General brewing knowledge
Although there are a number of challenges and topics unique to gluten-free brewing, there is a significant amount of general brewing knowledge that gluten-free brewers should be familiar with and make use of. This page seeks to outline those topics and resources available.
Key books on brewing
- Palmer, John. How to Brew
Brewers Publications series
- Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA)
- American Homebrewers Association
- Brewers Association
Chemistry of Beer
The Chemistry of Beer is an online series of short videos (70 in total). Topics of interest include:
- Carbohydrates (including explanation of 1,4 and 1,6 alpha linkages, amylose vs amylopectin)
- Proteins (including amino acids, enzymes)
- Lipids (impact on yeast health, foam retention)
- Chemical concepts: Flavor and aroma of beer
- Alpha and beta amylase
- Maillard reaction
Mashing and Partial Mashing
Yeast and Fermentation
- Different yeast strains are acclimated to different temperature ranges. This runs the gamut of cool-fermenting lager yeasts to yeasts that do well at warm and very warm temperatures (saison and kveik for example).
- Within the range identified by the yeast producer for a specific strain, brewers can expect some different flavor and aroma results at the lower and upper ends, for instance more fruity, ester production at the warmer end of the range.
- Yeast prefer stable temperatures. If the location of your fermenter has changeable temperatures during the course of a day or over the course of the fermentation (i.e. more than a couple of degrees Fahrenheit), this can put stress on the yeast, possibly causing dormancy, slower fermentation, and or production of off flavors.
- Ideally you want a temperature stable room or a way of controlling the temperature of fermenting beer in the fermenter, keeping the beer at a steady or slowly rising temperature through the fermentation period.
- See information on temperature control equipment.
- Key to yeast health is the availability of free amino nitrogen (FAN). FAN is composed of several different amino acids found in most brewing grains and is primarily produced during malting with some additional activity possible during mashing (using mash steps that optimize protease activity). Levels of individual amino acids vary between grains, between cultivars of grain types, and based on growing conditions. Higher protein grains are higher in FAN. A wort deficient in FAN can contribute to higher ester levels, sulfur and diacetyl production.
"Cool Side" Oxidation
- Brulosophy podcast
- Cold crashing
- Clean glass
- Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation (White and Zinasheff, 2010)