Most of us enjoy their beer simply cool, without ice, lime or anything else added. But did you know that people used to add salt to their beer many centuries ago?
This was not an accident, and it became a widely used practice across Europe for many good reasons. Everyone did it, even large breweries.
However, we could not imagine making our beer taste salty today.
What was the salt for? And should you add salt to your delicious beer today? Read on to find out more about the old practice of adding salt to your beer.
Why Do People Put Salt in Beer?
You may have heard some old stories and rumors about family members from the past putting salt into their beer.
We had a look around and found some interesting stories. Here are the main reasons why people put.
This may come as a big surprise but salty beer was a very common preference in the past.
Just as we enjoy relatively salty food today, people back then loved their salted beer.
Consume More Beer
Do you know what happens when you have salty food? Yes, you need to drink more. That’s exactly what happens with salty beer.
Salt in an alcoholic beverage means you feel more thirsty and you then tend to drink a lot more than without the salt.
One of the biggest side effects of salt in food and drink is that it helps our body absorb anything quicker.
The salt enlarges a certain part of the intestine which allows more of the alcohol to be absorbed into the blood stream.
In addition to the taste preference, salt also helped to cover up some of the bitter flavor in beer.
If you want to add more foam to your beer, then adding salt is a simple option.
Old Hangover Cure
You may have never thought about it but the reason why we suffer from a hangover is that we are usually lack sodium and feel dehydrated.
As salt in beer retains water in our body, we will likely not have a hangover after a long night drinking salty beer.
The bubbles and alcohol content in beer often leads to gases accumulating in our stomach. These gases then are releases in belching and burping.
The easy way to avoid this is by adding salt to your beer.
Fewer Toilet Runs
Salt helps your body to retain water, which means that when you drink salted beer, you will need to go to the washroom less often.
However, you will probably feel more bloated.
Lastly, salting beer is simply an ancient tradition, and back in the days everyone did it.
From pub landlords adding salt to beer to make their patrons drink more to making cheap beer taste more pleasant during tough times in history, everyone had their own reasons why adding salt to beer.
Even these days, you will find that some small breweries return to this tradition, and put a small amount of salt into their craft beers.
What Happens When You Add Salt To Beer?
We have seen that there a lot of very good reasons why you should add salt to your favorite brew, but what exactly happens when you put salt in beer?
This is something you can try easily at home. Just add some salt to a bottle of beer and see what happens.
You will notice more bubbles and foam appearing, and the taste will be slightly different.
While adding salt to your beer isn’t common anymore today, it was something almost everyone did in the past.
Beer was generally tasteless, and salt was a way to add a little flavor to the drink. You can also do this today by putting a little salt into a pale light beer.
This will add more flavor to the beer and it will make it look more appealing. In a similar way, salt can also make flat beer taste fresher and crisper.
However, a good quality beer is typically not salted as it has enough flavor to stand on its own.
If you don’t like the bitterness of beer, then adding a little salt can help to reduce this, and increasing the sweet flavors.
Brewers Adding Salt To Beer
Traditionally, everyone added salt to beer, including professional breweries and home brewers.
However, at some point the laws in different countries were changed, and adding salt was seen as infringement on those laws.
As times have changed, brewers are slowly returning to some old traditions and this means they experiment more with different flavor combinations, including salt.
Breweries add salt in a slightly different as would be done at home. A brewer puts in salt during the malt stage, which gives the beer much more tangy and sweet notes.
That said, when brewers add salt to beer, their process is a bit different from how you might go about it. They add the salt while making malt, so the sweet and tangy notes become a pleasant symphony in the finished product.
Beers such as Gose, Perennial Brewery’s Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout or Money Paw, are all brewed with high
Does Adding Salt To Beer Get You More Drunk?
Salt widens the duodenal sphincter in the body’s intestines and this larger surface means that you can absorb alcohol into the blood stream much faster.
This means that when you eat large amounts of salt and alcohol, you will get drunk faster and you may end up having a much more severe hangover.
That’s why, it is important to ensure that you do not consume too much salty food before or while you are drinking alcohol.
You should also avoid salty beer if you do not wish to get drunk or if you suffer from hypertension.
Although there are no studies on how much salt you can consume before getting drunk, it is best to cut out any salt while drinking if you want to avoid getting a bad hangover.
How To Make Your Own Beer Salt
Usually you do not just put any random table salt into your beer. There are specific beer salts that you can either buy from different retailers online, or you can just make your own at home.
Beer salts are very different from your standard table salt. Beer salt had additional flavorings and it is much coarser.
The different flavors of beer salt can vary from country to country, and even different states can have their own individual flavors.
But you don’t have to go far for the right beer salt. You can simply make your own beer salt at home.
All you need is a measuring cup, an airtight container, a resealable bag, powdered line and some coarsely ground salt.
First, you will need to measure around 1.5 tablespoons of your coarse salt. Then, take your resealable bag and pour the salt inside.
Next, you will need to add four packets of the powdered lime. Now just seal the bag tightly and shake the mix thoroughly. It should all be blended together very well.
Now open the bag and try some of the salt. Just put the salt on your tongue and check that the flavor is right for you.
Simply add a little more lime or salt and shake it again, if you find that you want more flavor.
Once you feel like you have the right amount of salt and lime in the bag, you can just pour your new beer salt into the airtight container.
Make sure that you keep the airtight container in a cool and dry place. It’s important that there is no moisture in the container as this can make the salt clump.
You can use the beer salt whenever you want to add some flavor to your bought beer, or whenever your beer has gone flat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does Corona Have Salt?
Corona beer does not contain any salt, but it is often drunk with some salt on the edge of the bottle and a fresh piece of lime.
This flavor combination is particularly popular in South America where lighter beers are consumed. The salt and lime give the pale beer a crisper and stronger taste.
How Much Salt Should You Put Into Your Beer?
This depends very much on your personal preference. Most people just add a little coarse salt to their alcoholic drink.
They usually use either Kosher salt, margarita salt or beer salt. It doesn’t take much salt to improve the flavor of the beer and also to increase intoxication.
Salted beer can make you drunk much faster as the alcohol reachers your bloodstream much quicker.
That’s why, it is important to keep your overall salt intake low while drinking if you do not want to have a hangover after.
What Does Salt Do When Drinking Alcohol?
Whether you enjoy a salty beer or you eat salty food together with an alcoholic beverage, salt always improves the taste of what you consume.
In beer, salt removes some of the natural bitter notes from the hops, and it intensifies the malt flavors at the same time.
Salt also improves the appearance of your beer as it creates a thicker foam and more bubbles.
We found that putting salt in your beer is so much more than just a modern trend. In the past, people added salt to their bland beer to give it more flavor.
Although this tradition has largely disappeared now, smaller breweries start to experiment again with a wider range of beer flavors.
You can also add a lot more flavor to your beer with the right beer salt which you can easily make at home with the recipe we mentioned earlier.
It’s easy to just sprinkle a little salt into your beer for a better taste, but also to make your beer more bubbly.
So, should you add salt to your beer? There is no right or wrong answer. It is simply a personable preference whether you like the more unusual taste, and all the other side effects that come with salted beer.
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