Unlocking Hop and Fruit Flavors from Glycosides

Instead of the standard blog post today, I bring you my article published on HomeBrewTalk.com: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/unlocking-hop-and-fruit-flavors-from-glycosides.html.

Visit to find out how to get more flavor out of your hops and fruits using Brettanomyces or enzymes! Read more of this post


Multi-Rest Mashing: How-To

In my last post, I discussed the theory behind multi-rest mashing.  Today I’ll be discussing the more practical how-to side of things. Read more of this post

Multi-Rest Mashing: An Introduction

Most all-grain brewers practice single-rest mashing, i.e. using a single (saccrification) temperature.  Not only is it the easiest and fastest method, its usually good enough or even preferred for most styles.  But multi-rest mashing is a great tool to keep in your brewer’s tool belt.  Its something I have just started using, and plan to do so more frequently.  In this introduction, I’ll explain what mutli-rest mashing is, and why you might (or might not) want to use multiple rests. Read more of this post

Water Treatment for Brewing 4: Lessons Learned

[Miniseries Part One, Two, Three, Three-point-Five, Three-point-Six, Four]

In previous parts of this miniseries, I have covered pretty much everything you need to get started on water treatment for brewing.  Here, I’ll cover a few miscellaneous things I have learned over the course of treating additional batches.  I’ll try to add on any additional lessons-learned as I go. Read more of this post

Yeast Metabolism: Where does Alcohol Come From?

A few posts ago, I wrote about how the human body breaks down alcohol.  But, how is alcohol formed in the first place?  Sure, sugary water plus yeast equals ethanol, but there’s a bit more to it than that. Read more of this post

Beer: Hazed and Confused

First off, I must admit that I am far too proud of myself for coming up with that title, an homage to the classic nothing-actually-happens film Dazed and Confused .  I’ll be talking about what causes beer haze, what you can do about it, and crow-bar in my own opinion on whether or not you should even bother with it.  Because, why else do you write your own blog than to crowbar in your own opinion whenever possible? Read more of this post

Ethanol Metabolism: What does the body do with alcohol?

If you’re here reading my blog, chances are you have, at some point in your life, imbibed a few alcoholic beverages.  And if you’re anything like me, you have found yourself wondering “So what does the body do with that alcohol, anyways?”

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How Much CO2 is Produced from Brewing?

Off-week bonus post!  Ever wonder how much CO2 is actually produced when you ferment your favorite bubbly beverage?  I’ve often found myself staring at my air-lock or blow-off bucket thinking it must be a lot.  I finally decided that I should just go ahead and calculate it; as turns out, I was right. Read more of this post

Molecular Gastronomy for Brewing

I recently finished up a free molecular gastronomy course (basically, the science of delicious things) offered by the University of Hong Kong through the website coursea.org.  The focus was on food, but some of the things were applicable to beer as well.  Here, I would like to share some useful things you might want to consider for your next brewing or tasting session. Read more of this post

Water Treatment for Brewing 3.6: Brewing Salt g/tsp Conversion

[Miniseries Part One, Two, Three, Three-point-Five, Three-point-Six, Four]

Another bonus post!  This is a quick post to help those without accurate scales to add brewing salts for water treatment. Read more of this post

Water Treatment for Brewing 3.5: Solubility Limits

[Miniseries Part One, Two, Three, Three-point-Five, Three-point-Six, Four]

Bonus post!  I’ve never liked the idea of using volumetric approximations for adding brewing salts, and most scales aren’t good enough to measure a few grams at a time (accurately that is- most will still pretend to try).  One way around that is to dissolve the salt in water in a high concentration, then measure a precise volume of solution to add to the brewing water, either by weight or volume.  Of course that only works if the water can hold enough of the salt in question to make it worth your while- enter: solubility limits.

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DIY Belgian Candy Syrup 1: Sugar Science

[Miniseries part one, two]

A while back I wanted to make a belgian trippel; traditionally this style is brewed with up to 20% simple sugars to lower the final gravity.  Naturally, I looked first at belgian candy (candi?) sugars,  but found that they were basically just crystallized table sugar, with the darker varieties having some mystery darkening agent, some leftover of the refining process which presumably somehow added to the flavor of the final product.  As far as I can tell, the only products that lend any real flavor are the golden-brown to molasses-colored candy syrups.  In fact, the flavors normally associated with the common varieties of candy sugars are actually from the yeast, as revealed on a Brew Strong episode (part one and two) when the guys visited White Labs and did some side by side tastings of identical worts fermented with different yeasts.  And yes, I realize that using such a syrup will not actually result in a trippel (its far too dark), but I was already on my way down the rabbit hole. Read more of this post

Water Treatment for Brewing 3: Adjusting the Water

[Miniseries Part One, Two, Three, Three-point-Five, Three-point-Six, Four]

Read more of this post

Water Treatment for Brewing 2: Water Report

[Miniseries Part One, Two, Three, Three-point-Five, Three-point-Six, Four]

In part one of this mini-series, I went into why you might be interested in making water adjustments, what various important ions do to your brew, and what sort of water is good for what beers.  That’s all fine and dandy, but completely academic unless you can actually treat the water.  So, the first thing you’ll want to get is a water report to find your water’s baseline.  Otherwise, you’ll be adding some well measured and well controlled amount of brewing salts to god-knows-what.  And that adds up to god-knows-what. Read more of this post

Water Treatment for Brewing 1: The Basics

[Miniseries Part One, Two, Three, Three-point-Five, Three-point-Six, Four]

This is the first post I am doing on water treatment, and not the last.  By water treatment, I mean adding various salts or acids to the water to make it more suitable for various styles.  These salts dissociate into ions (charged particles) in the water which can affect yeast health, flavor perception, mash efficiency, boil protein coagulation, etc.  But, beer has been brewed for thousands of years without anyone knowing what an ion is, and I am sure most of you are already making great beer, so why should you care?  Water treatment will allow you to bring your beer from “I’d definitely buy some of that” to award winning.  Think about a meal that you have had that didn’t have nearly enough salt in it.  Chances are it was dull and lifeless- the flavors there, but muted and muddled.  Add a little salt, and suddenly the flavors come alive and pop, making the rest of the effort to prepare the meal suddenly much more worthwhile. Read more of this post

Brew Tips: Chlorine Removal with Campden Tablets

One of the ongoing topics I would like to cover are brewing tips.  These will be miscellaneous things I have found to make my brewing better and easier.

Unless you use bottled water for brewing (and maybe even if you do), chances are you have chlorine or chloramine in your brewing water.  Chlorine will dissipate from the water if you leave the water out overnight or over a day or two, and is relatively easily filtered out if run slowly through a carbon filter.  Chloramine, on the other hand, is actually ammonia with some of the hydrogen atoms swapped out for chlorine, and is extremely persistent.  It will not dissipate (at least not in the amount of time you are going to want to give it), and its practically impossible to filter out of the water.  Unfortunately, it can still react with things in your beer such as phenols to create chlorophenols.  Chlorophenols can be detected by the human tongue at extremely low levels (as in parts-per-billion), and taste terrible- some are described as band-aid-y.  So, what to do?  Campden tablets to the rescue. Read more of this post

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