Brewing is hard work. There are no easy sun-filled days of dancing in woven baskets. The brewer must work to loosen its grip on the essential beer making ingredients – sugar. Anyone who seeks to create an alcoholic beverage must have sugar to ferment. There are many details along the way that will determine how the beer will turn out. Every journey must begin with a single step; and when it comes to beer, that first step is preparing the essential beer making ingredients, which is malting the barley.
Malted barley, also known simply as malt, is barley seed that has been steeped in water until it starts to sprout, and then dried out in a kiln. For the brewer, barley has special gifts that other grains cannot offer. Its hard husk, low protein content and high starch contents all making a more suitable beer making ingredient.
From the beginning of the malting process, differences in moisture content, barley variety, and kilning temperatures and times are crucial and result in different varieties of malt. Every variety has a flavor, a color, an aroma, and a purpose. Malt is still the first beer making ingredient we are talking about.
The second essential beer making ingredient is hops. Most people seem to know that beer contains hops. In fact, most people seem to think that hops are the main beer making ingredients and that perhaps hops are grains. Actually, hop is a flower. It lends natural preservatives qualities to the finished beer and provides bitterness plus a range of flavors and aromas. Essentially, it acts as a spice. The bitterness of the hop is the backbone of the beer.
Yeast is another beer making ingredient. The right yeast will produce the right flavors. In many respects, the yeast can be rightly said to be the single most important beer making ingredient the brewer selects. Centuries ago, before brewers learned what yeast truly was, beer was allowed to ferment spontaneously.
The last and not to be forgotten beer making ingredient is water. Water is important. Most beers are at least 90 percent water, so it should come as no surprise that water is a critical element in the flavor of beer. The quality of the water will determine the quality of the beer produced.
Beer is made from simple ingredients but the whole process of beer brewing makes beer a more than simple beverage. To truly appreciate the beauty of beer, you can consider getting the beer making ingredients and start brewing your own beer.