Climate change will not only make beer costs may increase. Changes in daily and seasonal temperature patterns (warmer nights, early springs) also affect the quality and taste of beer.
Beer will almost certainly taste different in the future and not because of brewing trends. The drink will not taste the same due to the effects of global temperature change on hops and other components of beer.
As part of a series of publications by North Carolina State University Intended to help understand, mitigate, and prepare for the impacts of climate change, detailed information on the effects on beer has been shared.
Rising temperatures and more frequent droughts raise the costs of beer ingredients such as hops and barley as Nature anticipated in 2018 and now it is known that also its flavor.
Stress conditions for plants: heat and drought
Changes in temperature and rainfall affect the biochemistry of hops. The alpha acids from hops provide the bitterness we associate with many beers, while the essential oils from hops give the brew its “hops” or flavor.
Each variety of hops produces a unique flavor profile. These flavors depend on the combination of different chemicals in the essential oils of the hop cone. For example, if a hop cone produces more linalool or geraniol, it will taste floral. In contrast, the presence of farnesene produces a woody herbal aroma.
The warmest nights
Some processes, such as flower development, they are sensitive to heat. So in many plants, these processes occur during the night hours to protect them from the heat of the day. However, a very scary aspect of climate change is warm nights.
The taste is affected as part of the reprogramming that the plant has to these environmental changes. Plants must respond and fight environmental stress as they cannot getaway.
Many of the compounds that give hop plants their distinctive flavors are also defense compounds against bacteria, fungi, or insects. These compounds are produced based on an internal circadian clock that is synchronized and leaves heat-sensitive processes at the coldest time of day, which is usually the night, but, What if the night is no longer cooler?
The effects of climate change are a bigger problem than many people think, points out Colleen Doherty, professor of molecular and structural biochemistry who in collaboration with the NC State Institute of Plants for Human Health is examining the effects of warmer nighttime temperatures on compounds in hop plants.
Beer starch: barley, oats, wheat, or rice
The ratio of starches to proteins and lipids is essential in the production of beer. Varieties of barley with high protein content in their seeds are less preferred for beer production.
Even the varieties of grains that are optimal for beer production have altered the proportions of protein and starch when they are grown in stressful conditions such as heat and drought. The result malt extract quality affected.
This analysis of the effects of climate change on hops lets us see how there may also be an impact on other crops: vitamins in our vegetables, the compounds in medicinal plants, and the overall nutritional quality of everything we grow is noted in the North Carolina State University publication.