Beer is made with malted grains
(mostely barley or wheat), hops, yeast, and water. In some beers other ingredients
are used like fruits, herbs, or spices for creating a special style of beer. Each of these
ingredients add to the characteristic flavour of the beer.
Beer consists of about 90% of water. This is why
the water is a very important ingredient of the beer. Merely few breweries have their own
water spring with pure water and the right salts and minerals.
Large breweries use softened water with salts added to make a constant water
quality. This is why a brewer can make the same beer on many different places on earth.
Traditional beers are usualy brewed with water from springs which has been
Many different types of grains are used with the
making of beer. Barley is probably most known. From the grains, starch is extracted which
is made into sugar at the brewery. When making a white beer, wheat or a mixture of wheat
and barley is used.
were discovered by monks. In 736 it was grown in Hallertau in the south of Germany. Hop is
a right-turning climbing plant of about 3,60 metres in height. Only unfertilized female
blossoms are suitable for brewing. Hops are important for preservation of the beer.
Yeast is a one-cel plant which multiplies thru
celsplitting. There are many different kinds of yeast, but few are suitable for brewing.
Yeasting turns sugar into alcohol and carbondioxide and gives the beer its aroma and
Before 1800 yeasts from the air were used. Nowadays only Geuze's and Lambics use
Besides the four main ingredients of beer, a lot
of brewers use a great variety of extra ingredients to improve the flavour or color. Some
of these ingredients are:
This is the most common adjunct in beer. It ferments
easy and give more alcohol. Caramel is also used to
give the beer a darken the beer.
Maize processed into flakes makes the beer dry and light-colored.
Rice can be used as an partial alternative for grains. The American beer Budweiser
uses rice to give it a clean, crisp finish.
This is a old flavour enhancer used in cokking and drink making.
The use of chilli comes from Mexican lagers. The taste is unusual.
The belgian brewer Hoegaarden adds Coriander to the beer.
Apples, oranges, cherries, raspberries and bananas are added to the beer. Some with
great success. The Belgian beers Kriek and Frambozen use cherries and raspberries.