Aug 142009
 

Throughout Germany, beer is very popular with the culture. Germany contains well over 1,000 breweries, which is more than any other location in the world. All beer that is manufactured in Germany must follow the purity law, which lets manufacturers know what ingredients can and can’t be used. Basically, the only ingredients allowed to make beer in Germany are water, hops, and barley malt.

Due to the strict purity requirements, you can easily notice German beers by their overall level of quality. They have a distinct taste, with little to no aftertaste. Some styles of German ale include Koelsch, Weizen, and Altbier. Some types of German lagers include Bock, Pilsener, Dunkel, Helles, and Maerzen. Keep in mind that the taste, aroma, and color can vary, although all can be identified as being true German beers.

The German beer Altbier is a very common dark ale, that is top fermented in the lower regions of Germany. The beer proposes a yellow color, with a taste that is rich in hops. Another ale, Rauchbier, is known to have a smoky flavor with a smoked color. These beers taste great, and happen to be very popular throughout the regions of Germany.

German lagers are also very popular, and happen to be popular in other areas of the world as well. Pilsener is one of the most popular and most familiar of all German beers, providing you with more hops and less malt. Pilsener can be found for sale all over the world, and happens to be very popular throughout North America as well. Several bars serve it as well, as it happens to be one of the most popular dark lagers out there.

Throughout Germany, there are several different companies, produce over 4,000 different brands of beers. Some of the more well known and larger companies of north Germany are Beck, St. Pauli, Warsteiner, and Krombach. In the southern region of Germany, there are more breweries, although most of them are smaller, as they are locally owned and operated. Southern Germany also contains the Benedictine Abbey, which is one of the oldest breweries in the world. This brewery started producing beer in 1040 – very impressive indeed!

Germany is also home to Oktoberfest, which is held every year in Munich. Oktoberfest starts in late September and carries on for two weeks, ending in early October. During Oktoberfest, beer drinkers from all over the world will travel to Germany and celebrate German beers. Each and every year, over 5 million people attend the event, making it one of the biggest beer celebrations in the world.

During Oktoberfest, local breweries in Munich are the only breweries allowed to serve beer in the bigger tents. There are six breweries in total, producing a variety of different beers. By attending this yearly event, you can learn more about German beer, sample the different varieties, and enjoy the rich bold flavors that make German beer so very popular.

Due to the success Oktoberfest gets each and every year, other cities around the world try and mimic this event. Even though they have success, their level of success isn’t near as much as the original Oktoberfest – Germany. German beers are very popular around the world, with Oktoberfest helping to prove that very claim. If you drink beer but have never experienced what beers from Germany have to offer, you really should give them a try. Once you do, you’ll quickly realize why German beers are so very popular – and why the taste simply can’t be duplicated with any other beer.

 Posted by at 6:38 pm
Apr 262009
 

Brewing is the actual process of making alcoholic beverages and alcohol through fermentation. This method is used with beer production, although the term can also be used for other drinks as well.  The term brewing is also used to refer to any chemical mixing process as well.
The process of brewing has a long history indeed, which archeological evidence tells us that this technique was actually used in ancient Egypt as well.  Many descriptions of various beer recipes can be found in Sumerian writings, which are some of the oldest writings of any type.

Even though the process of brewing is complex and varies greatly, Below, you’ll find the basic stages relating to brewing.

1.  Mashing – This is the first phase of brewing, in which the malted grains are crushed and soaked in warm water in order to create an extract of the malt.  The mash is then held at constant temperature long enough for the enzymes to convert starches into fermentable sugar.

2.  Sparging –  At this stage, water is filtered through the mash to dissolve all of the sugars.  The darker, sugar heavy liquid is known as the wort.

3.  Boiling – The wort is boiled along with any remaining ingredients to remove any excess water and kill any type of microorganisms.  The hops, either whole or extract are added at some point during this stage.

4.  Fermentation – The yeast is now added and the beer is left to ferment.  After it has fermented, the beer may be allowed to ferment again, which will allow further settling of the yeast and other particulate matter which may have been introduced earlier in the process.

5.  Packaging – At the final stage, the beer will contain alcohol, but not too much carbon dioxide.  The brewer will have a few options to increase the levels of carbon dioxide.  The most common approach is forced carbonation, via the direct addition of CO2 gas to the keg or bottle.

After it has been brewed, the beer is normally a finished product.  At this point, the beer is kegged, casked, bottled, or canned.  Beers that are unfiltered may be stored for further fermentation in conditioning tanks, casks, or bottles to allow smoothing of harsh alcohol or heavy hops.

There are some beer enthusiasts that consider a long conditioning period attractive for various strong beers such as Barley and wines.  Depending on the beer enthusiast and what he likes to drink, it will vary.

 

 Posted by at 11:12 am
Jan 122009
 

The main ingredients found in beer are water, malted barley, hops, and yeast.  There are, however, other ingredients such as flavoring, sugar, and other ingredients that are commonly added.

Starches are used as well, as they convert in the mashing process to easily fermentable sugars that will help to increase the alcohol content of beer while adding body and flavor. Below are the main ingredients.

Water

Seeing as how beer is mainly composed of water, the source of water and its characteristics have a very important effect on the character of the beer.  A lot of beer styles were influenced by the characteristics of water in the region.  Although the effect of minerals in brewing water is complex, hard water is more suited to dark styles, while soft water is more suited to light styles.

Malt

Among malts, barley is the most widely used due to its high amylase content, and a digestive enzyme that facilitates the breakdown of starch into sugars.  Depending on what can be cultivated locally, other malts and unmalted grains can be used, such as wheat, rice, oats, and rye.

Malt is obtained by soaking grain in water, allowing it to germinate, then drying the germinated grain in a kiln.  By malting the grain, enzymes will eventually convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars.

Hops

Since the seventeenth century, hops have been commonly used as a bittering agent in beer.  Hops help to contribute a bitterness that will balance the sweetness of the malts.  They also contribute aromas which range from citrus to herbal.

Hops also provide an antibiotic effect that favors the activity of brewer’s yeast over the less desirable microorganisms.  The bitterness in beer is normally measured on the International Bitterness Units scale.

Yeast

Yeast is a microorganism that is responsible for fermentation.  Specific strains of yeast are chosen depending on the type of beer produced. The two main strains are ale yeast and lager yeast, with other variations available as well.

Yeast helps to metabolise the sugars that are extracted from the grains, and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide as a result.  Before the functions of yeast were understood, all fermentations were done using wild or airborne yeasts.

Clarifying agent

A lot of brewers prefer to add one or more clarifying agents to beer that aren’t required to be published as ingredients.  Examples include Isinglas finings, which are obtained from swimbladders of fish and Irish moss, which is a type of red alga.
Since these ingredients can be obtained from animals, those who are concerned with either the use or consumption of animal products should obtain detailed information from the brewer.

 Posted by at 11:27 am