Hop water v1

I’m finally getting with the program and making my own hop water. The first version I made is based on various chunks of advice received from my homebrew club. Super simple:

  • 20 litres of Guelph water (extremely hard water with high alkalinity)
  • 20 grams of citric acid
  • 20 grams of T90 hops (El Dorado for v1)


My strategy was to seal a jar with 1 litre of 80C water, with the hops, and its share of the citric acid for 20 minutes. I wanted to include acid in this stage to lower the pH to hopefully reduce extraction of astringent hop compounds. While waiting for the hops to steep, I filled a sanitized keg with 19 litres of cold water, and the rest of the citric acid. Once time was up I then used my pour-over coffee set up (ceramic Hario v60 dripper) to drip the hop tea directly into the keg before topping up water and installing the spear. I then carbonated at 30psi in my keg fridge, which amounts to a bit more than 4 vols of CO2.

Initial thoughts

The hop taste is quite low, but present. The material left in the coffee filter appeared very oily leading me to believe a lot of the good stuff was left behind. For the next batch I will use a much coarser filtration method for same quantity of hops and see how the hop presence changes.

In general the flavour is pretty good, and the acid level seemed appropriate. You can definitely taste lemony acidity from the citric acid at this level, and I’m undecided if that’s a feature or a flaw. I haven’t checked the pH of the result either, but likely somewhere in the 4 to 4.5 range for this water. I’ll finish this keg before I decide to do anything with the acid for the next batch, which I don’t expect will take long!

Fermenting and kegging with sankes

I’m a huge fan of sanke kegs. I use them not only for serving my beer, but also for fermenting my beer. A couple months back I detailed my intended set up for fermenting and kegging with sankes – now, after a couple ferments there have been some minor changes, and I must say overall it’s been working quite well! This is a companion post to that first post on the subject that talks about how this all works in actuality. Continue…

Estimate Dimethyl Sulfide content!

Edit: It has come to my attention that much more recent research is available on the dynamics of DMS production, expect a new post/new calculator in the near future!

I made this calculator nearly a year ago to estimate the DMS content of beer based on information I could find in the brewing literature. I’m very interested in how accurate it is if any of you have quantified the DMS content of your beer before! The coloured highlighting of the “ppb of DMS in beer” reflects the detectability of DMS in the resulting beer by the person drinking it. Note that we are not all equal in our sensitivity to this compound.




Brewing schedule 2016

I’ve had a busy couple months. Specifically I’ve been occupied with preparations for my PhD qualifying exam. Last week I passed! Now that it is out of the way, and I’ve gotten some rest, I’m glad to report that I’m back in a place where I can envision the odd weekend brewing rather than working.

As my local homebrew club prepares for our annual malt bulk buy, I’ve been trying to nail down an approximate brewing schedule. This year I aim to brew beers back to back utilizing the same yeast strain as often as possible. Continue…