Beer 101, Session 3

Written by Tom Becham for professorgoodales.net

tbecham and sibsIn my long-ago first installment, I discussed the first ingredient of beer: water.

Now I wish to discuss grain.

Grain is what differentiates a beverage as beer. A fermented fruit beverage is a wine, a fermented honey beverage is mead, and fermented grain is beer. (So, technically, sake’ is not rice wine, but rice beer.)

Generally, the grain used in beer will be barley. To be most useful in beer, the barley must be malted. (And is often simply referred to by brewers as “malt”.) Malting, specifically, refers to the process whereby barley grains are soaked in water just to the point of germination. The barley is then dried with hot air, and any sprouts trimmed from it. The malted barley (or malt; remember?) is then roasted to a degree that will produce the effects on a beer that a brewer desires.

Why is any of that important? Because….
Continue reading “Beer 101, Session 3”