Topic: Fermentation

Making Kettle Sours

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It took a while for brewers outside of the small sour brewing centers of Belgium and Germany to produce excellent sours because so much of the science and practice of sour beer brewing was closely guarded ~30 years ago when brewers from other parts of the brewing world began dabbling with sour beer. Jean-Xavier Guinard’s

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Pressurizing Your Fermenter: Tips from the Pros

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Brewer: Mike Gleason,  Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, MA There is a lot of buzz surrounding the use of a spunding valve on fermenters these days throughout the homebrewing community. Some brewers like to add it for dry hopping and carbonating purposes, while others apply them for primary fermentation. Yeast companies have even started

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Under Pressure: Capturing CO2 During Fermentation

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There are some who say that a beer whose entire fermenting and aging life is maintained at positive pressure — around 15 psi —tastes much better. Dr. Chris White of White Labs believes that not only pro brewers, but homebrewers can benefit from pressure during fermentation.  “It is an especially nice practice for fermenting lagers because you can ferment at higher temps and still get

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Build a Barrel Coolship Fermenter

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Open fermentation can yield some amazing flavors, but requires the brewer to pay special attention to temperature, cleanliness, and fermenter shape. Some professional breweries cool their wort in vessels called coolships. Coolships are usually shallow rectangular-shaped tanks with open tops. Originally, before plate heat exchangers were invented, the idea behind this design was mainly to pre-cool

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Fermentation

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What’s the simplest way to improve your homebrew? Well, for most homebrewers, it’s running a good fermentation. One of the biggest factors in this is pitching an adequate amount of yeast. Pitching a single packet of yeast into a 5-gallon (19 L) batch does not give your beer enough yeast cells to efficiently ferment the

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How long to secondary ferment

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  Many beers, especially big beers such as imperial stouts, mellow with extended aging in the secondary fermenter. It is usually best to place the secondary in a cool place for extended


Higher Alcohols

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Before you dump your mead down the drain, please read my answer! The aroma you describe is the distinctive scent of ethyl acetate. This nail-polish smelling compound is the most common acetate ester found in beer for one very simple reason; ethyl acetate is formed during fermentation when ethanol is enzymatically coupled with the acetate

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Using Spunding Valves

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All-grain homebrewers with temperature-controlled fermentation capabilities have most of the same levers to pull as craft brewers, but fermentation pressure is one notable exception. And pressure is exactly what a spunding valve (spundapparat in German) allows you to control. Spunding valves regulate the pressure inside a keg or pressure-rated fermenter, venting carbon dioxide in excess

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Fermentation Timeline

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Every time I brew I undoubtedly find myself staring at my fermenter for minutes at a time during peak fermentation when carbon dioxide (CO2) is rhythmically gurgling out of my blow off tube, the foam-like kräusen is bubbling on top of the liquid and particles of yeast, proteins, and hop residue are churning throughout my

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All About Brett

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In 2012 Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project in Denver, Colorado included me in an email chain of 20 Brettanomyces-and-bacteria-focused brewers. Chad’s hope was to get the group to agree


Choosing a Fermenter

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When it comes to your homebrew, most people will say the most crucial element is taking care of your fermentation, and reasonably so. Although everything involved in making your wort is important, the real stars in the process are the yeast, since they do the true heavy lifting in beer. Honestly, as brewers we’re just

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High Gravity Fermentations

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Our bodies can tolerate quite a lot of things in small doses that would be harmful, even deadly in larger doses. That’s true of many medications we take and of course, it’s true of alcohol. Yeast, being a living organism, has similar problems and paradoxically can be poisoned by alcohol, the very product it produces

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