Beer is always in the Singular. Probably because it is so great. And around truly significant people, events, and phenomena there are usually a lot of myths and speculation.
During its long history beer has not only has gained worldwide popularity, but also has become surrounded by various myths and speculations. For several thousand years the essence of brewing has not changed and beer is still a pure and healthy product. Today I will tell you about the most common “beer” myths.
- Beer can be light or dark. – Then what type of beer is brown, red, or orange? Beer is divided into several large groups by fermentation method and ingredients, not by color.
- Alcohol is added to beer. – Why? When beer is fermented, alcohol is produced naturally by yeast from the sugars in the wort. This is yet another “scare story” of unscrupulous and illiterate journalists who, instead of taking a tour of a brewery once, rewrite articles from one another.
- Beer makes you fat. – Of course, they do! If you drink several liters of beer every day, even without a snack, you will grow a big belly. By the way, if you eat a couple of loaves of bread every day, you will not only grow a belly, but considerably enlarge all other places. There are about 40 kcal in 100 ml of beer and it is not much at all when consumed in moderation. The daily recommended rate of consumption of beer is from 0.33 to 0.5 liters, but if you once in 2-3 weeks, you organize a beer party at home or gather with friends in the pub, then all the gained calories will be more than compensated by the pleasure of socializing with friends. The main thing is not to overdo it with snacks!
- Modern beer is made from powder. – “Beer powder” exists, it is called beer concentrate and is used by beginner home brewers. This concentrate is made by evaporating water from the finished, pre-brewed wort. This process is not cheap, so the price of such beer concentrate is quite high. When making beer from concentrate it is necessary to add water, beer yeast and go through the whole process of fermentation. Making beer from concentrate in large quantities is not economically viable. Therefore, breweries not only brew beer from malt, but often grow beer malt themselves.
- Beer from keg and bottled beer are brewed differently. – Another myth created by misinterpreted facts. The same brand of beer is brewed the same way for kegs and bottles. Let me tell you more, often, I myself send the beer to the bottling line, and the next shift, the same tank sends the beer to the keg line. This is true of most beers, except those brewed specifically for kegs or bottles, or those that are finished in bottles. Are there differences between cask beer and bottled beer? – Yes! And now I’ll list them.
Draft beer is pasteurized at a higher temperature, but for a shorter time. Both bottled and cask beers end up with the same number of pasteurization units.
Bottled beer often has a difficult life before it arrives at your table: it is often transported from warehouse to warehouse, often stored in unsuitable conditions – in the sun or in unventilated warehouses. In supermarkets, they also often store it anywhere, in inappropriate conditions (not out of harm’s way, God forbid, but out of ignorance and lack of funds). In supermarkets, pay attention, beer often stands on brightly lit shelves all day long under the direct light of bright lamps and, accordingly, acquires an unpleasant taste.
Draft beer, on the other hand, is protected from light. It is sold at a higher price (not only to us, but also to pub owners), so it is usually fresh and is not purchased in bulk. Pub owners usually have basic beer literacy, and they monitor the conditions of beer storage, because the taste of their beer often determines their profits.
The shelf life of keg beer is usually six months, we drink it fresher.
And most importantly. When do we go to the pub? – When we want to meet friends in the evening and have fun with nice people and good food, cancelling all the tedious diets for that evening. We are initially determined to have fun!
To conclude the discussion about draft beer. As a taster who has to taste beer all the time, I want to note: beer from the same tank, bottled (on condition that there were no breakdowns on the line) and filled in kegs, and not suffering the trauma of transportation and improper storage does not differ from each other in taste. However, let’s continue with our story of beer myths.
- Beer should be drunk so cold that it makes your teeth ache. – Not true! First of all, every beer has its own recommended drinking temperature. Secondly, excessively chilled beers lose all the bouquet of flavor and aroma. Example: the most common beer in the lager family is usually recommended to drink at 8˚C to 10˚C. In our home refrigerators, it’s usually around 5˚C.
Do a little experiment: chill two identical bottles of lager in the refrigerator. Before drinking, take one out for about 10-15 minutes and let it warm up a bit. Then open these 2 bottles (cold and not so cold) and compare. It will be a completely different tasting beer. Excessively chilled beer will taste much more watery (due to overcooling) and less flavorful. By the way, such beer is tasted at 15˚C (to maximize the discovery of all the nuances of taste and flavor).
- The darker the beer, the stronger it is. – The color of the beer depends on the color of the malt used. Although usually, but not always, the stronger beers are darker in color. By the way, because of the way it is processed, dark malts produce much less alcohol than light malts.
- Ale is stronger than lager. – Ales and lagers are beers, not strength markers. There are weak ales and strong lagers, and vice versa.
- Beer must be drunk from a bottle or can. – Beer should be drunk from a glass designed for this type of beer. This emphasizes all the flavors of the beer as much as possible. When we drink beer “from the neck”, we can’t enjoy the brilliance and beauty of the foam cap, we don’t feel the aroma of beer and we lose the sense of the nuances of taste. We are just pouring a cold liquid into ourselves rather than enjoying a divine beverage.
- Hops influence the alcohol content of beer. – Hops are an excellent natural bactericide. Thanks to them, beer can withstand a long shelf life without the addition of preservatives. Hops affect the foam quality, flavor and bitterness of the beer, but not the alcohol content. Alcohol is influenced by the quantity of grain, the quality and quantity of yeast, and the brewing and fermentation process itself.
- Beer contains hormones, which cause men to form a female figure. – Beer does not contain any hormones, this is the speculation of illiterate people. The female figure in men is formed because of the wrong lifestyle: sitting work, overeating, immoderate consumption of one or another product, including beer, lack of space in your life for regular exercise and sex.
- Real beer is unfiltered. It is ” Live beer “. – The notion of live beer is a very successful term created by marketers. It is now used to describe most of the craft beers in Russia. Unfiltered and unpasteurized beer has its own advantages and disadvantages. Its main disadvantage is its short shelf life. It has to be drunk on the spot, which is not always possible. Only small breweries that sell their beer locally can afford to produce such beer. By the way, unfiltered and unpasteurized beer is no guarantee of success. There are a lot of great beers around the world that have been filtered and pasteurized.
- The best beer snack is salted fish. – Salted fish is a purely Soviet creation. It makes you thirsty and allows you to consume an enormous amount of beer without paying attention to its quality. The fact is that the snack for beer should be chosen depending on the type of beer and emphasize its qualities, but not to block the entire taste, only causing thirst. Maybe that’s why this snack is not popular anywhere, except in the former Soviet Union.
- The more foam, the better. – The height and strength of the foam depends on the type of beer and other factors, particularly the hops. Top-fermented beers have a denser foam than lagers, and wheat beers in general have a high, dense and beautiful foam. All these myths about a coin to hold on to the foam if the beer is good are just more speculation.
- Beer is good for the kidneys. – It may be useful as a diuretic, but no more. Although beer has many other health benefits.
- Beer used to taste a lot better than it does now. – Trees used to be higher and the hair on our head lusher. But seriously, brewing, like any science, is constantly evolving and the requirements for beer quality are constantly increasing. Recall that in USSR we had mostly unpasteurized beer with shelf life of 7(!) days. And the quality, to put it mildly, was not at a very high level. We are always nostalgic for what we had in our youth.
- Beer is bad for your health. – Any product, if consumed in excess, is harmful to health, and beer is no exception. Beer is made from natural products; it is rich in antioxidants and various vitamins. When drunk regularly (0.3 liters for women and 0.5 liters for men) beer reduces the risk of heart and vascular disease by as much as 7%! The beneficial effects of beer on the human cardiovascular system are due to the various phenolic compounds, minerals and of course antioxidants it contains. They also help to prevent osteoporosis, strengthen our blood vessels and promote longevity. Of course, all of this happens with regular, but moderate drinking of beer.
As they say, drink beer, and you will have a long and healthy life!