Brewing with Hybrid Yeast – #365papers – 2017 – 42

#365papers for February 11, 2017

Krogerus, Magalhaes, Vidgren, and Gibson, 2017, Novel brewing yeast hybrids: creation and application: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, v. 101, p. 65-78.

What’s it about?

This paper discusses the state of knowledge about yeasts used in brewing. It focuses especially on yeasts used for brewing lagers (bottom-fermentation at low temperature). Continue reading

Malts for Gluten-Free Beer – #365papers – 2017 – 15

#365papers for January 15, 2017

De Meo, Freeman, Marconi, Booer, Perretti, and Fantozzi, 2011, Behaviour of Malted Cereals and Pseudo-Cereals for Gluten-Free Beer Production: Journal of the Institute of Brewing, v. 117, p.541-546.

What’s it about?

One of the reasons why other grains aren’t used so much as barley for making beers is that they tend not to yield as much fermentable sugar as does barley. This paper investigated various techniques for malting gluten-free grains to be able to get enough sugar for good fermentation. Continue reading

Brewing with Unmalted Sorghum – #365papers – 2017 – 10

#365papers for January 10, 2017

Holmes, Casey, and Cook, 2016, Mashing with unmalted sorghum using a novel low temperature enzymes system: Impacts of sorghum grain composition and microstructure: Food Chemistry, v. 221, p. 324-334.

What’s it about?

Sorghum is a grain that can be used to make gluten-free beer. By using un-malted sorghum, you can save the step of malting, but you need to use high temperatures and add enzymes to get the sugars (which are later fermented) from the starch in the grain. This paper discusses a low temperature alternative to get sugar from the starches in sorghum grain. Continue reading

Vegemite Beer? – #365papers – 2017 – 8

#365papers for January 8, 2017

Kerr and Schulz, 2016, Vegemite Beer: yeast extract spreads as nutrient supplements to promote fermentation: PeerJ, 4:e2271

What’s it about?

Vegemite is a food spread that is made from brewer’s yeast extract. Apparently, it has been used as a source of yeast for illegal brewing. This paper looks at the use of vegemite for this and any other benefits vegemite may offer to brewing. It turns out that there’s no living yeast in vegemite, but it is a decent nutrient for yeast if it comes from somewhere else. Continue reading

Mass Spectrometry and Brewing Beer – #365papers – 2017 – 4

#365papers for January 4, 2017

Vivian, Aoyagui, de Oliveira, and Catharino, 2016, Mass spectrometry for the characterization of brewing process: Food Research International, v. 89, p. 281-288.

What’s it about?

This paper presents a means by which beer, in various stages of its production, can be easily tested for off-flavors and other faults without having to wait for the final product to ferment and carbonate. Continue reading

We Don’t Have Those “Exotic” Beers Here

This really happened.

In the summer of 2011, I made my nearly-annual visit to the Hanna Basin of Wyoming. I had two students with me who had never experienced the West before and were a little surprised by the difference in culture from western New York State.

I had explained to them one of the things that is a ‘thing’ in the West is drive-through liquor stores. To this day, I don’t know how this does not encourage drinking and driving, but whatever. There we were in the tiny, tiny town of Hanna. We had stopped to get water and check out the grocery store. Across the way from the grocery store was the tiny tavern and liquor store of Hanna.

Back “in the day” when I was a graduate student working in the Hanna Basin, the grocery store and the liquor store were kind of OK. I had even bought them out of (their only 6-pack) of New Belgium’s Fat Tire. Since I graduated, the town has dwindled horribly. The hardware store was gone and the grocery store was mostly bare shelves – but I could have bought some game meat there.

I had forgotten to pick up beer in Laramie before we left, so I decided to avail myself of the liquor store. Continue reading

My Local Beer Market

An important thing one must consider when thinking about opening a brewery is who your clientele might be. I mean, what is your market. To explore this, I took a little stroll to my local grocery store (shown as number 3 on the map below).

My town's tiny grocery store. Small, but effective.

My town’s tiny grocery store. Small, but effective.

Our town is small, so we have a small grocery store. It’s not a chain. So far as I know, there is only one other Breen’s store, and it’s about 20 miles away in an equally small town. Continue reading

Thirsty Thursday – What Am I Drinking?

I’m taking an online course on the Business of Craft Beer. Thus far, it’s been really interesting. One of our recurring homework assignments is to go out and taste different styles of craft beer.

Yes. I am required to try four or five different beers per week.

O torture of tortures! Twist my arm.

I sent my husband off to find some craft beers to have on hand for my homework. I think he did OK.

I think I'm set for a few days.

I think I’m set for a few days.

Continue reading

It’s All About the Malt

One of the fun things about the Business of Craft Beer course that I’m taking online is thinking about beer in different ways other than just drinking it.

This week’s module has focused on the primary ingredients of beer: Water, Malt, Hops, and Yeast. We had the option to take a field trip to a local homebrewing store and explore hops, yeast, and malt. For me, as an avid homebrewer, I decided to take advantage of all the ingredients I have in my beer fridge and think about them a little more critically than I usually do.

I focused on malt. I pulled out every package of malt in the refrigerator that was already opened and tasted it. I have oats, rye, wheat, and many, many styles of barley malts.

All the malts for tasting.

All the malts for tasting.

It was very interesting to learn how much the flavor of individual malts can influence the flavor of the finished beer. We tend to think about craft beers in terms of how hoppy they are, as IPAs are all the rage right now.

The truth of it is that the bulk of a beer’s flavor comes from its malt. This flavor is modified by the strain of yeast and types of hops used, but it’s all built on the basis of the malt. So choose your malt carefully!