Topic: Mr Wizard

Brewing Lagers for a Beginner

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One of the keys to brewing great lager beers, really, is keeping the fermentation temperature cool. There is no way to sugar-coat the importance of this fact. Lager beers that are fermented warmer than about 58 °F (14.5 °C) often have fruity aromas and sometimes have strong solvent and sulfur notes depending on the yeast


Boil Timing

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In a very general sense the time required to bring wort to a boil can cause problems when the time is too long. Holding hot wort for extended time periods leads to heat-related chemical changes, generally termed “thermal stress”. But in a more practical sense this is not normally associated with waiting for the kettle


Aerating With Oxygen

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Before jumping into the mechanics of oxygenation, I want to touch on oxygenation versus aeration. Yeast require oxygen to grow since oxygen is a component of healthy cellular membranes. When brewing fermentations are lacking in oxygen, fermentation rate, yeast health, and beer flavor are all affected. The simplest and cheapest way of adding oxygen to


Over-Carbonating My Bottles

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I think your problem is too much sugar added for bottle conditioning. But before I jump into this topic, I want to focus on the state of beer when it is opened. All carbonated beverages are super-saturated with carbon dioxide, meaning that there is more CO2 in solution when the container is opened than permitted


Over-Carbonating Bottles, Increasing Efficiencies, & Aerating with Oxygen: Mr. Wizard

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QI have been having problems with over-carbonation in my bottles. I give my batches plenty of time to finish the secondary and check the hydrometer reading to be sure the fermentation is done. Then i add 5 oz. (0.14 kg) of corn sugar and wait about two weeks before sampling the first bottle. It is


Brewing With Fruit – How Much?

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Fruit beers run the gamut from being so subtle that the fruitiest part of the beer is the name, all the way to the extreme where the intensity of the fruit approaches a wine and the consumer is surprised that they are drinking beer. I personally like fruit beers that don’t leave me guessing if


Adding Malt Extract to a Mash

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I love this idea for a number of reasons. The first reason is that many malt extracts seem to be less fermentable than the preference of my palate. If you open a can of malt extract that you know to have a relatively low wort fermentability based on past experience, you can certainly change this


Performing Diacetyl Rests and Scaling Up Recipes: Mr. Wizard

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Q I’ve seen the importance of diacetyl rests mentioned dozens of times. the description always states to increase fermentation temperatures to the 65–68 °F (18–20 °C) range for 24–48 hours or so. However, there is never a discussion of how quickly to raise the temperature. If I have a lager at 50 °F(10 °C), do


Pitching Wild Yeast, Batch Sparging & Racking: Mr. Wizard

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Q Are pitching rates similar or different for “wild” type cultures (Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, etc.) to that of typical ale yeast? Scott Rylie Via Facebook A Pitching rates for wild yeast and bacteria are really all over the place. Brettanomyces species can be used in place of Saccharomyces species for the primary fermentation of wort


Tracking Sugar Content of a Cider and Kettle Sours: Mr Wizard

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It is the lack of non-fermentable sugars that make dry ciders attractive to carbohydrate watchers.


Mr. Wizard’s Musings – Disseminating the latest hop research

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I annually attend several brewing meetings and every so often I see or hear something that really gets me thinking. And I like to write about these topics to give fellow brewers something to noodle on. A few years ago, back in 2012, Dr. Tom Shellhammer from Oregon State University gave a presentation at the


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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