Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: How To Get The Best Head....

  1. #1
    Gregory Morrow Guest

    Default How To Get The Best Head....



    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...nt-868543.html


    How to get a head: In search of the perfect pint

    We've been drinking beer for centuries. But only now are scientists learning
    the secrets of the perfect pint. Sanjida O'Connell learns the recipe for
    success from the master brewers

    Wednesday, 16 July 2008

    "It's a drink that is almost as old as civilisation: beer was originally
    made from emmer, an early form of wheat, by the Babylonians who offered it
    to their gods. In this country, it was made mainly by women, known as beer
    witches; the last witch was burnt alive in 1591 for her bad brew. But until
    Louis Pasteur discovered that micro-organisms cause fermentation in 1860, no
    one understood what turned a gloopy slop of grain into a potent pint:
    brewers used to add beer from the previous batch and call it 'godisgoode'.

    "It's a magical process," says Adrian Tierney-Jones, writer and beer expert.
    "Brewers never fail to be fascinated at how a beer turns from being lifeless
    to full of life." Alex Bell, head brewer for O'Hanlons, will explain to the
    Royal Institute tonight how scientists have finally got a handle on the
    magical alchemy of beer brewing. As Bell says, "The key thing in the brewing
    process is making alcohol." We now know it's the yeast that's responsible:
    it's a type of single-celled fungus, which produces the fizz and
    intoxication - alcohol and carbon dioxide. It takes 34 million of these
    cells to produce just one pint of beer.

    The starting point for most beer is barley. The grains are soaked and then
    left to dry until they begin to germinate. To prevent them turning into
    mini-barley plants, the grains are heated and crushed. This malted barley
    smells of lightly toasted granary bread but the grain turns darker and
    richer at higher temperatures: crystal is a mixture that has toffee and
    biscuit flavours and roasted barley, used to make stout, looks and smells
    like ground coffee.

    "What malted barley adds to beers are roasted and smoky aromas and coffee,
    chocolate, bready, biscuity, sweetcorn, hay, toffee, caramel and
    butterscotch flavours,"says Tierney-Jones.

    The malted barley is heated with water to release enzymes that break the
    complex starches into simple sugars like glucose and maltose. Other enzymes
    chop the proteins in the grain into shorter segments. This wort, as it's
    called, is drained out and the remaining mashed barley is fed to the local
    cows. The wort is pumped into a brewing kettle where it's boiled with hops.

    It was Belgian monks who first added hops to beer approximately 500 years
    ago. Before that a range of ingredients were used to impart flavour such as
    juniper berries and bog myrtle and even henbane, which is a hallucinogen.
    "The monks were allowed up to five litres of beer a day when they were
    fasting," says Bell, "so they took beer seriously."

    The proper name for hops is Humulus lupulus; lupulus is derived from the
    Latin for wolf. A wild climbing vine, they're now grown by training them up
    10ft vines. It's the flower, the "cone", that contains most of the unusual
    and complex chemicals that impart bitterness, aroma, antioxidants, enhance
    foam production and act as an anti-bacterial. Normally two types of hops are
    used - ones that add bitterness from humulone, an astringent acid - are
    boiled with the wort for at least an hour, whereas aroma hops are added
    towards the end of boiling so that they release their aromatic oils without
    the oils being evaporated. O'Hanlons uses dried hops from America, the UK
    and the former Czechoslovakia, which smell of Thai spice - of lemongrass,
    galangal and coriander. Tierney-Jones says, "Hops add herbal, grassy and
    lavender aromas as well as bitterness, spiciness and citrus, and tropical
    fruit flavours." The mixture is then left to ferment with yeast for up to
    five days. "After 24 hours, the yeast foam looks like a lemon meringue pie,
    the peaks are astonishing," says Bell. "What yeast adds to beers are the
    flavours and aromas of soft fruit," says Tierney-Jones. There are two main
    species of yeast: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which works at warmer
    temperatures and is used to make bitter and ale, and Saccharomyces
    carlsbergensis, which needs cooler temperatures and creates lager. There are
    more than 500 strains of these two main species, often particular to a
    brewery. The larger brewers send their yeast to be stored in labs so that if
    anything goes wrong, they can recultivate their own strain.

    Yeast converts the sugars from the barley into carbon dioxide, which gives
    beer its fizz, and alcohol. It's called the glycolytic pathway and its
    extremely metabolically inefficient as the yeast hardly recoups any energy
    from the process. "Yeast would gain more energy if it converted the sugars
    into carbon dioxide and water, as we do, but we're grateful that it
    doesn't," says Bell.

    The by-products of this process are the production of other compounds that
    contribute to the flavour of the beer. For instance, the final step in the
    pathway is the conversion of glucose to the compound pyruvate. This is then
    converted into ethanal, which can then be turned into ethanol (alcohol);
    sometimes though, the ethanal gets converted to diacetyl. This chemical
    produces butterscotch flavours that are good in stout but not so welcome in
    other beers. Leaving the mixture for longer allows the yeast to turn the
    diacetyl into 2, 3-butanediol, which doesn't taste as strongly of
    butterscotch. Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains of yeast produce esters, such
    as isoamyl acetate, which tastes of pear drops and bananas, and ethyl
    hexenoate that has an appley aroma.

    The beer is then put into casks or bottled and a secondary fermentation will
    take place that produces the carbonation. "There are so many factors that
    can change the finished product," says Bell, who has created a beer called
    Fire Fly, "the weather, the barley, which affects the range of proteins, the
    amount of oxygen in the beer that's added during mixing, the dynamic of the
    boil. The beer in your glass might not taste anything like you'd planned."

    What determines whether a beer is an ale, a bitter or a larger is down to
    the amount and type of hops as well as the malted barley, but is primarily
    due to the strain of yeast. "A yeast that has been used for the same beer
    over a period of time will have a specific character and adds its own
    particular imprint to the beer. Different yeasts produce different flavours.
    O'Hanlons produce a beer that contains 12 per cent alcohol, lasts up to 25
    years and is almost scarlet in colour when you hold it up to the light. It's
    named after Thomas Hardy, who wrote in The Trumpet-Major: "It was the most
    beautiful colour that the eye of an artist in beer could desire; full in
    body, yet brisk as a volcano; piquant, yet without a twang; luminous as an
    autumn sunset." Not quite what those Belgium monks might have expected from
    the action of a fungus and a wild wolf plant..."

    </>






  2. #2
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: How To Get The Best Head....

    Gregory wrote on Wed, 16 Jul 2008 16:30:19 -0500:

    > How to get a head: In search of the perfect pint
    >>>Much clipping<<<<<


    Very interesting but "Perfect Pint" is possibly an English or Irish but
    hardly an American expression especially as there are often no
    indications as to how much you are getting of a draft beer. I wonder if
    Scots worry about it too since the measure there is the top of the glass
    and the foam is supposed to spill over. Are the marked glasses actually
    Imperial pints in Britain and Ireland?

    --

    James Silverton
    Potomac, Maryland

    Email, with obvious alterations: not.jim.silverton.at.verizon.not


  3. #3
    Kswck Guest

    Default Re: How To Get The Best Head....


    "Gregory Morrow" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:L[email protected]..
    >
    >
    > http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...nt-868543.html
    >
    >
    > How to get a head: In search of the perfect pint
    >


    Now you do know that every person who saw this header was going to read
    this, right?



  4. #4
    Gregory Morrow Guest

    Default Re: How To Get The Best Head....


    Kswck wrote:

    > "Gregory Morrow" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]..
    > >
    > >
    > >

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...nt-868543.html
    > >
    > >
    > > How to get a head: In search of the perfect pint
    > >

    >
    > Now you do know that every person who saw this header was going to read
    > this, right?



    Like flies to, uh, honey...

    ;-)

    [I'll let the gals around here have the header "How To *Give* The Best
    Head"...I'll not mention any names, this being polite mixed company 'n
    all...]


    --
    Best
    Greg



  5. #5
    Dimitri Guest

    Default Re: How To Get The Best Head....


    "Gregory Morrow" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected] m...
    >
    > Kswck wrote:
    >
    >> "Gregory Morrow" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]..
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >

    > http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...nt-868543.html
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > How to get a head: In search of the perfect pint
    >> >

    >>
    >> Now you do know that every person who saw this header was going to read
    >> this, right?

    >
    >
    > Like flies to, uh, honey...
    >
    > ;-)
    >
    > [I'll let the gals around here have the header "How To *Give* The Best
    > Head"...I'll not mention any names, this being polite mixed company 'n
    > all...]
    >
    >
    > --
    > Best
    > Greg


    ROTF.


    --
    Old Scoundrel

    (AKA Dimitri)


  6. #6
    Cheryl Guest

    Default Re: How To Get The Best Head....

    On Wed 16 Jul 2008 09:03:20p, Gregory Morrow wrote in
    rec.food.cooking
    <news:[email protected] om>:

    > [I'll let the gals around here have the header "How To *Give*
    > The Best Head"...I'll not mention any names, this being polite
    > mixed company 'n all...]


    That's a secret we rarely share.

    --
    Cheryl



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32