If you are a beer lover and you’ve been considering for some time to try to brew your own beer at home, we encourage you to simply do it. The process of beer making and its history stretches back to the Neolithic period, which encompasses 9, 000 years of tradition. It’s simply considered a special form of art and science combined together.
Perhaps you’ve been reading about all the equipment and ingredients you will need to get you started. Well, don’t get intimated by it, as we got covered. In this article, we’re going to discuss the most essential beer brewing ingredients that go into the beer-making process and explain the many benefits associated with drinking homebrewed beer.
What Are the Key Ingredients Used for Making Home-Brewed Beer?
Making your own beer is easier than you think. It requires just having the right beer brewing supplies and special ingredients. Almost all types of beer are made using the same key ingredients including, grain, hops, yeast, fermented sugar, and water. Depending on the type of beer you are making you can use them in varying proportions so you can create the desired flavour. Let’s go through each one of them, so you can learn more about its characteristics.
Hops are the green cone-shaped flowers of the plant Humulus lupulus. Hops cones that come from female plants contain alpha acids that determine the particular hop’s bitterness that contributes during the boiling process. Besides, the acids contained within the hop resin have antimicrobial properties, which help to ward off spoiling bacterial during the fermentation process. In addition to being used to add bitterness to the finished product, hopes are considered to be one of the essential beer brewing supplies that are added towards the end of the boil to impart the specific aroma and fragrance.
Hence, they are known by different names. Hops that are added at the beginning of the beer brewing process are called bittering or (boiling) hops while hops added at the end are known as aromatic or (finishing ) hops. Hops grow best in moderate climates with rich soils and enough sunshine. There are many different variants of hops, and each has unique usage in brewing. They offer such versatility to the beer crafting process, as there are so many different flavours and aromas brewers can choose from, including tropical, fragrant flower, herbal tones, and many more.
Other essential ingredients you will need for homebrewing are grains. Grains including ( barley, wheat, rice, corn, oats, rye, etc.) are much the same ingredients used for making breakfast cereals. They are harvested and processed through heating, drying, and cracking to isolate the specific enzymes. To be used for beer-making grains first must be milled finely. You can do this procedure at home if you have a grain mill or other method capable of crushing the grains. Grains give the beer three important qualities: malt flavour and aroma, colour, and fermentable material.
If you are a beer lover, perhaps you’re familiar with some of the ingredients that are used in beer making, including yeast. However, if you are a bit unsure of the exact role yeast plays in the beer brewing process, we‘d give you a short explanation. Yeast is a little, single-cell organism, which is responsible for the fermentation process. It consumes simple sugars like malt and glucose and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. You may have heard the common saying, “Brewers make wort while yeast makes beer.”
Beer was brewed for millennia before it was understood the role it plays in beer making. It is considered one of the essential beer brewing supplies and it usually comes in liquid or dry form. These days you can find many varieties of yeast made specifically for the manufacturing of specific brands of beers.
Malt is one of the key ingredients that is used for many different reasons during the brewing process. For instance, the usage of malt affects the sweetness of the beer. The more you toast it, the sweeter the flavor of the beer will be. The malt also determines the color of the beer. For instance, a lightly roasted malt will produce a very pale beer, while the more you roast the grains the darker colour they acquire. In essence, malt provides the starch source, sugar source, and is the main carbohydrate for the yeast, as, without it, there would be no alcohol and no CO2.
Well, last on the list but one of the key brewing ingredients is water. Considering the fact that beer consists of more than 90% water, good quality water should be of primary concern as it affects the final product. Depending on its source, the water can have varying levels of minerals, which will affect the taste of the beer. One factor you need to keep in mind is choosing water that is moderately hard and has a low level of alkalinity.
What Are the Potential Health Benefits of Drinking Your Own Homemade Beer?
There is no doubt, that drinking too much beer isn’t healthy and can even cause many health troubles. However, drinking it in moderation has been proven to have various beneficial properties, especially homebrewed beer.
A Nutrient Boost
Beer is rich in various nutrients that provide a great source of energy for the human body, including antioxidants, fibre, proteins, silicon, and vitamin B. Some experts even claim that homebrewed beer posses superior qualities to commercially produced beer and drinking it can lead to a long and healthy life.
Fights Inflammation and Cardiovascular Diseases
As we already mentioned, beer contains the B6 vitamin which can help reduce the risk of developing many cardiovascular diseases. It works by reducing the blockages and clots by preventing the development of cholesterol and plaque in your arteries and veins.