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Growing Wet Hops Year-Round with Kyle and Greg Stelzer – BeerSmith Podcast #185

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Kyle and Greg Stelzer join me from 24 Hour Hops where they are growing hops year-round in greenhouses in Arizona and providing wet hops to home brewers!

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (43:19)

  • Today my guests are Kyle and Greg Stelzer from Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chesapeake Virginia. Kyle and Greg have started a unique business growing hops year-round in greenhouses with the goal of providing fresh wet hops throughout the year to home brewers.
  • We discuss how they decided to start a hop business in the desert of Arizona – an area not often associated with hops.
  • Kyle tells us about their decision to focus on the homebrew market and delivering fresh wet hops directly to homebrewers right after they are picked.
  • We talk about the challenges of growing hops in a greenhouse versus a more traditional outdoor location as well as the flexibility it provides. For example they can produce several crops from a bine in a single year.
  • Kyle tells us how large the operation is and the varieties of hops they are focused on.
  • Greg explains the use of hydroponics rather than traditional soil for growing hops, and the advantages of having complete control over the nutrients provided.
  • Kyle shares the hop cycle and how they are able to simulate winter to get multiple hop cycles from a single plant in a year.
  • We discuss brewing with fresh wet hops and some of the challenges it provides. Kyle also explains how they pick and ship fresh wet hops directly to homebrewers within a day or two.
  • Greg shares some of the things they have learned diving into hop growing over the last few years.
  • They share their web site Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chicago Illinois where you can order hops or learn more about working with wet hops.
  • Both provide their closing thoughts.

Sponsors

Thanks to Greg and Kyle Stelzer for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbia Missouri, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbia South Carolina. Also all of my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Georgia now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Ohio to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Concord California online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boise Idaho (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

BeerSmith Cloud Recipe Privacy and Sharing Explained

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This week I present a short overview of the cloud sharing, privacy and folder features available in BeerSmith 3 home brewing software. The cloud features in BeerSmith let you share recipes between your computers and phone, share with other users or just use as an online private backup for your recipes.

The BeerSmith cloud is an online server located at Buy Viagra 25 mg in El Monte California which currently has some 850,000 beer, mead, wine, and cider recipes. Access to the cloud is integrated into the Buy Viagra 25 mg in El Paso Texas software as a “cloud folder”, which reach back to the server to access recipes stored there. In BeerSmith 3 a secure connection (SSL/Https) is used.

Some potential uses for the cloud folder:

  • Sharing recipes privately between your computers and mobile devices. All recipes are private by default.
  • Sharing recipes with others (if you mark them as shared)
  • Storing recipes offline in the cloud for backup purposes

BeerSmith Cloud Privacy Options

You can add items to your cloud folder by either moving/copy/pasting new items to the folder or by creating a new recipe in the cloud folder area. On both the desktop and mobile version the cloud folder is a separate selection to differentiate it from the locally stored “My Recipes” folder.

You can add items to your cloud folder by either moving/copy/pasting new items to the folder or by creating a new recipe in the cloud folder area. On both the desktop and mobile version the cloud folder is a separate selection to differentiate it from the locally stored “My Recipes” folder.

On the desktop you click on the large “Share” icon (looks like a large lock) from Cloud view to change the privacy settings for the selected recipe. On the mobile version, there is a selection on the menu that lets you alter privacy. On the mobile if you open a cloud recipe there is a “Sharing State” button just under the section with the recipe name that lets you adjust privacy.

Private: By default, anything you add to your cloud folder is marked as private which means that only people logged in with your cloud login can access them. They are not publicly listed or accessible unless you take action to share them. Private recipes can be reached from your other mobile or desktop devices, but only if you are logged into your account.

Shared: On both the mobile and desktop version there is a button that allows you to share a selected recipe. If you opt to share the recipe, it will now be accessible from both the BeerSmithRecipes.com search page as well as the cloud search functions within BeerSmith desktop and mobile. Shared recipes can be found and downloaded by any other BeerSmith user.

Unlisted: If you mark a recipe as “unlisted” it will not show up in general search results, but it can be accessed using the sharing ID shown. The idea behind an unlisted recipe is that you can give the sharing id to a friend so they can access the recipe without having it listed in search results for something you may not want shared with the whole world.

It is important to note that each recipe has its own privacy setting, so you can choose to either keep all your recipes private, or select just a few recipes to share or mark unlisted.

That is a quick overview of the recipe sharing options available in BeerSmith and the BeerSmith cloud. Thanks for joining me on the Buy Viagra 25 mg in Birmingham Alabama. Be sure to sign up for Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boise Idaho or my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boston Massachusetts(also on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boulder Colorado…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Bridgeport Connecticut…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Brownsville Texas) for more great tips on homebrewing.

Quality in Beer with Dr Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast #184

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Dr Charles Bamforth joins me to discuss ensuring quality in beer and how it applies to both professional and home brewing. We also explore aspects of quality in beer.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (49:52)

  • Today my guest is Dr Charles Bamforth.  Buy Viagra 25 mg in Fullerton California at the University of California at Davis.  He specializes in beer perception, polyphenols, foam stability, oxidation and flavor stability in beer.
  • We start with a discussion of Dr Bamforth’s pending retirement, though he plans to continue writing about beer and soccer.
  • Charlie defines quality and what it means in beer, as well as the difference between quality assurance and quality control.
  • We talk about the basic components of a quality assurance program.
  • We discuss how quality goes well beyond just monitoring the brewing process, but actually includes the ingredients back to their source as well as the product packaging, delivery and storage.
  • We discuss the cost of quality and how to balance that.
  • He explains some of the common measurements taken to control quality including the critical sensory analysis.
  • We discuss how quality applies to the average homebrewer.
  • Charlie explains some of the details involved in the control process.
  • We mention some of Dr Bamforth’s recent books as well as his closing thoughts on quality.

Sponsors

Thanks to Dr Charles Bamforth for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbia Missouri, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbia South Carolina. Also all of my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Georgia now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Ohio to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Concord California online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boise Idaho (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Alcohol Tolerance in Beer Yeast and BeerSmith 3

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Some brewers don’t realize that beer yeast, like all yeast has a limited alcohol tolerance.  In fact many some beer yeasts reach their limit below 8% ABV which can be a real problem for high gravity beers.

Yeast Alcohol Tolerance

Yeast is a one cell living creature.  As such it can only reproduce and grow within certain conditions.  One of those conditions includes the presence of alcohol.  Each yeast strain has a limit, called the yeast’s “alcohol tolerance” that indicates the level at which yeast cells start to go dormant and stop fermenting.  By convention, the alcohol tolerance is expressed as a percent Alcohol by Volume (%ABV).  Most major yeast suppliers do provide alcohol tolerance numbers for their yeast strains, though you may have to dive deep into the spec sheet to find it.

Alcohol tolerance varies depending on the type and specific strain of yeast. Most beer yeasts fall into the 8-12% ABV range for alcohol tolerance, though some English ale yeasts go as low as 7% and some high gravity Belgian and ale yeasts can tolerate 15%. Wine yeasts generally have an alcohol tolerance between 14-18%, though some specialty wine and Champagne yeasts can reach as high as 21% alcohol.

Alcohol tolerance is not a fixed number, as there is some variation depending on yeast strain, yeast health, nutrients and sugar available and other factors.  However fermentation will start to slow considerably as a yeast approaches its alcohol tolerance level and will stop completely within a percent or two of the published number for most strains. This can be a real problem if you brew a high gravity beer with a low tolerance yeast strain, as the result will be a very high finishing gravity and overly sweet beer.

The fact that yeasts stop at a certain point is widely used in beverages like sweet and fruit meads where you want residual sugar in the finished mead.  Some mead makers accomplish this by using a very high starting gravity with a known yeast, so that the yeast reaches its alcohol limit before all of the honey is consumed leaving a high finishing gravity and residual sweetness in the mead.  The same can be done with fruit beers and dessert wines to create a beverage with residual sweetness to accent the fruit.

Alcohol Tolerance and ABV in BeerSmith 3

With the version 3.0 release of BeerSmith, the software now recognizes and uses the ABV limits of various yeast strains.  Each yeast strain in the program now has an alcohol tolerance field you can display and edit that is also used to estimate final gravity and ABV.

For most of the major yeast producers the BeerSmith 3 yeast database has the alcohol tolerance already populated under Ingredient->Yeast.  If you build a new recipe in BeerSmith 3 it will use this number to estimate the final gravity, so if your final gravity seems very high on your high gravity beer you may want to examine the yeast strain used.

Also because the alcohol tolerance field did not exist in BeerSmith 2 some users have run into problems importing recipes from BeerSmith 2.  In this case the program will set the alcohol tolerance to an “average” rate of 10% for your yeast imports, but this can create problems for older recipes.  If you are building or editing an older BeerSmith 2 recipe, and the ABV won’t go above 10% then this is most likely the cause and you need to either edit the details of the yeast strain you are using in the recipe or select a new yeast strain from the BeerSmith 3 list to get the updated data.

Those are some tips on understanding alcohol tolerance for your yeast in BeerSmith 3. Thanks for joining me on the Buy Viagra 25 mg in Birmingham Alabama. Be sure to sign up for Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boise Idaho or my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boston Massachusetts(also on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boulder Colorado…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Bridgeport Connecticut…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Brownsville Texas) for more great tips on homebrewing.

Burners and Heating Elements for Beer Brewing – BeerSmith Podcast #183

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This week John Blichmann from Blichmann Engineering joins me to discuss gas burners and electric heating elements for beer brewing.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (58:12)

  • Today my guest is John Blichmann.  John is CEO of Buy Viagra 50 mg in Billings Montana a premier developer and supplier of both home and professional brewing equipment.
  • John explains some of the characteristics of an ideal heat source for brewing.
  • We start with a discussion on gas burners including the basic gas options: propane vs natural gas.
  • He explains how gas burners are rated and also why some of the BTU numbers published by manufacturers are somewhat misleading.
  • John walks through the basic pieces of a typical gas burner.
  • He tells us how to adjust your gas burner for best overall performance.
  • We switch to electric heating elements, and he explains the three basic types: surface, immersion and induction.
  • We talk about power ratings and the basic power requirements for typical home brewed batches.
  • John explains the basics of electrical safety including why you must have a GFCI circuit breaker to brew safely, and how to get one installed by a professional.
  • We discuss control options for maintaining temperature both with electrical and gas systems.
  • John briefly explains some of the typical controllers you will find in a homebrew system.
  • He gives us his closing thoughts and also mentions an upcoming controller that Blichmann is releasing soon.

Sponsors

Thanks to John Blichmann for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbia Missouri, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbia South Carolina. Also all of my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Georgia now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Ohio to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Concord California online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boise Idaho (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Giving BeerSmith 3 as a Gift

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I’ve had quite a few people write recently asking how they can give BeerSmith 3 software as a gift to a friend, relative or loved one for the holidays.

Fortunately there is a simple way to do it – you can purchase a Buy Viagra 50 mg in Colorado Springs Colorado which is redeemable online for a BeerSmith 3 license.

The BeerSmith Gift Code Process

That’s it – thanks again for supporting BeerSmith and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Fermented Acorn – Sour Brown

Fermented Acorn – Sour Brown

The first week of October, DC posted a notice on our front door informing us that an arborist deemed the oak tree in our front yard hazardous. Up until that moment, it would have been illegal to cut down as a “heritage” tree (over 100″ in circumference). They gave us 10 days to apply for a permit and have it removed. The tree had obviously been on the down-slope for the last 10 years, but this summer a large swath had gone brown mid-August and the rest in late-September.

I was sad to see the tree go, but glad I got to brew a beer with acorns foraged from it before it went!

Oak tree removal

Last fall, inspired as usual by The Homebrewer’s Almanac, I collected acorns over a few afternoons. While fresh acorns are loaded with tannins, fermented they are said to take on a wonderful aromatics reminiscent of bourbon, Madeira, and plums. The various parts of any plant usually contain shared compounds (and flavors). It has become fashionable to cook with the “garbage” parts of plants (and animals) usually thrown away. While it takes more effort to prepare collard green stems or pork feet, it can be well worth it. While oak wood is used to age thousands of beers, its acorns, leaves, and bark are not nearly as popular.

I inspected each acorn to remove any that were cracked, or otherwise marred. I briefly rinsed them, and then arranged in a single layer on a shallow baking dish in the basement to allow them to dry.

Acorns before sorting and drying

Apparently my inspection wasn’t thorough enough as I missed several small blemishes (example below) that indicated an acorn weevil had laid an egg inside.

Acorn Weevil hole

A week later, after discarding those where a larva bored out, I moved the acorns to five lightly sealed pint mason jars. I didn’t add water, microbes, or anything else.

Fermenting acorns in mason jars

Over the next nine months in my 65F basement the acorns slowly fermented on their own. First producing carbon dioxide and the pleasant aroma of ethanol. Then slowly a more complex aromatics of apricot, chocolate, and bourbon. Exactly which microbes are responsible is a mystery to me.

When I visited Scratch Brewing last November (on my drive from St. Louis to Indianapolis for the BYO Boot Camp… next one is March in Asheville) I had the chance to assist Marika on a batch at Scratch, and see their jars of fermenting acorns. Luckily for them, Aaron told me weevils haven’t been an issue!

Acorns fermenting at Scratch Brewing

By the following summer, my acorns were smelling like a combination of whiskey distillery, apricot orchard, and old library. While their exteriors were unchanged, the interior transformed from beige to leathery brown. Non-enzymatic browning, that is to say the Maillard reaction may be at work as with black garlic? While these processes are accelerated at high temperature, they still happen when cooler.

I thought an oud bruin-ish base would provide a solid foundation for those darker flavors. I added flaked rye for body and fermented with East Coast Yeast Oud Brune (which contains no Brett, only Sacch and Lacto). ECY Flemish Ale is still hard at work on the other half of the batch. Once the Oud Bruin was finished, I added a tube screen with one cup of the cracked (with a hammer) acorns. After a few weeks I added another cup to increase the flavor contribution.

Cracked acorns

I’m hoping to use the remaining fermented acorns in a small batch at Sapwood Cellars, but the TTB isn’t going along with my plans… yet. They’ve directed me to contact the FDA. It’s amazing how many weird chemicals are approved, when a food that people have eaten for thousands of years is not.

Requiem for an Oak

Smell – Even at the higher rate the acorn character doesn’t leap out of the glass. It does have a richer, more woody-fruity aroma than any other quick sour I’ve brewed. I get some of that old book smell mingling with the Munich maltiness. There is also a brighter stonefruit aroma that prevents it from being too heavy.

Appearance – Pretty amber-brown color. Mild haze. Retention of the tan head is OK especially for a sour beer, although nothing remarkable.

Taste – Firm lactic acid, snappy without being overwhelming. The fermented acorns add leathery and fruity depth to the flavor without stepping all over the malt. I’m pretty happy with this as a lower alcohol oud bruin.

Mouthfeel – The flaked rye really helped considering this is a low alcohol sour beer. Doesn’t taste thin or watery.

Drinkability & Notes – For such a unique beer, it is pleasant to drink. The flavors meld nicely and the acorns help to simulate in a way the effect of barrel aging and Brettanomyces.

Changes for Next Time – I’d probably go even more aggressive with the acorn-rate, really to show them off. The beer could be bigger, but more malt might obscure the acorns even more.

Finished acorn oud bruin

Recipe

Batch Size: 11.00 gal
SRM: 18.0
IBU: 2.0
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.010
ABV: 4.7%
Final pH: 3.43
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%
Boil Time: 90 mins

Fermentables
—————–
60.4% – 16.00 lb Briess Pilsen Malt
22.6% – 6.00 lb Weyermann Munich I
11.3% – 3.00 lb Flaked Rye
3.8% – 1.00 lb Castle Special B
1.9% – 0.50 lb Weyermann Carafa Special II

Mash
——-
Mash In – 45 min @ 157F

Hops
——-
1.25 oz – 8 Year Old Willamette (Whole Cone, 1.00 % AA) @ 85 minutes

Water
——–
11 g Calcium Chloride @ Mash

Calcium
Chloride
Sulfate
Sodium
Magnesium
Carbonate
100
110
50
15
10
90

Other
——-
Whirlfloc Tablet @ 5 mins
2 Cup Fermented Acorns @ Fermenter

Yeast
——-
East Coast Yeast Flemish Ale
East Coast Yeast Oud Brune

Notes
——-
9/29/17 Harvested five pints of acorns from the White Oak in my front yard. Allowed to dry open in the basement.

10/6/17 4 larvae of an acorn weevil hatched. Tossed any acorns with exit holes, and tried to identify all of those with small entry holes to toss. Moved remaining acorns to one-pint mason jars, attached lids, and returned to the barrel room for fermentation.

Brewed 7/9/18

7/29/18 Added 1 cup of acorns (split and in a mesh tube with marbles) to the Oud Bruin half.

8/18/18 Added another cup of acorns, loose, as the flavor wasn’t there yet.

8/28/18 Racked Flemish half to secondary in glass.

9/9/18 Kegged acorn half.

I get a commission if you buy something after clicking the links to MoreBeer/Amazon/Adventures in Homebrewing/Great Fermentations/Love2Brew!

Vegetal Flavors in Beer – Off Flavors in Home Brewing

Vegetal Flavors in Beer – Off Flavors in Home Brewing

This week I take a look at vegetal off flavors in beer as well as their cause and how to prevent them. These include a variety of vegetable flavors and aroma found in some beers.

Vegetal Off-Flavors in Beer

Vegetal off-flavors cover a wide range of potential problems in beer. These include corn, vegetables, cabbage, broccoli, garlic or scallion flavors and even the odor and taste of rotten vegetables. Each may have a slightly different origin.

First we’ll cover the cooked or creamed corn off flavor which is also called DMS (Dimethyl Sulfide). This off-flavor is actually covered in a separate article on DMS here and is often caused by an insufficient boil.

Scallion and garlic-like flavors are often caused by certain hop varieties in the boil such as Summit. Often a different hop variety can resolve this type of flavor. Excessive dry hop contact times can also result in some off flavors particularly those of a more grassy kind.

Finally using old, stale or ingredients that have been exposed to moisture can also impart rotten vegetable or moldy off flavors to your beer. In many cases this will taste of stale or old vegetables. It can happen from spoiled hops, old or spoiled malt or other stale ingredients.

Those are the main causes of vegetal off flavors in beer. Thanks for joining me on the Buy Viagra 25 mg in Birmingham Alabama. Be sure to sign up for Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boise Idaho or my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boston Massachusetts(also on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boulder Colorado…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Bridgeport Connecticut…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Brownsville Texas) for more great tips on homebrewing.

Perception and Reality in Beer Flavor with Randy Mosher – BeerSmith Podcast #182

Perception and Reality in Beer Flavor with Randy Mosher – BeerSmith Podcast #182

This week Randy Mosher joins me to discuss cutting edge research into beer sensory perception and how our brain uniquely perceives and distorts the flavor, aroma and taste of beer.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (55:34)

  • Today my guest is Randy Mosher. Randy is author of many of my favorite home brewing books including Mastering Homebrew, Radical Brewing and Tasting Beer (Amazon affiliate links). He is also a certified beer judge and faculty member at the Siebel institute as well as partner in two Chicago area breweries: Five Rabbit and Forbidden Root.
  • Randy explains why each person’s perception of beer really is an individual experience
  • We discuss some of the factors affecting taste and smell as well as the fact that an average person can distinguish a huge number of flavors.
  • Randy explains some of the complexities of taste even though it is probably one of our simplest senses.
  • We discuss the basic taste senses as well as why bitterness is special
  • He explains the nose and how it is a much more sophisticated device.
  • We talk about how our brain actually processes taste and aroma as well as memory to get something we perceive as flavors.
  • Randy also discusses how our mental state, food history and “flavor warning” patterns all play a role in the processing of flavor patterns.
  • We discuss how the sights, sounds, mood, foods we’re eating and other external factors also play a role in beer flavor.
  • Randy shares his thoughts on judging beer including ways to make the process easier.
  • We talk about “The Dopamine Rush of Whales”.
  • Randy shares some final tips on tasting beer.

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Thanks to Randy Mosher for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
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