Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Forced Beer Oxidation Experiment

We have often talked about this subject off-camera and maybe a little on-camera too, but a way to understand off-flavors is to produce them yourself by doing all the things you were told not to do in homebrewing because you’d cause off-flavors. Mike did just that with this forced oxidation experiment with one of his beers.

Oxidized Beer Is Bad

With two glasses in front of me, I could tell right away that there was something different in the aroma of one of them. It smelled like sherry wine and it set off my brain to make a connection to the off-flavor of oxidized beer. The flavor followed suit.

There was a strong sherry taste that reminded me of barleywines that I have had. I would not say it tasted like wet cardboard as the texts say, but it was a pronounced sherry taste. Mike thought it was interesting that the hop character of the experiment beer was muted and the malt profile seemed more flabby.

We may try this beer again in a few more weeks to see how bad it can get. This experiment was eye-opening for me. Understanding off-flavors so that you can detect them in your beer is a good skill to have. Keep learning about your beer to become better homebrewers.

Brew ON!

Southern Passion Hops NEIPA Tasting Notes

So there was a deal on South African hops from Yakima Valley Hops where I could get a pound of Southern Passion hops for a nice price. With a pound of hops, I was in for a penny and in for a pound. I thought it was silly just to make a one gallon batch so I brewed an NEIPA with that large amount of hops to learn more. Watch this video for our thoughts!

Our Thoughts

With a pound of hops, you have to hope that you’re investing the ingredient properly into your beer. There is always a risk, but I found that the descriptors on the packet enticing.

Even though the descriptors had more tropical fruit callouts, we found this hops in this beer to be more citrusy, landing in the orange realm. There were some other fruit flavors but not a lot of pineapple or papaya.

It made for a great beer. I think I am going to doctor the beer a bit with some CyroAmarillo hops. Keep an eye out for a future post!


Kentucky Common Beer – First Attempt

Mike brewed two beers. As he has done in the past, he brewed a 10 gallon mash run and then made two 5 gallon batches from it. One was a Cream ale but the other one was a new style for us both. Here’s our examination of Mike’s first attempt at a Kentucky Common Beer.

Tasting Notes

We’ll ignore the Cream Ale because that’s old hat. He made his mash with twice the amount of flaked maize because that is what the Kentucky Common style calls for.
We found the Kentucky Common’s flavor was pretty. The one flaw we talked about was its color. The beer is not quite dark enough to be a Kentucky Common. Besides this flaw, the beer a nice drinker.

The grain bill contained mostly Pilsner malt with a big addition of flaked maize. The hops Mike used were Cluster for bittering and Liberty hops for flavor, which he added at 10 minutes left to go in the boil and for aroma, added at flameout.

Let us know what you think of Kentucky Common and whether you’ve ever tried to make one!

Brew ON!

Doctoring Beer With Brewing Salts

Yo – do you remember that lager I brewed with homegrown Magnum hops? Well, if you do remember, I brewed that beer using water right out of my tap. Mike wanted to try something. He said we could doctor the beer with brewing salts to see if we could learn something about their effects on the flavor of the finished beer. Watch this video to learn more about this experiment and what we learned.

The Experiment

Mike made up special suspensions/solutions using specific measurements of Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Chloride so we can add them to different samples of the beer I brewed. We had one as the control and added 100 PPM of CaCl2 to one sample and 100 PPM of CaSO4 to the other.

The Results

The sample that we put in Calcium Chloride in didn’t seem that much different. I guess you could say it was a bit more malty but because it was a SMaSH beer, there wasn’t much to manipulate. The Sulfate-affected beer sample was more noticeable. The bitterness became sharper and lingered longer in the aftertaste.

I think the results of this experiment made it clear that adding Calcium Sulfate ( CaSO4 or Gypsum) to my brewing water is a needed step to brew quality lagers.


PLAATO Keg Management System Unboxing

Although we received a prototype of this product a while ago, it was great to get the official product so we could unbox it here. Take a look at the sleek look of the PLAATO Keg Management System.

Unboxing And Review

The final device has a nice smooth outer covering. The prototype that we got was a 3D printed job, sealed together with some strong epoxy. The USB connector was also given a better placement to make it easier to maintain contact when inside your fridge or kegerator.

I really like the PLAATO guys and their products. The app works with the airlock and now the Keg Management System. This device not only measures how much beer is in your keg but also the ambient temperature of where you’re storing your keg. Yeah, you could build your own. Maybe you feel like buying gadgets like these is a waste of money. Sometimes, you buy things because of the cool factor. No matter. If you’re into homebrewing tech, check out the stuff from PLAATO.

Brew On!

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