Brewing water determines the type and quality of beer. To brew pale lagers, the preferred choice would be soft water, while in case of dark ales, such as Stouts, hard water works out best.
Sprouted and dried grains. Depending on the method and the intensity of thermal treatment on such grains, various types of malt are obtained, each of them giving the beer different colours and aromas, e.g. caramel, roasted, chocolate or smoked. The light Pilsen malt is the most common one, but brewers use wheat and rye malts as well. Even though beer is referred to as the hoppy beverage, malt is the second most important ingredient necessary to brew beer (after water).
Hops are the most characteristic ingredient of beer, used only in small quantities as seasoning. They provide beer with aromas and unique bitterness. The reason for that is lupulin – a slightly bitter resinous powder from the female flowers of the hop plant, as well as numerous hop oils. There are different types of hops: typically bitter (Magnum, Hercules), aromatic (Lublin or Saaz) and dual purpose hops (with high level of bitterness and distinctive pleasant aroma) like Marynka. Besides traditional hops grown in Europe, we can more and more often come across hops from Great Britain, America – with fruity and citrus notes (Cascade, Citra, Mosaic), or New Zealand, which are frequently used for cold hopping.
Depending on the type and behaviour during the process, yeasts can be divided into bottom-fermenting (use e.g. for lagers) and top-fermenting (ale, weizen) ones. They give beer a rich body of aromas, including apricot, peach, apple, banana, butter and even anise notes.
In general, breweries use specially selected strains of yeast, so-called cultures, but in some cases brewers add wild yeast, most frequently coming from the surrounding environment (spontaneous fermentation), which allows them to obtain unique results, just not always possible to repeat.
Spieces and herbs
Lemon grass, ginger, linden honey, chilli pepper, juniper, juniper twigs, black lilac flowers. Selection of spices depends on the fantasy of each brewer. For our beers we have already used: cloves, cinnamon, coriander, orange zest, ginger (Książęce Aromatyczne) and linden honey (Książęce Chlebowo-Miodowe).