Why rather a small scale brewery?

Craft beers are made by trained brewing masters in small quantities on average between 1 and 10 thousand hl, experimenting a lot, however, craft breweries are not able to invest in modern technology, so the quality can fluctuate from brew to brew. 











A small-scale brewery
on the other hand, combines the benefits of the two extremes. Up to a statutory annual sales volume of 200,000 hectoliters, our brewmaster strive to create high-quality, harmonic, authentic and special products without compromise, while our increased capacity allows us to reinvest, so we can utilize all elements of the technology. Thanks to the latter, our products are delivered in Kegs, bottles or even aluminum cans of always the same quality at each brew.


Large-scale breweries have the technology, but due to cost-effectiveness, they try to achieve just an optimal balance of quality that can be sold in large quantities while are produced as cheaply as possible through mass production. That is why, where appropriate, cheaper additives (eg corn grits) are added during the brewing. Large breweries in Hungary have a capacity of over one million hectoliters.  













Also thanks to this, our products - although they are made with the absolute professional commitment of handcrafted beers - compete with large-scale beers in price.  

Ingredients

Water

As it is about 90% of the final product, it is extremely important that the quality of the water is always constant for all brew and it always has uniform physical, chemical and (micro) biological values. In order to achieve this with complete certainty, we need the right equipments, from which the unit where Budapest Beer is brewed has once again chosen the latest technology. 
Usually, a brewery can use 4-6 liters of water to produce one liter of beer (since water is needed not only for cooking, but also for cleaning, cooling, etc.). For this reason, it is important to use water with modern technology, with the least possible waste. 

Malt

Malt is one of the most important ingredients in brewing and is certainly known to every beer lover, but in fact fewer understand what it is exactly. Malt is predominantly made from barley, but untreated raw barley would not be suitable for making alcoholic beverages, so it germinated to form enzymes that convert the starches in the kernel into sugar. Because individual barley crops can vary from harvest to harvest, brewing masters balance the quality by cooking different malts together. In our beers, we also use several types of quality malt mixed together.

Hops

Hops have been used since ancient times as an additive to brewing, but it was forgotten for a time and only in the Middle Ages was it re-emphasized as one of the dominant ingredients of beer. Hops are actually the spice of beer, its most expensive ingredient. This raw material ensures proper foaming, determines the pleasant bitter taste of the beer and at the same time helps to lengthen the shelflife of beer. We also use German noble hops and new-wave American hops for our beers, the wonderful proportion of which was set by our brewmaster after many tests, achieving the most harmonious taste effect.

Yeast

During brewing, the basic function of yeasts is to produce alcohol - more precisely ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide - from the fermentable sugars in the wort. Yeast, of course, not only absorbs and converts sugars, but also uses other nutrients in the whey and, after processing them, returns various compounds to the liquid. These include the various esters, which give the aroma of beer a fruity character.  

Fruit concentrate

To make our sour cherry beer, we use a concentrate made from real fruit and, unlike large-scale breweries, we avoid artificial flavors. It is no coincidence that independent experts named the Sour cherry version of Budapest Beer the best in the country during a blind tasting. Unlike other fruits, this ingredient does not sweeten the beer, in fact, the bitter taste of the beer is especially matching well with the slightly astringent taste and the acidity of the cherries. 

Our Brewmaster

Despite his young age, he has serious experience. He previously tested and sold equipment for brewing quality artisanal beers around the world. He is so adept at using raw materials and quality equipment that in 2013, as the only Hungarian competing in an international competition in the United States, judges - who tasted more than a thousand beers from 41 national and local breweries of 30 countries - awarded him a beer Oscar gold medal.

Everything about beer

1. What is this golden liquid, called beer?

Let's start with what beer is?

Beer is an alcoholic beverage rich in fermented carbon dioxide, consisting of water, malt and hops, and brewer's yeast is used for fermentation. So we need 4 ingredients for brewing:

Water - this is the basis of beer;

Malt - this contains the fermentable sugars, which will be the alcohol in the beer, the more malt we add to the beer, the higher its “extract content” (= degree of balling, Plato) and thus its alcohol content;

Hops - this gives the beer its bitterness and aroma: more hops = more bitter and / or aromatic beer; 

Brewer's yeast yeast converts the soluble sugars in malt into alcohol. There are basically two types: bottom-fermented (yeast of ale beers) and top-fermented (yeast of lager beers). In addition to the above, other raw materials can be used to make beer (e.g. cornmeal for industrial beers, Belgian beers: fruit, candy sugar), but basically these 4 ingredients are what is needed to make beer.  

2. Types of beer

Spontaneously fermented beers (Lambic / Lambiek)

The best known spontaneously fermented beer is Lambic. This breed was born in the 15th century, native to Belgium. It got its name from the village of Lembeek, where it was first made. It is a very dry, slightly sour, almost non-carbonated, fruity-flavored beer that is consumed on its own, but often also flavored, thus creating different sub-varieties. Examples include Faro, candied and blended Lambic, Kriek, which is cherry, Framboise, which is made with the addition of raspberries, and Geuze, which is a blend of Lambics of different vintages and varieties. Peaches and blackcurrants are also commonly used flavors.

Top fermented beers (Ale)

One of the best-known top-fermented beers is Ale, a British type of beer that ranges in color from light yellow to darker rubies, almost black. It has an average alcohol content of 4-8%. Its subtypes include Dry Bitter Ale (including Brown Ale and Light Pale Ale), Sweet Cream Ale, Whiskey-like Scotch Ale, Reddish Irish Red Ale. The sweet, full-bodied, “black” Stout, and the dark-colored Porter, a slightly chocolate-like flavor that is a drink of the winter months, are also made with top fermentation.

Bottom fermented beers (Lager)

One of the best known types of Lager beers is Pils beer, which was among the first to be successful in the category of lower fermentation beers. Bock beer is also a notable bottom-fermented beer. This beer is was born in the 13th-14th century in Lower Saxony. It is named after Einbeck. Probably his original name was Beck, only the Bavarian accent changed him to Bock.

Hybrid beers produced by a special process

There are also varieties in which elements of making bottom and top fermented beers are mixed. An example is wheat beer, which was originally a top-fermented beer, but sometimes lower-fermented yeast is added for better maturation. Kölsch of German origin, which differs from the usual top-fermented beers at low storage temperatures. Also worth mentioning is the steam beer, which, unlike the previous ones, is made by lower fermentation, but at the temperature typical of upper fermented beers. Or other special seasonal beers with different spices, as well as smoked beers that get their smoky aroma and taste from oven-dried barley malt.

Non-alcoholic beers

In the case of normal beers, the dry matter content of mash is around 11 percent, while non-alcoholic beers are made from 6 percent whey. Non-alcoholic beers also contain minimal alcohol (up to 0.5 percent by volume).

3. Process of beer brewing

The Malt preparation - The malt to be cooked must first be ground. It is a purely mechanical process, yet it is essential for the chemical-biological processes during mashing, the quality composition and extraction of the wort, and the yield. Grinding is not as simple as first you might think, as the shell and the core inside need different preparation. The former should be ground coarsely and the latter for the perfect end result finer. We will see the result of good work from the fact that the shell stays moist, flexible and does not break up, but the core inside is dry and it will be finely ground.

Soaking - The essence of the process is that the malt is pre-soaked for about 12 hours before the actual mashing process begins, with the aim that the already dissolved components of the malt are completely incorporated into the mash (dissolved in water), improving the yield. So it’s actually a physical process where dissolution takes place while the malt takes up water and starts to swell.

Mashing - The purpose of this stage of brewing is actually to convert the starch content of the malt into sugar and to dissolve it in water together with other ingredients such as small molecule proteins. This process of mashing and the resulting solution is the wort, from which the sum of the dissolved component is the extract.

Filtration - During mashing, most of the malt material dissolves in water and is transformed by chemical processes to form a sweet, sugary juice. The liquid must be separated from the insoluble parts of the malt by a physical process, i.e. filtration.

Boiling hops - After filtering the mash, the next important step is boiling the hops. At this stage of brewing, again, mainly chemical and biochemical changes occur due to the high temperature. Or, as the title suggests at this stage, we season, or hop the beer.

Cooling - The boiled liquid is cooled in this phase so that the fermentation of the wort takes place at this temperature. Although it doesn’t seem like it, it’s a very important part of brewing and at least as crucial as the ingredients or mashing. Perhaps the biggest problem is that yeast produces esters and oils differently at high temperatures, making the beer “empty-tasting”. And if we overcool the wort, the fermentation will start very slowly or not at all.

Fermentation - The purpose of fermentation is to convert the sugars in the wort using the yeast enzymes. Fermentation produces alcohol, reduces the amount of extract, produces carbon dioxide, lowers the pH of beer, adds to flavors and supports the creation of foams.

Filtration Fermentation is followed by another filtration process that helps set the final parameters of the beer. It affects the color, bitterness, foam resistance of the liquid, but also the stability of the beer. 

Pasteurization - Pasteurization can also be called practical sterilization, it means increasing biological stability and preservation. Its aim is to eliminate the growth of yeast and bacterial cells that may be present in beer and could cause beer spoilage.

Packaging - At the end of the process, the beer is poured into barrels, bottles or cans so that they can reach the table of beer-loving companies, or gild the moment as a complement to friendly conversations.

4. Advice on storing and consumption

The heat is good for beer consumption, but it is not good for beer. It is worth paying attention to storing the beer and consuming it at the right temperature. The flavors of different types of beers can be enjoyed to the fullest at 8-15 degrees Celsius. The heat accelerates the “aging” of the beer. It is best to store the purchased beer in a cool, dry room, ideally at a temperature between 8-20 degrees Celsius, protected from the sun. The taste of light beers at 8 degrees Celsius, semi-brown beers at 10 degrees Celsius, brown beers at 10-12 degrees Celsius, and wheat beers at 12-15 degrees Celsius can be most fully enjoyed.

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