No one who makes beer sets out to make a mediocre brew. This guide will help you enhance the quality of your beer to take your brews to the next level; or if you’re a beer consumer, help you understand what a brewer needs to do to make a good beer.
Brewing beer is part art and part science, with a heavy emphasis on the science side of the spectrum. Any scientist will tell you that precision and attention to detail are important at every stage of any operation, and that is very true of crafting quality beer. As such, to learn how to enhance the quality of your brewed beer, you need to evaluate every stage of the operation.
As we said, beer brewing is more on the science end of the spectrum and requires precision for things to come out right. Temperature control is essential at every stage of the brewing process, especially during mashing and fermenting. Different temperatures during mashing will affect the flavor and body of the beer, while temperature fluctuations during fermentation affect color, foam stability, and, most importantly, yeast and alcohol content. Review the temperature required by your beer’s recipe, and be sure your equipment can maintain that temperature.
Hygiene and Sanitation
In a lab, lack of cleaning and lack of sanitizing instruments can ruin an experiment—and the same is true of brewing beer. Since you’re creating consumable products, hygiene is likely already at the forefront of your mind, but hygiene affects a beer more than you would think. Obviously, drinks with dirt or grime in them would be disgusting to drink, but microorganisms like bacteria may affect your yeast’s ability to grow. That is why both cleaning and sanitizing are important to your operation. Cleaning removes dirt and grime from surfaces, while sanitizing reduces microorganisms.
Material of Stills
While stills and mixing tanks can be composed of a number of different metals, most are composed of copper or stainless steel. The difference is subtle, but many agree that beer brewed in a stainless-steel still tastes different from beer brewed in a copper still. If you want to change up your beer’s flavor, you could try changing stills. There are benefits to using stainless steel and copper, so ultimately, this choice will depend on your operation’s needs.
Quality of Ingredients
Any food or drink is only as good as its ingredients. You can make up for it somewhat with good technique, but at the end of the day, there is just no comparing a beer made with fresh ingredients to a beer made with older ingredients. This goes for the grains, hops, and yeast.
To enhance the quality of your brewed beer, you have to look at how you do all the little things. Even the smallest adjustments can make all the difference in the world if they are the right ones. It may take a little experimentation, but that’s what scientists, artists, and good beer brewers have in common.
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