Germany the country of poets and thinkers, but of beer drinkers as well. That is no exaggeration! Nine out of ten people drink beer, some of them consume it regularly others only occasionally. The consumption of beer is much more important than that of milk or juice. And it is not the worst either since medical studies have shown that beer is very nutritious and healthy as well. People drinking beer usually say "prost" to each other which in English is "cheers". "Prost" is of Latin origin and has the meaning "it might be useful".
Beer brewing in Germany Edit
The Germans are only allowed to use four ingredients when brewing beer, if they want it to conform to the country's beer purity law: malted grain (almost always barley), hops (a flower that serves as a flavoring agent), water and yeast. Malt determines the body of the beer, and it overall taste and mouthfeel. While barley is the grain used most often, wheat is also used in certain types of beer. Malt also provides the yeast with food in the form of sugar, which the yeast then transforms into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
How is it done? First you moisten the grain and let it sprout. This procedure is called "malting," and it transforms the starch into sugar. The malt is then heated and dried to stop the germination process. At this stage brewer has already decided whether the beer is going to be dark or light. Malt for light beers is dried at about 80 degrees centigrade. If temperature is raised up to 105 degrees centigrade, the malt will darken and the beer will be dark as well.
Maische (The mash) and the wort Edit
This malted grain is then put into a big pot of water - the second ingredient - and heated. The mix of malt and water is called "Mash." More and more starch is transformed into sugar in the hot machine.
When the mash is ready, it is filtered to remove any solid particles and is now called wort.
Now the third ingredient—hops—are added. Hop is a long vine, but only its blossoms are used for beer brewing. The hop gives the beer its aroma, its elegance, its fresh bitter taste. It was originally added as a preservative to extend the shelf-life of beer, but today is only used as a necessary bittering agent. Without hops, beer would taste very sweet.
The wort is boiled again together with the hops, filtered again and cooled. Now the forth ingredient is added: the yeast, which leads to fermentation of the wort. The yeast consumes the sugar and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide gas as waste products.
Removing yeast Edit
Finally the yeast is removed from the beer unless it is intended to be a yeast beer. However, the beer is still fermenting for a little while after that. And then...you can drink it!
Simple yet complicated Edit
Is it as simple as this? Yes, it is. However, some would say it is complicated if you think of the fact that nearly 4000 different kinds of beer are brewed this way. Many kinds of beer are similar in taste and even experts sometimes have difficulties in telling them apart. But there are clear differences in taste which even an inexperienced beer drinker can perceive.
So, cheers to beer and its nowadays very popular mixes with different flavours like lemon, orange or lime.