Questions and answers about beer
by Fabiano Toffoli, 32 Via dei Birrai master brewer
What is malt?
The dictionary defines it as the process whereby barley is germinated and then dried, but other cereals (such as wheat, oats, small and large spelt....) can be processed in the same way. Cereals are malted because the yeast cannot break down the starch.
What is double malt beer?
It means this beer is fairly alcoholic (more so than traditional ale with its 5% alcohol content). The name was established with the 1962 law and is only applied in Italy.
Is water important when making a good beer?
The characteristics of the leading brewing styles historically found in Great Britain, Germany and Belgium are partly due to the local spring water. Nowadays, thanks to the quality of malt available and the advanced technologies used, water quality is not as important when brewing certain kinds of beer. The main thing is for the water to be healthy. Good quality water enhances the potential of the product.
Are brown ales more alcoholic?
No, not necessarily. The colour is not an indication of body or a higher alcohol content.
Which beer goes well with pizza?
There are many different types of beer, just as there are many different types of pizzas. We could recommend a different beer for each pizza!
Are their any preservatives in your beer? Have any chemicals been added?
Our beer is 100% natural. It has no added preservatives and no organic acids are used during the brewing process. It does not contain any added metabisulphite.
Is head important?
With the exception of traditional British real ales, brewers and expert barmen take great care to create a thick head when pouring their beer! It adds to the aesthetic look of the drink and can reveal many things about its quality to the connoisseur!
What makes 32 Via dei birrai beer stand out from other beers on the market?
All the “32” beers boast a strong identity - they are persistent and so consumers cannot get them out of their head.
What type of beers do you produce?
The “32” beers are:
- not pasteurised, in other words not heat treated during conditioning - refermented in the bottle, which is what produces the typical yeast sediment on the bottom, the intense aroma and the delicate carbonation - unfiltered and top-fermented (at a temperature between 15 and 25 degrees)
What’s your advice on how to store the beers after purchasing them?
Our beers should be treated like food and therefore kept in a cool, dark place. Being perishable food, you should always keep an eye on the best before date. The 4 beers of the line that we produce all year round (Curmi, Oppale , Audace and Tre+Due) are known for their freshness, which deteriorates with high temperatures and time.
How should your beers be served?
Our beers should be kept upright for 1 day in the fridge before being drunk. We recommend using a large, wide glass (such as a red wine glass) and to pour out the beer in a way that creates a head of 3 to 4 fingers deep. Handle the bottle delicately before opening. Always leave the dregs in the bottle; although they can be drunk they change the flavour slightly compared to the clear beer. Do not decant.
What are the general food pairings for your range of beers?
The “32” beers can be paired with all natural produce. It’s the sauces or condiments that you should be aware of as they can make a dish greasy or oily. Also the saltiness of foods should be taken into consideration (it is very high for example in ripe cheeses). Spicy foods are never recommended.
Why do you call your beer an Artisan Beer?
Because our beers are produced in limited quantities and in fact if you take the amounts in relation to per capita litres on the basis of the number of employees, the result is a very low number. What’s more there is a lot of manual work involved (all the bottles are handled at least 3 times). Nor should the high professional creativity in formulating the recipes be forgotten. And with regard to that, the attentive consumer manages to detect the difference, for example, between lots of the same type: “32” beer is never standardised.
How is industrial beer produced?
On the whole about 94% of what you find on the Italian market nowadays is a low fermentation lager, produced at a temperature of between 5 and 13 degrees. It is a clear, fine product in which you can detect the fragrance of the malt (perceived as acacia honey) and the hop (perceived as herbaceous freshness). This beer is filtered and pasteurised to give it a longer life.