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Old 04-27-2009, 08:10 AM   #1
radtek
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Default Three Pillars of Zymurgy

If I had to condense it down; the three areas of brewing that a new brewer should concentrate on is:

1. Temp control
2. Sanitation
3. Time

Enjoy...

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Old 04-27-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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4. Population count
5. Oxygen

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Old 04-27-2009, 05:33 PM   #3
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OK so I'll elaborate...

These are three tenets any brewer should adhere to before we get lost in the full range of information and variables that comprise zymurgy.

But, this is for the new guy just looking at that kit he/she got for xmas or their B-day and scratching their head. If they found their way onto this forum a little bit of reading would stand them in good stead. Brewing has some quirks that those unfamiliar with the process often run afoul of.

Yes it may be a kit or something basic but it can be pretty darn tasty and very good if the Three Pillars of Zymurgy are considered.

Lets just say for the time being that the ingredients will be basic: malt, hops, yeast & water.

1. Temp control. You probably have an ale-yeast packet in your hand. If you want beer without odd or nasty flavors don't let the fermentation stray out of the stated range on the packet- this means the wort fermenting and not the room it's in. The yeast activity during the height of the fermentation will easily be 5-8F above ambient room temp. This is also easily solved by using a water-bath in the desired range.

2. Sanitation. This also goes hand in hand with temp control in order to avoid off-flavors and undrinkable results. Bleach-water is fine as long as it is extremely well rinsed but specific sanitizers such as Starsan or Iodophor are vastly preferable. If you have poor sanitation it does'nt matter what else you did.

3. Time. Oh our buddy Time. Time heals all wounds. Not all but... Even that extract kit will benefit from 2-3 months in the bottle or keg. It may even shine. Starting out we are impatient. We brewed our first batch and we want to drink it. We exclaim: "What! I have to wait 4 or more weeks?!!" No. But you'll be rewarded if you wait. Homebrew generally has to condition. This takes time- and longer than initially anticipated or listed on a Coopers' kit. Patience will be rewarded.

Frequently those new to brewing break one or more of these "rules" out of ignorance and the beer will suck or not be what they were expecting. The analogy is clear- a tripod cannot stand without all of it's legs.

So if these three pillars are considered carefully and adhered to, and barring unforeseen disasters one should be able to brew something they will enjoy and impress their friends with!

Good luck and welcome to the obsession- don't forget to ask questions!

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Old 04-27-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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Replace time with yeast cell count/health and you got it.

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Old 04-27-2009, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radtek View Post
But, this is for the new guy just looking at that kit he/she got for xmas or their B-day and scratching their head.
The new brewer just starting out with a kit doesn't even need to know what the word Zymurgy means. He just needs to know how to sanitize, to have patience, and maybe what books to read. While he waits for his first brew to finish.
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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A large pitch of yeast may reduce fermentation time but I've found that it doesn't eliminate conditioning entirely.

Adding oxygen is an advanced technique. Aeration by splashing produces more than adequate results.

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Old 04-27-2009, 05:54 PM   #7
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A large pitch of yeast may reduce fermentation time but I've found that it doesn't eliminate conditioning entirely.

Adding oxygen is an advanced technique. Aeration by splashing produces more than adequate results.
Pitching the correct amount of healthy yeast is about making great beer, not reducing conditioning time.

Also, the point of any method of aeration is to introduce oxygen into the wort. I think that is what he meant when he said oxygen, having it available to the yeast...not one specific method of doing that.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:00 PM   #8
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Well truthfully, some believe you don't need to aerate at all if you pitch enough yeast.

I've found with splashing, re-hydrating a 11g packet of dry yeast instead of sprinkling on top of the wort is gonna produce some great beer too.

OK for the prospective brewer: Zymurgy=brewing.

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Old 04-27-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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My point wasn't that this thread needed clarification (zymurgy = fermentation science, BTW) it was that it was unnecessary. There are already plenty of threads about things the starting brewer needs to know, and there's no real way to break it down into three steps, or pillars, or anything else.

The best thing they can do is read a few books, spend a few weeks lurking the forum here, and then dive into it with the knowledge they've gained. Brewing isn't terribly difficult, but it's more complex than just 1-2-3. Every brewer learns more and more by the brew, or just learns the rough basics and settles there (ie: Craig).

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Old 04-27-2009, 06:06 PM   #10
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I'd agree with Temperature Control during fermentation, sanitation practices and quality ingredients being the three keys to consistent quality beer.

I know the quality of my beer changed drastically when I got fermentation temperature under control and consistently under 68°F.

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