Alkohol. Tylko dla pełnoletnich
Kompania Piwowarska

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Alkohol. Tylko dla pełnoletnich
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World of beer

Enter the remarkable world of beer!
Learn about all stages of brewing and the resources used to make beer. Find out if you are able to debunk all beer myths.
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Brewing beer

Pasteurisation destroys beer flavour, therefore non-pasteurised beers taste better

MYTH

Pasteurisation is a food preservation method that involves heating up food products to the right temperature in order to destroy all microorganisms and extending its shelf life. When conducted properly, pasteurisation does not change the flavour of beer; it is affected by other factors, primarily the quality of raw materials and brewing process conditions (e.g. oxygen supply from the air). The so-called non-pasteurised beers available on the market are often subjected to microfiltration; in the course of this process, microorganisms are separated from beer on very tight strainers. The shelf life of non-pasteurised beers and those not subjected to microfiltration should not exceed two weeks. This condition is fulfilled by 14-Day Tyskie Gronie, fresh beer straight from a brewery, served from special tanks. Its distribution from the brewery to the consumers is shortened, and once the tank was opened, beer has to be consumed within two weeks.

Beers with higher alcohol content are seasoned with spirit

MYTH

Beer contains alcohol and carbon dioxide produced as a result of alcohol fermentation triggered off by selected yeast strains. Depending on the strain, the process of alcohol fermentation in beer results in 9% of alcohol by volume and sometimes even more. The amount of alcohol in beer comes from the extract content (sugars and proteins from malt and in some cases from non-malt products) in the wort, specification of the mashing process, time and conditions of yeast application (temperature, oxygenation) as well as type of yeast strains. There are also methods of obtaining higher alcohol contents, e.g. by freezing. Water in beer turns into ice which is then separated; the result is “concentrated” beer with higher extract and alcohol content. This method is used to produce beers like Eisbock. The alcohol content can also be increased through secondary fermentation, i.e. adding sugar and yeast to already fermented beer, which often increases the level of alcohol already in the bottle.

Hops are the main ingredient of beer

MYTH

While hops are an important ingredient of beer, in comparison with the remaining two: malt and water, they are used in very small quantities. One could say that hops are merely a beer spice. However, they greatly affect the quality of beer, providing the desired intensity of bitterness and the distinctive aroma. The most important quality-related property of hops is their content of alpha-acids: organic compounds ensuring the characteristic bitterness, and the content and type of hop oils responsible for various aromas in beer. Interestingly, these compounds exhibit calming and antibacterial properties.

Big concerns add co2 to beer

PARTIALLY TRUE

Beer is a beverage containing alcohol and carbon dioxide obtained in the process of alcohol fermentation with the use of selected strains of yeast. Alcohol fermentation is a process involving decomposition of sugars in wort under the influence of enzymes generated by yeast; as a result, alcohol and CO2 are produced. The excess of CO2 is recovered in order to minimise the release thereof to the atmosphere. The recovered gas is used to create a CO2 “cushion” in vessels, blown into cans, bottles and kegs in order to protect beer from oxygen - its biggest enemy. Recovered CO2 may also be applied, when necessary, to slightly adjust the gas content in beer and thus ensure its regular level. Certainly, KP brewers make sure that the lion’s share of carbon dioxide in beer is dissolved in the fermentation process, as it is regarded best bonded with beer.

Ingredients and taste of beer

Bottled beer tastes better than canned beer

MYTH

Canned beer should not be different in taste than beer poured from a bottle. However, some differences may result from the way cans and bottles are stored. The two types of containers have different properties and vary in protecting beer from its main enemies: thermal shock and light. Cans are made of aluminium, but it does not interact with beer because the can’s internal coating has properties identical with those of glass. Contrary to popular belief, bottled beer might change its aroma, because when exposed to light, the compounds contained in hops undergo some changes, generating a skunky, light-struck smell – that is precisely why the right storing conditions are so important.

Notably, the vessel from which we drink beer strongly affects our drinking impressions. When we drink beer from a can, we smell metal and the smell is mixed with the flavour (the sense of smell is often confused with the sense of taste because we tend to use them simultaneously). Additionally, the smoothness and temperature of metal and glass are significantly different, and we feel the difference with our mouth. Therefore, irrespective of the container, we recommend drinking beer from a glass with the right shape, temperature and clean walls.

Bottled beer is different from draught beer

PARTIALLY TRUE

Bottled beer is not different from the one poured into barrels called kegs. The only exception is the slightly smaller content of CO2 in draught beer, which is balanced out during pouring, when beer is pushed out by the pressure of CO2 from a connected cylinder. Excessive content of carbon dioxide in draught beer may result in increased foaming when poured by an inexperienced bartender.

Beer should not be stored in green bottles because they absorb sunlight and thus make the content go bad

PARTIALLY TRUE

The sun is detrimental to beer in both green and brown bottles. It is true, though, that green bottles allow through more light of wavelengths affecting the taste of stored beer than brown bottles. The worst storing option is white (transparent) glass.

Diet, health and beauty

Beer gives you a big belly because it is high in calories and stimulates appetite

MYTH

Beer itself does not have a high-calorie content. One mug of beer has approximately the same number of calories as a glass of fruit juice, but three times less sugar! One shot of pure vodka has as many as 250 kcal, while a glass of beer about 200 kcal. True, beer does stimulate production of gastric acid and hence sharpens the appetite. So if you do not want to grow a “spare tyre” around your belly, give up high-calorie snacks so often associated with consumption of the golden beverage.

Beer makes you sleepy

FACT

Lupulin present in hops has sedative and soporific properties. On top of that, lupulin lowers blood pressure and has antispasmodic, diuretic and estrogenic properties. It stimulates secretion of digestive enzymes from gastric glands and exhibits a minor germicidal activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. However, due to the alcohol content, larger quantities of beer may also be stimulating.

Beer prevents dehydration

PARTIALLY TRUE

Beer has isotonic properties, which means that it levels up osmotic and hypotonic pressure, and thus helps the body to quickly absorb nutrients.

Intense exercising results in losing 2% of water from the whole body mass and increased demand for minerals, vitamins and microelements. That’s when beer comes in handy, as it is full of valuable ingredients. On the other hand, it also contains alcohol, which consumed in large quantities contributes to dehydration. When you drink too much, your kidneys remove water in urine instead of re-absorbing it for the body’s needs. Therefore, the ultimate beer option for post-workout hydration is non-alcoholic beer.

Beer makes your hair stronger

FACT

Indeed, beer is good for hair and skin problems, just with one reservation: for cosmetic purposes, it can only be used externally and not orally. Beer is an extraordinary source of B vitamins and minerals. They are conducive to skin regeneration and boost immunity to adverse external conditions. Rinsing hair with beer after washing makes it glossy, while vitamins B prevent it from getting greasy.

Beer is good for lactation

MYTH

There is no evidence that beer or any other alcoholic drink stimulates lactation. Quite the opposite: alcohol may disturb hormonal balance and, as a result, disrupt milk production. Pregnant and nursing women should not drink alcohol at all!

A glass of beer cannot do any harm to a pregnant woman

MYTH

Pregnant and nursing women should completely abstain from drinking beer and any other alcoholic beverages. Alcohol permeates the blood-placenta barrier; it also mixes with the mother’s milk and therefore may damage the foetus’ or the infant’s brain. Babies whose mothers drank during pregnancy may develop the so-called foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Medicine does not indicate what dosage of alcohol (if any) consumed by a pregnant woman would be safe for the foetus. Therefore pregnant woman should not drink alcohol at all.

Women cannot take alcohol the way men do

FACT

Most threats and benefits of drinking alcohol relate to both men and women. However, a woman’s body responds to alcohol more quickly. On average, a female body has 10% more fat cells than a male body, while fat tissue contains small quantities of water. Therefore, before alcohol finds its way to the bloodstream, it is absorbed by water in the fat tissue. Moreover, a female body produces less of the enzyme responsible for resolving alcohol particles in the stomach. And finally, because women are smaller, they usually have less blood, which is responsible for diluting alcohol present in the blood-stream. It is impossible to predict how a specific person will react to alcohol, because there are many different factors to be considered: height, weight, amount of consumed food, mealtime, genetic background, medication, state of health, etc.

Gastronomy, serving beer

Beer sold at picnics and other mass events is diluted or of inferior quality

MYTH

This scenario would not make any sense, as it would destroy the image of brewers and specific brands. It is not possible for beer to leave any of KP’s breweries without complying to rigorous quality standards, regardless the serving location or occasion. At the same time, according to Polish law, some events are only licensed to sell beer with lower alcohol content. Kompania Piwowarska offers beers brewed with such occasions in mind: Tyskie Lekkie (3.5% ABV) as well as beer mixes from the Lech Ice (2%) and Lech Lite (3.5%) family.

Beer in pubs is served with water

MYTH

The beer dispensing installation is connected directly to a stainless steel keg dedicated for storing beer. The pub personnel cannot open such a container with the aim of adding water to beer. The beer serving process is monitored by brewers, who send out their servicemen to regularly test the quality of beer sold in pubs. However, if beer served in a pub or during an outdoor event tastes stale or watery, you should return it to the bartender and use the hotline to file a complaint.

Beer tasters can drink beer. they do not have to spit it out the way sommeliers do

FACT

Not only can beer tasters drink the beer – they actually should! This is because bitterness is an extremely important element of the flavour of beer, and taste buds responsible for perception of bitterness are located at the base of the tongue. Therefore tasters need to swallow a sip of beer to be able to evaluate its quality.

The colder the beer, the better the taste

MYTH

When served too cold (at around 0°C), beer might lose some its taste properties. The best serving temperature for bottom-fermented pale beers (lagers or pilsners) is 4-7°C, which highlights their refreshing flavour. For ales, experts recommend temperature of about 8-12°C, while some types of dark beer (especially strong ones) should be served even at 16°C to reveal their rich bouquet of flavours.

Beer needs to be poured along the glass or mug wall

PARTIALLY TRUE

There are many methods of pouring or serving beer. It is a part of the ritual that every beer brand has to develop. If you want your beer to sport a nice head and be slightly degassed, you can pour it from the tap straight to the mug’s bottom. If you like more gas in your beer, you should pour it in a delicate manner, but do not forget about the head which is basically mandatory in case of lagers.

The head of well-served beer is exactly two fingers thick

MYTH

This is not a rule. Two fingers thick head just looks good on top of a beer mug. However, if you want to highlight the head’s visual properties, you can pour beer in a way that produces more foam. One of beer serving methods invented by Czechs (mliko) involves filling the mug to the brim only with foam!