Brewers Gone Wild: Taming Unpredictable Yeast For Flavorful Beer

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This is Allagash’s coolship — an open, spontaneous fermentation tank with wort rushing in. When the Maine breeze passes over the liquid, wild yeast in the air around the brewery will begin to ferment the wort to make beer.

Crack the vast menu at any self-respecting beer bar, and you’re bound to run into a scientific name among the descriptions: Brettanomyces, affectionately known as Brett.

I’ve heard American brewers and beer geeks utter “Brett” in hushed, reverent tones before swooshing aromatic liquids made with it across their tongues. But this mysterious, mythic and increasingly popular strain of wild yeast also strikes fear in the hearts of brewers and microbiologists in the industry.

First, let’s review. Beer at its most basic is made up of four ingredients: water, barley malt, hops and yeast. Each one contributes to the overall taste and character, and they fuel the brewer’s creative palette.

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Beer Profile: Highland Brewing’s Razor Wit

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Profiled by Ken Carman for PGA

This is a rather simplistic quaff that’s worth try if all you’re looking for is wheat, a slight Belgian sense. If you REALLY don’t give a damn about safety drink this while mowing a lawn, for this pretty much is what some call a “lawnmower beer.”

Light yellow with small bubble head that fades fast. Good clarity. Very slight Abbey yeast sense. Nose is a tad candy-ish. No wheat in nose but very strong on in taste. Pillow head. Slight carbonic bite. No phenols except maybe the slight bubblegum/candy sense, no hops.

Body is heavy side of medium. Light carbonation for style but about right, though “Belgian” may be considered a qualifier by the brewer. Not accurate, but I’m guessing that would be the reasoning.

The mouthfeel is fuller than it actually is due to wheat. A murky light yellow, despite overall clarity. Puts a sheen on the glass.

(Were you in my house licking my glasses again Charlie Sheen?)

Looking for complexity? Go elsewhere. Hey guys, you’re good brewers. Couldn’t you have done a tad more with this?

79@ BA. 72 and 89 at RB.

3.5 but I’ll do 4 glasses for those seeking simplicity.

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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____________________________________Beer HERE

martianKen Carman was born of a deity named Bill many moons ago when his wife Winnie was fermenting well at the time. He is a beer judge, beer writer and reviewer of brew-based business, beer commentator and BEER GOD. Do not challenge the one who ate too many hops one year, hence the green pigment you see to the left!

Beer from MMSD wastewater? Engineer’s ‘Sludge’ brew has people talking

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There are disturbing aspects to Theera Ratarasarn’s home brew.

The name: Activated Sludge. The label: That is a radiation symbol. The ingredients: It’s brewed with purified Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District wastewater plant effluent.

But it tastes great.

To Ratarasarn, making beer with water that hasn’t gone through the final cleaning process was a mission.

“I wanted to get people talking,” he said “There’s a potential use for what we discharge into lakes and streams.”

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Beer Profile: Leinenkugel’s Cranberry Ginger Shandy

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Profiled by Ken Carman for PGA

Nose is obvious cranberry with a pillow head and a few big bubbles. Very sweet on the sweet high side of cranberry. Almost candy cranberry as per that. Hint of pale3 malt. The mouthfeel is actually tad sweet lemon tart with almost no pale malt behind that,. Sweet is on the top.

This is a very sweet, light, quaff, with cranberry and sweet up front. Not bad at all. Pale malt just about perfect fir sweet, cranberry focus.

Just a hint of haze, light yellow/gold.

Lemon backs up cranberry perfectly.

Great beer. A great shandy with nice, good, strong cranberry in second Light, yet firm, carbonic sense in carbonation as in very slight bite. Slightest hint of ginger. Lite bo, lite carb. Slight haze.

Personally I’d only buy this to show quaffers what you can do with beer, especially a somewhat unofficial, frowned upon, style called shandy. It’s well balanced and enjoyable, but kind of a one trick brew.

I tend to prefer more complexity, but what I prefer is not the point.

73 @ Beer Advocate, but they apparently add a different fruit each year so no cranberry-specific rating found.

16 and 42 @ Rate Beer, but same non-specific comment applies. Hey, RB, not THAT bad!

4.

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

1-2-3-4-5-fingers-on-hand1

____________________________________Beer HERE

martianKen Carman was born of a deity named Bill many moons ago when his wife Winnie was fermenting well at the time. He is a beer judge, beer writer and reviewer of brew-based business, beer commentator and BEER GOD. Do not challenge the one who ate too many hops one year, hence the green pigment you see to the left!

Fours breweries sign on for Veriflow same-day microbe detection

Microbe craft beer diagnostic Invisible Sentinel

Invisible Sentinel Inc., a global molecular solutions company that provides detection tools to advance quality processes, announced the final validation phase of its Veriflow brewPAL. You may remember the initial news of this product being developed in conjunction with Victory Brewing Co. Veriflow brewPAL is the first product that provides same-day detection for the presence of Pediococcus and Lactobacillus species throughout the brewing process. This novel technology provides onsite detection and quantification of these microbes and reduces time-to-results from several days to less than three hours. Timely detection using Veriflow brewPAL can prevent spoilage, preserve integrity and transform brewing quality control processes from reactive to preventive.

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Beeronomics: An Interview with Trey Malone

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

IMG_1884I just got back to my desk with a bottle of smoked imperial porter from Tennessee to fortify me for the evening of writing. Looks and smells great, and reminds me of a welcoming fire in a log cabin on a snowy winter night.

 

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Culinary Industry Icons Rate the Best Beers in America.\

NOTE: Blackberry Farms, apparently, comes from a GEORGIA brewery, not TN.-PGA

goodfood_v2There are now over 3,000 breweries in the U.S., which is amazing, considering there were about 44 just thirty years ago (and 1,700 in the middle of 2011). But consider this: there are 990,000 restaurants, a $680B industry. So when icons of the food world pay attention to the brewery scene, it’s real perspective. Some of very best food industry players are working towards lofty ideals, too. As Good Food Awards founder Sarah Weiner announced to the latest winners (at a bash attended by the likes of guest judges Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, and Mark Bittman), “wed to a vision of a better, more delicious world, all of you have chosen to be creators. Beyond the not trifling feat of making something utterly delicious, what you do and the way you do it creates tighter, stronger, more just societies.” And who can compete for a GFA? Makers of great beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves, spirits,and even cooking oils and honey—which pass the GFA’s sustainability and social responsibility criteria.

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Growing beer industry’s growing problem

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Albany

New York state’s frothy craft beer market could go flat in the next 10 years if it can’t find a better way to grow malt barley.

Along with water and hops, malted barley is one of the key ingredients used to make beer, and it’s also a key ingredient in making bourbon.

But farmers in the Capital Region and across New York state are finding it difficult to make money on malt barley, which can be easily ruined by moisture, mold and severe weather.

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Brew Biz: Werts and All


The Topic- Lagunitas and Sierra: a proven way to get media attention?

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 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

Written by Ken Carman

magichat9You’re kidding.
AGAIN???

  Look, this has even less cred than that stupid West 6th/Magic Hat logo nonsense. If you remember my column on that garbage lawsuit, Magic Hat sued because their logos were too similar. And I pointed out all the differences and basically stated, “Similar my…”
  Now they think they can own: trademark, the use of the name of a style of beer, IPA? I’m waiting for lawsuits over the use of Specialty, Lager, American Stout, spice/herb/vegetable beer. Will Brussels sue over exclusive use of Brussels Sprout Beer if someone dares brew it? Hmm… I’m guessing someone already has. Many of us brewers are experimental, for sure.
  Ah, but, like the previous feltergarb, I’m guessing this is just an attempt to get attention. Hey, free press, name recognition and you settle west_sixth_logo_onwhite500out of court, money passes back and forth: some under, some over, the table to satisfy legal obligations and, what a bonanza for lawyers!
  Really? Do some craft brewers think so little of their product they have to use tactics they’d mock Miller/Coors for using?
  One of my fav bloggers: Bartcop, once said: to paraphrase, make a mistake that makes money and you can be sure they will make that mistake again. This is a variation: “create a bogus claim that gets a buzz on in the media, and online, and there will be more bogus claims. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”