How much do you know about beer? It’s wet, often served cold although not always, ranges from straw coloured to amber to dark, dark brown, and mostly it is delicious.
Apart from the aesthetics and taste though, what makes beer exactly that, beer?
To get to the bottom of it, Sean Answered All in his Thursday Breakfast segment, although more accurately he enlisted the help of local brewer and owner of Lucky Bay Brewing, Nigel!
Catch the conversation at the Omny link below!
There are a variety of beer to choose from, including lagers, ales, pilsners and stouts, just to name a handful. Traditionally Australian’s have been attracted more towards lagers, with a cleaner, crispy taste (VB, Carlton Draught) to quench the thirst against a ruthless Australian sun. In recent times, however, with the rise of more boutique or micro-brewery setups, more ales have been introduced in the market, which have a stronger and fruitier taste.
So, how do you get the different types, the answer is in the yeast…
Nigel from Lucky Bay Brewing: Strictly speaking it is the yeast used in the fermentation stage. Ale yeast traditionally ferments a little bit warmer and isn’t as efficient as the lager yeast. It has a punchier taste. Whereas the lager yeast ferments at a cooler taste giving a cleaner, sharper flavour.
Alcohol content within a beer can vary greatly, from light beer varieties to stronger, European wheat beers with 12% plus in some cases. What contributes to the alcohol content?
Nigel: How much alcohol that ends up in your beer depends on how much food you gave the yeast in the beginning… and we measure that by the densities of the sugars or the carbohydrates in the solution and the change of that over time through the fermentation phase, is then how we calculate our alcohol percentage.
Barley and malt are the major agents that eventually make up beer… so what role does the ingredient hops play?
Nigel, again: All beers should have hops in them, but the amount that’s added will vary greatly. If you’re drinking a very pale, very light lager that will be very lightly hopped. A punchy IPA will have a lot of hops in it.
The process and making the different styles of beer definitely isn’t as simple as throwing some malt and barley into a vat and watch it go! If you want to know more about beer or if this article has built up a bit of a thirst in your mouth, then feel free to go down to Lucky Bay Brewing in Pink Lake and pick Nigel’s brain and have a responsible ale or lager or two.