Mr. Wizard

429 result(s) found.

When to worry about diacetyl

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The real question at issue is not whether diacetyl is only associated with lagers, but rather if it is only unacceptable in lagers. Diacetyl is naturally found in all beers during fermentation and some beers can contain perceptible levels of diacetyl after aging. Diacetyl, also known as 2,3 butanedione, is produced outside of the yeast

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Steep times for different specialty grains

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As difficult as it is to admit, brewing is a whole lot like cooking and there are many ways to get the job accomplished. Steeping is one of these tasks. When using malts as color and flavor additives to extract brews, there really is no exact science. Grains like crystal, chocolate and black malt do

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Yeast off-flavors and clarifying beer?

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One of the best ways for homebrewers to clarify beer is to simply move the carboy to a refrigerator and hold it cold (38° F is ideal)for at least a week. Chilling accomplishes several important things. The most obvious effect of chilling is that a big portion of the total yeast in suspension will “flocculate”

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Cleaning beer glasses?

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With beer glasses, the don’ts are much more critical than the do’s. The biggest no-no is leaving any type of soap or fat on the glass surface. These compounds will ruin beer


Where do calories in beer come from?

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There is really no reason to argue about this because you are both partially correct. An average 12-ounce serving of a “domestic-style” beer contains about 14 grams of ethanol and 11 grams of carbohydrate. In caloric terms this equates to 98 kcals from ethanol and 44 kcals from the carbohydrate, for a total of 142

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Fluctuating mash temperatures

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Mash temperature in all-grain brewing has a significant and demonstrable affect on beer flavor. In general, multi-temperature mash profiles incorporating temperature rests from 120* to 160* F will produce more fermentable worts


Malt extract vs. corn sugar to prime

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This is a question I often ask myself when reading recipes. It seems to me that using DME or saving wort for priming is a pain in the neck. The contribution of color or flavor to beer from priming sugar is insignificant compared to the flavor and color present in wort before fermentation. Even if

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Boil time for small batches

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Brewing small experimental batches is a good way to determine the effect of a particular brewing variable. By changing one variable at a time, you can see how yeast strain, hop variety and fermentation temperature affect beer flavor. Homebrewing techniques are really not much different than those used by very large brewers. The main difference

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Fresh hopped beers

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Fresh, unkilned hops can certainly be used in beer and there is no right or wrong way to use them. I think fresh or “green” hops are best for late-hopping because of the great aroma they impart. They also contain a lot of moisture (about 80 percent) and you would have to use a huge

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Can I mash in an oven?

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The oven-mash method can be effective. A very slow increase from 100° to 150° F will give all mash enzymes an opportunity to convert the starches in malted barley into fermentable sugars. But the problem with such a long, slow temperature increase is that the wort may turn out to be too fermentable and will

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Forgot to add hops during my boil

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There is not much great news to report on this unfortunate oversight. Hops need to be boiled to convert the insoluble alpha-acids into the soluble iso-alpha-acids. Unless the alpha-acids are “isomerized” during boiling, they will not impart bitterness to beer. Now, if you had added the first hop addition and later forgot to add the

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“Cara” malts?

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Caramel, cara or crystal malts are synonymous terms describing a large family of malts that are made by changing the kilning process. All malts are kiln-dried to arrest germination. To make caramel malts, the maltster adds a key step, known as “stewing” or saccharification, before drying. The “stewing” step heats moist, unkilned malt (or re-hydrated

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429 result(s) found.