Thursday, January 27, 2005

Who doesn't like their Corona with limestone?

Another fun article from the NY Times on beer and the effects geology has had on defining the world's great beer styles.

"Burton-on-Trent sits on sandstone rich in minerals like gypsum from water that had percolated through the rocks long ago. The waters had a pH of 5 to 5.5, ideal for extracting sugars from malted barley steeped in warm water, an important step known as mashing."This is why the Burton waters were so good for brewing," Dr. Maltman said. "It turned out they had a very high mineral content, but just in the right balance to get the right acidity for good leeching, good mashing. The balance of fermentable sugars has everything to do with the flavors and the kind of beer that results. The mashing stage is crucial."

The water was also rich in sulfates, which acted as a preservative, allowing the beer to be shipped to distant locations, even India - the Burton beers were called India pale ales, or I.P.A. for short. "The I.P.A. style came about because of the geology on which Burton was sited," Dr. Maltman said."

Of course, this is the point where all the brewers pee their pants that there's a brewing academic named Dr. Maltman.


Blogger RahX said...


9:53 PM  

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