Beer is one of the most popular and oldest alcoholic beverages in the world, as well as being also one of the oldest beverages produced by humans, probably dating back to the 7th millennium BC, recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
The first chemical evidence known is dated around 3500-3100 BC.
Water is one of the most important raw materials for the production of beer. Water must be pure and above all sweet, so that we can develop the aroma of hops and malt.
The malt for bottom-fermented beers comes from barley. More suitable is the two-cell summery barley. Starch and protein combined together make a balanced composition, which is perfect for the production of beer.
How can we get malt from the barley?
The malting process is totally natural. Heat and humidity carry the barley to the germination, and after some days it is blocked with the heath.
At this point the substances become water-soluble and this is how the malt grows.
The hop grows to on the order to five feet tall. It’s a climbing plant that twists its long stems to the protectors.
The umbrellas of the female plants are used for the production of beer.
In fact they contain a bitter substance which gives to the beer that characteristic bitter taste that makes it unmistakable.
The fourth essential raw material for the preparation of beer is the yeast. Its task is to separate sugar from the gyle, into alcohol and carbonic acid. During the fermentation, the yeast settles to the bottom of the tank (bottom-fermented beer) and thus forming the “New Beer”.
The more the yeast is fresh, the more it is vital. Its freshness is a very important factor, because only in this way we can obtain a beer that will do well.
Who doesn’t know the boiler firing copper?
It has always been the symbol of the art of making beer. It attract the gaze of everyone and it is the pride of every single brewery.
Into the brew-house the production of the gyle takes place. First, we determine the kind of beer we have to prepare. Then we leave the milled malt soaking in the water. Using different temperatures we we expell from the gyle all the extra-substances. Later we release the decoction from the leftovers of the gyle, then we add the hop and we leave cooking until it has reached the disired degree of the original gyle. This is constantly checked from a specialist. Finally we filter it and cool it.
To the filtered gyle we add now the yeast, so the fermentation begins. They thus form alcohol and carbonic acid. At this point it is particularly important that the specialist checks for about ten days the temperature, that must be constantly cold. This is valid for the bottom-fermented beer. The “New Beer” is now ready, but not yet drinkable. Once the fermentation is finished the beer has to develop its flavor and needs to “mature”, so it needs to be aged for a long time in a cool place for the process of settling.
So we take the “New Beer” to mature in a cellar, with a temperature between zero and two degrees. It has to remain here for around 6 weeks. During the process of decantation the beer acquires, almost by itself, the stability of the flavor.
Into the boiler firing we determine the degree of the original gyle of the beer. The extracts from the malt are called gyle. At this time the beer doesn’t contain alcohol yet. It will form itself through fermentation, which is produced by the yeast.
The degree of the original gyle of the beer is about three times bigger than the degree of alcohol.
Normally the Pils beer has a degree of original gyle of about 12% and a degree of alcohol of about 4.8%.
Leicht beer instead, has a half of it. We remove alcohol from the non-alcoholic beer in a natural way. Therefore it is fresh and not pasteurized, and it has the same taste of a Pils beer.
Apart from the flavor of the beer, we love the crown of foam that is formed in the glass. We lovingly call it “Flower”.
The Main enemy of the foam is fat. The glasses for the beer should be washed with a soap free of fatty oils. Please, don’t dry them and before pouring the beer rinse with a little of cold water. If you follow our advice you will always get a good lather.
If it’s not enough, when you pour the beer hold the bottle forming a 90° angle on the glass and you will see that you will have a perfect crown of foam.
Thanks to Progetto Micro Malto, at Cibus 2014 you will learn about many of the italian beers.
Thanks to Barmanitalia
Photo by Enoiche Illusioni