Learn Beer

Beer is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting sugars that are converted from the natural starches in cereal grains. Beer is brewed in breweries, which can range in scale from from micro, to craft, to macro. The people who brew beer professionally are called Brewmasters.

Beer Classification

Most basic classification of beers is simply the yeast used in the recipe. The main two are ales and lagers. Ales are typically more complex, bold, and heavy in body. Lagers are typically more smooth, dry, and light in body. There's acually a third style of beer called a lambic, that uses wild yeast & bacteria in the recipe. As a result, lambics are sour and have fruit aromas.

The next classification is by color. Beer can range from straw color to black, and can sometimes have an orange or red tint. Light colored beers typically use less malted cereal grain in the recipe. Dark ones typically use more.

The next way to classify beer is alcohol strength. Average beer has about 4% alcohol by mass (5% by volume); most styles range from 4-10% ABV, but specialties can be up in the 20s. Beers with low alcohol strength are referred to as session beers.

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Brewing Beer

The act of brewing beer can be broken down into 3 categories: the ingredients, the process, and the equipment.

Beer has 4 main ingredients and 2 minor ones. The main ingredients are water, malted cereal grains, hops/seasonings, and yeast. The minor ingredients are additives and adjunct flavors.

Finished beer is mostly water. With that, it contains minerals that are naturally present in drinking water, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and iron. Average beer has about 4% alcohol by mass (5% by volume); most styles range from 4-12% ABV, but specialties can be up in the 20s. Finished beer contains complex sugars, about 3.5% by mass. The yeast process most of the simple sugars during fermentation. Finished beer also contains proteins, only about 0.5%. The sugars and proteins are plant based, acquired from the malted grains in the beer recipe.

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Serving Beer

Beer should be kept in optimal storage conditions after brewing and before serving. Storage conditions include mainly temperature, but also ambient light and ambient noise.

Beer is stored in a number of containers including kegs, casks, cans, bottles, and growlers. It can then be poured into glassware or enjoyed straight from the can or bottle. A nominal serving of beer is 12 fluid ounces (355 mL). Many beers are also served as pints. One American pint is 16 fl oz (473 mL). One English pint is 19.2 fl oz (568 mL).

When beer is served, many people enjoy pairing it with food.

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Beer Glassware

Glassware designed for beer has a few functional requirements. It needs to keep beer at the right temperature, assist in head creation and head retention, and provide the right amount of aroma. Beer glassware also has a few social requirements, such as being easy to hold, withstanding a lively toast, and helping beer look enticing.

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English - beer
Spanish - la cerveza
Italian - la birra
French - la biére
German - das bier
Latin - cerevisia

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