Thursday, March 5, 2015

Go for the best pour not greed!

Beer head is the frothy foam on top of beer which is produced by bubbles of gas, typically carbon dioxide, rising to the surface. The elements that produce the head are wort protein, yeast and hop residue. The carbon dioxide that forms the bubbles in the head is produced during fermentation. A beer often tastes different when it’s topped with head of foam, and this is due to surface active compounds that move into the bubble walls as they percolate to the top of your glass.

Foam also carries a profound trigeminal sensation—that is, “taste” effects which are actually perceived physically. Think of the “cool” sensation of mint, or the “hot” sensation of chili peppers. Neither is delivering an actual thermal load, but rather they cause a physical perception. The creamy, fluffy feel of foam can dramatically alter the perception of any given beer by “softening” the overall palate. It’s also important to remember that our senses of taste and smell are intimately interwoven. In fact, many times a specific characteristic that a drinker may describe as ‘taste’ is actually detected in their nasal passage. Foam brings more odor compounds to the surface of your beer, kind of like un-stuffing your nose and opening up the full range of flavors. The proteins form a coating around every foam bubble, interact with other compounds that also happen to rise to the top of your glass. Once these proteins and compounds begin to interact with one another, they become denser, undergoing a textural transition, and begin to stick to the sides of the glass when left alone for a bit. This is why a beer consumed slowly will accumulate much more lacing than its guzzled counterpart.

 How to pour beer:
 Use a clean glass. A dirty glass, containing oils, dirt or residuals from a previous beer, may inhibit head creation and flavours. Hold your glass at a 45° angle. Pour the beer, targeting the middle of the slope of the glass. Don't be afraid to pour hard or add some air between the bottle and glass. At the half-way point bring the glass at a 90° angle and continue to pour in the middle of the glass. This will induce the perfect foam head. And remember, having a head on a beer is a good thing. It releases the beer's aromatics and adds to the overall presentation. You may also want to gradually add distance between the bottle and glass as you pour, to also inspire a good head. An ideal head should be 1" to 1-1/2". With bottled conditioned beers, that may have a considerable amount of yeast in the bottle, you may wish to watch closely as you pour ... if you don't like yeast in your poured beer. However, this is the highlight of some beers and actually wanted. Just note that the inclusion of yeast will alter the clearness and taste of your poured beer, and lively yeast is high in vitamins and nutrients!



 Belgian (or Brussels) lace:
The latticework of foam from the head of the beer that is left on the glass after a drink of beer has been taken. Reflects both the care taken in brewing the beer and the cleanliness of the glass from which it is being served.