Saturday, April 10, 2010

Which of These Beer Glasses is the Right One?

How do beer glasses affect the whole beer-drinking experience? Some beginner beer enthusiasts say that glassware is just a marketing ploy, but the adept beer drinker knows better. Whether from a bottle or straight out of the beer taps, glassware is an important aspect of the beer drinking experience. For example, beer steins differ from a flute glass in forming a head as the beer is poured in, which makes a big difference in appearance and taste. A darker beer should have a wider brim in order to allow for more release of the volatiles found in the brew, thus enhancing the strong flavor and smell. A bottled beer is pasteurized and needs a taller, thinner pilsner glass for color and pourability. There are a lot of little different things like that that can make a big difference in your drinking experience.

Now of course there’s a big marketing presence in all these different varieties of beer glasses, but a true beer drinker knows that as the beer is poured in, something else is going on besides the nice looking logo on the side of the glass. The hue of the beer changes, the head forms at the top, and the anticipation of that first cool drink is more profound and complete. Just like any other pleasurable aspect of life, there’s a psychology involved here. Flavor, texture, aroma; these are the things that make up the drinking experience. If you’re drinking to relax and enjoy yourself, why not do all the things you can to enhance the experience.

One of the most important aspects of beer glasses is how the shape affects the formation of the head. This is important because the head acts as a sort of trap for the volatiles in the beer. What’s volatile in a beer? Compounds such as hop oils, a variety of yeast byproducts such as spices or alcohol are what make up a beer’s aroma and taste. Earlier beer that man drank was darker, stouter, and a lot grainier too, mainly because of the lack of filtration. As glass became more and more popular, so did lighter colored beers and better filtration processes. With so many different kinds of beers, a variety of beer glasses are needed to produce the maximum desired effect of the beer drinking experience. Many people have said that the 16-ounce pint glass is overall the most versatile glass for the widest range of beers. Many people place the importance of a glass because of the shape as they drink. A tall pilsner glass can be tipped up for quick drinking, while the tall narrow glass keeps the entire drink cold the whole time.

So which is the correct glass to use with which beer? The answers are vast and varied. Europeans may do it completely different than anyone else in the world, but what it really comes down to is your own personal preference. Go with some recommendations and then branch out and try some on your own. You may be surprised at the experience and find your own preferences to be totally unique to yourself.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Home Brewing Beer With CO2 Can Go With A Pop

Beer has been brewed at home, more or less for the past several thousand years. There is not much said about the practice before the nineteenth century. At some point though, men figured out that CO2 (carbon dioxide) was needed for brewing beer at home. This most likely strengthened the fascination with home brewing. Larger breweries were not quite so thrilled with the home-based competition.

The Inland Revenue Act of 1880 in the United Kingdom demanded private citizens to pay for a license in order to pursue their pastime. The same types of hardships were felt by home brewers in the United States. A law passed in 1920 banned anyone, private of company to produce alcohol. Organized crime saw a boost in activity during the famous “Prohibition” period.

Times have changed now and home brewing is enjoyed by many, with interest in the process growing as more time passes. It can be a very relaxing and enjoyable hobby. There is some work that goes into making beer at home, but it is minimal and the result is something really great that you can share with friends and family.

What CO2 Is To Brewing Beer At Home

Brewing beer at home is not at all difficult as long as you can and will follow directions. There are four basic ingredients necessary for every batch you make:
Malted Grain

There is a fifth ingredient, but it arrives a little late to the party: carbon dioxide, or CO2. You cannot brew beer at home without it. Actually no one can brew beer anywhere without carbon dioxide. How do you get it? It is produced by the yeast and hops in the beer. There is an important process of aging that is necessary if you want really good beer.

Once bottled, leave it be for no less than two weeks. It is during this time that the carbon dioxide is produced and your beer is carbonated. There are a few other ways to add CO2 to your home brewed beer, but the aging is still something to allow.

The quick way to possibly add CO2 to beer brewed at home is to pump it into your keg or container directly. This speeds up the aging process and gets you to your brew a lot faster.

The more traditional way for home brewing beer with CO2 is by adding wort to the finished product before sealing it. Wort is simply unfermented beer; adding that for the yeast produces carbon dioxide.