beer foam

Just as there are always flowers in a garden, there should always be foam in our beer. A very important element that should be known and to which we do not always pay due attention.

Just as the lid should never be missing with your beer, the truth is that foam should not be missing inside either. A part linked to this drink that has an importance that goes beyond aesthetics, with a very interesting practical function. So that you know everything you need to know about it, we analyze this foam, its origin and how to ensure that your beer is properly crowned.

The first thing we should know is what the beer foam is called, since its name goes beyond the merely etymological. The precise name for that foam is giste, which is German for crown. A name that is not accidental, since this foam is the one that crowns this wonderful liquid.

What is beer foam used for?

Once we know the name of beer foam, let’s see what it is for. In truth, there are three main functions that it has: cosmetic, protective and sensory.

Starting with the cosmetics, it is obvious that a beer with two foam fingers is much more attractive than one that does not have them or has lost it. Something that brings us to its second effect, the protector. Beer foam is good at protecting the liquid at the bottom, preventing it from oxidizing and helping the flavor and aroma last longer.

The third effect is that of sensations and is similar to that generated by coffee cream. The density of the beer and its foam generates a spongy, pleasant mouthfeel with a good creaminess, which is another extra when enjoying this drink.

How foam is formed

The formation of beer foam is variable, depending on its origin. In general, once yeast is added to beer and the fermentation process begins, gas begins to appear. This comes from the digestion of the sugars present in the beer must that, due to the action of the yeast, break down. Natural gasification arises from this process and has the carbon dioxide generated in the process as the protagonist. This is the secret of craft beer and its foam, which does not usually resort to another mode of gasification.

However, the most common gasification is carried out by force during the manufacturing process. The most common system is to add carbon dioxide to the mixture during fermentation, which remains imprisoned in the liquid. This phase takes place before bottling, in order to prevent still beer from reaching the customer. In the case of the barrel versions, carbon dioxide is added to the beer directly at the time of serving it, using the famous carbon dioxide cylinders that we find in bars.

By the way, although it is not the most common, it is also true that nitrogen is used when making beer and its foam. This gas is less noticeable and hardly leaves bubbles on the fingers or the sensation of bubbles on the tongue or in the mouth, but they are there. Among the companies that use this technique is Guinness, which applies it to some of its varieties.

The importance of serving her well

Until now, we have talked about the characteristics, origin and purpose of beer foam. But there is a fundamental factor to obtain a good quality foam. We talked about how to serve beer.

The most correct way is to start by wetting the inside of the glass with water, so that the gas slips out and does not break during the process. When pouring the beer, it is necessary to tilt the glass or beer mug from 20 to 45 degrees, letting the liquid fall into the middle of the base. This position should be maintained until the glass is half full. At this time, we will begin to straighten the container, thus collecting the foam and leaving it in place.

By the way, we are talking specifically about beer mugs because these, like other specific containers, have a specific shape. If we see them from above, we will notice that the space closes slightly at the top, sometimes subtly and sometimes more pronounced. The idea is that this narrow edge helps to concentrate the foam and keep it in place.

What if there is no foam?

There are many people who have doubts about whether beer without foam is good or if it has spoiled. The answer is variable. First of all, we must know that not all beers have foam, since the higher the alcoholic strength, the lower the presence of waste in it. There are also varieties that, due to their approach, do not usually have hardly any foam. This is what happens with certain Pilsners or with thicker beers, such as dark ones.

As for conventional beer, it is true that the lack of foam generates a drink with a bad visual appearance, but that does not entail risks for its consumption. The only drawback of this beer without gas is that you will not notice the same sensations that you would have if you drink a beer with its gas and its foam. Therefore, it is not advisable to serve a lot of beer at once, unless you are able to drink it before it loses its foam.

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