- Describe how the following ingredients are prepared for brewing (50 words each):
- Malted grains
- Pilsner and pale malts:
- Malted grains
Pale malts are made by first germinating the barley until the acrospire grows to at least ½ the length of the grain. At this point, the grain is kilned slowly to dry it out, minimizing the protein and starch breakdown. It is then kilned at a higher temperature to reach the desired color. The palest malt possible is “wind” malt which is essentially air-dried malt with no kilning. These are your most common base malts and will contribute very little flavor or color to the beer.
- Vienna and Munich malts
Vienna and Munich malts are made much the same way as the pale malts are. The barley is germinated until the acrospire is at least ½ the length of the grain. They are then kilned. In these cases though, they keep the vents on the kilns closed and basically stew the grain in the water that they have. This causes the starch to break down to sugars, and the proteins and sugars to react to create melonoidins, the hallmark of these grains. Once this is done, they then lower the temperature an open the vents to dry the grains out, then raise the temperature to reach the desired color. These grains are the darkest grains that still have diastatic powers and can be used as base malts. They also will contribute flavors from the melonoidins, and color.
- Crystal or Caramel malts
Crystal and Caramel malts are the same thing. They are made in a very similar method to that of the Vienna and Munich malts. The barley is germinated until the acrospire is at least ½ the length of the grain. They are then kilned. Like the Vienna and Munich malts, they keep the vents on the kilns closed and basically stew the grain in the water that they have. Depending on the temperatures and times, this will create crystals of sugar in the grain, hence the name Crystal malts. Once this is done, they then lower the temperature an open the vents to dry the grains out, then raise the temperature to reach the desired color. This results in grains that give sugar and a caramel type flavor to the beers, along with color.
- Chocolate and other highly roasted malts
As with the pale malts, he barley is germinated until the acrospire is at least ½ the length of the grain. They are then kilned, and this kilning is to both dry and darken the grain. So, they keep the vents open and raise the temperature to a very high temperature to basically char the grain to the desired color. This will result in a grain that doesn’t have much sugar, but will contribute a lot of color and flavors to the beer.
- Roasted Barley
Unlike all the other examples, this is not a malt but an adjunct. Here they take the grain itself and kiln it at a high temperature. This will dry it out, but it will also char the grain to get the dark color. As a result, this will not provide any sugar and only coloring and a burnt taste to the beer.
- Hops, including advantages and disadvantages of each kind.
- Whole flower
The advantages of using a whole flower hops are that they are the least processed of all the hops, and they are usually the easiest to filter off. The disadvantages are that they are bulky and take up a lot of room. They also are less effective at bittering and flavoring the beer as the hop resins are not as accessible, so you have to add more.
Plug hops are essentially whole flowers that are compressed into a plug size. Again, like the whole flowers, these are somewhat easier to filter off. They also are less effective than pellet hops though in that the resins are also not as accessible. The result is that you have to use more to get the same bittering and flavors.
Pellet hops are chopped up and pelletized hops. The disadvantage of these hops is that they can be a pain to filter off, and often go through any kind of mesh used for filtering the wort. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages though. They are easier to work with overall and usually more common to find. They also have a higher bittering and flavor rate than the whole and pellet hops, which means that you need to use less of them.
- Describe the effects of the following ions on brewing beers (25-50 words each).
Calcium tends to make the beers a bit more acidic. The ion itself helps precipitate out “beer stone”. It also helps with the hot and cold breaks in the boil and cooling to form. It also stabilizes the alpha-amylase. Usually you want 50 ppm in your mash tun and 60-80 ppm in the final beer.
Magnesium will help acidify the beer, but not as effective as Calcium. It also does help the yeast survive and work. Usually you want less than 15 ppm overall. Excess of this ion will lead to a sour or bitter beer.
Sodium will make your beer taste salty if it is added in high concentrations. Ideally you want to have less than 250 ppm of the ion in the beer. Some is desired though as this ion can also lead to a full pallet, and accentuate sweetness.
Potassium is much like Sodium. If you have too much potassium in your beer, it will also lead you to have a salty taste. Usually this ion is nothing that one has to worry about unless you are adding anions to your beer as this is a common counter ion for them, and the less, the better.
Carbonate will raise your pH making it less acidic. The more of this you have, the harsher your bitterness will be. Ideally you want to have less than 50 ppm of carbonate in your beer.
Sulfate will accentuate your hops bitterness. This is not always a good thing as it can come off as a mineral kind of bitterness. This also adds sulfur to the process which can screw up beers. Ideally you want low levels, but some brewing centers have them in the 400+ppm range.
Chloride is another ion that can give a salty flavor. As with Sodium (it’s most common counter ion), this can also lead to a full pallet and accentuate sweetness. Ideally you want to have less than 300 ppm in your beer.
- Describe the various oils of the hops. Include where they are found in the flower, what the oils do for the beer, and how the alpha acids turn to bitters. (100 words minimum)
The hop oils are mostly located in the hard and soft resins of the hop cones. These are the yellow resins that one finds under the leafs of the cone. The soft resins are all that we really are concerned with. They most importantly contain the alpha-acids or humulones that we use for the bittering of the beers. The beta-acids or lupulones are also found here, along with many oils. There are between 200 and 250 distinct oils in the hops. These and the beta acids all contribute to the overall flavor and aroma that the hops donate to the beer.