Time for another ACS Webinar write-up! This time, let's educate ourselves on beer!
(photo cred: Gina M, posted on Yelp)
Professor Charlie Bamforth, of UC Davis, gave an informative, and at times chemistry-centric, session on beer and brewing last week. In appreciation of my favorite cold beverage, here's this week's List of beer- and brewing-related fun facts:
- The key grist component of 90% of beers is barley malt. The remaining 10% is primarily composed of wheat malt (9%) and sorghum malt (1%).
- Barley is part of the grass family.
- Most of domestic barley is grown in Idaho.
- Germany is the leading country in hop production.
- China is the biggest beer market in the world.
- In terms of the costs of producing beer, hops are the cheapest component of beer (cheap, but plays a huge role in the quality of the beer). The most expensive component is taxes (!), followed by sales and advertising.
- The amount of taxes paid by a brewery for a beer depends on the malt content of the beer.
- When brewing beer, you want a vigorous boil, not a simmer (which makes the beer smell bad).
- There are many environment factors associated with beer production (perhaps this is the most expensive factor):
- water availability and usage
- carbon emissions
- energy usage
- The most prominent factor in the carbon footprint of a single beer is the electricity used in its refrigeration in retail, followed by its production and the transportation of glass and malt.