As sour beers proliferate in the market, the search for a quantitative yardstick to determine acidity has intensified. Could Titratable Acidity, or TA, a measurement borrowed from the wine industry, be the answer?
If you drink a beer, and your friends aren’t instantly notified about it, did it really happen? How is technology changing the beer drinking experience for so many enthusiasts, and why are they frantically sharing their experiences anyway?
While green lawns go brown, farms go fallow, and everyone is asked to cut their water usage at every turn, beer drinkers are forced to consider whether their favorite drink is worth such a reservoir-sucking impact.
Don’t let the names confuse you. Aroma compounds are being engineered into your beers, so think about them the next time you smell a hop bomb. Does your nose detect anything besides that hop character?
The recent boom in new breweries has come with a secondary phenomenon: the growth in smaller scale commercial brewing equipment. Today, it seems, almost no one runs a commercial brewery without a pilot system.
The idea of marrying sake and beer has been around for a while, but a hybrid has never been made in any great quantity. One of the issues is that many brewers, in spite of their creativity, do not have experience with sake.
When a beer is labeled “best by,” the brewery makes a judgment weighing freshness against shelf life, and, presumably, the brewery’s bottom line. With “bottled on” dates, buyers must decide for themselves.
Increasingly, sour beers—and the foeders used to produce them—are becoming a less-surprising feature among American craft breweries. And while larger breweries with connections acquire as they go, the demand for foeders among smaller breweries is only growing.
Craft breweries of all sizes are responding to the consumer demand for variety by shipping their beer to far-flung accounts. So how do breweries maintain the condition of their beer, please fickle customers and simultaneously grow their brands? The answer is cold storage.
The world produced over 134 million metric-tons of barley between 2011 and 2012. But up to 95 percent of the world’s barley is susceptible to a variety of a fungal disease called stem rust that was discovered in Uganda in 1999. Dubbed Ug99, it has spread across East Africa and up into the Middle East.
The vast majority of craft brewers make forgiving, warm-fermenting ales. But new lager-focused breweries are taking a two-tracked approach to changing that, making fresh versions of the German classics and pushing American lagers into new territory with pumpkins, coffee, rye malt and candi sugar.
In their quest to push the boundaries of brewing and redefine craft beer styles, American brewers are deep into experimenting with brewing’s most fickle ingredient: wild yeast. And as demand for Brett and other wild strains skyrockets, lab geeks like Dmitri Serjanov are stepping up to meet it.
Most of Colorado’s breweries are more than 5,000 feet above sea level. But professional brewers at altitude are downright scientific with their methods. And the first thing they point to is the temperature at which they boil.
Tasting panels are trained by smelling the chemical aroma standards responsible for each flavor—as beer geeks know, banana flavor is isoamyl acetate and butter is diacetyl—in decreasing dilutions. They taste the isolated chemicals added to polyethylene glycol until small amounts can be detected.
While walking in the woods, Argentinian microbiologist Diego Libkind stumbled upon a familiar smell: ethanol. Scattered on the ground were fungus clusters. Taking a sample back to the lab, Libkind found a species of Saccharomyces yeast, the same genus used to brew beer, living on these edible mushrooms.
Craft beer drinkers, like brewers, want to be challenged. From Chipotle Ale to peanut butter and jelly beer, we never know what will pleasantly surprise us, and the true craft beer drinker will try anything once.
In addition to their bittering, flavor and aroma properties, hops help stabilize beer foam, kill unwanted bacteria and, according to some studies, impart body-boosting antioxidants. And that’s just what today’s hops can do. Future breeds might bring an entire revolution to the brewing industry.