Zigbier

by Super User
in Zigbier
on September 24, 2012

We make our own beer!

Made by Engineers. Technologically delicious!

There is a trend in everything we do. We take current processes and add technology to make them better. And we believe that with the proper approach, anything can be done.

This is why we decided to make our own beer: to understand the process and try to apply our knowledge to produce good beer. There is a long road ahead, but we are on track and going fast!

Come drink with us. Cheers!

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Ingredients

The basic ingredients of beer are: water, malt, yeast and hop.

The malt for beer is usually from barley or wheat. The process of malting of cereals is the controlled germination that activates the enzymes in the peel. The grains are wet and then dried. The higher the drying time, the darker the grain.

The yeast is responsible for consuming the starch from the malt in order to turn it into alcohol.

The water should be neutral, because a pH too acidic or basic inhibits the action of yeasts.

The hop contributes to the aroma, the bitterness and the preservation of beer.

The process

The first step is the milling of the malt. It should break the peel to expose the starch, and no more than that to which the filtering process is facilitated. Less milling means little sugar for the yeast. Too much milling means difficulty on filtering and unpleasant bitter taste.

The next step is called mashing, a process that produces the wort. It is done by controlling the temperature of water and malt for about 90 minutes between 50 and 70 °C. The duration at each temperature will add different properties to the final result, such as more alcohol, more foam, more body etc., because each enzyme on the peel of the malt is benefited at a certain temperature range. These enzymes will break the starch into smaller pieces, more adequate for the yeast to consume.

Then we initiate a first filtering step, using the peel of the malt.

The filtered liquid is then boiled for 60 minutes. The hop is added at this stage. The longer the hop stays boiling, more bitterness is added to the beer. The combination of different types of hops and boil times determines the unique taste of each beer.

After boiling, the wort is transfered to fermentation containers along with activated yeast, and then conditioned with the appopriate controlled temperature for each type of beer.

After the fermentation period, where the alcohol was created, the process of maturation begins, so that the yeast starts to consume others substances which do not add any relevant property to the beer.

The result of these steps is a beer without gas, because the fermentation containers are equipped with valves that release the CO2 produced by the yeast.

The final process is the carbonation, that adds carbon dioxide to the beer. The pasteurisation may also be performed at this point, to make the beer last longer.

Characteristics and indicators

Color (EBC - European Brewery Convention)

Higher the number, the darker is the color. Examples:

  • EBC 4: Pilsen
  • EBC 4: Pilsen
  • EBC 8: Weizen
  • EBC 12: American Pale Ale
  • EBC 47: Porter
  • EBC 57: Stout

Alcohol (ABV - Alcohol By Volume)

It is the percentage of alcohol present in the drink. For beers, it is usually between 4 and 6 %.

Bitterness (IBU - International Bitterness Unit)

It is a metric calculated in function of type of hop (and quantity of alpha acid) and the boiling time. In general, the higher, the more bitter is the beer. The bitterness can be masked by the high amount of malt.

Examples:

  • American Lager: IBU 5-15
  • American Light Lager: IBU 8-17
  • American Premium Lager: IBU 13-23
  • Bitter, Extra Special: IBU 30-35
  • Bitter, Ordinary: IBU 20-25
  • India Pale Ale (IPA): IBU 40-60
  • Pale Ale, American: IBU 20-40
  • Pale Ale. Classic: IBU 20-40
  • Pale Ale, English: IBU 20-40
  • Pilsner, Classic Lager: IBU 35-45
  • Pilsner, Czech Lager: IBU 35-43
  • Pilsner, German Lager: IBU 30-40
  • Porter: IBU 20-60
  • Weizen: IBU 13-17

Types

Our Zigbier!

We usually classify beers in the following groups: ale, lager, lambic and mixed.

This classification is based on the work of Michael Jackson (not the singer!), author of the book "The World Guide to Beer", from 1977.

The definition is based on the type of yeast used during the brewing process.

Ale

The yeasts working in higher temperature, typically 18 °C, produce the Ale type of beer.

They also typically produce a foam layer on the surface of the liquid, and therefore are called high fermentation.

Ales have remarkable taste because the high fermentation produces more esters and other secondary aromas, oftentimes remembering the taste of fruit.

ZigBier Pale Ale
  • EBC = 23,5
  • ABV = 4,7%
  • IBU = 35,5
ZigBier Weizen
  • EBC = 8,3
  • ABV = 4,5%
  • IBU = 14,5
ZigBier Porter
  • EBC = 62,5
  • ABV = 5,1%
  • IBU = 44,9

Lager

It is the most consumed type of beer in the world.

The yeast of Lager ferments at lower temperatures, around 12 °C, and tends to get deposited in the bottom of the fermentation vessel, hence the name "low fermentation".

The origin of the name comes from the German word "lagern", which means "store".

Beers of this type are lighter and more refreshing, results of storage in low temperatures (maturation).

ZigBier Pilsen
  • EBC = 7,5
  • ABV = 4,7%
  • IBU = 14,2