Brewing is a multi-stage process during which the brewer encourages a grain such as barley to germinate briefly, steeps the grain in water to release its sugars, and adds yeast to the mixture, which ferments the sugar, turning it into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Around the world, people have brewed grains and starchy vegetables for thousands of years from ingredients as varied as rice , corn, cassava, pumpkins, sorghum , and millet, and brewed beverages are staples in the diets of many cultures. These early brewers may have discovered the fundamental processes of brewing as they observed—or tasted—what happened when they left fruit juices or cereal extracts exposed to the wild yeasts that naturally float in the air.
During the Middle Ages , monasteries became the centers for brewing, and the monks originated brewing techniques and created many of the beers still popular today.
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Early European settlers in North America brought with them from Europe a taste for beer, but followed the Native Americans ' example and initially made beer from corn and pumpkins, which they flavored with such local additives as the tops of spruce trees. This emigration was aided with the introduction of bottled beer in by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the later advent of canned beer in the s.
The brewer's first step in making a beer is to wet the kernels of grain, promoting their germination , or sprouting. The brewer next mixes the dried malt with water to create a porridgy substance called mash. They fuel their growth with the sugar and in the process, change it from carbohydrate to ethanol , a form of alcohol, and carbon dioxide, the gas that is responsible for beer's foam and bubbles.
Ales range from pale ales such as Kolsch from a district around Cologne, Germany which is strongly hopped and not sweet, to strong, dark, ales such as porter and stout. Current research in brewing technology is focusing on events at the cellular level. For example, brewery researchers are working on methods that will rapidly and accurately detect the presence and identity of unwanted yeasts or other microorganisms that find their way into the beer during brewing, and that change the flavor of the beer.
Breweries are also using biotechnological techniques and genetic engineering to select and propagate choice characteristics in barley, rice, corn, yeast, and hops. Some of the characteristics that brewery researchers are working toward include disease resistance in the crops , and in yeast, the ability to resist contamination and to ferment carbohydrates that yeasts have been incapable of fermenting.
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Micropropagation is a new and experimental technique that involves making any number of genetically identical copies of a plant , by removing minute quantities of its growth points and placing them in a medium that encourages the rapid growth of shoots. Mutation breeding is a process for creating mutations, some of which may be desirable, by exposing the plant to x rays or chemical mutagens; and transformation technologies, which allow the breeder to make a change in a single gene by adding or deleting it.
Brewing is the multistage process of making beer and other alcoholic malt beverages. Brewing has taken place around the world for thousands of years, and brewed beverages are staples in the diets of many cultures. Although the main modern ingredients in beer are water, barley, hops, and yeast, people have brewed with products as varied as rice, corn, cassava, pumpkins, sorghum, and millet. Archaeologists have turned up evidence that the Sumerian people in the Middle East were brewing barley grain as long as 8, years ago.
Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Inca also made beer. These early people may have discovered the basic processes of brewing when they observed — and then tasted — what happened to fruit juices or cereal extracts left exposed to the wild yeasts that naturally float in the air. Over the centuries, breweries sprang up throughout Europe where there was good water for brewing. During the Middle Ages — , monasteries became the centers for brewing, and the monks originated brewing techniques and created many of the beers still popular today.
Ale: A top-fermented beer that until the latter part of the nineteenth century was not flavored with hops. Fermentation: Process during which yeast consume the sugars in the wort and release alcohol and carbon dioxide as byproducts. Hops: Dried flowers of the vine Humulus lupulus, which give beer its characteristic bitter flavor and aroma.
Malt: Barley grain that has germinated, or sprouted, for a short period and is then dried. Wort: The sugar-water solution made when malted barley is steeped in water and its complex sugars break down into simple sugars.
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Yeast: A microorganism of the fungus family that promotes alcoholic fermentation and is also used as a leavening fermentation agent in baking. The basic steps to brewing beer are malting, mashing, boiling, fermentation, aging, and finishing. During malting, barley grains are soaked in water until they begin to germinate, or sprout. The brewer then removes the grains and quickly dries them in a kiln. The dried barley grains are called malted barley or just plain malt. During the mashing phase, the brewer mixes the dried malt with water and heats the mixture until the starchy components in the malt are converted and released into the mixture as simple sugars.
The malt is then removed from the mixture, leaving an amber liquid called wort pronounced wert. The wort is then heated to a boil and maintained at that temperature for a period of time. During boiling, the brewer adds hops, dried blossoms from the hop plant, which give beer its characteristic bitter flavor and aroma.
Brewing Terms - A Glossary of Brewing Related Definitions
After the wort is cooled, yeast is added to begin the fermentation stage. These organisms consume the simple sugars in the wort, giving off alcohol and carbon dioxide in the process. The brew is then stored in tanks for several weeks or months while it ages and its flavor develops. To finish the beer, the brewer clarifies the liquid by filtering out the yeast, then packages it in kegs, bottles, or cans.
Beer is usually categorized into two types: ale and lager. Ale is made with a variety of yeast that rise to the top of the fermentation tank and that produce a higher alcohol content than lagers. Ales range from fruity-tasting pale ales to dark and roasty stouts. Lager from the German word meaning to store originated in the Bavarian region of Germany.
Lager, the most popular beer style in the United States , is made with bottom-fermenting yeast. Lager styles include pilsner a golden beer with a distinctive hop flavor and bock a dark, strong, malty beer. Like wine making, brewing has existed for millennia as an art; only in the twentieth century have its practitioners attempted to transform it into an applied science.
The earliest settlers brought beer from England with them to America. At that time, brewing was a household industry, carried on primarily by farmers and tavern keepers, but commercial breweries soon emerged, selling to local areas they could reach by horse and wagon. William Penn established such a business in Pennsbury in , not only to make a profit but also to encourage the drinking of beer rather than hard liquor, in the interest of temperance.
The early process of brewing began by heating and soaking barley to force germination. Producers then mixed the end product, called malt, with water and boiled it to form what brewers called the wort. They then added hops to the boiling liquid to give it a pleasantly bitter taste and a distinctive aroma. After straining the liquid, brewers added yeast and allowed the wort to ferment for a few days. Until the twentieth century, brewers governed the proportions of the ingredients and the exact timing of the process by age-old recipes or simply by rule of thumb.
The reputation of a commercial brewery depended greatly on the skill of its brewmaster rather than on any particular technology or equipment. Early American beer was similar to English beer, which was fermented with yeast that floated on top of the wort.
Near the middle of the nineteenth century, the many German immigrants to the United States brought a different type of beer. Following German brewing traditions, they used a yeast that stayed at the bottom of the wort during fermentation. Then, after its removal, they.
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Jeff dipped water, prodded his fire and put fresh coffee on to brew. October is here, and in the northern hemisphere that often means the days are flush with falling leaves, chilling weather, and growing anticipation for the holiday season. But, where exactly did this month get its name from? RELATED WORDS mixture , mishmash , liquor , drink , distillation , beverage , blend , broth , melange , seethe , boil , loom , foment , hash , hodgepodge , compound , infusion , preparation , miscellany , potpourri.
Nearby words breviloquent , brevipennate , brevirostrate , brevity , brevity is the soul of wit , brew , brew up , brewage , brewer's blackbird , brewer's grain , brewer's mole. Idioms be brewing , to be forming or gathering; be in preparation: Trouble was brewing. Can be confused brewed brood brews bruise. Examples from the Web for brew Industrial production and technology have permanently altered the way we brew our inebriating ethanol.
Handy conversion tables are an added bonus. This technique originated in the Bavarian Alps in the fifteenth century and was later practiced on a larger scale in Munich, Vienna, and Plzen. Syn: cold lagering.
Glossary of Brewing Terms
Dan Rabin is a freelance writer and award-winning homebrewer based in Boulder, Colorado. He revised the original dictionary, compiled by Carl Forget of Hull, Quebec. Keep up on all new beer book releases.