Beers of high fermentation or top fermentation are beers where the fermentation takes place at a reasonably high temperature, namely between fifteen and twenty degrees Celsius. In addition, the yeast floats on the brew, hence the name high fermentation. The last variant that remains are the low fermentation or bottom fermentation beers. Bottom fermentation takes place at somewhat lower temperatures, namely between four and 12 degrees Celsius. In addition, the yeast sinks to the bottom during the fermentation process, hence the name low fermentation or bottom fermentation.

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