Zoom in on microorganisms


Video sequence showing the various steps involved in making beer.

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Beer making

© Production Cinémanima inc. and Armand-Frappier Museum

Every year, nearly 100 billion liters of a beverage, well known for over 10,000 years, are consumed. We are talking about beer!

Enormous fermentation vats contain the wort of several cereals, including barley. To obtain the wort, the cereals must be swollen in water and then heated. The liquid is then strained.

The yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisae, is then added to the wort. The fermentation begins. During this step, the yeasts convert the sugar in the cereals to alcohol and carbon dioxide; this is what produces small bubbles in the beer.

Of all the alcoholic beverages in the world, beer is the only one that is boiled. After the wort has boiled, the hops are added. Hops, the flowers of the Humulus lupulus plant, have been used to flavor beer since the 15th century.

The yeast comes from a strain that must first be isolated in a laboratory. Isolation must be carried out in sterile conditions, i.e., with material that contains no other microorganisms whatsoever.

Some beers, such as Blanche de Chambly, undergo a second fermentation. After the beer has been poured into the bottles, sugar is added, which re-activates the yeasts and provokes a second period of fermentation. There will therefore be more alcohol and carbon dioxide in this beer, which is called “beer on lees”.

To be consumed in moderation with some friends … A toast to your health!