Brew Science

Cool technical info on brewing

What makes malt go: diastatic power and proteolytic enzymes

What makes malt go: diastatic power and proteolytic enzymes

I made it through a whole hour-long presentation on malt without once mentioning diastatic power (what it is, how it works) or proteolytic enzymes.  Whups.  Thank goodness they were at least in my handout (see my last post for the handout). So, to make up for this rather large omission, […]

Pellicle Quest

Pellicle Quest

One word had escaped the etymology dragnet I’ve set up to write my Anglica Brewtannica series: Pellicle.  How had I missed pellicle?  It sure sounds kinda medieval.  Or like one of T.S. Eliot’s cats (Jellicles, Pollicles).   Come to think on it, I kinda know what one is regarding beer, but do I […]

Books for Brewers: Basic List of Books of Modern How-To on Beer and Mead

Books for Brewers: Basic List of Books of Modern How-To on Beer and Mead

This is my collection of books of modern how-to on beer and mead – all the books I currently have in my library plus a few.   There are even a few country-wine-and-liqueur books here.  Suggestions for additions are welcome; so are corrections.  Maybe there’s something here you haven’t seen before […]

Feeding Yeast

Feeding Yeast

Proper yeast nutrition means your brew ferments faster and cleaner, leaving fewer off-flavors that have to age out.  We’ll call that a good thing.  Yeast is a pretty complex little organism, though, with a lot of nutrient requirements that change from life phase to life phase.  So how do we, […]

Starting Yeast

Starting Yeast

I’m getting to brew a recipe from last year’s American Homebrewer Association’s national competiton – the Underwood’s “Blasphemy at GobblersRoost” (you’ll need an AHA login to view their Homebrewopedia); it’s a sack with buckwheat honey, raisins and oak aged with whiskey.  In getting ready, I’ve been mulling over yeast starters and […]

Thoughts on Gravity and pH

Thoughts on Gravity and pH

Specific gravity, that magic number that allows us to easily figure how alcoholic our brews are, or are likely to be; how sweet they may be, and something about their anticipated mouthfeel…lots to think about, with gravity.  I am making the assumption that a swift, efficient fermentation is best for […]

Anti-cancer properties...in ancient beer?!

Anti-cancer properties…in ancient beer?!

I wouldn’t make this up.  Biomolecular archaeological evidence examining ancient Egyptian wine jars (circa 3150 BC) find that ancient brews may have had potent anti-cancer agents: “New biomolecular archaeological evidence backed up by increasingly sophisticated scientific testing techniques are uncovering medicinal remedies discovered, tested, and sometimes lost, throughout millennia of […]

Homebrew Clarifiers

Homebrew Clarifiers

This is a class handout, and rather chatty.  You’ve been warned. Clarifiers  

The Fermentation Reaction

The Fermentation Reaction

N.B. This is not my work, it is a file I have kept for several years.l  do not know to whom to accredit it.  If you recognize it, please send me the details so I can accredit this properly.  Fermentation reaction The fermentation reaction C6H12O6 → 2 C2H5OH + 2 […]

Use of Sulphur in Medieval Brewing

Use of Sulphur in Medieval Brewing

This is a collection of emails from an historical brewing list I’m on.  There’s some awfully interesting material in here about how sulphur was used to avoid oxygenation of brews in the Middle Ages.  Nowadays we’d put it in a keg and use CO2 to force the O2 out.  Bottled […]

Average Sugar Content of Honey

Average Sugar Content of Honey

 I don’t have a source noted on this. I am not sure which of several sources I found it in  Average sugar content of honey:  Fructose (d-fructose) 38.5% Dextrose (d-glucose) 31.0%  Sucrose (table sugar) 1.5% Maltose 7.2% Other higher carbohydrates 4.2%

Methode Champagnoise

Methode Champagnoise

This is a copy of an email from a man I know in the SCA as Eadric the Potter. I think the information worth sharing.  The region of Champagne has been making wine since Roman times, but Sotheby’s wine catalogue says the oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux, which was […]