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Beer Sensations: What's in Your Beer, Beyond Flavor?

Are you constantly on the hunt for the holy grail of beers? There is nothing like the euphoria of tasting an absolutely fabulous brew. But have you paused to think about the exciting sensations that beer offers . . . beyond flavor? When beer's non-flavor sensations - astringency, body, carbonation, finish and temperature - are out of whack, the beer lacks balance and can even be undrinkable. A brewmaster designs, brews, ferments, and packages a beer with a vision of how sensations figure into the overall experience of the beer drinker. The next time you are evaluating a beer, think about how these physical sensations contribute to your total tasting experience. Astringency is that dry, puckering mouthfeel that you get from beer, and it's caused by tannins. Astringency results from the phenolics in beer. Tannins are mostly extracted from the husks of grains and from other ingredients such as hops and adjuncts. If you make a beer that gives you that mouth-puckering feeling and a...

Tasting Beer: A Primer To Share With Your Wine-Loving Friends

It was a kick putting together this video to share knowledge about tasting beer at the 101 level. You will find information here about appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel and character. For those of us who grew up with wine, discovering the complexity and depth of craft beer is akin to entering a parallel universe of gustatory delights. I was a wine snob until the day I tasted my first peanut butter milk stout in Vista, California, a San Diego County town of about 100,000 people, and over a dozen established breweries. My husband, Peter, and I feasted like vampires on the fresh craft beer along Hop Highway 78 in the area. One day, Peter turned to me and said, You make bread "why not make beer? I jumped into five-gallon, all-grain brewing after completing three partial-extract beers, and was invited to assist a local brewer in making an IPA and a Pilsner. The members of my homebrew clubs, The Society of Barley Engineers (SBE) and the Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity (QUAFF)...

Heads Up: Yeast Bent on World Domination

When you make beer, you may think you're the boss of your ingredients. But have you stopped to think about how seemingly innocent Yeast may have the upper hand over humans, at least when it comes to world domination (are you paying attention, gamers)? To investigate Yeast's grand strategy for taking over Mother Earth, we set aside our videogame controllers and spoke with Neva Parker, head of laboratory operations at White Labs in San Diego. What we discovered pulled the rug out from under our malt-dusted brewing boots. [/hide]

21 Temperature Tactics You Need to Know Right Now

Nobody disputes the importance of temperature control in brewing. Are you acing all aspects of temperature control, from the brew day to the pour? Check out these tips from some of San Diego County's top brewers to see how your best practices measure up, or to get ideas for your next homebrew club experiment. [/hide]