Hello guys and I come back after quite a long break from my ‘if-I-may-say-so’ borderline scandalous series of the ‘Journey of the Drunken Cherub’. I would want to take a moment and thank you all for the views and the recognition if not any comment it has garnered. From this new post onward I would go on a more serious path to highlight Brewing as a process and why it is as much of an Art as well as it is Science.
For most of the ancient history, brewing has earned the notoriety of being a recreational past time for people who have this inherent want to always experiment, though the experiments, in turn, bore fruit or were out and over disasters is a different thing altogether. If I have to give the lamest and the most idiotic metaphor than it was that serenading mysterious, wild and experimental girlfriend that only a few tabooed men would swipe right on tinder.
The German purity law or if I have to take the purist approach the ‘Die Reinheitsgebot’ strictly recognized only malt, hops and water as the basis of brewing beer. And this was given a boost by the King of Bavaria too. Interesting fact, the first breweries were started by monks in the Germany or rather Deutschland, kindly forgive me for my oh so fanboy moment approach to the German brewing industry as I am more obsessed with it. The germans if I may rightly say so, were very guarded with the purity law and though Yeast was existent in those times it’s a different story that the yeast was at that time the very mysterious tinder date, it was not until that Louis Pasteur swiped right himself was this sexy entity introduced to the world.
From that moment began the warm camaraderie of yeast with man, and his research reached heights and also reached new limits that one has been successful today to produce a beer that is equally hybrid in its origin, which uses hops originating from New Zealand, malt that has been procured from Weyermann which is frankly one of the best brands and the yeast which is perhaps the 100th generation of a master culture originating from the Abbeys of Belgium. This narrative also applies to beers in which the lines have been majorly thinned in case of their classifications as Ales or Lagers. For me its a like that annoying little tattoo prick, while getting carved a tattoo or a half baked boring date. I will say I am a purist. For me, you cannot call Gose, a Leipziger Gose if it is being brewed outside of Leipzig. Brewing was majorly introduced as a substituwater which in those days as treated far too precious than gold. The ancient concoctions were used offerings to gods in cultures like Egyptians, Aztecs and even for that matter Incas.
So lets summarize the process of brewing in an extremely layman way, shall we – Mashing or stewing of the grain i.e malt at a given temperature to extract all the sugar in the liquid. It is this step that will make or break your actual fermentation process; Lautering or separation of the grain from the sweet liquid ‘wort’; Fermentation which is simply defined as the stepwise conversion of sugars to alcohols, needless to say the Yeast here plays n important role in this major step; After the fermentation then we come to the downstream processing of the beer, which includes racking, filtration, carbonation, also if one wants to, then bottling too.
So folks my series of articles starting with this one are going to be technical and also a bit brew nerdy. In this article I touched upon the introduction to brewing processes. Steadily we will touch upon the major components or ingredients of a beer as well – Malt, Hops, Water and Yeast. Next article of mine will deal with Malt, mainly how the Malt is prepared, the various procedures and a bit more on the types which will include the Specialty malts too. Till then cheers and healthy brewing!