What goes into beer

That's why it has this taste

As we know, beer is one of the old­est al­co­holic drinks, which was known in the Ne­olith­ic era. Some be­lieve that peo­ple be­gan grow­ing grain not to make bread, but to brew beer. Sci­en­tists have found the rudi­ments of beer cul­ture among the Sume­ri­ans, in Iran, and also in An­cient Egypt. Some sources state that the Egyp­tians of­ten gave chil­dren beer at school, as they con­sid­ered it to be a healthy drink. Nowa­days, this drink is very pop­u­lar. There are dif­fer­ent types of beer: dark, light, craft, un­fil­tered, with dif­fer­ent al­co­hol con­tents etc.

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The main se­cret of de­li­cious beer is hops, and its taste qual­i­ties de­pend on the ground in which the plant grows. Pop­u­lar types of this drink are made in the Czech Re­pub­lic and Ger­many. In the Czech Re­pub­lic, the cli­mate for grow­ing hops is very suit­able – con­ti­nen­tal-ocean­ic. The soil of this coun­try con­tains a lot of iron, which makes it pos­si­ble to grow Saaz hops, which have a pleas­ant and mild taste of sweet malt with a bit­ter af­ter­taste. The beers of Ger­many are fa­mous for their tra­di­tions, and brew­ers try to pre­serve old recipes of wheat beer, which also has a pleas­ant taste. This ar­ti­cle will help you to find out about this pop­u­lar drink.

Let’s see what beer is made of

In Bavaria in the 16th cen­tu­ry, the prin­ci­ples of mak­ing this drink were es­tab­lished, ac­cord­ing to which beer was made with three in­gre­di­ents: pure wa­ter, bar­ley and hops. But the prob­lem of this recipe was that it took too long to make. Lat­er, in the 19th cen­tu­ry, Louis Pas­teur, the renowned chemist and bi­ol­o­gist, dis­cov­ered that you should add yeast to the mix­ture, which would ac­cel­er­ate the chem­i­cal process of fer­men­ta­tion.

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Pas­teur’s method of adding yeast in the man­u­fac­ture of beer is used to this day, as this im­proves the tech­no­log­i­cal process.

In most cas­es, beer is made up of six com­po­nents, which are

  • wa­ter;
  • ethyl al­co­hol;
  • yeast;
  • hops;
  • malt;
  • sug­ar.

The ba­sis of beer is wa­ter, and a lot of it is used, as the wa­ter con­tent of beer is more than 90%. So the wa­ter should be of high qual­i­ty, with a large de­gree of fil­tra­tion. The hard­ness or soft­ness of wa­ter in­flu­ences the tech­nol­o­gy of mak­ing this drink in gen­er­al. Wa­ter is hard if it con­tains a large con­cen­tra­tion of cal­ci­um, mag­ne­sium, and iron salts. Here you’ll find out how to de­tect and de­mote (if need­ed) the wa­ter hard­ness at home.

In us­ing soft wa­ter, beer of light types is made, and when the drink is made with hard wa­ter, fried hops are added, and thus dark beer is made. You can pre­pare the al­co­holic drink at home and ob­serve the chem­i­cal process which takes place dur­ing the brew­ing process.

The chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion of beer

Beer is a nat­u­ral drink con­tain­ing al­co­hol, the chem­i­cal com­po­nents of which form through the nat­u­ral fer­men­ta­tion of the mix­ture. The main com­po­nent of beer is or­di­nary ethyl al­co­hol, a monoatom­ic al­co­hol with the for­mu­la C₂H₅OH, which is the main ac­tive com­po­nent of al­co­holic bev­er­ages.

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The al­co­hol cre­at­ed in fer­men­ta­tion adds calo­ries to the drink. There are also a lot of car­bo­hy­drates in beer, 90% of which are dex­trins (a polysac­cha­ride ob­tained from starch). Beer also con­tains fruc­tose, su­crose, glu­cose, polysac­cha­rides, pectin, polypep­tides, amino acids etc. You also shouldn’t for­get that the drink con­tains vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, but drink­ing beer ev­ery day is not rec­om­mend­ed.