News

How Should You Prepare For Homebrewing?

The foundation of good beer starts with good cleaning practices and good sanitisation. There is really no room for shortcuts or compromised hygiene. This short video will show you some of the important steps needed to start to make good beer.

Watch this video below to learn about hygiene and why it is important and how to achieve it.

 

24 Things You Didn’t know About Beer

Think you know your beer? Think again! Beer appears throughout history and has shaped our lives in many different and surprising ways. This glorious infographic details the top 24 things that you most likely have never known. Prepare to be amazed.

Does Beer Really Get Better With Age?

Many brewers believe that home brewed beer gets better with age. Are you seeing the whole picture or is there more to the story?

Some people say that beer should be drunk fresh, others say that you should mature the beer weeks and even months before drinking it. Just what is going on  and why is there such a divergence of opinion. Like astro-physics where there always seems to be a missing piece of information in our understanding of the Universe perhaps we are missing some vital piece of information in the debate to good tasting craft beer.

In the last 10-20 years craft beer has become popular in this country and is following the explosion  that is occurring all around the world. The craft brewer and along with that the home brewer are breaking from tradition and redefining the meaning of beer. In doing so, one wonders if some are throwing out the baby with the bathwater in terms of procedures well held by the big brewers for most of last century.

For example, some craft brewers say that beer does not need to be consistent so long as it tastes good. They may point to the fact that wine has “vintages” and so does not require to taste the same year-on-year, and so the relatively high price tag reflects these vintages, or one offs. But beer is not a vintage because it is brewed all year round and traditionally the brewer makes sure it tastes the same every brew. Marketing has made sure of this because the premise that the consumer gets the same beer every time has made the multi-corporations profitable.

If you look at the MacDonald’s model which ensures you can find the same Big Mac no matter where you are in the world you begin to understand the importance of the premise of producing consistently good quality (albeit not so tasty). Quality should be defined as free from imperfections. It does not have to mean it is flavoursome, although this is becoming more the aim of the discerning consumer ; quality with flavour.

So in starting to diverge from the big companies’ “Quality” procedures the small brewer may inavertedly be producing beer of inferior quality, although it has plenty of taste when it is made. It may have some imperfections which some brewers are adamant that there is an improvement in this beer as it ages.

So what is happening here? Changes are occurring which lead to softening of the imperfections such as rotten egg odour, more mellow bitterness, or changes to other flavour taints.
The culprit causing this is air. Air contains oxygen and oxygen knows no barriers when it comes to staling (changing) beer flavours. If there is more air, the process of staling can occur more rapidly, even if it takes weeks to months.
So you see, oxygen changes all beer flavours including the good ones such as maltiness, great fruity flavours and hop aromas to name a few.

So what is the answer? Good brewing practises, that’s what!
Produce good beer free from imperfections but with great balanced flavours and learn to maintain freshness as long as possible. You then can produce flavoursome beers that can have a relatively long shelf life. Have you ever had a beer at a craft brewery only to be bitterly disappointed when buying that same beer in the bottle shop. Why is it so different?

Learn the right way to brew. Discover the 7 secrets to brewing good beer and maintaining the flavour profile. You can join like minded brewers find the answers to these and other questions in a course near you.

Should you use additives or preservatives in your beer

One way microbrewers make a distinction between themselves and mass produced commercial beers is that they insist they do not dilute malt flavours by using adjuncts (other sources of sugar apart from those derived from malt) and no preservatives are used.

While that may be true and it a common marketing theme, and a good one apparently, there is always a risk to the viability of the business. How so?

Firstly, by using the most expensive ingredients such as 100% malt it can reduce the profit margin, and to a point losses are experienced, especially if the shelf life of the beer is compromised and the beer doesn’t sell due to flavor changes.

And that brings me to the second point; that of using no preservatives. Because no preservatives are used there is an increased risk of staling and flavour tainting of the beer.

Beer stability is a complex issue and can take up a large amount of time just to cover the basics and so can’t be done here.

Working at Fosters I spent 10 years in this area of stability and believe me it is still a raging issue with brewers worldwide. However, the basics are well established.

Oxygen is the main culprit but when oxygen gets in the beer and it experiences heat stress these combined conditions age the beer rapidly both visually and flavour wise.

Commercial brewers are able to limit the amount of oxygen ingressing into the beer but even so need to use oxygen scavengers, such as sulphur based ones to mop up residual amounts.

Microbrewed beer can have poor shelf life due to an inordinate amount of oxygen but perhaps this is the price the brewer is willing to pay in order to have full flavoured beer.

The only saving grace for the drinker is to go in search of the freshest sampling of the beer he has grown to like.

The Beer Frontier

The Beer Frontier is a 13 part television series on homebrewing and microbrewing made for community access television in Melbourne Australia

Source: http://www.youtube.com/user/thebeerfrontiertv?feature=mhum

October 2011

 

The Amber Revolution

Source: www.theage.com.au
January 31, 2011

Drinkers are hunting down new beer experiences and Victoria’s craft brewers are up to the challenge. IT’S in a cocktail glass, contains vermouth and gin and there’s an olive on a stick in it. But with this martini, the devil is in the detail…

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Hotel Knows Its Brews

Source: Star News Group
8 April, 2010

CHIFLEY Doveton’s own ale is now on the menu. The first brew from the hotel’s micro brewery was served up last week. Manager Tony Tantaro sampled the signature ‘Cold Water Creek Pilsner’ beer on Thursday, saying it was “tasty”. Mr Tantaro said it took a day to brew the beer and then six weeks for it to mature…

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Beers Ain’t Beers

Source: www.theage.com.au
August 11, 2009

The variety of Victorian-brewed beer has never been greater. James Smith shared a glass with some home brewers taking their passion to new places. AT FIRST glance, there’s little to distinguish Lees Court from other cul-de-sacs in Rosanna: a handful of homes with well-maintained gardens; family cars lining the driveways…

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