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The first Israeli beer news portal in Israel. Founded in 2008. All about beer, accessible and professional.

Beer ABC
08/03/2024
72

Organic beer

oRGANIC

Every time has its own priorities. Right now, healthy lifestyles are in vogue. Food companies instantly turned to the wind and started selling “healthy” food at appropriate prices. Brewing companies have not avoided this either.

Organic beer has begun to appear on the shelves of specialty stores at double or even triple the price. This summer, the Organic Beer Festival will once again take place in the USA.  Here are the main theses of the participants of this festival: “Our beer is the best! The most natural! No chemistry! Only from natural products!”. But for some reason the question comes up: What do other breweries make their beer from? Is it made of polymers or some other abomination? – Of course not! Beer has always been and remains one of the most natural food products.

And it’s not all about the German “Purity Law“, which has long been a marketing gimmick. Malt, yeast and hops have always been used in beer, which in addition to its flavor and aromatic qualities is a strong natural anti bactericide and preservative. It was not for nothing that unpasteurized beer did not sour in kegs during the long voyage from England to India thanks to hop additives.

There are certain additives that are used in the preparation of organic and conventional beer. For example, PVPP (Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone – an insoluble organic polymer) is added to beer or beer is filtered through such filters. In the former case, chains of PVPP molecules coagulate the polyphenols in the beer. (The polyphenols, in combination with proteins in the beer, affect its clarity.). Within a day, the PVPPs settle and are removed from the beer. Simple, effective, but sounds scary to the uninformed people.

The color in the beer is also adjustable: it can be enhanced with black malt or roasted malt concentrate, with the water removed after brewing. In appearance it resembles a real jam. Is it a natural product? – 100%!

The CO2 in beer is produced by the yeast, and if it is not enough, the excess CO2 released during fermentation, certainly natural, is added to the beer.

Requirements for products in the Organic group vary from country to country, бут there are common mandatory criteria. These rules are formulated by the organizations issuing the relevant certificate.

USDA

These are the basic content requirements for organic products:

The amount of organic ingredients in the composition of the product must be at least 95%. Such products are entitled to label with the USDA Organic label (or BDIH, or ECOCERT BIO). If the final product contains at least 70% organic ingredients, then the label must say Made with organic. If the organic content is less than 70%, manufacturers are only allowed to list the ingredients.

Raw materials:

Plant raw materials must be grown in an environmentally friendly area (plantations or wildlife) without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. The plant processing process must comply with ecological standards and not include chemical synthesis steps. Genetically modified plants are prohibited, as well as irradiation of products for sterilization.

Preservatives:

To maintain product stability and safety, natural preservatives (vegetable oils, essences) as well as some of their modifications (benzoic acid, its salts and esters; salicylic acid and its salts; ascorbic acid and its salts; benzene alcohol) may be used.

Banned:

Synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, ethoxylated compounds, paraffin and other petroleum products.

Animal welfare:

Components may not be tested on animals and substances derived from the processing of vertebrate animals (spermaceti, turtle oil, mink fat, groundhog fat, animal fats, collagen of animal origin) may not be used.

That’s a brief summary of the requirements, but what is the difference between “organic” beer and just natural beer? – The absence of chemical fertilizers and various sprayers in growing plants. Is this a good thing? Of course, but there is a small “but” – Growing grain, hops, in this way it is impossible to get a stable quality and constant flavor, both the components and the beer itself. Therefore, large beer companies cannot afford to switch completely to “organic” raw materials, no supplier of such malt and hops can guarantee the constant quality of the products supplied.

You can brew a small batch of beer with such ingredients, and tomorrow you may get something completely different in flavor, even though it is made from organic products. I’m not against such beer, I just want to know the taste of the beer I order in the pub, not to get something new under the same name every time, and for triple the price.

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