From the mash to the beer

DOSSIERS
Brewing beer, the composition of beer
From the mash to the beer
The composition of beer
Nutritional aspects of beer
Nutrients in beer
Brewing beer
Different fermentation, different beer
Beer and the law
Light beers and low-alcohol beers
From the mash to the beer
Barley was cultivated for the first time around 10,000 years ago. Together with other types of grain, a kind of grain mash was created which when mixed with yeast or leaven rose into dough from which bread was baked. It was discovered that when the dough rose, the starch present – originating from the grain – was converted into sugar, and then this was converted into alcohol. It is this alcohol that lies at the origin of the first beer preparations.
The first beer, brewed in Babylon, was semi-liquid. It was thick with the starch that had undergone a second fermentation.

For a long time beer was considered as drinkable bread and bread as edible beer.

Both have a common history and come from the same natural raw materials.
Wherever grain was cultivated, beer was brewed. In ancient times, beer was just as an important source of food as bread was. Not least because beer was rather safer to drink than the generally polluted river water.

The first beers were made from a mash of barley and emmer (a type of wheat) and contained little alcohol. Only when malting was discovered did beer contain more alcohol. A discovery that is attributed to the Mesoptamians in 3000 – 2000 BC.