Beer, at its core, is a very simple beverage. Though there are several different types of beers, sometimes flavored with different additives, the basis of any beer comes down to only a few simple ingredients and one tried and true process. At Hangover Hospital, we are interested in all thing beer because we can cure hangovers associated with its consumption. Our IVs in the Keys specialists can help you get rid of your hangover symptoms in less than an hour because of our understanding of alcohol and the key components that make up intoxicating drinks. Read more about how beer is made and why you should call us if last night’s drinks came back with revenge this morning.
Beer is broken down into four basic ingredients. The first is barley, and grain high in fiber similar to wheat but which contains more heart-healthy minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. The second ingredient is water, which makes up the drink itself. The next is hops. Hops are small flowers we have been using in beer for nearly 500 years, and it replaced previously used spices for making beer bitter, giving beer aroma, and for giving beer taste. Hops are all the same plant, but depending on where and how they are grown, they give beer different tastes and aromas that brewers strive for. The last ingredient, and the most important in the fermentation process, is yeast. Yeast is a culture that converts sugar (sugars found in the barley) into alcohol and produces CO2, giving the beer a fizz at the end of the brew.
How to Brew Beer
The first thing a brewer needs to create beer is the barley (though other grains can be used as well). After the grains are harvested at a certain point, they are heated, dried out, and ground to release enzymes and the sugars that will be used to ferment into alcohol. The grains are then added to a specific raitio of hot, but not boiling, water in a process called mashing. This causes the grains to break down further, and the tea-like water is removed from the processed grains. The water is now full of sugars and enzymes. At this point, it has become a sticky substance with a sweet aroma which is ready to become a beer and start the fermentation process.
At this point, the beer is ready for flavoring. It is heated up and boiled, and hops are often added at this point to give the beer a bitterness to counterbalance its sweetness and act as a natural beer preservative. The water is then strained again and added to another brewing vessel where brewer’s yeast is added. The brew often sits for about 2 weeks (which varies depending on the type of beer or the taste the brewer is trying to achieve) where the yeast converts the sugar into ethanol and CO2. At the last stage, brewers can either add additional CO2 or they can naturally allow the beer to age in the bottle for a few more weeks to a few more months. It is often chilled, and then you can crack it open when you are hanging out on the beach with your friends to enjoy the setting of the beautiful Key West sun.
About Beer Hangovers
Beers have relatively less alcohol in them than other drinks because of the amount of water that comprises them, but drinking too many beers can definitely lead to hangovers in the morning. If you drank too much last night and feel like death the next day, be sure to call us at Hangover Hospital. We will come to you and get you back on your feet in less than an hour.