Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Art of Brewing by Dr. Hamilton

Recently I attended a very engaging presentation by Dr. Tracey Hamilton on "The Art of Brewing". Dr. Hamilton began his presentation by giving some background information on beer. He went on to explain that the earliest types of beers people would drink through a straw because it was from soggy unleavened bread and was called bappir. Dr. Hamilton explained to make hops in beer take water and add yeast which converts sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Next step is to gelatinize the starch, usually around 150 degrees F to accomplish this. The liquid is then separated from the grain by a screen. He also noted that the darker the beer the more acidic it is thus lower the ph level. High amounts of hops in beers can give it a harsh taste however they do have antibacterial properties and people whom drink beers with high amounts of hops usually have fewer cavities. Also if hops beers are not in dark colored bottles they usually have a foul smell because the hops reacts to the sunlight. However if chemically modified hop resins are used, the beer does not have to be placed in dark bottles. Flavors can also be added to beers if they are made a particular way. For example if dimethyl sulfide is used it gives it a cooked corn flavor, lactic acid gives a sour flavor, acetaldehyde gives green apple flavor, and 4-vinyl guiacol gives a clove flavor. Overall the lecture was very entertaining and enjoyable. Dr. Hamilton was very energetic during his presentation and kept the audience engaged with his humor as well. I would definitely recommend sitting in on one of Dr. Hamilton's presentations.    

1 comment:

  1. This packed a lot of interesting information into a short summary. I never knew that hops had to be kept in dark bottles to avoid reacting with sunlight, or that people who drink beer rich in hops can expect fewer cavities. It was also fascinating to learn exactly what compound lend certain flavors to beers.