Lesson of the Day #3 - grain, hops, yeast, and water

babylon.jpg

Now that we know the 4 main ingredients in beer — grain, hops, yeast, and water — what do they contribute?

Grains provide:

  • color

  • flavor

  • maltose - fermentable sugar that feeds the yeast

  • proteins - contributes to the foam or head

  • dextrins - carbohydrates that contribute to the mouthfeel or viscosity

Hops provide F.A.B.S.:

  • Flavor

  • Aroma - from the oils in the hops

  • Bitterness - the type and amount offsets the sweetness of the malt/maltose/sugar

  • Stability - acids in the hops stave off bacterial contamination and add to shelf life

Yeast provides fermentation - converting the maltose into alcohol and CO2 for carbonation.

Water provides 90-95% of a beer’s content, and the type and amount of minerals can be manipulated for the style of beer being brewed.


Trivia Question - What does beer have to do with your honeymoon?

Answer - In ancient Babylon, the father of the bride would provide his new son-in-law with all the mead he could drink for the first month after the wedding. Mead is a beer made from honey so this period was called the honey month, which we today call the honeymoon.

Michael Breyette