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Beer, alcoholic beverage produced by extracting raw materials with water, boiling (usually with hops), and fermenting.
In some countries, beer is defined by law—as in Germany, where the standard ingredients, besides water, are malt (kiln-dried germinated barley), hops, and yeast.
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The Industrial Revolution brought the mechanization of brewing.
In 1420 beer was made in Germany by a fermentation process, so called because the yeast tended to sink to the bottom of the brewing vessel; before that, the type of yeast used tended to rise to the top of the fermenting product and was allowed to overflow or was manually skimmed.
The fermentation process is allowed to proceed from the microflora present in the raw materials (a “spontaneous” fermentation). Filtered gueuze, the most popular product, is a bottled blend of lambic and gueuze.
Different bacteria (especially lactic acid bacteria) and yeasts ferment the wort, which is high in lactic acid content. A cask product made in a similar manner is thought to have been consumed by miners in the United States during the California Gold Rush.
Beers are now exported worldwide and are produced under license in foreign countries., into important social rituals.
In Europe the properties of the water used for brewing, the types of malt, the brewing practices, and the yeast strains have contributed to traditional distinctions between beers. Made from a mixture of malt extracts, porter was a strong, dark-coloured, highly hopped beer consumed by the market porters in London.
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