Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Leavening Agent

Beer is an alcoholic beverage typically made from fermented cereal grains.[1]

Production edit

To brew beer, one or more cereal grains are malted to convert the starch and proteins to sugars and other nutrients that will support yeast growth.[1] The malted grain is cooked, and the extracted liquid is allowed to ferment using yeasts. Flavorings such as hops are often added during this process.

Barley, wheat, and corn are common grains used to make beer. Various other cereals may be used—such as rye, oats, and rice[1]—and in some traditions, other starch-containing foods may be used, such as potato, cassava, and agave.

Characteristics edit

The exact combination of grains, yeasts, flavorings, and fermentation conditions used will impact the final characteristics of the beer.[1]

Color edit

Beer typically ranges in color from a pale golden to a darker brown. The darkness of a beer is determined by how long the malted grains are roasted.

Flavor edit

The flavor profile of a given beer depends on a variety of factors, including the use of hops and other flavorings, the type of yeast used, the brewing temperature, and the grains used to make it. The addition of hops imparts a bitter flavor.[1]

Alcohol content edit

Generally, beer has an alcohol content of 4–10%, with 4–6% being the most common.

Carbonation edit

All beer is carbonated either naturally or artificially.[2] In natural carbonation, the beer is sealed in a container before the fermentation is finished. This forces the remaining carbon dioxide produced to dissolve into the liquid, where it will create bubbles after opening.[2] In bottle-conditioned beer, fermentation is allowed to complete before bottling, but a little sugar is added to the bottle before sealing so that the remaining yeasts produce the requisite carbon dioxide for carbonation.[3] Artificially carbonated beer has carbon dioxide pumped into the liquid after fermentation is complete.[2]

Varieties edit

Beer can generally be characterized as an ale or a lager,[1] though there are other varieties that don't fall into either of the two.

Ale edit

Ales are the oldest variety of beer, and they use a variety of yeast that ferments at the top of the beer.[4] These yeasts can produce a variety of flavor compounds as a byproduct of fermentation, which gives more complex flavors to the final brew.[1] Some common ales include the following:

  • Pale ale
  • Stout
  • Sour
  • Wheat beer

Lager edit

Unlike ales, lagers use bottom-fermenting yeast that collect at the bottom of the container.[4] These yeasts are more tolerant of cooler temperatures than those used for ales, and they don't tend to produce many secondary flavors—as such, lagers are often called "clean" or "crisp".[1][4][5] Some common ales include the following:

  • Pilsner

Other edit

  • Chicha
  • Kvass

Selection and storage edit

Beer should always be stored away from light and heat.[2]

Use edit

In addition to its consumption as an alcoholic beverage, beer is frequently used as an ingredient in cooking. It has many uses, including as a leavening agent in batters for deep-fat fried foods and baked goods. Beer can add flavor and moisture, and it may also be used in stews and sauces.

Distilling beer produces whiskey.

Recipes edit

References edit

  1. a b c d e f g h "The Serious Eats Guide to What's in Your Beer". Serious Eats. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  2. a b c d "Beer Carbonation: What Makes It fizzy?". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  3. "What to Know About Properly Storing Bottle Conditioned Beer". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  4. a b c "Lagers Dominate the Beer Cooler, but What Exactly Is It?". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  5. "Do You Know What Makes a Pale Ale a Great Beer?". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2023-12-25.