4 – 16 % Alcohol By Volume
HOPS: Hops are known as the spice of the beer. They provide bitterness and aroma to beer.
Hops grow on vines, producing tiny flowers that look like soft pinecones. They are resinous and sticky. These flowers are harvested and then dried.
Cascades, or Willamette’s are used in most ale. They are used in ales because of they produce a floral aroma.
Crystal hops are used in lagers for their spicy aromas.
MALTS: Malt is barely, a cereal grain that has been soaked in water, germinated, and then kilned. During this process, naturally occurring enzymes in the barley begin to covert starches to sugars that will later feed the yeast used in the fermentation process. The amount of heat and water sprayed on the grain during the malting process gives the beer it’s varying of colors. With further roasting of the grain gives the beer a darker color or taste. The blend of these various types of malts gives beer their color, body, and fermentable sugars.
Pale malt gives us golden ales and lagers.
Dark roasted malts give the Brown ales and Porters their distinctive deep brown appearance.
YEAST: Yeast is a single celled microorganism that ferments various sugars from the malt in the presence of oxygen. The bi-product of fermentation is CO2 and alcohol. Keeping the strain pure and clean is the most important part of the process to ensure a reputable fermentation and a consistent final product.
Bottom fermenting yeast is a larger strand of yeast which produces a distinctively, slightly dry flavor to the beer.
Ale yeast produces a distinctively fruity flavor to the beer.
WATER: Water makes up 92-95% of the beer. All brewers treat their water to some degree. Some try to find the freshest water. While others heat their water to rid the water of chlorine. And some even add ingredients to the water to give a separate taste than their competitors.