How Beer Became the World’s Favourite Drink
Everywhere you go around the world you will find people drinking, and bonding over, beer. It has become the world’s favourite drink today and it is a multi-billion-pound industry, but beer also has a long history dating back thousands of years.
How is it Made?
So, how exactly is beer made? There are many different types of beer that are manufactured but all will include the same raw ingredients. This will include a cereal grain (usually barley), hops, water and brewer’s yeast. The basic process involves extracting sugar from the grains which allows the yeast can turn it into alcohol and CO2.
There are 4 main stages to making beer. The first is malting which involves harvesting and processing grains by heating, drying out and cracking. Next comes the mashing stage where the grains are steeped in hot water to activate the enzymes so that the sugars are released. The mash is then drained of water which creates wort – a sticky, sweet liquid which is like how dough is unmade bread.
Boiling comes next when the wort is boiled while hops and spices are added to the mixture. The wort is then cooled, strained and filtered and put into a fermenting vessel where yeast is added. This is when the fermentation stage happens when the beer is left for a few weeks so that the yeast absorbs all the sugar and spits out CO2 and alcohol as waste products. It is carefully monitored with tools like a refractometer from places like RS during this stage. Finally, the beer is then bottled and allowed to age after which it is ready to enjoy.
Types of Beer
There are, of course, many different types of beer which all have slightly different manufacturing processes. All beers are either categorized as a lager or ale and there are then many different types of each. A lager is a beer which is made with yeast that ferments at the bottom of the mixture while ales are made with yeast that ferments at the top.
Bottom fermenting styles of beer include pale lagers, pilsners, dark lagers and German-style bocks. Top fermenting styles of beer include pale ale, brown ale, Indian Pale Ale (IPA), stout, porter, wheat beer.
Beer is a beverage with a fascinating history and is now a multi-billion pound industry which has skyrocketed in recent times with the rise of craft breweries. It has an interesting manufacturing process and many different variations which means that there is usually a type for every taste to enjoy.