What I Learned In A Recent Class

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katzke

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Our brew club just had a tasting class or rather a class on off flavors. A local large craft brewer quality control sensory analysis science guy put on the class. The only thing I learned in the class is I am not destined to be a beer judge as the samples were not all that detectable to me.

What I did learn after the class was over is how important yeast health is and what the brewery does to help the yeast. The subject of water chemistry came up and while I did not get particulars they do make several additions to the brewing water. From all the posts I have seen on water our water is close to what most brewers use in Australia (low counts). The interesting addition was Zinc other then the regular additions of Calcium, Magnesium and other flavor ions.

I have found that good healthy yeast is important to brewing as well as the correct yeast count. My brewing has improved with yeast in mind and some basic water additions but now I am thinking of going farther and adding some yeast nutrient. After the class I have been thinking of how many brewers are making yeast cultures or starters but not making healthy yeast in the process. True they are making lots of yeast but how healthy are they?

It was also interesting to find they test everything in the brewery. Any change in ingredients is tested before put into production. How do they test it? They brew a batch and taste it as well as put it through a battery of machine tests. But the bottom line is how does it taste.

Yeast and how they work came up over and over. Some defects are not yeast related but a surprising amount is even if they relate to infection.

Yeast health as well as basic process control like fermentation temperature and sanitation is important. Quality ingredients are important as well as mash processes if you are using grain.

There are no silver bullets in brewing but with all the bits together a real good quality beer can be made. And sometimes well, with all this they still make some bad beer and have to tip it.
 

Supra-Jim

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Sounds like it was a good meeting there katzke.

The latest BYO magazine arrived in my mailbox a few days ago and a significant section of it is devoted to yeast management. Highly recommended reading for any brewer.

Cheers SJ
 

chappo1970

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Great info Katzke,
I often wonder about this exact issue and have often thought that farming good yeast is the name of the game not just saving a buck or two. Thanks for sharing the info I might do some research.

Cheers

Chappo


....Highly recommended reading for any brewer.

Cheers SJ
You can now SJ? :p Mum must be proud!


Cheers

Chappo
 

Supra-Jim

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You can now SJ? :p Mum must be proud!

Sadly no, I still can't read, I just look at the pictures. I judged the quality of the article by the fact that there appeared to be alot of words. :p

Cheers SJ
 

chappo1970

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Sadly no, I still can't read, I just look at the pictures. I judged the quality of the article by the fact that there appeared to be alot of words. :p

Cheers SJ


Thought you were faking it. I go by the size of the pictures ;)

Chappo
 

katzke

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Great info Katzke,
I often wonder about this exact issue and have often thought that farming good yeast is the name of the game not just saving a buck or two. Thanks for sharing the info I might do some research.

Cheers

Chappo
I have always heard that extract has all that is needed water chemistry wise to make good beer same with trace elements in malt. But if this brewery is making additions to their water just for yeast health then that must not always hold true. If you want to look up the brewery it is Deschutes Brewery. Based on 2008 brewing volume they were #6 largest Craft Brewer in the USA. They are #12 of all breweries in the USA for 2008.

As noted in my post they do test everything in the lab. The problem we have is not knowing what the make up of our water or ingredients are. Sure we can get a water report from last year but water can change depending on the source or sources. Same with malt, if you push you can get a basic analysis of the malt from the supplier but is it the same for every bag you get?

I can see the basic advantage of making small additions of say yeast nutrient. But with out knowing the base numbers of trace elements I think we could do more harm then good if we just dump in a bunch of additives.
 

matti

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Katzke.
Isn't it great when you think you have some solid information on how to make a descent brew and then you learn about how many variable there are that can go.

I went to A Firmenich flavouring course/seminar on vanilla flavouring into food.
(Yes, I work with Sweets, actually Ice-cream.)

There were 12 sample and 12 flavour descriptions
The panel had to match each sample to a flavour description provide.

The inter nation flavour description language in the food flavouring is intriguingly complex.

I taste icecream for a living :rolleyes:

I managed to match 3.

Phenolic/ band aid.
Buttery/ Diacetyl
Nutty/ oily

When it come to beer like food every one associates flavour with a past experience or something there are familiar with.
This is why these course are great so every beer person speaks the same language when talking beer flavour.

Then talking about the yeast effect in how to brew beer to style our out of style come hand in hand, I guess.
It is one steep learning curve ones you step over that line and starting to talk about water profiles and additions.

Great to hear this kind of talk on the AHB again it usually fade away because the subject is diluted so much LOL.
Back topic.

As a home brewer we don't have laboratories but we do have resource like our local pool shop to give us a relative close water analysis.
Then we can match that water analysis to suit the styel of brew we chose.
Like you said, you probable should tweak your water until you have learnt a little about the actual water you are using.

A long post and no conclusion gee don't you hate that .
Well it time to go to work and check some Icrecream :ph34r:
 

porky

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I taste icecream for a living :rolleyes:

Have to ask,

Do you spit or swallow?

I can see the down side of eating icecream all day, many extra kilos :rolleyes:
But must be a fun job.

Cheers,
Bud
 

matti

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Have to ask,

Do you spit or swallow?

I can see the down side of eating icecream all day, many extra kilos :rolleyes:
But must be a fun job.

Cheers,
Bud
hehe.
Tasting food involves adding calories.
I ought to have my cholesterol level checked though.better get back to eating icecreams.
 

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