Controlling beer fermentation during the brewing process

Controlling Beer Fermentation and  Fermentability  Beer Fermentation is one of the magical processes occurring in your home brewery. The process is not very well understood by beginning homebrewers, so it is usually where a lot of mistakes occur. Most will just pitch the yeast that came with the kit and hope for the best. It … Read more

Lautering and Sparging Questions Answered

Many beginning homebrewers don’t understand the term lautering.  In fact, there are many homebrewers who are confused about the difference between lautering vs sparging, mash tun vs lauter tun, and mashing vs lautering.  I’ll try and simplify these questions now. First off, you have The Mash.  Mashing is the chemical and enzymatic process in which milled grain and … Read more

Enzymes in Beer-Understanding and Manipulating Enzymes to Make Better Beer

Enzymes in beer, as defined by Gregory J. Noonan in his book Brewing Lager Beer, “are complex, protein-based biological catalysts that induce reactions between substances without being changed by the reaction or appearing in its end product.” They are activated and deactivated under certain conditions.  Manipulating these conditions is what mashing is all about. Where do Enzymes in … Read more

Beer Wort Production

The process of making beer wort (unfermented beer) encompasses several steps. The first of these is mashing. The primary goal of mashing is to finish the breakdown of proteins and starches that the maltster began when he produced the malt.  In days past, when malts were less modified, the mashing process was accomplished by using several … Read more

Is adjusting Mash pH the key to more consistent beer?

Adjusting mash pH is fairly involved, but you can determine what the pH will be using your water’s residual alkalinity. By calculating theresidual alkalinity, using inputs from your water analysis, it can be converted to a relative pH value. Basically, 10 degrees of residual alkalinity equals 0.3 pH units. The equation begins with what the … Read more

Mash Alkalinity, Residual Alkalinity and Mash pH

  Your mash alkalinity is a measurement of the mash’s ability to buffer, or resist, attempts to lower its pH. It does this with the bicarbonate ions and, to some extent, the carbonate and hydroxide ions in solution. All three of these ions, bicarbonate, carbonate and hydroxide, react with hydrogen to reduce acidity (raise pH). If you … Read more

Carbonate Reduction of Your Brewing Water

  Carbonate reduction may be performed in a couple of ways. Carbonate levels can be lowered to the 50-150 ppm range by two methods, boiling or dilution. The problem with boiling is that it can only remove the temporary hardness (which is the lesser of the total alkalinity and CaCO3 or the total hardness as … Read more

The Boil in the Brewing Process

One of the most neglected procedures in homebewing is the boil. After all, it’s only boiling the wort, right? Well, yes and no. Believe it or not, boiling the wort accomplishes quite a few things. These include: It extracts the hop α-acids, isomerizes them, then dissolves them. It stops all enzyme activity. It also kills … Read more

Cereal Mash-brewing with adjuncts

Cereal Mash Techniques Why learn how to do a cereal mash? Because when you brew American lagers or other beers requiring large amounts of adjuncts, you may need to perform a separate mash on theadjuncts to break them down and convert the starches to fermentable sugars. Both rice and corn are made mostly of starch … Read more

No-Chill Brewing Examined

The No-Chill brewing method was developed in Australia where the availability of water to chill to chill the wort down to fermentation temperature can be an issue, and the ground water temperatures are also high enough that additional chilling might be necessary.  The method was championed on the brewing forums and many homebrewers across the … Read more