The Basics of Homebrewing Ingredients
June 13, 2022

More than six in every ten Americans drink alcohol, and beer is the third most consumed beverage globally. And in its simplest form, it’s made from hops, yeast, malt, and water.

The alcohol content is activated by the fermentation process, bringing the caloric content of this beverage to about 154 calories. Additionally, B-vitamins, potassium, selenium, and other minerals are also present in beer.

There are other components like coffee, cannabis, and even bananas. There may be formaldehyde, but this is often in commercially produced beer. However, the ratio or proportion ultimately determines the taste that’ll be achieved.

More about what beer is made of:

1. Water

Water is the most abundant material in beer, making up ninety-five percent. And considering the amount that’s required, it’s only reasonable to use the best source around. Tap water may taste good when you drink it, but it ruins the wort most times.

Typically, the places with the best beers globally are also notable for their soft water. For instance, the water in Pilzen and Burton, England, contains minerals that enhance the taste of the wort. Gypsum is now so common for commercial beer production, thanks to the Burtonisation process.

But again, if you cannot obtain water from these areas, the least you can do is use your best source. Purchase a water testing kit to fine-tune what you’ll be using for yours.

2. Yeast

Yeast is a single-celled fungal microorganism, and north of 1,500 species exist. There are many uses for yeast, including making bread and antibiotics, fermenting foods, and accelerating the ripening process for cheeses.

Yeast elicits the alcoholic nature in foods that contain lots of sugar, like berries. The strain doesn’t even need to be replaced because it doesn’t die off and can repeatedly brew several batches of beer.

There’s a brewer’s yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and it’s packed with amino acids, vitamins, and protein.

3. Traditionally Malted Barley

The malted extract is the starchy source that serves as the basis for fermentation. It also determines the flavor and strength of the wort.

Malted grains are made from soaking grains in water. When they start germinating, it is transferred to a kiln for drying. While malting, enzymes are released to convert the starch into sugar.

The roasting process creates varying colors that are particular to malted barley. Some have lighter shades, while others are darker.

4. Hops

Hops are the flowers that are used for flavoring beer. It serves as a preservative and flavor enhancer. Thanks to these plants, the malted barley extract will have a balanced taste. However, if you want a more bitter drink, you may add more hops to overshadow the malt extract.

They are available in many aromas which can be floral, herbal, or citric.

Hops are not just for enhancing the taste of the beer, but also serve as an antibiotic, killing bacteria that won’t be helpful to the wort.

5. Bananas

Although it may seem shocking, but some brewers add bananas to their beer. Fruit beers are quite tasty and effective, which explains why they’re growing more popular.