Short Notes: Tasting Beer Chapter Three

Tasting Beer Cover

Brewing and the Vocabulary of Beer Flavor

As my studying to become a beer expert continues, here are the main points I took from Chapter Three of Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink.

Chapter Three – Brewing and the Vocabulary of Beer Flavor

  • The difference between wine and beer is that wine mostly depends on nature to do the work while beer rests on man to assemble and nurture it
  • The ions in water effect brewing
  • Harder water is wanted for pale ales and softer water for pilsners
  • Enzymes in barley make brewing possible because they reduce the energy needed in the chemical reaction
  • Protein is a major difference between two-row and six-row barley
  • Most beers that aren’t Bud, Miller or Coors are brewed with two-row barley
  • Six-row barley has more protein making it easier to break down starches in adjuncts in the above mentioned
  • Corn, rice and sugar are added to beers like Bud, Miller and Coors because it makes it cheaper (and a more inferior product)
  • It’s fairly easy for a brewer to predict a beer’s gravity but much more difficult for him/her to predict the color
  • Boiling hops gets rid of some of their bitterness
  • Hops shouldn’t be boiled for longer than two hours
  • Hop backs can be added at varying times
  • German, English and American hops vary greatly in taste
  • Boiling sterilizes the wort, isomerizes hops and hardens excess protein.
  • Yeast needs to stay at exactly the rest temperatures in order for them to work their chemical magic
  • During primary fermentation, yeast is added to oxygenated wort, which then feasts and starts to create maltose
  • Pasteurization is important to improve the shelf life of beer
  • Brown bottles are the only bottles to protect beer from light that will skunk it
  • Over time hop aromas start to fade after a beer is brewed

Give this book a read if you enjoyed the above points. There’s a lot I did not include. Be on the lookout for chapter four.

For you homebrewers out there, what’s your favorite part of the brewing process?

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