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The Chemistry of Beer: The Science in the Suds

ISBN: 978-1-118-67497-0
348 pages
November 2013, ©2013
The Chemistry of Beer: The Science in the Suds (1118674979) cover image

Discover the science of beer and beer making

Ever wondered just how grain and water are transformed into an effervescent, alcoholic beverage? From prehistory to our own time, beer has evoked awe and fascination; it seems to have a life of its own. Whether you're a home brewer, a professional brewer, or just someone who enjoys a beer, The Chemistry of Beer will take you on a fascinating journey, explaining the underlying science and chemistry at every stage of the beer making process. All the science is explained in clear, non-technical language, so you don't need to be a PhD scientist to read this book and develop a greater appreciation for the world's most popular alcoholic drink.

The Chemistry of Beer begins with an introduction to the history of beer and beer making. Author Roger Barth, an accomplished home brewer and chemistry professor, then discusses beer ingredients and the brewing process. Next, he explores some core concepts underlying beer making. You'll learn chemistry basics such as atoms, chemical bonding, and chemical reactions. Then you'll explore organic chemistry as well as the chemistry of water and carbohydrates. Armed with a background in chemistry principles, you'll learn about the chemistry of brewing, flavor, and individual beer styles. The book offers several features to help you grasp all the key concepts, including:

  • Hundreds of original photographs and line drawings
  • Chemical structures of key beer compounds
  • Glossary with nearly 1,000 entries
  • Reference tables
  • Questions at the end of each chapter

The final chapter discusses brewing at home, including safety issues and some basic recipes you can use to brew your own beer.

There's more to The Chemistry of Beer than beer. It's also a fun way to learn about the science behind our technology and environment. This book brings life to chemistry and chemistry to life.

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PREFACE xi

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii

ABOUT THE AUTHOR xvii

PERIODIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS xviii

1 INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 Brief History 1

1.2 The World of Beer 7

1.3 Beer and Chemistry 9

1.4 Alcohol and Prohibition 10

1.5 Beer Tradition 12

Bibliography 13

Questions 15

2 WHAT IS BEER? 17

2.1 Beer Ingredients 17

2.2 Beer as Food 21

2.3 How Beer Is Made 23

Bibliography 31

Questions 31

3 CHEMISTRY BASICS 33

3.1 Atoms 33

3.2 Energy Levels and the Periodic Table 34

3.3 Compounds 36

3.4 Ionic Bonds 38

3.5 Covalent Bonds and Molecules 40

3.6 Molecular Shape 43

3.7 Polarity and Electronegativity 46

3.8 Intermolecular Forces 48

3.9 Molecular Kinetics 51

3.10 Chemical Reactions and Equations 52

3.11 Mixtures 53

Bibliography 53

Questions 53

Appendix to Chapter 3: Measurement in Chemistry 56

Numbers 56

International System 57

Mass Relationships in Compounds 63

Composition of Mixtures 64

Bibliography 66

Questions 67

4 WATER 69

4.1 The Water Molecule 69

4.2 Acids and Bases 71

4.3 pH 73

4.4 Ions and Beer 76

4.5 Water Treatment 79

Bibliography 85

Questions 86

5 INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIC CHEMISTRY 89

5.1 Structural Formulas 89

5.2 Functional Groups 91

5.3 Using the Functional Group Guide 107

Bibliography 110

Questions 110

6 SUGARS AND STARCHES 113

6.1 Monosaccharides 113

6.2 Chirality 115

6.3 Disaccharides 120

6.4 Polysaccharides 121

Bibliography 126

Questions 127

7 MILLING AND MASHING 131

7.1 Milling 132

7.2 Mashing 133

7.3 Enzymes and Proteins 135

7.4 Mashing Process 141

7.5 Dextrins, Light Beer, and Malt Liquor 146

Bibliography 146

Questions 147

8 WORT SEPARATION AND BOILING 149

8.1 Wort Separation 149

8.2 Boiling 152

8.3 Hops 153

8.4 Hot Break 155

8.5 Chilling 158

Bibliography 159

Questions 159

9 FERMENTATION 161

9.1 The Anatomy of Brewing 161

9.2 Energy and Bonds 165

9.3 Glycolysis 168

9.4 Ethanol Synthesis 170

9.5 Aerobic and Anaerobic Reactions 170

9.6 Higher Alcohols 172

9.7 Esters 173

Bibliography 174

Questions 175

10 TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS 177

10.1 Carbohydrate Content 177

10.2 Temperature 183

10.3 Color 185

10.4 Alcohol Content 187

10.5 pH 190

10.6 Sensory Analysis 192

Bibliography 192

Questions 192

11 THE CHEMISTRY OF FLAVOR 195

11.1 Anatomy of Flavor 195

11.2 Taste 196

11.3 Aroma 198

11.4 Mouth Feel 200

11.5 Flavor Units 201

11.6 Flavor Compounds in Beer 202

Bibliography 207

Questions 208

12 THE CHEMISTRY OF BEER STYLES 211

12.1 Beer Style Families 211

12.2 Realizing a Style 215

Bibliography 222

Questions 223

13 FOAM AND HAZE 225

13.1 Surfaces 225

13.2 Surface Energy 225

13.3 Surfactants 227

13.4 Haze 227

13.5 Foam 231

13.6 Foam Issues 236

13.7 Nitrogen and Widgets 237

Bibliography 238

Questions 238

14 BEER PACKAGING 241

14.1 Casks and Kegs 241

14.2 Glass 243

14.3 Metals 244

14.4 Aluminum 245

14.5 Bottling and Canning 247

14.6 Microbe Reduction 249

Bibliography 249

Questions 249

15 BEER FLAVOR STABILITY 251

15.1 Typical Flavor Changes 251

15.2 The Role of Oxygen 252

15.3 Staling Prevention 260

Bibliography 262

Questions 263

16 BREWING AT HOME 265

16.1 Safety Issues 266

16.2 Full Mash Brewing 267

16.3 Full Mash Brewing Procedure 277

16.4 Extract Brewing 283

16.5 Bottling 286

16.6 Starter Brewing Systems 288

16.7 Recipes 290

Bibliography 293

Questions 293

GLOSSARY 295

INDEX 317

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ROGER BARTH, PhD, has been a professor in the Department of Chemistry at West Chester University since 1985. He teaches courses in General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Introductory Chemistry. Dr. Barth also created and teaches a course on the Chemistry of Beer.

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“The chemistry of beer sounds like a perfect read for a lapsed chemist such as myself who enjoys beer and brewing science. . . The text is accessible and readable and is, overall, a welcome addition to the catalogue of beer and brewing books available.”  (Chemistry World, 19 June 2014)

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