Author Topic: For the Brewers  (Read 3326 times)

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Offline AccessDenied

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For the Brewers
« on: February 18, 2007, 12:22:38 PM »
Time for a lesson in brewing gents.

The lesson is this.  WHAT IS YEAST?

It sounds simple.  But is it?

No it isn't actually.

What have you been taught about yeast?  It feeds on sugar and craps/pisses out alcohol is the general assumption.  And for basic understanding, this will do..

BUT IT'S WRONG

What's going on here?

Yeast is an organism.  And a very aggressive and nasty one too (Cunning and clever little fellow).

So.  You have this vat of malt.  You've bunged your yeast into there.  What can this organism do to make sure that it thrives and survives?

Simple.  Make sure there is no competition for food.

When yeast is pitched into the malt the first thing it does is start producing CO2 and esters.  It eats the sugars and starts 'farting' and crapping esters (Not alcohol.  Bad stuff.  Makes off tasting beer).  There is no alcohol yet.

But then it notices that the oxygen is starting to run low.  It needs to go to a standby state.  It also needs to ensure that there is food available for when it wakes up.  How do you do this?  Simple.  Make the sugar poisonous to other organisms.  The easiest way to do this is to turn it into alcohol.

But what does this mean?  The alcohol is also poisonous to yeast.  But yeast wouldn't be doing this unless it had a method of converting the alcohol back to sugar when it was needed.

Hopefully a few people are starting to see where this is headed.

So let's do the process of pitching the yeast into your fermenter and describing what happens.

We are assuming you are using an airlock and have a fully sanitized fermenter + Airtight seal.

1)  Fill the fermenter and cool it to a temperature where yeast is active.
2)  Pitch the yeast.  SEAL THE FERMENTER
3)  The yeast starts eating the sugar, but it's not producing alcohol yet.  It's producing esters and CO2.  (Esters have a sweet fruity smell and a horrible taste)
4)  Finally, the oxygen is forced out through the airlock leaving only CO2 in the fermenter.
5)  The yeast starts protecting its food.  Not eating it, but converting it into Alcohol.
6)  The yeast keeps converting the sugar and multiplying to do so until it either goes dormant (Too cold) or runs out of sugar.

Now here is where we start looking at some issues.

Let's assume there is an air leak.  (Or you did a silly method of fermentation like thinking that a wet towel on top of the fermenter is fine).

We now have oxygen coming back into the fermenter.  The yeast wakes up and sees that it is time to multiply and start eating.  It starts converting the alcohol BACK INTO SUGAR.  From here, it starts farting CO2 and creating esters again.  (Bad things).  The result, a beer that smells sickly sweet and tastes horrible.

Can you ferment with just a wet towel?  Sure you can.  But you have to ensure that the instant the fermentation stops you bottle.  Whilst you still have higher pressure inside the fermenter from the CO2 forming, you'll be fine.  But when the fermentation stops, air (oxygen) will start leaking back in, and start ruining your beer.

Airlocks are great because they slow this process down (Assuming you have a good seal on the ring around the fermenter etc).

What does this teach us?

It teaches us ways to speed up and improve the process.

1)  Air tight is the way to go.  This is why you'll get a more consistent result with an airlock.  You can use the old 'gladwrap with a few holes trick', but it's possible to let it stay too long and air will start leaking back into the fermenter.  The airlock gives you more tolerance and is more forgiving.

2)  The less air you have to pump out of the fermenter the faster and better the beer will be.  Reason:  You have the yeast producing less esters because the CO2 saturation builds up faster.  It'll be faster because of the faster CO2 saturation it'll switch to alcohol production mode earlier.

So, it is better to do a large batch of beer than a 1/2 batch of beer.  (less oxygen in a large batch).

When bottling, it is essential to get it all done as quickly as possible and in one sitting.  Don't do a 'half batch now' and the rest later.  All at once or tip out the remainder.

This also explains why you should fill a bottle from the bottom using one of those hoses.  If you are just pouring from the top, you aerate the beer too much..  I don't need to explain again do i?

Thus ends todays lesson in homebrewing.

AD

Offline BC

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2007, 02:31:04 PM »
That's a top read AD, if you have more like this keep them coming  :-*

Offline 1shot1kill

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2007, 02:51:06 PM »
One word: Gladwrap!


 ;)
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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2007, 02:52:14 PM »
1shot:  Already discussed..

1)  Air tight is the way to go.  This is why you'll get a more consistent result with an airlock.  You can use the old 'gladwrap with a few holes trick', but it's possible to let it stay too long and air will start leaking back into the fermenter.  The airlock gives you more tolerance and is more forgiving.

AD

Offline 1shot1kill

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2007, 03:33:27 PM »
Jus' havin' a dig, old mate. And you know it!  :-?
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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2007, 10:10:51 PM »
Flavouring beer.

Everyone wants a beer to taste perfect. :-X

But how do things work to give different flavours?

Let's look at household sugars first.

Table Sugar:
A fairly useful tool.  It's main purpose is to add a little more body to the beer without influencing taste.
Too much can be used however.  The basic rule is no more than 2kg.  The sugar MUST be boiled for it to be an effective ingredient however, else the dextrose and the fructose in the sugar itself remain locked up and don't ferment properly.
Too much sugar can result in a 'cidery' taste.  It also has the unpleasant side-effect of reducing Head-Retention for your beer.
This sugar can lighten the colour of your beer.

Brown Sugar:
This is raw sugar with a small amount of molasses added.
Again fairly similar to white but it darkens instead of lightens your beer

Golden Syrup:
A thick syrup.  It can be useful when brewing a stout, but no other time.  It increases the acidity of the beer too much for a lager.  This should be used sparingly, as HCl is used in the formation of Golden Syrup, and it can actually add a 'salty' flavour to your beer.

Rock/Candy sugar:
(Available in Chinese Food Stores)
VERY common ingredient in Belgian Ales.  It thins out the body quite significantly.  Don't expect much head retention when using this.  (As is very common with Belgian Ales.)  Adds a slight caramel flavour to your beer.

Dextrose:
Very common with priming.
Far better for brewing than table sugar as the dextrose is readily available for the yeast to enjoy and start producing it's CO2 without having to mess with it ALA table sugar.
Very little impact on flavour.  Slight reduction in head retention.

Now I'm going to devote a section to our favourite sugar of all..

MALT
The BIG ONE.
This comes in lots of 'colours' and flavours.

Let's look at the common ones.

You go to the store and you will most likely be confronted with these fellows

Chocolate malt:  A dark roast malt.  So called because of the colour (NOT the flavour).  Imparts a slightly "Nutty" flavour.

Caramel malt:  This one is less deceptive.  It imparts a caramel flavour.  Also EXCELLENT for adding head retention.

Light/Dark malt:  Lumped together.  These are more for adding 'body' to the beer rather than changing the flavour.  When brewing, these will be your staple.  Work with these and THEN add your flavours.  The difference between light and dark?  The colour your beer will be.  It is commented that SOMETIMES the darker malts give a slight 'raisin' flavour to the beer.

Black malt:  Used in VERY SMALL quantities (Approx 50 - 60g).  This is used to impart a dark colour.  Typically a red.  Adding too much can give a slightly burnt taste to the beer.

Now here's an important tip.

Want to know what it'll taste like in your beer?  Grab a few grains (half dozen or so) and chew them.  Let your saliva break them down and taste.

--------------------------------------------------

Enough of the fermentables.  Let's look at HOPS now.

Hops comes from the same family as nettles and marijuana.  (And for a while, marijuana was used instead of todays common hops.  Frequently referred to as 'death head beer').

Hops come in many different varieties.

Not going to list them all.

Here's a good link if you want to look.

http://byo.com/referenceguide/hops/

INSTEAD, what I'll do is talk about the correct method of adding hops.

We enter a delicate stage here.

Hops can do TWO tasks in one magic little moment.

It can:
a)  Add aroma to your beer.  Giving it a nice smell
b)  Add flavour to your beer.  Giving it a nice flavour.

So.  How do we do this?  Different hops?  You can.  Some people prefer the flavour of one hops and the smell of the other.  Some don't care and just go for it with ONE set of hops.

The flavour in hops comes from the oils.   And it's quite simple.

When the beer is approx less than 60 - 70 degrees (celcius of course), you are doing what's called "Aromatic" hops.  You're imparting a smell to your beer.

When you BOIL the beer, the oils break down and impart a flavour into your beer.  You need to boil for AT LEAST ONE HOUR for you to get the flavour out of your hops.

There are 2 methods for hopping beer.

The cheaters method (I do this one.  Not truly correct, but it still works).

Boil for approx 90 minutes.
Add the majority of your hops (Typically in a 2:1 Ratio.  30g of flavouring hops to 15g of aromatic/finishing hops).  Boil for 15 minutes.
Let cool (Quickly if you can) to approx 60 degrees.
Add aromatic hops.
STIR for 15 minutes
Pour through a stocking into fermenter.

The traditional method.
1st mash.
Put all malts and aromatic hops into boiler.
heat to 65 degrees or so.
cook at this temperature for approx 2 hours.  (stir lots)
Pour 1/3 of this off into another pot.
In the 1/3 amount add the flavouring hops.
Heat to approx 80 degrees C for approx 1 hr.  (Stir lots)
Pour this 1/3 back into the majority.  STIRRING LOTS MORE
Keep heated at approx 65 degrees or so and keep cooking for another hour or 2.  STIRRING STIRRING  (Traditionally this stage lasted 5 hrs)

Pour through stocking into fermenter.

Cool rapidly if possible (Sit in a tub of cold water).

---------------------------------

As for yeast?

Well..  We discussed how they work previously.

But they can add their own flavour.

http://www.realbeer.com/spencer/Experiments/big-yeast.html

Here's a cute website that compares a few.

 :-X

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Offline blackf1ng3r

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2007, 10:37:35 PM »
  


  Mate - if you go to this much trouble with the articles, I'm full hangin'  to taste the beer... :-[ :-? :-X











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When your mates are fine, take the piss every chance they offer. When they are not fine, drop everything and go help.
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Offline Richo

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2007, 09:06:23 AM »


AD.... need pix !!!



add pix and i can really use this stuff on the site if its ok with you ?



top read bloke !
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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2007, 04:34:01 PM »
Pix may be hard mate.

Most of this is from the noggin.

I don't have the flavours of hops and grains memorized.  Just how things work together.

What you see are my words.

HOWEVER, in a few weekends time (ie.  Weekend after ANZAC) I'll be doing a brewing session.

I'm inviting a few people around to observe.

It'll be brewed in the old style (Infusion), using a recipe developed by none other than Mr Guinness himself (1865.  Sorry Horatio.  I said 1845.  I was out by 20 years.  Again.  Memory.)  It is not "Guinness Stout" as you know it, but one of his earlier stouts.   :-X

Otherwise, the information is free to use.  It's on your site Richo, do what you want with it.  Just give me a little credit..   ;)

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Offline fuknK1W1

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2009, 06:43:31 PM »
You mention the perfect beer. :-*
This is a very subjective thing & it depends on our personal tastes so it's up to the individual to choose what's their "perfect" beer, this may change with the seasons too you can't beat a nice crisp lager or pilsener on hot summer's day & stout or an ale will be great on winter's evening in front of a fire.
Here's a beer quote (from memory)
Beer is proof that god loves us & wants us to be happy. (unknown)
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. Hemingway
Carpe cerivisi  :-*
Only a real goose can swallow the proper gander.

Offline Richo

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2009, 06:46:16 PM »

awesome AD :)



kiwi: pretty sure the first quote was Roosevelt
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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2009, 10:52:17 AM »
Benjamin Franklin said that quote btw.

Perfect beer is subjective.  The only way you'll be able to brew it is if you know what you are putting in and what it's going to do to the flavour.

Not sure about some of those smileys.  They've obviously changed from old Knuck to New Knuck.

 :-*

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Offline TransmissionDump

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2009, 10:49:36 PM »
Pix may be hard mate.

Most of this is from the noggin.
AD

How about a few pics of ya noggin then....

Here's one I found.
If I ate myself, Would I be twice as big as I am now or would I disappear completely?

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 12:53:57 AM »
I may or may not have secured(and had planted for me) a hops bine not that long ago....


Should my travels end up with me living in tasmania again in the next year or two, i may have a go at proper home brewing again soon ;)

Offline kiwijase

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2012, 06:39:54 AM »
good info,cheers

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Re: For the Brewers
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 11:19:54 AM »
Wow..  Umm.  Hi Jase  :P

I still poke my head in Dudeworld from time to time.  To see this thread being read a few years later is kinda cool.

Still brewing.  (Fallen in a lull last few months.  Just ran out of homegrown hops and so just on cruise control at moment).

Got 2 varieties of hops growing now.  Planning a third variety this growing season.

Currently have Pride of Ringwood and Golding.

I'm thinking something like challenger hops or similar for 3rd variety.

I've got space for 1 more variety after that.  Should be fun.  But first have to battle the ivy..  YERK!

Anyways, always open for answers to questions on brewing if people have them.  From "Suggestions" through to assistance with might have gone wrong with a batch and how to avoid.

And as always..  CLEAN YOU SHIT!  Biggest cause of crap beer is improperly sanitized brew equipment.

AD