Did you know in the middle ages, people used to drink beer instead of water as it was safer? Well, what was in their beloved brewed beer, that it was considered safer than water at that time? No matter what kind of beer they are brewing, water, hops, yeast and starch source are the key ingredient in beer. Like combined power of earth, water, fire, wind and heart used to incarnate the superhero- Captain Planet, the combination of water, hops, yeast and starch source gives birth to Beer – Captain of good times. What are the roles that these basic ingredients play?
- Water – This reminds us of a song – Drink Beer, Save Water. Beer is mostly composed of water. But as the quality of water differs from place to place, the taste of beer also differs in different places. Based on the minerals found in the water of the city, quality of beer can be determined. For instance, Ireland has mostly hard water, which is perfect for Stouts and Guinness. Merci to water of Ireland for incredible gift to human civilization. And for best stouts in Bangalore, you know where to go? Murphy’s Brewhouse.
- Hops – This is the major source of flavor in beer. They are used in beer for stability and ooze out the bitter-tangy flavor. In order to balance the sweetness of the malt, hops are used. So, whether it is lagers or ales, hops are used to give you that unique taste. Without hops, we would have had to settle down for a brewed beer that tastes like wine. Scary thought!
- Yeast – Yeast is a very important ingredient in the brewing process. It helps beer in the fermentation process. Top fermenting yeast is used in ales, stouts and wheat beer. Whereas, bottom fermented beer is used in lagers. Whether it is bread or for beer, humans can never repay for that huge contribution by yeast.
- Starch source – It provides fermentable material to the beer. It is a key ingredient to determine the strength and the flavor. The most common starch source used in a beer is malted grains. And these grains are malted based on the requirement. For instance, darker malts are used for darker beers. Long Live dark beers!