Grand Opening of Hemauer Brewing

Hemauer Brewing is due to finally open on May 1st

Finally after a long arduous journey to get opened, Hemauer Brewing is set for their grand opening on May 1st. It certainly hasn’t been easy, especially with the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world. Typically its far from easy for the opening of any business, let alone a brewery, (especially in PA it seems at times), least of all during one of the biggest outlier times and affects of our lifetimes (hopefully). For those unfamiliar with Brooks Hemauer and Hemauer Brewing, we featured him in a post before where he discussed the current events: A Brief Message from Brooks Hemauer of Hemauer Brewing Co.

Thankfully that journey comes to an end on Friday, May 1st (2020). And from there, a new journey will begin for head brewer and co-owner Brooks Hemauer as Hemauer Brewing will open in Mechanicsburg. So far Google Maps has not been updated, so you can’t do a direct search for the brewery, but you can plug-in the address: 1010 Wesley Dr Ste 109, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055.

Map of the area on Google Maps

For those who might not be familiar with Hemauer Brewing, its worth pointing out that Brooks Hemauer has built a strong following as a home brewer even before jumping into the commercial market. He has been a staple of the home brewing community in the Harrisburg area for a while now, going to all kinds of events, competitions, and charities. He has won several competitions, but in his own words: “But the real success to me is when someone tries our beer and a beer festival for the first time and just absolutely loves it.  Then comes back for more.” If you have done or gone to any of the beer festivals in the area, you’ve probably seen him at Little Big Beer Festival or Brews and Bacon or one of the other numerous events in the area.

For opening day (May 1st), the beer menu will be bountiful and looks great! The food is being put on hold right now due to the current climate and situation, but when the taproom is fully open there will be a full food menu; for right now the only non-beer items are chips and snacks and craft soda. But don’t let that fool you, there is a huge selection of beer to choose from, and certainly something for everyone. Here is their opening day list:
* Americanization (most likely a version of their American Pale Ale)
* Frank-O-Lin (English Bitter)
* Guy Francois
* Hemauer Helles (Lager)
* Leaner is Meaner (pineapple seltzer)
* Jimpy (Pilsner)
* Lucky Lobsta (NE-IPA)
* McFadden (Irish Red Ale)
* Mickey McFinnigan (Irish Stout)
* Oats-n-Hoes (Oatmeal Stout)
* Quaker Race Trail Stout
* Wild Ways (possibly a variant of their Wild Saison)
And in bottles only: Brett Saison (Farmhouse Ale / Saison)

That is a strong line-up to kick things off with and makes for a fantastic Grand Opening! Stouts, IPAs, Pilsners, Lagers, Saisons, and even Seltzers and Craft Soda for the non-beer people, there is definitely something there for everyone! I got to ask Brooks what styles people can expect from Hemauer Brewing and what his personal favorite styles were, he replied: “We offer a broad style offering trying to appeal to a variety of pallets. There will be traditional, sour, barrel aged, experimental, and seltzers.  There isn’t a style per say that I prefer more than the other as long as it’s well received by our guest I’m more than happy to brew it for them.”

From the start Hemauer Brewing will offer curbside, to-go, and online ordering. The preferred method is to call ahead or order online, but you can come inside the store to pick up. If doing so, they remind guests to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and follow safety and health procedures. To order by phone, their number is (717) 477-3002. If ordering online, they have a website specifically for that: For more information you can always visit their website: Hemauer Brewing or their Shop Site. Their hours of operation will be:
* Monday – CLOSED
* Tuesday – 11AM – 7:30PM
* Wednesday – 11AM – 7:30PM
* Thursday – 11AM – 7:30PM
* Friday – 11AM – 7:30PM
* Saturday – 11AM – 7:30PM
* Sunday – 11AM – 4PM

To say Brooks Hemauer is excited to finally be open is a bit of an understatement. This has been a goal and a dream for a very long time. Made all the more difficult by the current issues of the world, but finally a dream and goal coming to fruition. He shared a few thoughts about what he’s looking forward to once open: “I guess it would be finally being able to implement all the plans and hard work which has been done for such a long time. All the hard work was worth it to achieve my dream. Also just to see everyone again who have been waiting so patiently all this time once we made the initial announcement that we were starting the brewery. ” It is unfortunate to see them opening on a restricted basis rather than getting to FULLY open, but the realities dictate things go differently. Hemauer is very optimistic, not just on the opening, but for the brewery as a whole.

What were some of the difficulties getting to this point? “First and foremost was the uncertainty of our license.  I was 3 days away from contacting the PLCB to schedule our final inspection to receive our license when the forced shut down happened.  There was a real fear that all my hard work from the last 3.5 years will be lost and just right before we were available to achieve it.  Being members of the Brewers of PA they helped us work with the PLCB to achieve our license to open for business. And also the unknown.  How long will the shutdown last?  My wife and I are both self employed and how are we going to be able to support our family when we have no source of income.  Our staff was just recently hired and all were excited for the taproom to open but then suddenly having to tell them that we will have to wait out the pandemic before we all can get back to work.

Especially with the coronavirus/COVID-19 and everything that changed because of that?
One big thing is trying to figure out how to survive when the taproom is closed?  Since we are not able to pour draft beer for consumption on site, what means do we have to package beer to go?  We purchased a crowler machine and cans which was part of the original plan but not to be implemented until after things died down.  We recently purchased a small canning system to offer 16oz cans to go for mixed 4 packs.  Now we believe this option will not be available May 1st but as soon as the equipment arrives we will work hard to provide the option.” For more that Brooks had to say about everything, you can check out the blog post we did with him back on March 22nd; ‘A Message From Brooks Hemauer of Hemauer Brewing Co.’

Since I haven’t gotten an opportunity to visit the location and go inside yet, Hemauer was nice enough to send a few pictures of the newest Central PA brewery and tap-room.

Hemauer Brewery Bar Area
The bar area at Hemauer Brewing

As you can see from these two pictures, there is a nice bar and counter area for ordering. Non-register digital pay-screen that is fast, easy, and common in many restaurants (I know Ever Grain Brewing, Troegs Brewing, and Boneshire Brew Works use it). Behind the bar you can see they have a digital list using Untappd on big easy to read screens which should make it nice and simple and easy to pick exactly what beer you want when ordering.

A view of the seating area
Another view of the seating area

The taproom is sparse, Spartan, and with varied and plenty of seating. Different style seats and tables, and plenty of room to move about. I count 12 tables in total; 4 that seat 3, 4 that seat 4, and 4 that seat 2, plus the bar itself. This should provide an intimate atmosphere, and have enough seating and still also feel intimate and personal. The building set-up looks nice and the tables can be moved to change the layout for events and for different seating arrangements. The bar area is nice, pretty, and roomy as well. Overall I really like the setup and look of the brewery and tasting / tap room.

An opening date is set – May 1st, 2020!

This is such good news for Hemauer Brewing, for craft beer lovers and enthusiasts, for the beer community, for the community itself, for the Mechanicsberg area, and for everyone involved. In this time of uncertainty for the industry it is so great to see this brewery finally open and it is such an uplifting event. I know I’ll be stopping out Friday to check them out and order some delicious beer, and I definitely know I’ll be checking them out once all of this craziness subsides and they can fully open their taproom. I can’t wait!

To learn more about Hemauer Brewing and to follow them, you can follow them through these various ways:

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this. If you are interested in our blog, you can check us out through our various ways as well:

We here at The Beer Thrillers would like to thank Brooks Hemauer and Hemauer Brewing Company and wish them a very successful grand opening, and a cheers to their anniversary in a year… and their ten year anniversary in 2030! Cheers Brooks and cheers Hemauer Brewing Company! Good luck!

Thank you everyone for reading, and looking forward to reading your comments after the opening day. And here’s to getting out soon and enjoying a pint together at Hemauer Brewery! Please stay safe, and can’t wait to see you all after this is all over! Cheers!

-B. Kline

Beer Review: $#!+ Ton (Turning Point Beer)

$#!+ Ton by Turning Point Beer, a barleywine from Bedford, Texas.

Yesterday, I received my Texas beer mail package. It was packed full of goodies from breweries like Turning Point Beer, Martin House, Celestial Beer Works, Panther Brewing, HopFusion Ale Works, etc. Yesterday saw me already dive into three of the beers (the barleywine, the spicey pickle beer, and then the Fur Slipper milk stout to wash that down).

My Texas Beer Mail Package from Spencer. Thanks Spencer!

I came up with a plan during this lockdown to both help local breweries and get to try new breweries that I can’t travel to. So I set up a few ‘local for local’ trades with some guys online (I have a box coming from South Florida shortly). I went around to local breweries – Boneshire Brew Works, Pizza Boy Brewing, Tattered Flag, and Ever Grain Brewing and grab some four-packs, broke them down to make mixed packs to send off. Its a win for everyone. My local breweries get patronage, their local breweries get patronage, and we both get to try beers we most likely never would get to try otherwise. Plus it also gives me some unique beers to review here for the blog which further spreads the word.

So lets check out the first one I tried out.

Beer: $#!+ Ton
Brewery: Turning Point Beer
Style: Barleywine – English
ABV: 11.8%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: Our first English Barley Wine, made entirely with English ingredients.

This beer comes from the Turning Point Beer (brewery) – Bedford Texas. Untappd lists it as a Brew Pub, with 153 unique beers and a global average rating of 4.1 (as of 4.23.20). Their Untappd description reads: “We make cool beers for cool people. 1307 Brown Trail Bedford Texas 76022.” You can find their Untappd page here: Turning Point Beer.

After a long day of ….quarantining … and walking the dog for a long walk, and doing things for three young people under my care, and finishing Module Five (Yeast), I needed this. It was just a barleywine kinda night. Slight chill, almost sunset time, about 7PM…. I’m halfway through my glass when my youngest asks to go for a bike ride. I don’t ride bike, so that meant I had to jog along with her while we did about a mile (+) bike loop. With half of a 11.8% barleywine sloshing around my gut. Do. Not. Recommend.

Anway… onto the actual review.

This poured a lovely caramel brown color, with a very frothy full foamy head. The head is a nice off-white (slightly brown) creamy looking head with great bubbles, varied sizes and disperse. It left nice lacing on the glass. It was a sweet looking brown with a hint of amber, clear, and well carbonated.

Aroma is malty, bready, with a bit of a banana smell. It has a slight sweet odor, but not vanilla. Slight spices smell but all very subtle, the predominant aroma was the malty bready biscuity backbone to this beer with everything else being subdued and subtle.

This was a delicious barleywine, one of my favorite styles. It had a very nice kick, but was very easy drinking, and like a good barleywine. Unlike some (most) barleywines you don’t even take notice of the 11.8% on this bad boy. It is definitely malty, and it has a slight appropriate bitterness to it. You get your dose of ‘English’ ingredients in this that rounds things out nicely. Some spices, some herbal elements. As with the aroma, there is a fine feint hint of banana. Nothing too ripe, but it might be where some of the sweetness comes from. This does go back and forth on being ‘sweet’ to ‘not sweet’ as you drink it down, which is interesting how it bounces back and forth between the two so much. There is a nice breadyness and biscuit flavor profile that goes with the high malt on this, giving it a full thick mouthfeel. Its not cloying, nice mouthfeel but not too heavy, no off flavors, just all around a well made barleywine that is amazingly easy sipper.

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 3.92 (as of 4.23.20)

After this, I ended up meeting up with Drew and finishing part two of our run through of Zelda – A Link to the Past. Once we get the YouTube channel up and running, you’ll be able to see it on there. (Coming shortly). I poured myself a sampler (like half a shot) of the Spicy Pickle Beer, and gave Drew the rest of the pint. It took me some courage to even drink that shot. Not. A. Fan. D. Scott loved his glass of it though. I washed it down with HopFusion’s Fur Slipper (Imperial Milk Stout).

Still working through my online beer course, you can check the series out by starting at the beginning and working your way through it here: Beer Education: The Series. Also, look for a post about the grand opening of Hemauer Brewing, that should probably be posted tomorrow.

Stay safe, take it easy, be kind, and cheers everyone!

-B. Kline

Beer Education: Module Five: Yeast

Our next module is all about the fun guy (get it?) organisms that poop out alcohol and make our beer – beer. And yes, I know I said no more dad jokes the last time… but I just couldn’t help myself (plus, when I used this joke on my ten year old daughter: “Why does yeast keep getting invited to parties?” “Why?” “Because their such fun guys!” she kept chortling… so, at least its a good joke according to her). ….Anyway, moving on…. This module is all about yeast. Not about bad dad jokes, so lets get to it!

As per typical, our first page of the module is an intro video. Please be aware, above the video is a note saying that this module will take longer than the last two modules, so to provide yourself with enough time for it (and here I thought the hops and spices module was pretty long!). This looks to be a very informative module as they will cover yeast very in-depth (just like they did with the malts, grains, hops, and spices). The intro video discusses the various parts of the upcoming modules, what you will learn, and the two expert clips (one about brewing yeast strains and one about open fermentation). So lets click next and dive into this.

Clicking next we come to the page “what is yeast?” which has another video. But first, they give you a definition and description of yeast:

Yeast is the workhorse in the beer making process. Different yeast species are used to make beer. All yeast species are microbes:  they are microscopically small – although not as small as bacteria, and also very different !

EdX:The Science of Beer Brewing (Module Five)

The video is 5 minutes. Their first topic is about the two main types of yeast strains used for beer brewing: Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces pastorianus. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is used for making ale beers and Saccharomyces pastorianus are used for making lager beers. She moves on to discuss open fermentation and how many yeast strains might become used for that, and showcases one particular Belgian strain – Brettanomyces bruxellensis. After this she moves back to Saccharomyces cerevisiae and focuses on this particular strain. She breaks down the science of WHAT is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae, how its a micro-organism, single cell, and eukaryotic. She then goes on to describe the various parts of it, how it buds and reproduces asexually and expands and grows. This is all very important for the beer brewing process. She ends the video discusses briefly flocculation, but don’t worry we will discuss that in much further detail.

For example, on the very next page. Once you click next after that video you are brought to the next page, which is another video, this time fully about flocculation. Flocculation is the aggregation or the sticking together of yeast cells into a clump of cells which is also called a floc. This is an in-depth look at flocculation and is a 6:30 long video. Typically and historically yeast strains have been divided into two categories based on flocculation: top fermenting and bottom fermenting. The importance of flocculation in brewing: collect yeast cells (top fermenting: skim off; bottom fermenting: cropping) and the timing of the flocculation. Other important topics in the video are FLO Genes and Sugars.

Bonus points: If you make it through the video without even breaking a smile every time she says flocculation.

Our next page is about ale and lager yeast strains. First we revisit the Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516. It was primarily instituted to prevent bacterial contamination. There is a chart that offers information on both Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces pastorianus.

Clicking next we come to an expert clip by Professor Kevin Verstrepen. He is the author of ‘250 Belgian Beers: Tested and Tasted’. The clip is 8:51. He discusses the various ways they breed and make hybrid yeast strains for particular purposes. About the last two minutes of the video is very interesting, where he discusses AI and how the artificial intelligence works with yeast. And how the AI can use sites like BeerAdvocate and others to rate stuff and figure out how people will rate a beer based on the yeast strain used.

Moving on we come to a text page about yeasts in spontaneous fermentation. “Beers such as Lambic and Gueuze (sometimes also spelled Geuze) are NOT made by brewers inoculating the wort with specific yeast strains – instead, these beers are typically made through a process of spontaneous fermentation.” (EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing – Module 5.)

Spontaneous fermentations usually involve a mix of different yeast (and bacterial) species that appear sequentially over time. The exact composition of the microbial population in spontaneous fermentations depends mostly on the beer type and fermentation conditions. Brettanomyces yeast species are for example commonly present during the (later stages of) Lambic fermentation. Lambic beer is a typical spontaneously fermented Belgian beer. Brettanomycescan also be found in fermentations of American coolship ales.

Two of the best known Brettanomyces species in beer brewing are Brettanomyces bruxellensis and Brettanomyces lambicus.

EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing – Module Five – Yeast

If you’ve been following our blog here, you’ll remember back in January J. Doncevic and myself visited Mellow Mink and got to meet – Dr. Sour – brewer Matt Miller himself, and he showed us around the brewery. We discussed lambics, geuzes, sours, and all things relevant therein, particularly the yeasts. For more information on that, check out the two articles: Mellow Mink Brewery Visit and Scarlet Sunrise (Mellow Mink).

Trivia: Did you know – Brettanomyces was originally isolated and described at the Carlsberg Laboratories in 1904; where it was isolated from English beer. Hence the name of the yeast species: Brett – British; Myces – fungus. Interestingly, this isolation resulted in the first patented microorganism in history (UK patent GB190328184). (Part of) the patent reads as follows: “the employment in the manufacture of English beers such as ale, stout and porter, of cultures of the new species of micro-organisms called Brettanomyces in order to produce the flavour and condition peculiar to such beers”.

Scrolling down this text page you’ll find pull tabs to learn more about topics: Hydrolysis of longer chain carbohydrates, Release of volatile aroma compounds by beta-glucosidases, and Typical Brett aromas. This is then followed up by a paragraph on scientists and how they work on hybrid yeast strains, particularly for lambics and Trappist beers.

The next page is an expert clip by Professor Bart Lievens on spontaneous fermentations, primarily dealing with the brewing process of lambics. It is a 5:50 minute clip. He discusses traditional Trappist brewing procedure for lambics, and the process and various yeasts that do the fermenting through the various months while in the casks.

We come to a quick knowledge check (quiz) next. It is five questions (two multiple choice, and three check-box questions).

The next page is a discussion page for homebrewers and craft brewers: “what yeast strains do you use?” My post: “I typically buy my yeast from my LHBS (local homebrew shop) – Scotzin Brothers. I usually get WhiteLab, and depending, but it is typically W34. For a five gallon homebrew batch, I’ve found this typically works best, especially for most styles.” (Succinct and to the point.)

The next page is the yeast experimentation page. This “do it yourself” experiment is all about yeast fermentation. It is a relatively simple and pretty straight forward experiment. The next page going along with it is a discussion page about the experiment.

We are now moving on to yeast handling in a brewery. This is a verified track learner content page. The next page after that is a text page: ‘essential nutrients’. This page begins the discussion of what exactly the yeast are doing.

Next we have a video on the growth on different carbon sources. This is a 10 minute video, and unfortunately the audio seems to be really low on this one, so its a bit hard to hear at times. This is a very informative video with lots of charts and graphs.

After this we have a page on fermentation vs. respiration. This is a heavy science text page with chemical structures and diagrams.

The next page says its “optional reading” about yeast lag phase. I highly recommend doing the reading, there’s also an interview and expert clip from Professor Verstrepen as well.

After this is another quiz, its four questions, multiple choice, check-box, and drop and drag. After the quiz we move onto “intro to yeast” which starts with yeast flavors. Then it moves on to aromas from the yeast as well.

Clicking next, we come to organic acids and (off) flavors produced by yeast. This text page is another chart and science page. (This module is probably the most science based module yet; so far; in this course.)

Next is aldehydes. They can be formed either by Ehrlich pathway or Carbohydrate metabolism. Aldehydes can also be formed by reaction – lipid oxidation or Strecker degradation of amino acids. Aldehydes are generally considered to have a grassy flavor (that most would consider unpleasant).

Higher alcohols, also termed fusel alcohols, are typically formed by the yeast cells from amino acids through the Ehrlich pathway (catabolic route). The figure below gives a schematic overview of the different steps from amino acid to higher alcohol in the Ehrlich pathway. The second figure gives a more detailed overview for specific amino acids and their respective higher alcohols. This page has a very big chemical structure chart.

Moving on, we come to esters. A term most craft beer drinkers know (and all brewers should definitely know). Esters are the biggest group of aroma-active compounds in beer. Esters are formed inside yeast cells via a reaction between acetyl- or acyl-CoA and an alcohol. The first class of esters, formed through condensation of acetyl-CoA and an alcohol, are called acetate esters. The second class of esters, formed through condensation of acyl-CoA and ethanol, are termed fatty acid ethyl esters. Acetate esters diffuse more readily across the plasma membrane and in this way have a bigger impact on the final beer aroma. Following the information is more chemical structure charts and diagrams.

Another term most people know is diacetyl. There is various types of diacetyl. Vicinal diketones is the most common and is most often what people refer to when they speak of diacetyl in general. These are the cause for the unpleasant flavors.

The following page covers sulfur compounds. As the name suggests, this is sulfuric and gives off bad sulfur aroma and flavors… obviously not good for beer (or really anything for that matter). Sulfur compounds are important flavor determinants in beer. Most sulfur compounds derive directly from malt, yeast-produced sulfur compounds arise during the catabolism or anabolism of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine.

Up next is phenolic compounds.

The majority of the precursors for the production of phenolic compounds is derived from cereals and malt. Plant cell walls contain lignin, a complex polymer containing aromatic components. Lignin hydrolysis liberates these aromatic compounds, including phenolic acids.

These phenolic acids can be enzymatically converted by yeast to aroma compounds such as 4-vinylguaiacol (4-VG) and other compounds with a clove-like, medicinal aroma. Further enzymatic reduction results in molecules with a typical spicy, band-aid aroma. Since most Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains lack the enzyme for this final reduction step, the presence of such spicy, band-aid flavors often indicates that Brettanomycesspecies are present in the fermentation. In certain beer styles, such as Lambic, Hefeweizen and wheat beers, these phenolic compounds are desired and help define the beer style. In most other beers, these phenolic compounds are considered a fault and they are hence often called phenolic off-flavors (POF).

EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing Module 5

Two things that affect the phenolic compounds in beer are the factors – yeast strains used / present during fermentation and the level of phenolic acids in the malt.

The next two pages are a quick quiz (a single drop and drag) and a verified track learner page. Following this is a page telling you what materials to gather for the experiment in Module Six. As per usual at the end of the module, the next page is an overview page. Up next is an assessment for verified track learners. On the next page is the feedback page that ends each module. Clicking next brings you to the congratulations page.

Whew! That was a LONG module. But its not over yet if your a verified learner. If you are a verified learner, now is your mid-term that makes up 20% of the grade. If you are going that route – good luck! I’m moving on to Module Six!

Sorry this one took so long. It took me a while with the course, and I’m also fighting the ennui of this whole ordeal. I “should” be writing a blog post a day, but I find myself less and less motivated. And I’m not even working right now. I think some of it is a case of “the busy man gets more done” and some of it is the stress of the unknown of the situation.

I have been working behind the scenes on the blog, so look for some new writers, new styles, new beer reviews, new themes, and new content and channels. Lots of stuff coming in the near future, like a brewery look up for Hemaur Brewing’s Grand Opening On May 1st. So please follow us on here by subscribing, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Cheers everyone! Stay safe, stay home, stay drunk!

-B. Kline

The Beer Education Series:
** EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
* Beer Education: Module Three: Water
* Beer Education: Module Four: Hops and Spices
* Beer Education: Module Five: Yeast
* Beer Education: Module Six: The Steps of the Brewing Process
* Beer Education: Module Seven: Fermentation and Maturation
* Beer Education: Module Eight: Filtration and Packaging
* Beer Education: Module Nine: Beer Quality and Stability
* Beer Education: Module Ten: Beer Assessment and Tasting
* Beer Education: Series Overview

Beer Review: Fast Fjord Norwegian IPA (Gate City Brewing)

Fast Fjord Norwegian IPA by Gate City Brewing Co. Photo: Let Us Drink Beer Blog

Fast Fjord Norwegian IPA | ABV 6.3%

BJCP Style: Specialty IPA

Hops: Idaho Gem, Citra, Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, & Mosaic

Malts: Unknown

Brewery: Gate City Brewing Company

City: Roswell, GA – 43 MAGNOLIA STREET

Kveik “Ka-Wike” has become a popular yeast strain craft brewers have embraced over the last couple of years. The primary advantage to it for brewing is that it can speed up fermentation time, allowing a brewer to produce a finished beer several days sooner than average, without producing unwanted off flavors. To the average craft beer drinker, you’re not going to really note the difference in a beer produced with Kveik versus one using some other ale yeast. That being said, breweries are producing some unique, enjoyable beers with this crazy yeast strain. Locally, I have found Akademia Brewing Company’s Skal Norwegian Wheat Ale to be one of my favorites. It is a fantastic summertime ale, light bodied and exhibiting various floral and fruit-like aromas and flavors. This past fall I discovered Gate City Brewing out of Roswell, GA sporting a Norwegian IPA that utilized Kveik in a tap room only release. After sampling it, I immediately hoped they would can it for release. Wish granted! Back in late March, Gate City released to distribution Fast Fjord Norwegian IPA. Naturally, I had to snag some for a review.

Gate City Brewing Co. Fast Fjord Norwegian IPA Photo: Let Us Drink Beer Blog

To enjoy a beer like Fast Fjord, I definitely recommend pouring it into a Tulip or Snifter style glass. That will allow you to really enjoy all the competing hops aromas as you drink your way down to the bottom of the glass. The beer pours to a hazy amber color and develops a nice, frothy white head. With a very generous dose of five different hops, you get a plethora of citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. If you detect some pineapple or stone fruit-like aromas, those are most likely from the Kveik. If you want to compare it to a New England style IPA, this beer has virtually no bitterness either. It has a medium body to it, a nice prickly bite from the carbonation and a finish that is relatively dry and satisfying.

Gate City Brewing Company Roswell, GA Photo: Let Us Drink Beer Blog

Gate City Brewing Company is one of two craft breweries located in the Historic Roswell Downtown District. The other Variant Brewing Company. Both are located within easy walking distance of each other, along with multiple restaurants and bars, which makes it a great area to spend and evening or two socializing with friends and family. Some of Gate City Brewing’s more popular offerings include Awe Juice IPA (American), Copperhead American Amber Ale, OTP Imperial IPA, Terminus Baltic Porter, Citras Maximus IPL, and Ex Pat Munich Dunkel. They also have a solid Sour Beer and Barrel Aged Beer program.

Thanks for reading and until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!

As always, please drink responsibly.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gate-city-fast-fjord-label.jpg

Beer Review: Peanut Budder One (Ever Grain Brewing Co)

Peanut Budder One by Ever Grain Brewing Co. (with pizza from Al’s of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing Co.)

Well, I certainly had a “busy” day yesterday. …Not really, but it felt like it with ‘all that driving around’ I did. I capitalized on some great deals local breweries were doing, and supporting small businesses and local businesses, I ventured forth, with mask, and while practicing social distancing, and stopped at several breweries (Pizza Boy, Ever Grain, and Tattered Flag). With mask, and hand sanitizer, I was like a gunslinger in the Wild West venturing forth and collecting my wares.

Since I can’t visit as many breweries / or even really check out new breweries, I thought up a way to do both. In a win-win kind of situation for myself, and local breweries here and afar. Using some of the beer groups online, I have set-up a few ‘local for local’ trade boxes. (My first two deals are with South Florida and Fort Worth Texas). What it is, is simple. 40-50$ worth per box (so roughly 9-10 16oz cans) from ONLY local smaller breweries (Boneshire Brew Works, Tattered Flag, Ever Grain Brewing, ZeroDay Brewing, etc. Troegs Brewing is kind of the cap due to their distribution). So while I gather my goods, the guys I’m trading with are doing the same in their areas. So we are still buying local, (both them and myself), and we’re trading, so we get to try out new stuff in the process, most likely from places we won’t get to visit (or not likely anytime soon at any rate). Plus, as a bonus, it helps get the various breweries exposure in areas they don’t normally get seen. Like I said, this is a win-win for everyone. Win for me, win for the traders, win for the breweries.

The booty, the loot, from my travels and errands. Not a bad beer run. My beer supplies consist of: beer from Pizza Boy, Tattered Flag, and Ever Grain. Pizza from Pizza Boy / Al’s of Hampden. Lattes from The Nuclear Bean at Tattered Flag. Not a bad beer run.

As the picture above shows, I stopped at a few places – three to be exact – Pizza Boy, Ever Grain, and Tattered Flag. In these ‘troubling’ and ‘unprecedented’ and ‘uncertain times’ we need to do all that we can to help support local businesses, support local breweries, the small mom and pop shops, those struggling during these rough times. Many are just like us, struggling and eeking out an existence as best as they can, just like us. And if we don’t step up and help them now, they won’t be here afterwards, after the dust (and virus) settles.

Many are doing deals. Al’s of Hampden / Pizza Boy is doing a “3 for 30$ Before 3PM” daily deal. Your choice of any three things for 30$ total. Medium cheese pizza, dozen wings, or six-packs of Pizza Boy beer. I used it to get pizza for the girls and a six pack for myself. A mix six pack of Pizza Boy (2 Mango River, 2 Printemptuous, and 2 Blue Collar Lager), and two medium cheese pizzas for 30$ is one hell of a deal. At Tattered Flag, Sunday through Thursday (so no Fridays or Saturdays) they are doing crowlers – 3 for 15$. Anything on their tap list is available. Thats an amazing deal! Thats 5$ for a 32oz crowler, three times over. You definitely can’t beat that. My first time going I got the Blackberry Gose, the BA Mint Chocolate Stout, and the Rye Peppercorn Saison. This time I got the Oat Lager, Double TMI IPA, and the Rye Peppercorn Saison again (sadly they were out of the Teutonic Hefeweizen Peanut Butter). At Ever Grain I grabbed a four-pack of their newest beer – Peanut Budder One.

Which leads me to the actual beer review….. Peanut Budder One!

Peanut Budder One by Ever Grain Brewing Co.

Beer: Peanut Budder One
Brewery: Ever Grain Brewing Co.
Style: Stout – Milk / Sweet
ABV: 6%
IBU: None Listed
Untappd Description: The Udder One Milk Stout finished with peanut butter, cocoa nibs, and vanilla.

This is a variant of their Udder One Milk Stout, so if you enjoyed this, most likely this will be up your alley, especially if you love peanut butter. (Which I am a massive sucker for! The Molly Pitcher Peanut Butter Porter is one of my all-time favorite beers.)

Appearance for this gem is just as a stout is meant to look. Razor Ramon dark black hair. Carbonation was spot on, leaving this with a wonderful pillowy and creamy looking brown foamy frothy head. Diverse bubbles in the foam as well as good lacing always shows you the quality and craftsmanship that went into the beer.

Aroma is like a melted Reese’s Peanut Butter cup in stout form. Its peanut butter goodness from as soon as the can is cracked, with a nice good, roasted malt backbone to it. You get the notes of the vanilla, some caramel malt, but its dominated by the lustrous and delicious smelling peanut butter. There is a slight bready smell, but its extremely subtle and just the barest hint of it. The cocoa nibs gives it that bit of chocolaty smell that completes its ‘Reese’s Cup’ aroma.

And to further that analogy…. it tastes just like drinking a Reese’s Cup too. Even more so on the taste than on the aroma. This is a wonderful and well made stout (just like the original – Udder One Milk Stout). Ever Grain is one of the best local breweries, and they put so much skill and craft into each of their beers, and it shows with beers like this, their passion and dedication to their craft – on full display in a beer like this. This tastes just like a sweet, milk, stout should taste. Its got the creamy vanilla smoothness that goes so well with the dark malts, and it has a tremendous mouth feel. It is a good sipping beer but its also a good quick drinker too, and at 6% either is fine. It might be a bit ‘too rich’ to be fully crushable, but at 6% its not going to kill the brain cells too quickly. There’s a lot of really wonderful flavors with this beer that all accompanies and works well with each other that it works really great. This has strong notes of peanut butter, vanilla, coca nibs, and a hint of malt, caramel malt, and even a slight bready note. It has a good mouthfeel that gets a bit watery but not too bad as it drains out of your glass and down your throat, its not cloying, not too sweet, but has a creamy rich smooth taste, and its an easy flowing beer. There is no off flavors and no lingering bad after-taste. This is just simply a really well done and tasty beer all around.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25
Global Untappd Rating: 4.06 (as of 4.17.20).

I will be sending out my packages to Texas and Florida on Monday and Wednesday and should be receiving mine then about two-three days later. I will be sure to post what I get in response. Beer trading is definitely one of the fun things to do with these beer groups. I know I love seeing the beer mail (porch bombs) on groups like the Whalerz, etc.

Thanks for checking out the blog and reading the review. In the upcoming week I should have a lot of interesting news for everyone (including new writers, and potentially the [slow roll-out of a] new website for the blog). So be sure to stay tuned for all of that! We’re always trying to grow, do new things, innovate, and provide you all with the latest interesting content to read. Potential future things also include podcasts and videos, so we will definitely be having much more in store in the year to come. So be sure to click FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE here, as well as check out our Facebook and Twitter pages and like us and follow us on those as well. And don’t forget our Instagram page as well. (So much to keep up with!)

Cheers everyone and please stay healthy, can’t wait to see all of you again after this is all over! Please continue to support your local breweries and businesses! Cheers!

-B. Kline

(PS Note: Books behind the beer are: You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney and When the Earth Had Two Moons by Erik Asphaug)

Beer Education: Module Four: Hops and Spices

Finally we’re up to the module all you hop-heads were looking forward to. Module Four: Hops and Spices! I imagine most of you will be caring about the hops of it; not the spices, but both are intricate to brewing (as you will see with this module). So let’s continue our journey and adventure through the Science of Beer Brewing!

Module four starts off, just like the others, with an introduction video. The intro video is by Stijn and is only 1:31. The second page is a 4 minute video introducing hops. As most know, hops are used to bitter, add flavor, and to help stabilize beers. It was also quickly realized in the 11th century that hops also help add to the shelf-life of beer. So between this and the taxation of gruit in Germany, there was a lot more reason and emphasis for brewers to go from using gruit to using hops in brewing. In 1516 the purity laws in Germany reduced the usage of herbs and spices even more.

Hops scientific name is humulus lupulis. (The lupulis or lupulin is the power inside the hop cones.) Hops are primarily cultivated for brewing and beer production (but can also be used for tea, sleep aides, and soap). 75% of hop production and growth takes place in Germany and the United States (primarily in the Yakima Valley).

Only the female plants are used for beer brewing, as they grow the flowers and the cones. Its these cones that have the lupulin (resin) that contains the molecules of interest for brewing. For this reason male hop plants are not grown with the female to prevent pollination. (To learn more about hop growing, I will be posting an article shortly about my own hop growing from my own growing hops this spring. At my house I have Cascade, Centennial, Nugget, and Saaz, and looking at possibly getting more.)

After clicking NEXT, we come to a text page about the role of hops and hop compounds. Characteristics of beer that are altered by hops include: beer bitterness, beer flavor, mouthfeel, foam stability and lacing, improved shelf life, antibacterial properties of the hops, protein precipitation during wort clarification, and phenolic antioxidants.

There are four major hop molecule classes:
* alpha acids – hop bitter acids
* beta acids – not as important due to most being lost during the brewing process
* essential oils – important contributors to the beer’s flavor, bitterness, and aroma
* polyphenols – important for the beer stabilization (haze, foam, lacing)

The page continues with a large chart of the various compounds and their weight (when the hops are still wet). This is followed by a second chart showing what hop compounds are retained in beer (after the brewing process). There is an important note to remember; that beers with dry-hopping (particularly IPAs) the aroma is going to be higher and greater due to the dry-hopping.

Our next page is another text page – hop types and varieties. “The Latin name of the hop plant is Humulus lupus L., belonging to the plant family Cannabaceae (this plant family, for example, also contains the Cannabis plant species!). There are many different hop varieties and around 100 of these are commercially cultivated. New varieties are constantly being bred in order to obtain better growing and resistant plants and hop cones with superior qualities.” (EdX – The Science of Beer Brewing.) Hops are somewhat similar to most seed plants as far as naming, with the heirloom, for example, older hop varieties have a double naming pattern. The first name refers to the origin of the variety and the second name refers to the actual (modern / current) variety. So – example – Hallertau Magnum would be: Hallertau as the geographic origin, and the Magnum refers to the variety of the hop. Some heirloom fruit and vegetable seeds do this as well, or do something similar but naming its pedigree rather than geographic origin. Some more modern and newer hops, have just one name, like Cascade hops, which name comes from the Cascade mountains of Oregon.

The three different classes for hops are: bittering hops, aroma hops (including noble hops), and dual-purpose hops (which; just as the name implies – they contribute to both bittering and aroma). About 60% of hop production is aroma hops, primarily for IPAs and due to IPAs growth in the craft beer sphere.

Before moving on, at the bottom of this page is pull-down tabs for each of the classes, with information and some examples of hops of each type. The next page is a discussion page talking about home brewing and what hops you have used, I posted the following:

I grow my own hops, and love using the types I grow – Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Nugget, and Saaz. I like making a wet-cone and dry hop IPA at harvest time using the Cascade and Centennial, as well as Chinook. I’ve also done a clone of Troegs’ Nugget Nectar as well.

I have pictures of my hops on my blog and the blog’s Facebook page.

The following page is a three-question (true or false) quiz.

Moving on, we come to the alpha acids. And we’re starting to get into some ‘real science’ here. This page has the molecule diagrams, and discusses what acids and molecules are in the alpha acids and in the hops.

The five alpha acid molecules found in hop resin are cohumulone, humulone, adhumulone, prehumulone and posthumulone. These molecules differ only slightly from each other in their molecular structures depending on the side chain at the C2 position (see table). The most important alpha acids are cohumulone and humulone. Their content can be up to 50% of the total alpha acid fraction. Adhumulone is the third most important alpha acid representing around 10-15% of alpha acids across different varieties. Each of these molecules results in a different type or quality of bitterness. Cohumulone is for example believed to contribute to a rough and harsh bitterness. Therefore, the cohumulone content of bitter hops can be high, while a high fraction is not desired for aroma hops.

Alpha acids are commonly present in the range of 2 up to 20% (w/w) of the hop cone content. Importantly, these alpha acids themselves are not causing bitterness, they are the precursors. Only during boiling, the alpha acids are converted into iso-alpha acids (isomers of the respective alpha acids) via a thermal isomerization reaction (acyloin-type ring contraction). These iso-alpha acids are the principal source of bitterness in beer. In addition, iso-alpha acids are more soluble in water compared to the alpha acid precursors.

EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing – Alpa Acids

As you might have guessed, the next page is about the beta acids, and is similar, showing the chemical chains and discussing their molecular makeups. Both of these pages are fascinating with their diagrams of the chemical structures and the nuance knowledge it provides about these alpha and beta acids in hops.

The next page is ‘intermezzo on determining beer bitterness’ and is a text page. This page discusses determining beer bitterness and figuring out a beer’s IBU. An important note at the end of the page: “Importantly, IBU values do not necessarily match the bitterness as it is actually perceived when drinking the beer. Perceived bitterness can be influenced by for example, alcohol level, residual sugars and the use of roasted malts. ” (EDX – Science of Beer Brewing.)

Our next page is about essential oils – and no, its not that crap your wife’s friend Karen keeps trying to sell her; this is about hops essential oils. This is a very long page, with a large chart, followed by pull tabs of lots of information. This is followed up by a page on polyphenols. After this is a tough quiz, so you better have studied.

We next have an expert clip from Professor Thomas Shellhammer about dry hopping. After his informative 8 minute video is a 3 minute video by Stijn about hopping techniques. There is then a few pull tabs of information, and another video by Stijn – summary.

The next page is all about hop products. It discusses hop pellets, hop extracts, pre-isomerised hop products, reduced pre-isomerised hop products, and hop aroma products. The next page is another quiz.

The following page is a verified track learner page about ‘favorite hops’ and ‘popular hops’. After that is a discussion page on spices before we get into the spices segment of this module.

Spices have been used since beer was first brewed, but really used in medieval times. They were used for preserving the beer a bit longer, aroma, flavor, and to mask off-flavors. Some popular spices were: juniper, anise seeds, caraway and coriander seeds. Gruit was especially popular during this time (pre-hops). Some spices that would have been a part of gruit was: yarrow root, juniper berries, ginger, sage and rosemary. We still commonly use spices in Belgian beers, particularly witbiers, these spices are: coriander seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel. Regional and seasonal beers will often use seasonal spices and flavors (like yam / pumpkin beers and winter warmers).

There is a lengthy chart at the bottom of this page, detailing what spices can be used (or at least what are commonly used), how they are used, what part is used, the flavor they impart, beer examples, and some bonus comments.

Clicking NEXT we come to a page with the aroma compounds of spices. This page lists their chemical structures, aroma compounds, and where these compounds are found. After this, we have a 3 minute expert clip from Dr. Gert De Rouck about spices. This is followed by a 4 minute video for the ‘Do It Yourself’ experiment for this module.

Following the video is a discussion about the experiment; I wrote:

I took a pretty non-descript pale ale brewed by a friend homebrewer that didn’t have much more than just a “Mr Beer” flavor kit to it, so it was relatively bland (but fine and acceptable beer). I experimented using coca nibs and vanilla to try and give it a bit of a cookies and cream flavor to it (or at least a punch in that direction).

I was amazed at how it did certainly pick up those flavors. Though I don’t think taste-wise it turned out necessarily the best, but it did definitely pick up the flavors of the nibs and vanilla.

After this is a verified track learner page (spiced beers). Followed by a “quick knowledge check”. After the quiz is a page about what materials to collect for Module Five. Following this is the typical ‘overview and check’ page at the end of each module. Then there is an assessment page for verified track learners. After that is the feedback and questions page that ends each module. Once you click NEXT you will be brought to the “congratulations you finished Module Four”. Clicking NEXT again will bring you to the intro page for Module Five.

So follow with me next time when we move onto the next important ingredient in brewing: YEAST.

Cheers everyone!

-B. Kline

The Beer Education Series:
** EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
* Beer Education: Module Three: Water
* Beer Education: Module Four: Hops and Spices
* Beer Education: Module Five: Yeast
* Beer Education: Module Six: The Steps of the Brewing Process
* Beer Education: Module Seven: Fermentation and Maturation
* Beer Education: Module Eight: Filtration and Packaging
* Beer Education: Module Nine: Beer Quality and Stability
* Beer Education: Module Ten: Beer Assessment and Tasting
* Beer Education: Series Overview

Hoppy Easter – IPAs

In honor of Easter (and what a weird Easter this is too), and since we’ve all been stuck inside all day. I figured I’d do a listicle of some of the IPAs we’ve reviewed. I’ve done a few other listicle articles (not too many, as I’m not a huge fan of them), but I figured its been a while, and since its Easter, lets do a “hoppy” one about the various IPAs we’ve reviewed.

Firstly, the other listicles I’ve done:
* Our Most Viewed Articles (September, 2019)
* Some Old Posts (September, 2019)

From our friends at Let Us Drink Beer Blog:

ETA IPA by Wild Leap Brew Co.

Beer Review: ETA IPA (Wild Leap Brew Co.)

Beer Reviews by J. Doncevic:

Colonization by Adroit Theory

Beer Review: Colonization (Adroit Theory)

Beer Review: EBK – Gashadokuro (Ghost 782) – Adroit Theory

Envie and and Envie 4XDH by Parish Brewing

Beer Reviews: Envie and Envie 4XDH (Parish Brewing)

Beer Review: Ekuanot Astronaut (BAREbottle Brewing Co.)

Ghost in the Machine by Parish Brewing

Beer Review: Ghost In The Machine (Parish Brewing Co.)

Enigma by Anchorage Brewing

Beer Review: Enigma (Anchorage Brewing Company)

Ectogasm by Drekker

Beer Review: Ectogasm (Drekker Brewing Co.)

After a few months of us doing the beer reviews, I added the category – styles; where you can click through to find your favorite style or if you want to check out reviews for a particular style. I haven’t gotten to go back through and add the old reviews to the new categories, but I will. In the mean-time, we currently have 26 (and growing) in the IPA Category. You can find it by clicking it here: Categories: Style: IPA.

IPA Beer Reviews by B. Kline:

40th Anniversary Ale by Sierra Nevada

Beer Review: 40th Hoppy Anniversary Ale (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)

Icicle by New Trail Brewing

Beer Review: Icicle (New Trail Brewing Co)

Trial by Wombat by Thin Man Brewing

Beer Review: Trial by Wombat (Thin Man Brewery)

Furious IPA by Surly Brewing

Beer Review: Furious IPA (Surly Brewing)

Back to Reality by Three 3s Brewing

Beer Review: Back to Reality (Three 3s Brewing Co)

Pete’s Secret Stache by Revision Brewing

Beer Review: Petes Secret Stache (Revision Brewing Company)

Loki by Karl Larsen at Newfangled Brew Works

Beer Review: Loki – Wild IPA (Newfangled Brew Works)

Doppelganger by Tree House Brewing

Beer Review: Doppelgänger (Tree House Brewing)

This is the Way by Broken Goblet

Beer Review: This is The Way (Broken Goblet)

Julius by Tree House Brewing

Beer Review: Julius (Tree House Brewing)

The Hog by Boneshire Brew Works

Beer Review: The Hog (Boneshire Brew Works)

Citraquench’l by Heist Brewing

Beer Review: Citraquench’l (Heist Brewery)

Moon of Vega by Equilibrium Brewing

Beer Review: Moon of Vega (Equilibrium Brewing)

Paradise Lost by Southern Prohibition Brewing

Beer Review: Paradise Lost (Southern Prohibition Brewing)

Fuzzy Nudge named by Ffej by Troegs Independent Brewing

Beer Review: Fuzzy Nudge (Troegs Independent Brewing)

King Sue by Toppling Goliath

Beer Review: King Sue (Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.)

And there are plenty more too! From breweries like Boneshire Brew Works, The Millworks, Tattered Flag, South County, New Trail, Troegs Brewing, Anchorage Brewing, Rotunda Brewing, ZeroDay Brewing, Newfangled Brew Works, and so many more! With more getting added constantly.

We’ve been running this blog since late May last year. I (B. Kline) have done a few podcasts (for both beer and pop culture). I am also doing a Beer Education series right now, with a running table of contents. You can see the table of contents (so far) below:

The Beer Education Series:
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
* Beer Education: Module Three: Water

Hopefully (fingers crossed) there will most likely be Module Four released and posted tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a wonderful, hoppy, and happy Easter. It wasn’t my usual, but it was an Easter spent with family. So that in and of itself made it a good day. Got to do some grilling for Easter dinner:

Nothing beats grilling and drinking a wonderful (D)IPA like Time Keeper by Fourscore Beer Co.

So from us here at The Beer Thrillers to your family, we hope you had a wonderful hoppy Easter. Please stay safe, and cheers everyone!

Have a Hoppy Easter!

Beer Education: Module Three: Water

We start off Module Three with an intro video about water by Stijn (Stijn 2). The video is 3:34 long and details how water is used to make beer and how it is an ingredient in beer. It also talks about alkalinity as well as the molecular make up of water (calcium, magnesium, etc.). This is a good first look at what Module Three will be about: Water.

The next page is another video – five minutes – about water quality and how it pertains for commercial brewing. Discussing water ions in particular. The first step is to analyze your water composition. The first thing to do is to get a mineral composition report. The report should minimally include the concentration of sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulfate, chloride bicarbonate as well as the alkalinity of your water supply. The video focuses on the major ions of calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfate, and chloride. Good brewing water should be ‘moderately hard’. Each of these ions have different properties and affects on the brewing process at different steps and parts of the brewing process.

Moving onto the next page we have a text based page about the various other ions found in water. Iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and nitrate. The following ions should NOT be found in water: arsenic, barium, bromate, cadmium, chromium, cyanide, lead, and mercury. As well as herbicides, insecticides, and other similar solvents and organic killers.

Our next page is another text page; this time based on water hardness. Calcium and magnesium are the primary ions that determine a water’s hardness. If you like formulas and science (and math), this page is chock full of all that goodness for you. It discusses temporary hardness, permanent hardness, and total hardness of the water (complete with formulas for figuring each out).

Next up we have water alkalinity and mash pH. The minerals in your brewing water will have more effect on the mashing process than the water pH. The most important buffer (in your brewing water) is the alkalinity (resulting from the carbonate content). This page contains more formulas and charts and content. The bottom of the page discusses how important mash pH is to your brewing process. The mash pH affects: activity of enzymes, yeast cells, hop extraction rate during boiling, proper protein precipitation, and extraction of tannins.

The next page is a ‘summary’ and contains a massive chart. This is then followed by a quick knowledge check. After this we move (from water ions) to water treatment and the first page is an introduction page.

Different water treatment technologies exist and depending on the source water and final purpose, the following treatment steps might be necessary:

  • Removal of suspended solids
  • Removal of dissolved substances
  • Reduction of residual alkalinity
  • Removal of dissolved solids
  • Removal of organic contaminants
  • Removal of dissolved gasses
  • Removal of microorganisms

Moving onto the next unit, we have suspended solids – filtration. This is the process of removing fine particles in the water; filtrating and extracting them out of the water to keep it pure for brewing. Next up is dissolved substances – oxidation / precipitation. Iron and manganese are not only bad for beer flavors (giving you off flavors and off colors), it can also damage brewing equipment. You can remove them through aeration (oxidation) or by binding them to phosphates. The next page is about residual alkalinity – ion exchange and is a smaller page but with two pull-down tabs.

Continuing on we come to dissolved solids – reverse osmosis. Then we get organic contaminants – activated carbon. This is followed up by dissolved gasses – deaeration / degasification. Moving on to more topics in this group we have microorganisms – disinfection. And to finish out this group of pages we come to the summary. Which of course followed up by a small knowledge quiz.

We now come to a video, an expert clip by Master brewer Hedwig Neven on water usage and waste water treatment. This is a very informative 7:41 minute clip. (I’ve loved the expert clips, they have all been greatly informative.) The next page is a text page – materials to collect – which tells you what to collect for the experiment. This is followed up by a page for verified track members only (calculations for brewing water); luckily these calculations can be found all over the internet or through various homebrewing apps. As usual, this is followed by an overview page. In lieu of doing an assessment for this module, it is instead an experiment.

The experiment is about finding out about your local water, by comparing parameters, and then discussing it on the discussion page. My discussion post:

Harrisburg PA Area
— Via Suez: (4.10.20)

The level of the most important parameters related to brewing water: • Alkalinity: 102 • Effective Hardness: 167 ppm • Calcium: 55 ppm • Chloride: 3 ppm • Magnesium: 6 ppm • Sodium: 3 ppm • Sulfate: 20 ppm • pH: 7.3

The parameters that are out-of-range for brewing water: High pH; calcium on the low side and alkalinity slightly above desired threshold.

Treatment steps: Permanganate to remove chlorine Acid to reduce alkalinity (need to drop to 100). pH is also high, need to reduce based on Braun sheets.

After this, (where the experiment took the place of the assessment) as per usual, its followed up by a feedback and questions page. Clicking next we go to our typical “congratulations” page where it tells us we completed Module Three and that the next module will be done by Stijn S and will be about spices. So join us (and me) as we dive into that next! So stay tuned for Module Four as we continue our beer education series!

Cheers and happy (safe) learning!

-B. Kline

The Beer Education Series:
** EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
* Beer Education: Module Three: Water
* Beer Education: Module Four: Hops and Spices
* Beer Education: Module Five: Yeast
* Beer Education: Module Six: The Steps of the Brewing Process
* Beer Education: Module Seven: Fermentation and Maturation
* Beer Education: Module Eight: Filtration and Packaging
* Beer Education: Module Nine: Beer Quality and Stability
* Beer Education: Module Ten: Beer Assessment and Tasting
* Beer Education: Series Overview

Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting

Firstly, let me apologize for the fact that its taken me awhile to post this, as well as the lack of posts. I know I said I was going to do a post a day… and despite being in lockdown, its amazing how hard it is to actually write right now. Despite all the free time, I find myself not wanting to write as much, and I also find myself doing a lot more around the house (so thats a plus). Also, there’s a lack of going out to drink, so I’m not trying as much new beer right now, and mostly drinking the regulars and flagship beers by Boneshire Brew Works, Troegs Brewing, Rotunda Brewing, Pizza Boy Brewing, Lord Hobo, and Tattered Flag. (Again, not really a negative.) But it does mean not as much to write about.

Also, I’ve found my energy to write is somewhat dissipated when a) I have all this time to do “REAL” work around the house, b) I almost have ‘too much’ time, and c) my keyboard is still acting up with certain keys. With a) I find myself doing yard work, helping my daughters with their new online schooling, taking the dog for more walks.With b) I think its the issue of “the busier you are the more you get done”. Its a surprising thing to note, that the days I worked, I got more blog stuff done, etc, I think because my time is / was so limited it forced me to work on it right away, instead of saying “I’ll do it later” …. later never comes. I keep pushing it back. With c) … well its just an annoyance factor, when you constantly use H or N or Y or U, it gets really frustrating trying to do work arounds or mashing your hand into the keyboard to get a button to press. Hopefully soon I will be getting a new laptop (not a priority during a pandemic where I got laid off and have a ton of other things on my plate), and when I do, I imagine my writing will ramp up. Also, as for the blog, it seems AJ and Josh aren’t as interested in writing as much anymore, so I’m the sole force and driver of the blog, which means I need to buckle down and write more, just need to find that energy and drive. The other issue with writing, is always the marketing afterwards. Getting the blog post seen, and doing all the work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It seems writing the blog takes 2-3 hours, and then another hour of self-promotion. And if I post it late (8PM or later lets say), the response from the community is far less than ideal (compared to posting at say noon).

Ok, enough rant and crap, lets finally kick off Module Two. Module two is about barley and malting and taking a key look at the first of the four major ingredients in beer (malt, water, hops, and yeast). The intro page talks about the course ramping up, and comes with an intro video by Stijn.

The second page is a discussion board where you can discuss what cereals (or malts) are used in your country. The question asked is: “In your country, what cereals are used?” and my response was:
“In the US craft beer scene there is pretty much an unlimited amount of grains and cereals at use, by all the different breweries. From roasted malt, to barley, to oats, to flaked oats, to ACTUAL cereals or even pastries (whoopie pies I’ve seen used, etc), and breads and things like graham crackers. Pretty much if it has starch or fermentable sugars, a craft brewer / craft brewery has used it in the USA.”

The next page is another video by Stijn – this time about barley. In the 3:16 minute video, he discusses why barley is pretty much the universal “go to” grain for brewing. Listing economical as well as brew-technical reasons for barley (as compared to the myriad of other choices). Economical reasons are: “grows on all continents, good grain yield, and strong disease resistance”, which means its produced the most (and most effectively) and means the cost for it is going to be lower compared to other options. Brew-technical reasons given are: “local availability, high starch content, sufficient yeast nutrients, sufficient enzyme formation, and adhering husks”.

Next we move onto the ‘barley structure’. Barley is primarily divided into two major types – winter barley and spring barley. From here, there can be many more sub-divisions and varieties like: two-row or six-row barley. Two-row barley is the preferred barley for most brewing. Kernels are more homogeneous, it has a more favorable endosperm over husk ratio, and it has lower protein levels.

Scrolling down on this page, you will find a chart and diagram where you can click different topics and names to read more about barley and the husks and other features of barley. The key parts are: the husk, pericarp and testa, aleurone layer, endosperm, embryo, and the scutellum and epithelium.

The next page is the chemical composition of barley. Here they break down the chemical and molecular levels of a barley kernel, detailing moisture content, carbohydrates, proteins, inorganic matters, lipids, and other smaller matters.

Moving onto the next page we start with the carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are roughly 70% of the dry matter of a kernel and can be broken into two categories: storage and structural. Storage – mainly starch. Structural – cellulose and hemicellulose. There is a drop down menu which breaks these all down for further reading and the molecular composition of each piece. After this is a 7 minute video by Professor Christophe Courtin, one of the experts for the program.

The next page is nitrogen compounds of barley kernels. The page breaks down the nitrogen percentages for the barley used for brewing versus animal feed, and then discusses the proteins in the kernels. After this we move on to polyphenols. Polyphenols contribute greatly to the stability and shelf life of beer. It contributes to the beer color, mouthfeel, and act as natural anti-oxidants.

The next page is a quick quiz to make sure we’re actually retaining all of this knowledge. After the two question quiz, there is a page about barley pests for verified track learners only (if you are paying for your certificate). The net two pages are video and discussion going back to the malting experiment.

This is followed by an expert video by Sofie Malfliet. She has a PHD in Malting Technologies. This is a 7 minute video, discussing her work at Albert Maltings. Following the video we get an overview of the malting process. There is five main steps: 1) cereal cleaning, sorting, and storage, 2) steeping, 3) germination, 4) drying and kilning, and 5) deculming.

From here, this five step process gets broken down. Starting with the cleaning and sorting of the barley. The second page is steeping. (Which is the process of periodically submerging graded barley to initiate germination.) The third page is germination. The fourth page is drying and kilning, and is loaded with charts and information. After this, the fifth and final page is about deculming. After kilning the malt is cooled and the culms are removed. These pages are followed up by a quiz, so hopefully you didn’t skim over it.

Following the quiz is a discussion page on green malt. The question posed is: “What are the advantages you think of using green malt in the brewing process? Are there any disadvantages you can think of? Please share your thoughts with us!” My answer:
“There is definitely advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, for disadvantages its primarily economical and logistical. So for smaller end malting plants this won’t be ideal (thinking of Deer Creek Malt in PA). As far as advantages go, its mainly environmental. Which is always a benefit on the long haul if we are able to do it. Problem is the ‘being able to do it’ part.”

Moving on, we come to the overview of different malts page (next page). It breaks down the barley malts by pilsner, pale ale, munich, aromatic, roasted, and caramel. The next page is another page for verified track learners only (different malt types).

The next page is adjuncts. Their definition of an adjunct is: “Adjuncts are defined as non-malted (mostly carbohydrate) materials used as complements or supplements to (barley) malt. These supplements are used in brewing for the following reasons – cost saving, enhancing brewhouse capacity, and influence on beer.” Different regions have rules, laws, and regulations about adjuncts. Germany still holds true to the purity laws. Some examples of adjuncts are: unmalted barley, corn (flakes), rice (flakes), sugar and sugar syrup.

And that pretty much wraps up Module Two. There is a feedback page, a small quiz page (one question), a larger assessment page (if you are a verified track learner), a discussion page, and an overview page. The final page is a “End of Module Two” page and if you click NEXT after that it brings you to the intro video for module three. So, join me next when we get to tackling module three!

Hopefully it’ll be sooner than later, possibly even tonight, or tomorrow. (Most likely tomorrow at the earliest.) I am going to try and really double-down and get these goings, with some possible beer reviews and other things to round out my articles. I have been working hard on my hops these last few days (beautiful weather), and taking lots of pictures, so there will probably be an article about that for all of you hop growers (or wanna-be hop growers).

Cheers, and stay safe and healthy everyone, looking forward to getting back out to breweries and having a pint with ya’ll! Cheers!

-B. Kline

The Beer Education Series:
** EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
* Beer Education: Module Three: Water
* Beer Education: Module Four: Hops and Spices
* Beer Education: Module Five: Yeast
* Beer Education: Module Six: The Steps of the Brewing Process
* Beer Education: Module Seven: Fermentation and Maturation
* Beer Education: Module Eight: Filtration and Packaging
* Beer Education: Module Nine: Beer Quality and Stability
* Beer Education: Module Ten: Beer Assessment and Tasting
* Beer Education: Series Overview

Beer Education: Module One: History of Beer Brewing

Moving forward with our beer education series, and sorry that this one has taken a bit of extra time… but I had to do some reconstruction work on my keyboard. Letters on it weren’t working right, so I had to do some work to it. Its still a bit touchy, but its better. The Y-U-H-J-N-M buttons are all being a bit wonky, but hopefully I can get past that for this.

If you are new to this series (or to the blog), I am currently taking a course through EDX Online Learning, called the Science of Brewing. This is the first full module covered, we’ve already handled the series overview, the syllabus, and the introduction. Now its time to get some learning done.

Starting Module One, we are introduced to our first page – The History of Beer Brewing. The first page is an interactive history of beer brewing, complete with a PDF file. The first evidence of brewing first appears in 13000 BCE with remains found in a cave in Israel.

The next piece of evidence is in Iran in 5000 BCE with barley beer. In 1800 BCE there was a hymn written for brewers in Sumeria. Fast forward a bit to 811 CE and Charlemagne makes brewing a royal prerogative. This is the dawning of brewing as a craftmanship and a profession. In 816 CE the Catholic Church recognized brewing with the monks playing a particular role.

In 822 CE there is the first record of hops being used in the brewing process. Abbot Adelhard specifically required the usage of hops at his abbey – the Benedictine Monastery of Corbie. At this time most places still used spices and herbs. By the 1300s, hops were the main flavoring ingredient, replacing gruit.

In 1420, bottom fermentation begins in Bavaria Germany. This let them brew year round, where most places had to stop in summer due to the bacteria contaminating, they could keep brewing year round. In 1425, the first known depiction of a brewer appears in the Mendel Charity Book.

Start of the 1500s brought with it beer in brown glasses in England. And then perhaps one of the more significant things (for brewing) in modern times happened in 1516 – The Bavarian Purity Laws. This is the only piece I’ll direct quote from this segment:

The Bavarian Purity law (in German: Reinheitsgebot) states that water, barley and hops are the only ingredients that can be used to brew beer. Yeast is not mentioned as an ingredient, since it was not discovered yet. One of the reasons for the introduction of this law was to prevent price competition with bakers, who mainly used wheat and rye. A modified version of the purity law still exists in Germany today; although yeast has been added to the list of ingredients; and barley has been replaced by malted grains.

EDX Online: The Science of Brewing – The History of Brewing

In 1680, the Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is the first to see and figure out yeast. “Hey, did you know that IPA stands for India Pale Ale…. and its because….” Yea, we’ve all heard every craft beer nerd say this at some point, but in 1780 is when it started. 1760 also saw the first thermometer used in a brewery. In 1765 the first steam engine was created, by 1784 they were beginning to be used in breweries. In 1769, the first hydrometer was used in a brewery.

In early 1800s, science was beginning to come to the forefront of brewing more and more. In 1816, more and more science was done on ethanol. In 1817, the drum roaster was invented. Inn 1837 they discovered that yeast was a living organism. 1873 saw the invention of the refrigerator. 1879 a beer filtration system was invented. And closing out the century saw the first bottle caps and bottling lines being made in the 1890s.

The science kept rolling in the 1900s, with the introduction of the PH Scale in 1909. Prohibition did happen though, and that was a major set-back, it lasted from 1920-1933. Artificial beer carbonation started in 1936.

The last thing the article then lists is an event from 2009; it discusses a patent on a variety of barley lacking lox activity by Danish researchers.

After this, we click the NEXT and come up to a quiz. There is four questions (and no, I’m not giving you the answers). Clicking next we come to another video. This about the process of brewing, taking you step by step through the process. After the video is another quick quiz.

This is followed up by a video about beer tasting. For my tasting discussion, I used my beer review for Boneshire’s S’mores Lazaris.

After the discussion, we get another experiment. First, we have a quick (~1:30 minute) video. The next page discusses how to malt your own barley. With this, you can do the experiment yourself, and do your own malting.

Lastly, we have an overview and quiz again. With this comes an assessment if you are doing the paid course (99$). If you are not, you move forward to the questions and feedback, and then to the end of module page. You can pause here, or click next and dive right into module two.

I know I’m gonna take a break, go outside, work on my hops, and enjoy the beautiful sun here in Central PA. Cheers everyone!

-B. Kline

The Beer Education Series:
** EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
* Beer Education: Module Three: Water
* Beer Education: Module Four: Hops and Spices
* Beer Education: Module Five: Yeast
* Beer Education: Module Six: The Steps of the Brewing Process
* Beer Education: Module Seven: Fermentation and Maturation
* Beer Education: Module Eight: Filtration and Packaging
* Beer Education: Module Nine: Beer Quality and Stability
* Beer Education: Module Ten: Beer Assessment and Tasting
* Beer Education: Series Overview

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