Mr. Wizard

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The Not-So-Great Hop Fade

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Question and answer columns can be really frustrating for the writer when a question seems totally answerable until details within the question get in the way of the answer. Pesky details! This question contains a few of those gems. There are a few ways around this problem. One sneaky way is to carefully edit the

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Sparge Water Temperature

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The short answer to this question is no, sparging at 169 °F (76 °C) does not achieve the same thing as mashing out at the same temperature. The reason for this is two-fold. Let’s assume an infusion mash system comprised of 10.4 L (kilograms) water and 4 kilograms of malt (1.25 qts. water per pound

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Dry Hop Timing

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I have dry hopped during fermentation with yeast, blown yeast towards the end of fermentation and dry hopped, have racked beer from one fermenter to another before dry hopping, and have dry hopped beer in the keg. And yes, I do believe that yeast enzymatically change certain hop compounds during fermentation. I like these easy

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Tuning In to Water Profiles

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I have never written extensively about brewing water profiles and cannot knowingly comment about why this topic is usually addressed by reviewing the water profiles of historically important brewing centers. But I think I have a pretty good idea why this has been the approach and will answer your question from an assumption about the

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Priming sugar uses

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Rudy, I like your ideas! This question reminds me of lyrics from The Clash tune “Rudi Can’t Fail.” Now we get a rude and a recklessWe been seen lookin’ cool an’ specklessWe been drinking brew for breakfastRudie can’t fail Not saying you have been drinking beer with breakfast, but the idea of saving up priming

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Tricks to a better hefeweizen

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German-style hefeweizen is one of my favorite styles of beer, and is a beer type that I feel pretty darn comfortable brewing, with two Great American Beer Festival medals in 2006 (gold) and 2008 (bronze) to boot. I tend to avoid style and recipe questions for this column, but this great style is one that

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Finishing A Fermentation Strong

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Whenever there seems to be an attenuation problem with a batch, I think it always helps to go through a mental check list of the basics. This checklist of mine includes the following: Mashing issues?Yeast nutrients and/or zinc added to the wort? Yeast into wort cooled to the correct temperature?Wort aerated normally?Sufficient yeast added to

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Too Much Yeast? Is over-pitching a problem?

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Averbelen et al. (Impact of Pitching Rate on Yeast Fermentation Performance and Beer Flavour, Applied Microbiology Biotechnology (2009) 82:155–167) demonstrated that increasing pitching rates of lager yeast from 10 to 120 million cells/mL resulted in an increase in fermentation rate, decreased net biomass production when pitching exceeded 80 million cells/mL, higher post-fermentation levels of diacetyl,

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Fading Hop Character

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I think the most difficult thing about trying to troubleshoot brewing problems in my column is not being able to taste the beers that I am being asked about. I sometimes flash to hearing car owners attempt to describe the sounds their cars make to Click and Clack on Car Talk. I just happen to

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Bottle Bombs

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Bottle bombs are really scary because glass shrapnel can cause severe injuries. The first question that always comes to my mind when hearing about this problem is “how old is your glass?” Some brewers re-use bottles over and over again and eventually the bottles begin to fatigue and fail. Breweries using returnable glass bottles have

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Mystery Fermentation

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True mysteries are rarely encountered in a brewery when the facts related to a particular problem are at hand. The problem lies in obtaining the facts and this is particularly true when homebrewing. In a commercial brewing operation it is common for brewers to be in the brewery most of the time and in some

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Adding Water to a Boil

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Brewers, and those of us brewers who write about brewing, have all sorts of rules of thumb to help guide us through our brewing journeys. Boil time is one such rule. Some brewers say to boil for a least an hour to allow all of the things required in the boil to occur, and others

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429 result(s) found.