Why do Indian Beers taste bad? I have had this question buzzing in the back of my mind for quite a long time. Till now I believe that all my friends and colleagues think we Indians just don’t know to make Beer. Like how hard is it?
In my Tharavadu (Ancestral home), I have drunk pure Toddy made from the sap of a Coconut or Palm Tree. Believe me this light alcoholic drink can blow away all the products of UB group currently in the market. You might have heard of Fenny and other Indian Locally Brewed delights. So with the rich history and wealth of knowledge for creating alcoholic drinks, why do we still suck at making Beer. I got a small tip from my friend Rohit Sakhwalkar (Sakhu) during my recent visit to Gurgaon. A million thanks to him for making not just my day but the whole drinking career ahead .
Why do Indian Beers taste bad? The answer is some organic compound which behaves like Glycerin. This is the reason why there is a bitter aftertaste. Yes, Glycerin exists in the alcoholic state as Glycerol. My mother who is a whiz at Organic Chemistry had given me some insight into this molecule. Due to its higher molecular weight and inductive effect of the Hydrogen atoms, Glycerol is less soluble than Ethanol in water. So after a bit of google search and poking around beer forums, I was convinced that this was the culprit behind the bad tase. Glycerin is added to beer as a preservative. As you know Indian climate is close to being ideal for beer storage. But all major sources of information like Wikipedia denies this fact. They also says that pure glycerine is sweet in taste. And that Glycerine is a major constituent of Bio Diesel which is gonna run the vehicles in the future. So basically it is gonna run both man and machine alike.
So with the help of Rohit’s tip, I tried his method of separation of the contaminent from Beer. Here are the steps and photographs of the same
- Get a Glass/tumbler of water.
- Open the bottle of beer slowly so as to create less turbulence.
- Cover the mouth of the beer with your thumb and slowly turn it upside down with mouth inside the water. This is the trickiest part, ensure you do not shake the bottle and cause the dissolved Carbon Dioxide to effervesce. The reason will be clear below.
- As soon as the bottle is upside down you will see thick yellow colored liquid coming out. Which I believe is the organic compound mixed with the colouring agents in the beer.
- Keep it there for some time. Maybe a min or two. I kept it for over 5 mins. Hoping to drain out the stuff completely losing some beer in the process.
- Put it back and enjoy the amazing taste of what is actually Beer. Yes my friend that is how Beer tastes like. If it doesnt taste close to Budweiser beer , you might have done something seriously wrong. I even feel that Carlsberg is de-glycerinified Kalyani beer, Who knows!. I dont care as long my b rew tastes awesome.
Take look at the only video I found online talking about this. I couldnt take one myself for my camera wasn’t distinguishing the colors
Video showing the removal of Glycerine from beer
Get ready for some geek funda. The science (or atleast my hypothesis) behind this method.
When you put a bottle upside down, the atmospheric pressure is pushing the water in the tumbler, the low pressure created inside the top of the bottle is causing the liquid not to fall down into the tumbler. So at equilibrium, the liquid inside the beer + water starts to settle down based on its density. Glycerine(or whatever Organic compound being denser than water settles down into the glass of water, Water from the tumbler will go into the beer bottle(but not much, if you dont shake the bottle). If the Carbon Dioxide had started effervescing, the gas content inside the beer bottle would have started increasing, this would have caused the beer to flow into the glass due to increasing air pressure.