Mr. Wizard

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Storing wort after mashing

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Some brewers use a technique called flotation to separate cold trub (the solid matter) formed during wort cooling from the wort. The old method of flotation occurs before yeast is pitched and lasts up to a day. Brewers who still use the flotation method add yeast prior to flotation because of the microbiological problems associated

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Mash tempereratures

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There is more to mash temperature than finished beer flavor. Mash temperature has an effect on wort viscosity and ease of lautering, it affects the gelatinization of starch (“melting” of the bonds that make starch a crystalline structure), influences wort fermentability, and has an effect on proteins. There are more factors that can be thrown

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Hot Side Aeration Debate

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Before I jump head first into this colorful debate about hot-side aeration (HSA), I would like to explain where some of the comments in BYO mail and in some of the BYO articles stem. Most of the comments regarding this whole debate have come from commercial brewers who write for BYO. To paraphrase, they have

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Substituting honey for sugar

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Cane sugar is well known to give beer a cidery or winey flavor. If you want to get rid of this flavor, using honey in place of sugar is one of several solutions. When substituting brewing ingredients in recipes it is much easier to base your conversion on weight, not on volumetric measurements such as

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What is “whirlpooling” your beer

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Whirlpooling is a common method used in commercial breweries to separate hop pellets and trub from wort after the wort boil. Essentially the wort is pumped into the whirlpool vessel at rapid


Hop Utilization

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This question brings up three key points: water pH and its affect on brewing methods used to adjust pH and adjusting bitterness. The first point regarding water pH pops up every so often, and I usually let it pass. It is important to distinguish among water pH, mash pH, and wort pH. Water pH is

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Temporary hardness vs. permanent hardness in brewing water

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The most basic difference between hard and soft water is that hard water reacts with soap to form solid soap scum, and soft water does not form soap scum. The formation of


The Salty Truth About Softeners

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Potassium chloride is commonly sold as an alternative to sodium chloride. Those companies that market potassium chloride make the point that it doesn’t do all the terrible things to the body that sodium does and that potassium is necessary for the body to properly function. Potassium is indeed required by the body, but sodium is

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Stepping Up Your Starter

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The Benefactor of Brewing steps up starters.

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How do commercial breweries lager so quickly?

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Commercial brewers determine the length of their lagering period by defining what they want to accomplish during lagering. Most of the changes that occur during lagering do not require two months or more and hence, most lagers age for less than two months. After lagering, most lager brewers want a reduction in diacetyl (butter flavor),

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Why does my beer taste like Anbesol?

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Mmm, Anbesol beer! Two of the keys to problem solving in brewing are having a good palate and having the ability to describe what you are detecting with your senses. Anbesol is a phenol-based local oral anesthetic (like Chlorasceptic). There are several things that can make a beer taste phenolic. The sanitizer problem you refer

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American Beers and Prohibition

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 American beers, pre and post-Prohibition.  The Wiz knows…

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429 result(s) found.