We've all heard over the years - "oh yeah, Wyeast 1056 and White Labs WLP001 are exactly the same". Well, are they? Is it true that they're close enough that we can just freely substitute or do they bring something different to the party?
This past weekend Denny and I were invited to roam around the Bay Area by one of our podcast sponsors, Craftmeister. Craftmeister was in town to demonstrate their cleaning line to customers and employees at the Bay Area More Beer retail locations and brought us along to autograph copies of B3's latest catalog offering - Experimental Homebrewing!
Fermentation is an incredibly complex process that can be mind boggling at times. Brewers like to think of yeast as a microscopic lifeform that transforms the sugars found in wort into alcohol, carbon dioxide gas, and metabolic byproducts that add flavor to the final product. However, in reality, yeast cells do not consume sugar. Yeast cells consume carbon, which they attempt to transform into energy. Alcohol and metabolic byproducts are the results of an inefficient metabolic pathway. The topic of this blog entry is how yeast cells transform compounds collectively known as carbohydrates into energy.
In Episode 2 - Denny and Drew talk about the rise of the brewing robots and what they mean for us homebrewers. Are our "jobs" about to be farmed out to a microchip that can make better beer than we can before we've have our morning coffee? Is it really still brewing if a computer is doing all the watching? Also, what does it mean to be Craft Beer?
Holy Schnikes Batman - it's the first ever episode of Experimental Brewing with Denny and Drew. In this episode, you'll hear Drew actually be right (according to Denny) about the recent spate of craft beer mergers, the absolutely fundamental bedrock technique of triangle testing, Guinness, statistics and math (wait did that survive the edit?
Listen to the dulcet tones of one Mr. Denny Conn as he explains to you what Experimental Brewing with Denny and Drew will be all about! That's right two of your "favorite" authors - Drew Beechum and Denny Conn are bringing you a new show about the wackiness of beer science and the science of beer wackiness!
Where's Drew? Why isn't he in the trailer? Has he turned to the Dark Side of the Force? You'll just have to wait and see for when the podcast drops on November 11th (or the 18th - things are a bit wishy washy in the world of the Internet)!
Denny & Drew hanging out with the fine folks at Craft Meister - sponsors of our Bay Area Hangout Ever wanted to meet Denny and Drew? Ok, maybe you haven't, but... Now's your chance to come and see us as we tour 3 different MoreBeer locations in the Bay Area on November 20th and November 21st! We'll have books to sign, stories to tell and details of our new efforts.
On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. That discovery set into motion the 1849 California Gold Rush. Over 300,000 people migrated to California to seek their fortune, many traveling all of the way from the East Coast in covered wagons. Today, there is a different kind of gold in California. It is a type of gold that is precious to brewers, a microscopic gold. The topic of this entry is the wealth of Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces yeast species held by the University of California, Davis.
Back in the bad old days, a home brewer was happy just to have a reliable yeast culture to pitch into his/her wort. The average home brewer today is no longer content with having access to yeast cultures that get the job done with leaving a trail of metabolic trash that is a mile wide. He/she wants to be able to compute and hit the exact number of cells needed to ferment a given batch of wort. The cold hard truth is that this level of precision is neither obtainable, nor is it necessary in a home brewery.
First off, I would like to take a minute to thank the Experimental Homebrewing team for extending the opportunity to blog on their site. I have considered creating my own blog since re-entering the hobby a few years ago. However, seeing that my hiatus was due to severe burnout, I wanted to avoid having home brewing become the obsession that it became during my first pass through the hobby. Blogging here will allow me to share what I know with others in one convenient place without having to maintain my own site.
Today I kegged the beer I wrote about in my previous blog post. It was a few hours short of 11 days from the time I brewed it. The gravity dropped from 1.063 to 1.013, which is consistent with how this beer usually performs. That's 78.5% AA (apparent attenuation) with a first generation pitch of WY1450. A 1 qt., non stirred starter. In spite of being skeptical, I pitched the whole thing, starter wort and all.
Well, today I'm breaking out of my comfort zone and trying a new yeast starter method. For many years, my standard practice for a starter for an ale in the mid 60s gravity range has been to build a 2-3 qt. starter on a stir plate. I'd let the plate run 3-5 days, then put the starter in the fridge for 2-3 days to crash out the yeast. I'd decant, then pitch the slurry. It always seemed to work well, but.....
It's late in the year for us brewers but it's still that season when one thing comes to rule all the beer making forums (and coffee shops and well, everywhere it seems.) - pumpkin pie. Seriously, I was in my local Target the other day and this was a sign that greeted me. Just your everyday basic flavor of M&M I'm just going to assume (possibly fervently hope) this means we've reached peak Pumpkin Spice. Seriously, I love Pumpkin Pie.
You know - I totally forgot to talk about this after the NHC - but y'all remember the Clam Chowdah Saison? The stuff of legend and trepidatious responses from brewers across the world? Well, we poured it at the AHA NHC Club Night and it was a hit. All five gallons went away in a hurry! Between the CC Saison, Annie's Chicken Ale and the Austin Zealots Spam Mead - I think the AHA needs to have a meat themed bar at one of these events. :) A Glass Full of Fear