What is craft beer?

September 21, 2017     By Andy in Beerland

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Drinking craft beer is a popular custom in almost every place in the world. All available types are basically made with four ingredients: hops, malt, water and yeast. The processing techniques and the quality ingredients employed for the manufacturing of this kind of beverage are responsible for its most important features.

A delicious drink that is produced by means of manual processes

The brewing of craft beer consists of a series of stages that vary according to the recipe and the brew master. However, there are basically six standard phases: malting, maceration, hopping, clarification of the wort and cooling, fermentation and finishing.

A good craft beer is made with a selection of the best malts, usually obtained from barley or wheat. The brew master also opts for high quality hop. This is a key ingredient that provides the beverage its characteristic bitterness and aroma.

It is worth to mention that hop is a very delicate ingredient that should be used fresh during the few months of its harvest. After such interval of time, it should be conditioned for a suitable preservation. Logically, with each manipulation this constituent loses its genuine organoleptic features with the consequent diminution of quality which in turn also decreases the value of the beverage.

In a craft beer, carbonation is entirely produced by means of a natural fermentation process. During the first stage yeasts transform the sugars into alcohol. Then the beverage is passed to a bottle or a barrel where it undergoes a second phase of transformation.

During the second stage of fermentation the product matures and acquires the main characteristics that will configure its personality. It is during such phase that carbon dioxide is naturally formed. Although it has no taste, it will definitely contribute to the final perception of the aromas and flavors of the drink.

A distinctive feature of craft beer is that it has not been filtered. Therefore it preserves its nutritional properties unlike industrial varieties. During the second fermentation there is yeast sediment in the bottle that has a high content of vitamin B.

An industrialized process in an effort to reduce fabrication times and costs tends to speed up fermentation by increasing the temperature or by adding sugars. This accelerated procedure generates unwanted by-products and higher alcohols.

In a good craft beer, alcohol is the result of a slow and progressive fermentation which prevents the creation of other compounds that are responsible for headaches. A well-crafted beverage does not produce a hangover.

High quality ingredients with an important nutritional content

The production of craft beer does not involve the use of chemical additives. Instead only natural and nutritive ingredients like barley are included on its composition. Such element is germinated and toasted by a process known as malting.

Barley is an extremely nutritious cereal with a high content of fiber which turns out to be an excellent alternative for those suffering from gluten intolerance. Among other things, it helps to prevent and treat constipation as it useful to regulate intestinal transit.

Craft beer made with barley is also an important source of amino acids such as lysine or glutamic acid which contribute to the construction of proteins. In this way it provides a valuable assistance on the maintenance of tissues.