Master Brewers Podcast

United We Brew

About the show

Each week, thousands of brewers download The Master Brewers Podcast to hear interviews with the industry's best & brightest in brewing science, technology, and operations. The show is known for featuring technical deep dives, a bit of brewing history, cutting edge research, hard lessons learned, important industry contributors, and no fluff. If you make beer for a living, this show is for you.

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  • Episode 010: Free Education

    November 23rd, 2020  |  19 mins 23 secs

    Master Brewers is dying to pay for your education; it's part of what we do.

  • Episode 193: Killer Yeast

    November 16th, 2020  |  22 mins 58 secs

    Could beer infected with diastaticus be rescued by killer yeast?

  • Episode 192: PPE in the Brewery

    November 9th, 2020  |  46 mins 38 secs

    Employer responsibilities, hazard assessments, finding the right safety glasses, the pitfalls of respiratory protection, employee buy-in, and more.

  • Episode 191: Too Much Noise!

    November 2nd, 2020  |  28 mins 28 secs

    Noise exposure may not be on your brewery's radar, but this is an area in which an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  • Episode 190: Variation in Starch Structure

    October 26th, 2020  |  38 mins 35 secs

    Did you know that the gelatinization temperature of your malt could be as low as 136F or as high as 154F? Charlie Bamforth's successor joins us to talk about variations in starch structure and what that might mean for your mash.

  • Episode 189: Long Term Yeast Storage

    October 19th, 2020  |  25 mins 42 secs

    For smaller brewers, yeast management can be a challenging prospect. Many mid-size to small breweries attempt to make a wide range of beer styles that require a plethora of yeast strains. Due to production limitations, brewers are often forced to stretch yeast pitching windows or purchase brand new yeast pitches at a dramatically high cost. A study was performed to evaluate potential media that would allow for adequate dormancy and viability of harvested yeast slurries for long term re-pitching opportunity. Various media were added to decanted yeast slurry and viability was measured over determined time periods to track health of the stored yeast. Results indicate that monopotassium phosphate, standard distilled water, alkaline mineral water, and a solution with sunflower oil all provide varying degrees of health preservation of long storage periods up to one month. Minimal changes were observed with adequate dilutions and these results will be discussed.

  • Episode 188: Impossible Beer

    October 12th, 2020  |  41 mins 44 secs

    More engineered brewers yeast strains capable of "impossible" feats.

  • Episode 187: The Guinness Yeast

    October 5th, 2020  |  39 mins 5 secs

    The Guinness brewery was founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness. The Guinness brewery group were early exponents of the advancements in microbiology, and particularly yeast husbandry that took place in Europe at the end of the 19th Century. This led Guinness to establish the Watling laboratory in 1901 and subsequent St James’s Gate yeast Library.

    16 Guinness yeast isolates were taken from the St James’s Gate yeast library and sequenced using next generation whole genome sequencing. Using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) analysis, the genetic lineage of the Guinness yeast were established, with the Guinness yeast forming a monophyletic group (all descendants of a common ancestor). Previous yeast studies have attributed geographical location to domestication; using this information the Guinness yeast were placed with yeast domesticated in the United Kingdom and the United States.

    Within the 300+ yeast stored in the St James’s Gate yeast Library there are yeast from historical Irish Brewers. Using the same methods that established the genetic lineage of the Guinness yeast, 8 Irish brewing yeast were similarly assessed. In addition to the genotypic analysis of the Guinness and Irish yeast, the phenotype of the different yeasts were determined.

    In this paper we present an understanding of the Guinness and Irish yeast from a genotypic and phenotypic perspective. This analysis established that despite the different brewing attributes of these Irish yeast they all have a common genetic ancestry which is different to that of the United Kingdom yeast and the United States yeast. Consequently, we suggest that there is potential scope for an Irish brewing terroir concept based upon brewing with Irish yeast.

  • Episode 186: CO2 Systems & Quality

    September 28th, 2020  |  1 hr 13 mins

    A Master Brewers member requested an episode about CO2 systems, CO2 quality, and best practices. Here it is.

  • Episode 185: Filler Cleaning Meets Quality at Surly

    September 21st, 2020  |  40 mins 40 secs

    To avoid having every brewery reinvent the wheel with filler cleaning practices and save the time and money it takes to trial new processes, we share one brewery’s story of developing a robust cleaning program on both of its canning lines.

  • Mainstage

    September 16th, 2020  |  1 min 5 secs

    John Mallett (Bells Brewery), Rebecca Newman (Lagunitas Brewing Company), Paul Pettinger (New Belgium Brewing), and Jason zumBrunnen (Ratio Beerworks) will be answering YOUR questions about Business Continuity in a Covid-19 Environment during the #worldbrewingcongress Mainstage Panel Discussion this weekend. We'll hear about how their breweries have pivoted, as well as topics like ensuring employee safety, rethinking the workplace, exploring brewery culture, and controlling external factors. Submit your questions for the panelists via the link below.

  • Episode 184: Just Say No to Leaking Can Seams

    September 14th, 2020  |  46 mins 50 secs

    Cans have become the primary packaging type in the U.S. craft brewing scene. While cans are a near-ideal package for maintaining the quality of the beer, it's important to understand the seaming process and how to diagnose and fix issues with the seamer. Failing to do so will lead to tremendous damage to brands and consumer confidence in canned craft beer. This presentation will focus more on the key quality indicators of seams, how to identify seam issues, tools needed to fix the issue, and how to adjust the seamer to fix the issue.

  • Episode 183: Dry Hop Creep During In-Package Conditioning

    September 7th, 2020  |  28 mins 14 secs

    Understanding a particular beer's fermentability—and how it changes over time—is a prerequisite to managing in-package conditioning. It’s not uncommon to observe some level of over-attenuation during refermentation, similar to how forced-fermentation tests frequently finish at a lower gravity than production fermentations. In order to reduce the risk of over-pressurization in package, it’s important for brewers to quantify the expected over-attenuation for each brand. Typically, and ideally, the over-attenuation is consistent and can be accurately accounted for within priming sugar calculations. However, this is not always the case—especially with dry-hopped beers. At Allagash Brewing Company, we created a model for our Sixteen Counties brand in order to predict and more accurately account for variable levels of over-attenuation in package due to hop creep.

  • Episode 182: De-skunking Beer

    August 31st, 2020  |  34 mins 50 secs

    Just when you thought light-struck flavor in beer was permanent...

  • Preview: 2020 WBC

    August 27th, 2020  |  3 mins 2 secs

    The 2020 World Brewing Congress is almost here! Have you registered yet?

  • Episode 181: Tracking Biotransformation of Sulfur Compounds in Beer

    August 24th, 2020  |  38 mins 40 secs

    A growing demand in utilizing biotransformation, a general term for the conversion of compounds through biological pathways, to improve the organoleptic profile of beer has changed the way hop forward beer recipes are approached. While the analysis of terpene biotransformation has been well documented, there remains a gap in knowledge in sulfur compounds due to their extremely low concentrations (sometimes in concentrations of parts per trillion) and high volatility. Analysis of sulfur compounds requires precise and sensitive analytical methodology in order to detect them. While sulfur compounds have been successfully detected using gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) a pulsed flame photometric detector (PFPD), and a GC sulfur chemiluminescence detector (GC-SCD), the research presented here utilizes a GC-SCD via stir bar-sorptive extaction (SBSE) methodology previously used to track aroma intensities in optimizing harvest picking windows. This work shows an identification of various thiols and sulfur compounds found in both un-hopped and hopped wort (with Amarillo® (VGXP01), Cashmere, Idaho grown Saaz (Osvald-72 c.v.), and Czech Saaz) and tracks them through the fermentation process confirming the volatility of some thiols and most notably the presence of 4-methyl-4-mercaptopentan-2-one (4MMP) in the final beer at a retention time of 9.5 minutes, a compound that contributes a catty, black currant/Sauvignon Blanc aroma character. Differences in hop varieties were compared with an American ale yeast, and the effect of yeast strain as well as temperature on thiol production with VGXP01 was compared between an American ale, German lager, Belgian saison, and Brettanomyces bruxellensis strain.