Why does Germany make such good beer

Beer: Watered down purity law

Status: 10/13/2017 11:15 a.m. | archive

Water, hops, yeast, malt - many consumers believe that these are the only ingredients for German beer. After all, there is the purity law. But that has been extended to include many exceptions. Markt explains which aids are allowed in beer brewing, although the label says: "Brewed according to the German purity law".

Plastic granulate makes the beer last longer

Almost all large breweries add plastic to beer: The plastic granulate polyvinyl polypyrrolidone (PVPP) is supposed to ensure that the beer stays nice and clear for months and can be sold for up to a year and a half. Beer that is not stabilized with PVPP, on the other hand, becomes cloudy after about three months. According to the current state of knowledge, PVPP is not harmful to health. Since the substance is removed from the beer with the exception of technically unavoidable residues, it does not have to be declared on the bottle.

The German Brewers' Association emphasizes that the plastic is reliably removed from the beer so that the consumer does not ingest it. However, critics such as beer sommelier Matthias Kopp suspect that residues of PVPP remain in the beer.

Tools for taste and color

Hops give beer its bitter taste. Most breweries use hop pellets for their production. These are hop cones that have been shredded and pressed. For the liquid hop extract, mainly hops are used that are left over from pellet production, explains beer sommelier Kopp. There is no difference in taste - however, many consumers imagine something different when it comes to natural ingredients.

You can often find dark beers in the supermarket. Many people find them very traditional, but there are also industrial tricks for coloring beers. For example, some breweries add colored beer - i.e. roasted malt beer - to beer. This is a beer concentrate and, like conventional beer, consists of water, hops, malt and yeast, so it does not have to be listed as an ingredient on the label.

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Market | 10/16/2017 | 8:15 pm