For your blog reading enjoyment may I introduce my friend Cameron…. He makes Beer and he was so kind to share his mad skills with us. Take it away Cameron……
Mmmm beer. Thought I’d input a little beer knowledge into this food blog, thanks Sarah for the forum. Thought I’d do a couple different posts. This first one will be about homebrewing.
These are hops – seriously I know what the leaves look like.
Ah, the smell of malt and hops, the foamy head on your lips, the quenching refreshment of that first sip. How about a little introduction to the basics of beer. Their are four main ingredients in beer: water, malt, hops, and yeast. Water, I won’t bore you with the chemistry of water and how brewers treat it to make it perfect for their beers, just know 90% of beer is water so you want to start with some tasty water! Malt, the background of most beers, this is usually malted barley, barley that has been germinated to just the correct state and then dried. Malt is what gives you the sugars that the yeast eat to make alcohol, little more about that later. The malt can also contain other grains, wheat beer anyone? Yeast, this is the worker, the yeast take the oxygen and the sugars and make alcohol and carbon dioxide, without it we would just have bitter sugary water. Oh and last but not least, my favorite, hops, they balance the sweetness of the beer and give off the wonderful piney, florally, citrusy aromas!
OK, OK, enough of the boring stuff, let’s brew! Here is a (quick) lowdown of the brewing process. First we take hot water and crushed grains and mix them to extract the sugars. Then we wash and drain the grains and get a sweet wort. We take the sweet wert and boil, during the boil we add hops, this extracts the bitterness and taste from the hops and infuses these luscious flavors into the beer. After this we take the boiling water and cool it down and add yeast. That’s it, finito! Well almost I guess, we still need to let the yeast work, but after about 7-30 days, (while maybe adding another set of hops for aroma, for us hop heads) we have beer. We need to put it in something to drink from, either a keg or bottles and after its carbonated it’s Happy Hour!
Big thanks to Cameron for sharing his knowledge and passion for BEER! make some….. it’s so good.