What is beer made of?

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Beer is an alcoholic beverage that is made mainly from barley, hops, yeast, and water. Barley is considered the main ingredient as it provides the starch in the beer-making process.  The sugar extracted from barley will then react with the yeast component to produce alcohol along with the addition of hops and water.  Hops provide the oils that provide the bitter taste of beer.  The cones in hops are the ones harvested to provide some kind of spice to the barley, water, and yeast mixture. The yeast or fungus component basically promotes the fermentation process of the sugar provided by barley. This process will then ultimately yield to the alcoholic drink we know as beer.

When all the basic ingredients are present, the beer-making process can then start.  Barley is the first component to be processed through some heating technique. This technique will basically extract essential enzymes and the sugar from barley.  The resulting sugar extract will become the main ingredient of beer.  This extract is similar to having dough for making breads and pastries.  Without the sugar extract from barley, no beer can be made.  There are some occasions though that wheat or rye grain may be used as an alternative to barley as the main component of beer.  The sugar extract will then be boiled for hours and it is during this time that the spice or bitter flavor from hops will be added.  After the boiling process, the mixture will then be cooled and allowed to ferment by adding yeast.  The fermentation process may a few weeks to complete. Some types of beer are stored under room temperature while other varieties like cold lager beers are stored in a cool environment.

There are various types of beer depending on the fermentation process, the yeast used, or the process that barley underwent.  Pale ale type of beer for example is a result of using top-fermenting yeast.  Lager beers meanwhile are made through cold fermentation.  Wheat beer meanwhile uses wheat grain instead of barley during the production stage.

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