ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Beer - Brewing Guidelines

Updated on October 28, 2009

A popular topic of conversation among small-scale brewers centers around the concept of beer styles. "Is the beer you brewed last week in the brown or robust porter style?" "Do you think the level of hop flavor in this beer is typical of the style?" "The rich malt character of the classic Oktoberfest style can only be achieved through decoction mashing." These are typical of things you may hear or read. What are beer styles and why do many brewers seem so preoccupied with them? Well, a style is sort of like a definition or description of a particular type of beer. Styles are a means for brewers to classify and describe their beers in terms that are understood by other brewers and by consumers. Beer styles provide guidelines for brewers seeking to emulate or approximate a particular variety of beer.
 
Styles are different from recipes. A recipe calls for exact amounts of specific ingredients to be combined in a certain order and then processed in a certain way. Following a particular recipe may result in a beer of a certain style. However, that same style can also be made using hundreds of other recipes. If you add or change the amount of an ingredient, you have a new recipe. There is room for variation within a style. Styles are more like guidelines that can be used to help achieve desired results. By designing a recipe that falls within the appropriate style guidelines, a brewer can make a stout instead of a pale ale.

The various parameters used to define a particular beer style include starting and finishing gravity, bitterness level, hop characteristics, color, alcohol content, and the degree of flavor contribution forms malt, esters, diacetyl, etc. Typically, these parameters are not defined exactly, but a range is given. Style guidelines focus on the types and amounts of ingredients and brewing procedures and techniques which, when used, should produce a beer that falls within the prescribed ranges and possess the desired characteristics.

Among the general population, few people are aware that different beer styles even exist. Prior to the craft brewing revolution in the United States, beer was, for the most part, just beer. With the exception of a few imports, only one beer style was available, American lager. Today, though many different styles are available thanks to microbreweries, brewpubs, and home brewers, the vast majority of beer consumed in the U.S. still falls under this one style. Although today's beer drinker can certainly be considered to be far more well informed and adventurous than he would have been a couple of decades ago, American lager stubbornly remains the largest seller in the U.S. and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

However, brewers and beer aficionados know there are many alternatives. There are porters and pale ales, barley wines and dopplebocks, and many others. Some styles, like pale ale, originated hundreds of years ago. For these classic styles, a rich legacy of information exists to guide brewers. Others, such as American wheat, are relatively new and thus, are more open to interpretation. Variations in some styles have resulted in the development of substyles and, in some cases, of entirely new styles.

Continued In: Beer - Categories & Substyles

Back To Start

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)