Beer is made from grains called malts. These grains have different tastes and colors, but all contain the same basic constituents: starch and sugar. After the grains are milled, a process called mashing takes place, where yeast is activated to break down starch into sugar. This sugar is then fermented by yeast to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. These chemicals give beer its rich flavor and color. Here’s how beer is made:
Malts are commonly used as a brewing ingredient. They contain higher amounts of sugars, such as tryptophol, which is a secondary product of the alcoholic fermentation process. Other common ingredients include sorghum and millet, as well as agave in Mexico and Africa. These ingredients also help beer last longer in storage and ward off contamination. But the malt-hops-yeast trifecta isn’t just a cosmetic addition.
Alcohol content in beer varies greatly, ranging from less than three percent to 30 percent. However, some beers are higher than that, containing as much as forty percent alcohol. However, there are some beers that contain as little as a mere 1.2% alcohol. Increased alcohol consumption is not advised for pregnant women, as it increases the risk of liver damage, heart attacks, and other serious diseases. But beer is generally considered safe for most healthy adults, and drinking a couple of glasses each day may actually help lower your risk of heart disease. Depending on the brand, a bottle of beer could reduce your risk by thirty or fifty percent.
The basics of beer making came from the Middle East. Early Roman historians noted that Saxons, Celts, and Nordic tribes drank beer. In the nineteenth century, it became the number one alcoholic beverage in the world. And as the process of fermentation with yeast began to gain popularity, beer made its way to many monastic orders. In the 11th century, hops were being used in Germany. They were introduced into Britain in the 15th century.