Beer Trivia of the Week 4.26.16 Lager lager?
Last week we briefly skimmed the surface of Ale yeast, pun intended. This week we are introducing the Lager variety.
From the Beer Advocate:
Bottom Fermenting Yeast
Lager yeast strains are best used at temperatures ranging from 7 to 15°C. At these temperatures, lager yeasts grow less rapidly than ale yeasts, and with less surface foam they tend to settle out to the bottom of the fermenter as fermentation nears completion. This is why they are often referred to as “bottom” yeasts. The final flavour of the beer will depend a great deal on the strain of lager yeast and the temperatures at which it was fermented.
Some of the lager styles made from bottomfermenting yeasts are Pilsners, Dortmunders, Märzen, Bocks, and American malt liquors.
The main yeast strain for these types of Beers would be Saccharomyces pastorianus. An interesting note I found while researching this yeast strain is the origin is a hybrid between the Ale yeast strain we talked about last week, and another yeast strain. Exactly how and where that hybridization happened is still the topic of debate it seems.
Until next week, stay yeasty….
Beer Trivia of the Week 4.19.16 What the Ale
One of the first questions I had when I started this beer-adventure related to this thing called yeast was… “What’s the difference between an ale and a lager?”
I will discuss the other one next week, but this week I want to look into Ale Yeast.
Ale yeast strains are best used at temperatures ranging from 10 to 25°C, though some strains will not actively ferment below 12°C (33). Ale yeasts are generally regarded as top-fermenting yeasts since they rise to the surface during fermentation, creating a very thick, rich yeast head. That is why the term “top-fermenting” is associated with ale yeasts. Fermentation by ale yeasts at these relatively warmer temperatures produces a beer high in esters, which many regard as a distinctive character of ale beers.
Top-fermenting yeasts are used for brewing ales, porters, stouts, Altbier, Kölsch, and wheat beers.
Although I cannot prejudge any beer before tasting, I do get a little bit excited to try a new ale I haven’t heard of before. Some of the best tastes I’ve been privileged to sample have been born of the this particular Ale yeast.
So until next week, find a new ale and celebrate the top-fermenters.
Beer Trivia of the Week 4.12.16 Silenus
My search through the Beer Mythology sites brought me to Silenus. He was the Ancient Greek god of Beer and a drinking companion.
From the site Froth n Hops:
In Ancient Greek mythology, Silenus is the God of beer and a drinking companion. He is usually associated with his buddy, Dionysus. He is often featured as a bald and fat man, with a big beer belly. He is normally drunk and it is said that he had to be carried either by donkeys or satyrs (in Greek mythology, satyrs are wood-dwelling creatures with the head and body of a man and the ears, horns, and legs of a goat). He was also the god of drunkenness who rode in the train of Dionysos seated on the back of a donkey. He was depicted as a jovial old man, hairy and balding with a pot-belly and snub-nose, and the ears and tail of an ass. The old satyr was the foster-father of the god Dionysos. The divine child was delivered into his care after his birth from the thigh of Zeus, and raised by Seilenos and the Nysiades in a cave on the mythical mountain of Nysa.
So next time you need a wingman at the pub, call upon Selenus or even Dionysus and enjoy the night partying with the gods.
Cheers to all!!!
Beer Trivia of the Week 4.5.16 Sekhmet
You should know by now that I love history, at least pertaining to alcohol related events. This post will look into the Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet and how she is the topic of discussion today.
Sekhmet holds a high place in Egyptian Mythology. Her name literally means “Powerful One” so she shouldn’t disappoint. She is the goddess of the sun, war, destruction, plagues, and finally healing. Pretty big mix, but here Beer related story is why we are here today.
For a couple of good reads into how she came to being and what her mythological life was like, look into these articles:
Sekhmet – Egyptian Gods
Sekhmet – Gods of Ancient Egypt
Here’s an excerpt from the Egyptian Gods site:
She is believed be a closely related aspect of Hathor. When Hathor was sent to the earth when Ra plucked her out of his brows, she turned to Sekhmet to avenge her father because the humans have not been true to the principles of Ma’at. However, she became so violent that she slaughtered humankind without limit and drank their blood. She became the fiercest of all goddesses. Ra, afraid of what her daughter had turned out, poured 7000 jugs of beer and pomegranate that dyed the Nile River red to resemble blood that the goddess swiftly drank. She became so drunk that Sekhmet slept for three days. Only by that trickery, when she awoke, she returned to her docile self as Hathor.
Humankind was saved from the wrath of Sekhmet and it is celebrated and commemorated every year. Everyone drank beer stained with pomegranate as they worship Sekhmet: “The Mistress and Lady of the Tomb”, “The Gracious One”, “The Destroyer of Rebellion”, and “The Mighty One of Enchantments.
So the next time you hoist up a glass of any red-tinted brew, say thank you to Ra for using beer as a weapon and satisfying her blood lust.
Until Next Time,
Cheers to the RED BEER!!!
Beer Trivia of the Week 3.29.16 London Beer Flood
This week takes us to London to explore an event that involved both Beer and Death. The Great London Beer Flood.
From the Wiki page:
The London Beer Flood happened on 17 October 1814 in the parish of St. Giles, London, England. At the Meux and Company Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, a huge vat containing over 135,000 imperial gallons (610,000 L) of beer ruptured, causing other vats in the same building to succumb in a domino effect. As a result, more than 323,000 imperial gallons (1,470,000 L) of beer burst out and gushed into the streets. The wave of beer destroyed two homes and crumbled the wall of the Tavistock Arms Pub, trapping teenage employee Eleanor Cooper under the rubble. Within minutes neighbouring George Street and New Street were swamped with alcohol, killing a mother and daughter who were taking tea, and surging through a room of people gathered for a wake.
The brewery was among the poor houses and tenements of the St Giles Rookery, where whole families lived in basement rooms that quickly filled with beer. At least eight people were known to have drowned in the flood or died from injuries.
The brewery was eventually taken to court over the accident, but the disaster was ruled to be an Act of God by the judge and jury, leaving no one responsible. The company found it difficult to cope with the financial implications of the disaster, with a significant loss of sales made worse because they had already paid duty on the beer. They made a successful application to Parliament reclaiming the duty which allowed them to continue trading.
The brewery was demolished in 1922, and today, the Dominion Theatre occupies a part of the site of the former brewery. In 2012, a local tavern, the “Holborn Whippet”, has started to mark this event with a vat of porter brewed especially for the day.
So be careful and learn to swim in beer. You may even have to drink your way out of a nasty predicament.
Until Next Week,
Cheers and stay afloat my friends!