Beer: General Knowledge


This article is about the alcoholic beverage. For other uses, see Beer (disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
  Schlenkerla Rauchbier being poured from a cask

Beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and saccharification enzymes are often derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat.[1] Most beer is also flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included. The preparation of beer is called brewing.

Beer is the world’s most widely consumed[2] alcoholic beverage; it is the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea.[3] It is thought by some to be the oldest fermented beverage.[4][5][6][7]

Some of humanity’s earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours,[8] and “The Hymn to Ninkasi“, a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people.[9][10] Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.

The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (abv) although it may vary between 0.5% (de-alcoholized) and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% abv and above in recent years.

Beer forms part of the culture of beer-drinking nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals, as well as a rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling and pub games such as bar billiards.

Continue reading

A Glossary of Beef Finishing

A Glossary of Beef Finishing

All-Natural: This term sounds great, but may be the most confusing of all.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a ‘natural’
or ‘all-natural’ labeling on meat means that it has been “minimally processed
and contains no artificial ingredients.” However, a natural label does not
prohibit the use of growth-promoting hormones or antibiotics.

Grain-fed/Corn-fed: Most meat found in supermarkets and restaurants
across the country are fed a diet of specially formulated feed, based on corn
or other grains. This diet is typical in large scale beef production and speeds
up the growth and fat distribution (marbling) of the beef. Cows are grasseaters
by nature, and an intense grain diet can be difficult on their digestive
systems, often requiring antibiotics to be administered on a large scale.

Grass-fed: According to the American Grassfed Association (AGA)’s 100%
Grass-fed Ruminant Program, a grass-fed cow must eat only herbaceous
plants and/or mother’s milk during its entire life cycle. The natural diet of
cattle, grass is lower in saturated fats and higher in essential nutrients, like
omega 3-fatty acids and vitamin E, creating a healthier, leaner product.
Grassfed beef tends to have a meatier flavor and a cleaner finish. To be
certified by the AGA, animals must not be given any antibiotics or hormones.

Grain-finished: This term refers to feeding pastured animals a grain diet
before slaughter to provide a more marbled finish in the end.