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A Look At Some Of The Many Things You May Not Know About Beer

Aug 17, 2007
Many of us have spent the weekends watching football or playing pool and one thing that can typically be found in our hand is beer. Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages on the market. They come in a huge variety of brands and types, from dark ale, to beer that has reduced calories and carbs. It is an extremely versatile drink that is served from barbeques, to even the fanciest weddings and there are few adults who have not sipped a frosty brew at least one time in their lives.

What's interesting is that despite all the people who drink it, if you were to ask them what the ingredients were, most would not be able to tell you. So for all you beer lovers out there, here's some beer trivia for you about what it's made from and why.

The primary beer ingredients are yeast, malted barley, hops, and water. Starches are also used because they help to ferment the sugars that increase the alcohol content. They also contribute to the flavor and body of the brew.

Malted barley is used because it contains a large amount of amylase. It also helps to convert starch to sugar, thanks to an enzyme it contains. The term "malt", refers to the process of letting grains soak in water. This will prompt the grain to actually start to grow. Once the grain begins to germinate, it is then dried. Other grains such as rice, oats and rye can also be used.

Water is the main ingredient in beer. Because water varies from region to region, the water from a specific region can determine the kind of beer that will be produced. An example is that regions that have hard water will produce darker beer.

Yeast is another ingredient that is used in beer. This is the ingredient that causes fermentation. There are various types of yeast that are used, particularly the ale and lager varieties. The next time you order one of these types of beer, you will know where the terms come from.

Hops are another ingredient and they contribute a bitter taste to beer. The balance between the bitterness and the sweetness depends on it. It also contributes to the beer's rich scent. It may interest you to know that hops have been used in beer since the 17th century, which makes beer not just a beverage but a part of history as well.

You may wonder how with all of these different ingredients, that beer maintains such a clear color. This is because clarifying agents have been added to it and they range from Irish moss to fish bladders. For those drinkers who are vegetarians, it may be important to take the time to discover which clarifying agent was used in the beer that you drink.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Beer Brewing kits at http://www.brewmybeer.com
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