Brewing Supplies Online Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (2)

 

Question:
Why is  supermarket white sugar not recommend by home brew stores as a brewing sugar for beer?
 
Answer:
White sugar is a food sweetener but can also be used as a cheap fermentable. White cane sugar is basically crystalised Sucrose which ferments very poorly. Yeast can not ferment it unless an Invertase enzyme is present which breaks down the Sucrose into Fructose and Glucose. White cane sugar produces high levels of sediment, produces a dry mouthfeel, distorts the beer flavour to have a cider note, and adds unwanted bitterness. It is inferior to pure Dextrose (d-glucose), dextrose - maltodextrin blends, dextrose dry malt blends, pure dry malt, pure liquid malts, or sparged grain malts. These home brew malts when compared to cane sugar have reduced sediment, enhanced flavour and mouthfeel, and higher alcohol contribution without producing significant unwanted side effects.
 
Question:
How can I improve the taste of my beer for a few dollars without increasing its bitterness?
 
Answer:
Obviously a lot depends on the beer type. The addition of minerals to the wort will change its taste if styling a European beer. The next obvious answer is to add malt. Either light dry malt, liquid malt, or a Grain Flavour Boost pack. The latter are specialty grain malts which are held at a warm temperature for round 30 minutes and then the liquid malts extracted are added to the wort. The next option would be a Flavour Boost which is added to the wort before racking. The last option is to dry hop as performed with many craft beer. Usually done around day four using a Hop Bomb or hop sock with hop pellets.
 
Question:
Can I store uncut spirits in clear plastic bottles in the shed?
 
Answer:
Spirits contain Ethanol which has the ability to dissolve the plastic bottle it is stored in when at higher ABV.  Ultimately the best storage choice is an oak barrel but if not available then clean glass bottles. Labelled glass bottles are the best solution for spirit storage solution for many brewers. Spirits stored in glass bottles should be clearly labeled for contents type and ABV strength. It must be kept out of the reach of children. It is also highly flammable at low temperatures. So it should be stored away from sources of ignition.
 
 Question:
How does aging with oak improve my spirits?
Answer:
Aging with oak is a vital step when making whisky, rum, bourbons, brandy, and some wines. There are numerous species of oak but the three species commonly used in alcohol making are: American Oak (Quercus alba), French Oak (Quercus patraea) and European Oak (Quercus robur). These species are noted for their low resin content and high timber purity. This timber contains chemical compounds which prove beneficial to spirit making. In the oak timber we find Ligin. Often found heavily in regions close to the bark. It can be intensified by roasting. Ligin produces vanilla flavours and aromas in spirit. Oak timber contains Tannin. It adds some bitterness and texture to alcohol. Oak also contains Lactones which create a woody characteristic and distinct aromas. When oak aging care must be taken that it is aged at the same temperature as what you fermented your brew and at a constant temperature. It is also important to note big is not better when oak aging. A small 5lt barrel or home brew 5lt glass demijohn with chips added will oak age spirits much faster than a 50 litre barrel.
 
 
 
 
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