I got an interesting press release this morning from the American Chemistry Society (ACS) touting the Chemistry of Beer, as they put it, “just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day. Today they “released a new video, The Chemistry of Beer, which focuses on the science involved in producing the world’s third most popular beverage (after water and tea).”
From the press release:
Shot in high-definition format, the video features Sam Adams Senior Brewing Manager Grant Wood, who holds a degree in Food Science & Technology from Texas A&M University. It explains the process of turning barley, hops, water and yeast into a lager or ale. Among the insights:
- Yeast is the most important ingredient because it determines if the brew is ale or lager.
- Water is crucial, too, and it must be free of organic substances and “off” flavors.
- Key flavor compounds are packed into those little flower clusters called hops, which add flavor and a pleasant bitterness to the beer.
Produced by the ACS Office of Public Affairs, the video includes plenty of “did-you-know” fodder for those St. Patrick’s Day conversations over a pint. Did you know, for instance, that the fermentation process in which yeast produce alcohol also produces almost 600 flavor compounds? The Chemistry of Beer ends with a message that all drinkers should take to heart, St. Patrick’s Day and every day: Drink responsibly!
The whole video was shot at Boston Beer’s pilot brewery in their Jamaica Plain location in Boston. Grant, who you probably know if you’ve visited the brewery or have been in the industry for any length of time, gives a polished tour and explanation of the brewing process. It’s probably nothing you haven’t seen before, but it’s relatively comprehensive and does a good job of explaining brewing in a nutshell, with an emphasis on the chemistry, of course.