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What is Beer Made out of

Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage around the world. It is thought to be the oldest alcoholic beverage and is the third most widely consumed liquid behind water and tea. Beer is now brewed globally both corporately and privately. It is an integral part of many cultures and has many associated traditions and festivals.

What is Beer Made out of?
Beer is a fermented beverage and is formed by the saccharification of starch (converting starch to sugar) and the fermentation of the sugar which results from the process. Despite the fact that different flavors and strengths of beer exist, it is essentially made of the same basic ingredients. Beer consists of water, a starch source, brewer’s yeast and flavorings.

The composition of the water in an area adds to the character of the beer produced. Areas with hard waters are well suited to creating stout beer, whereas areas with soft water make excellent pale lager. Some beer producers may add particular minerals to the water to create particular brands of beer.

Most sources of starch are a type of grain. The most commonly used grain is malted barley or malted wheat, but any grain that can be converted to sugar for fermentation can be used to make beer. It is also common for beer to be made with maize or rice to create a lighter flavor. Other grains can also be used to create beer such as oats and rye. In Africa it is common for millet, sorghum and cassava roots to be used as the starch source in beer production. Potato is used in Brazil and agave is used in Mexico to create beer.

The amount and type of yeast that is added to the beer also impacts it flavor and coloring. Most brewers will add pure yeast cultures, one that will ferment the top layer of the beer and one which will ferment the bottom layers of beer.

Hops is almost always added to beer for flavoring and to preserve the beer. It is hops that give the beer its characteristic bitter taste. Hops also contributes to the aroma of the beer and balances the sweetness of the malt. Some brewers will add other fruits and herbs to give the beer a distinct taste.

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