While my wife and I both enjoy a good glass of wine, neither of us were big beer or liquor drinkers. However, when we were recently planning a big holiday party, we realized that we needed to learn more about beer and liquors, so we could ensure we had alcoholic beverages that all of our guests would enjoy. Thankfully, my wife's brother used to be a bartender, so he taught us which liquors, mixers, and varieties of beer we should have on hand to please everyone at the party. He even showed us how to mix a few popular cocktails, so we could prepare them for guests. Our party was a great success and we are now prepared for future parties. Since we both love sharing our wine knowledge and now enjoy sharing our beer and cocktail tips and tricks, we decided to create a blog to share them on!
Perhaps you want to expand your alcohol selection, or maybe you want to explore new beverages. One beverage to start with is craft beer. Craft beer differs from conventional beer in that it is produced on a much smaller scale at a microbrewery; there also tends to be more attention and focus on creating new and unique beer flavors. Here are just a few of the details that can influence the taste of your craft beer.
1. The Grains and Yeast Used to Brew the Beer
Grains and yeast are two of the most basic yet most important ingredients when brewing beer. The production of beer begins by removing the sugars from the grains. Though you can technically use any type of grain, barley is one of the most common options.
Once you've removed the sugars from the grains, you'll use the yeast to ferment the sugar and produce the beer. The type of yeast that you use plays a role in the final taste and the type of beer that you ultimately produce.
If you use top-fermenting yeast, it will begin fermentation from the top of the vessel holding the beer. Top-fermenting yeast requires warmer temperatures and is used in the production of ales. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeast; this type of yeast typically takes longer to ferment and needs colder temperatures. Ales tend to have a more robust, sometimes fruity taste, while lagers are frequently described as tasting smoother and less intense.
2. The Hops Used to Flavor the Beer
A hop is one of the other components that affect the final taste of your craft beer; it also changes the aroma of a beer. Though hops are actually a type of flower, they also function as a type of spice for your beer.
There are a variety of hops, and the specific type of hop used in a beer influences the taste. For example, if you use a hop from a tropical flower, this might lend tropical flavors and aromas to the beer. A hop from a flower found in the forest may add pine undertones to the beer.
3. The Quality of the Water Utilized in the Production of the Beer
A seemingly small detail that can greatly change the taste of a craft beer is the quality of the water used in the brewing process. You'll notice a difference in beer that is brewed using regular tap water and beer that's brewed using water that's had the impurities removed. For the best taste, look for a brewery that uses a reverse-osmosis system to remove impurities and ions from its water.
Contact a brewery like Fruition Brewing for more information.