Mr. Wizard

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Feeling the Pressure

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Atmospheric pressure does affect beer carbonation and dispense, but the answer to this question is a little confusing depending on where the beer being dispensed was carbonated, and how carbonation is defined. It also depends on what is meant by the term “pressure.” In an attempt to write an answer that is not overly confusing,

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Tips for Unitank Users

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The best treatise I have read about the development and use of unitank fermenters is in the textbook Brewing Yeast and Fermentation by Boulton and Quain. Although the subject is covered in


Maximizing Malt Aroma and Character

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I have been on this same journey before and it can be a real challenge chasing elusive flavors that sometimes seem impossible to capture, and perfect malt flavor is one such genie. It’s hard to play this game without starting with malt: They may be lacking in the flavor you are chasing. Although you state

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Maximizing Honey Flavor and Aroma

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Joe, thanks for the good two-part question about using brewing sugars like honey for special flavors and the question about how to bottle condition beers that may contain fermentable sugars. These are two independent brewing questions and are best addressed as such. When adding fermentable brewing sugars to a batch, it is important to consider

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Hop Creep Explained

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Hop creep is a term that has been recently popping up in commercial craft brewing circles to describe increased attenuation following dry-hopping. Reports in brewing literature indicate that a small handful of


Planning a Nano’s Cellar

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The method of fermentation described above works with fermenters over a fairly wide range of sizes, mainly depending on the shape of the fermenter. The dissipation of heat from the fermenter into


Keg-Conditioning Beer

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Anthony, the short answer to your question is that it depends on when the beer was filled into your keg. In order to answer this question, a bit of background is required, so hang tight for a bit of review. There are many ways to go about managing the fermentation and aging process, but all

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Hop Shelf Life

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This is a great question and brings up several things that need to be considered because hops do age when stored, and using hops that are past their prime for brewing is not the best plan for brewing great beer. Let’s start with when hops are harvested and what the date on the package really

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Troubleshooting The “Reverse Step-Mash”

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The old alpha and beta amylase temperature conundrum! It does indeed seem that the temperature optima for these two enzymes is reversed for the purpose of mashing. Beta amylase produces maltose by “biting” off maltose molecules from the non-reducing end of starch molecules. In the case of amylose, there is one reducing end and one

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Using Allspice

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One of the easiest ways to work a spice into beer recipes is to consider how the spice is used in cooking and then create a beer that mimics the food concept. More advanced uses of spices include using spices to substitute and/or complement hops, add depth and complexity to fruit, augment yeast characters, and

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Using Softened Water?

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Oh boy, this topic is one of the more confusing ones in all of brewing and I will do my best to keep this answer clear. Toward this goal, I am using


Counting Calories: Pastry Stouts

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This is a fun question considering the source region; Empire Brewing in Syracuse and Cazanovia, NY has been brewing their Skinny Atlas Light since 1994 using water from Lake Skaneateles. Not sure


424 result(s) found.