Friday, November 24, 2006

Beer Terminology

Alright, before I get into telling you about any of the beers I try we're gonna have to go through a little terminolgy first. Just so that everybody is on the same wavelength as me. So here they are in no particular order.

Lager- A beer produced through bottom-fermenting yeast. Lagers can range in colour from golden to dark amber.

Ale- A beer produced through top-fermenting yeast, this process as opposed to bottom-fermenting imparts a distinctive fruitness to the beer.

Beer- Any drink that is fermented from grain and seasoned with hops.

Bavarian Purity Law of 1516- Insists that beer be produced with only four ingredients: Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast, and Water.

Malting- The process by which the grain (barley, corn, even rice) is moistened to allow the start of germentation. The grain is then dried and warmed in a kiln to stop the germentation process. All the elements of this process impart different characteristics to the malt ie: moisture content at time of drying, temperature and duration of drying.

Bitter Beers- Well-hopped ale, usually on draught (draft, or tap). The name implies a depth of hop bitterness, with subtle acidity in the finish. Colours vary from bronze to dark copper.
Basic Bitters have an alcoholic content of around 3.75-4%
"Best" or "Special" Bitters have an alcoholic content of around 4-4.75%
"Extra Special" Bitters come in around 5.5%

India Pale Ale- British ales for the Indian Empire were made to a higher then normal strength, and given more hops to protect the beers on the journey. Current IPA's are still often very hoppy with a +5% alcohol content.

Alright folks that's all you get for the time being. Don't worry I'll try and have terminology put up regularily. If you do have any questions or comments just post 'em and I will definately answer anything you got to ask about beer.

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