If countless hours of binge-watching Bar Rescue has taught us anything, it’s that there is a direct correlation between beer and science; so today, we’re looking at the science of beer. Let’s get started! Oh, and we should probably warn you that by the end of this you will be craving an ice-cold brewski.
(image via: istock)
Flowers, Fungus, Grains
Beer gets its flavors from hops, and hops are flowers that actually look like mini-pinecones. The alcohol comes from malted barley steeped in water to extract the sugars; these sugars then attract yeast, a fungus that thrives on sugar and excretes alcohol. And when you think of beer like this, it’s pretty crazy that a flower mixed with grains that attract fungus tastes so good! (Eventually…)
In the 1970s Dr. Morton Meilgaard invented a sort of beer flavor wheel that described 122 different chemical connections behind aroma, flavors, and compounds. And because chemistry is always evolving, we can now distinguish over 400 chemical connections. Now, this is the kind of chemistry we’re willing to play around with at home.
Who Run the Beer World?
Girls! The art of fermentation actually dates back to the 6th millennium B.C., and by the 19th century B.C., beer recipes can be found inscribed onto tablets. While the development of beer was done differently all over the world, one thing stayed pretty constant: it was women that were brewing it. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 1700s that beer became a male-dominated beverage.
Beer Has its Pros and Cons
Don’t get us wrong, beer is not a health food, but it does contain an ingredient that is good for you and that ingredient is silicon. A couple of beers can actually provide you with a healthy daily level of silicon, which is beneficial for bone health. But, as most of us know and as some of us had to learn the hard way, too much beer leads to hangovers, and consuming too much alcohol long-term can lead to an increased risk of liver disease and cancer, among other health issues. So what we’re saying is, “for my bone health” is not an acceptable reason for drinking a lot of beer.
The next time you’re at the bar and you’ve got your glass, try this experiment: tilt your glass and see if the foam adheres to the side. If it does, this is known as “Brussels Lace” and is said to be a sign of high-quality beer.