Beer From A to Z: The Encyclopedia to Know in Depth the Beer Styles
There are many beer styles on the market. La Fábrica is a clear example: beers brewed on site that change with time, adapt to you and to the city… Not to mention our extensive beer menu with the full range of Cruzcampo craft beers and even imported beers. All these beer styles can be overwhelming, especially if we are not clear about some basic concepts of #beer_culture. But don’t be afraid, we present you with a Beer Encyclopedia with very important concepts and clear and simple explanations. Ready to get into hops, ferments and malts? Come on!
What Are Beer Hops?
The hops are a climbing plant,also known as Humulus lupulus , which grow only once a year and can reach a height of 9 metres. The funny thing is that this plant, like many others, produces two types of flowers: male and female. For brewing we only use the female hops blossoms, which are green and have conical shape. Amazing, isn’t it?
Why Are Hops Used in Brewing?
Hops blossomis used in beer production because it has alpha acids which are responsible for bringing bitterness to the beer. In addition, it contains essential oils that are responsible for the aromas and flavours, ranging from herbal to fruity. Hops have bacteriostatic effects, the do not let other organisms grow that could ruin our beer. Thanks to this property, it began to be used in brewing during the Middle Ages.
Today, at Cruzcampo’s La Fábrica, we know that hops are used for many other reasons. The natural bitterness of beer hops allows us to balance the sweetness of the malts. It also helps us to make the beer’s head or foam more stable and, why not say it, it also helps stimulate the appetite. Drinking a beer without a tapa is a crime at La Fábrica!
What Types of Hops Are Used in Brewing?
There are many ways of classifying the types of hops used in brewing. We mainly find a classification by origin and another by function. According to their origin, the main types of hops are Noble (Germany and Czech Republic), American (USA) and English (yes, from England). Depending on their function, we find bitter hops, aromatic hops and mixed hops. So, we could say that hops are to beer what garlic is to gazpacho, it is used in little quantity but it gives that special point.
What Is An IPA Beer?
“IPA” is the acronym for India Pale Ale, a beer style from the Pale Ale family, in which hops are the stars. Despite its name, this beer is British and the first recorded use of the term India Pale Ale was found in an Australian newspaper in 1829.
What Is Brewer’s Yeast?
Brewer’s yeast is a single-celled microorganism classified as a fungus. It is responsible for the fermentation of sugar into alcohol. The two main yeasts in beer production are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, used in ALE and with fermentation at the top, and Saccharomyces pastorianus, used in lager and with fermentation at the bottom.
How Do You Use Brewer’s Yeast?
Yeast is used in the production of all beer styles because of its ability to transform sugars in cereals into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2) through the metabolic process known as fermentation. In addition to generating alcohol, yeast is responsible for obtaining the character and taste of your favourite beer.
What is dry hopping?
Dry hoppingis the process by which hops are added, usually a second time, to a beer to enhance its hop aroma. Generally, the dry hopping technique is used for types of beer such as Pale Ale or IPA, but today it is used for many other types. Its main benefit is that, as the hops are not boiled, the oils are not extracted and therefore do not add bitterness. Thanks to dry hoppingonly aroma and taste are added.
Studies show that almost 75% of the taste comes from our sense of smell, which is why this extra aroma is so important in the brewing of all types of beer.
What Is a Session Beer?
Session beers aren’t a type of beer. When we talk about Session we refer to a characteristic, an adjective that describes beers that have a low alcohol content (usually between 4 and 5%) and are very refreshing.
They are also beers that do not tend to be “very” anything. They are not very bitter, nor very hoppy or malty. But that doesn’t mean they don’t taste good! Rather they are beers that hit the perfect balance. All this indefiniteness means that, as we say in Spain, each master (brewer) has his book and will give you their definition of what a Session beer is. Because, as we have already said, it is not a clear style of beer like IPA.
But what almost everyone will agree on is that with the Sessions you will be able to take a few and remain lucid… Which we cannot say about their sisters with higher alcohol concentration.
What Is Malt?
Malt is a germinated cereal grain that is dried by the process we call “malting”. The cereal is germinated by moistening it with water and then this natural process of germinating is stopped through hot air.
Thanks to malt or malted cereals we can develop alpha and beta enzymes inside. This way the natural starch of the cereal is converted into different types of sugars such as monosaccharide glucose, disaccharide maltose, trisaccharide maltotriose and maltodextrin. But the most important thing about the process is that some of the enzymes that are produced in the malting help to break down proteins into forms that the yeasts can process later. No joke with the malt! Even the smallest detail influences the brewing process.
How Do You Make Butterbeer?
Butterbeer is neither fantasy nor magic. This drink that became world-famous with the Harry Potter saga is as real as any other type of beer on La Fábrica’s menu. But how do you do it? Charms? Do we have elves at La Fábrica?
Much simpler. The origin of this beer, according to scholars, goes far back in time. There are data from 1594 available. This type of medieval beer had in its recipe 3 pints of beer, 5 egg yolks that were cooked in a tin pot. Add ¼ kg of sugar and a teaspoon of ground nutmeg, another of ground clove and a pinch of ground ginger. Just before it broke to boil, it was removed from the heat and sweet butter was added.
It is a beer that we undoubtedly do not recommend for minors because no magic eliminates alcohol from this brew. As much as it boils! But you can find non-alcoholic recipes that replace beer with a carbonated drink with hints of vanilla.
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