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 200: Reconsidering the Congress Mash

    February 8th, 2021  |  49 mins 6 secs

    Should the numbers on your malt COA be produced from a mash that's more similar to your brewery mashes? Did you know that's already happening when you buy UK malt? Listen up, then join the conversation.

  • Episode 053: Improved Flavor via Trub Removal at Dogfish

    February 1st, 2021  |  29 mins 34 secs

    In today's competitive craft beer market, if you're standing still, you're dead. Continual improvement is a required survival skill. This episode tells the story of how Dogfish Head Craft Brewery went about reducing perceived mercaptan via fermentor trub removal.

  • Episode 199: The Yeast Hunter

    January 25th, 2021  |  39 mins 34 secs

    Remember learning about Kveik back on episode 102? This time, we catch up with the man who tracked down these yeasts and reinvigorated a traditional farmhouse brewing culture that nearly died out. You'll also hear about a time when it was illegal NOT to brew Christmas beer.

  • Episode 198: Bierkrieg: Follow the Money

    January 18th, 2021  |  57 mins 6 secs

    The guy who explained how we narrowly avoided an American Reinheitsgebot on episode 174 is back with more surprises. This time you'll hear about the widespread use of malt substitutes in Germany, a beer war, and the birthplace of America's most popular beer style.

  • Episode 197: A History of Brewing Innovation

    January 11th, 2021  |  1 hr 8 mins

    We look back at the last 70 years of innovations in brewing, we look forward to what the future holds, and we hear a pint full of great anecdotes from an author with whom we're all familiar.

  • Episode 058: What Yeast has taught me about Brewing over the years

    January 4th, 2021  |  34 mins 12 secs

    Tom Eplett joins us to talk about some anecdotal fermentation problems, lessons learned, and his go-to papers, books, etc. for troubleshooting and learning about brewing. If you still think the best yeast is in the middle of the cone, you should listen to this episode.

  • Episode 028: Draught Line Cleaning P2

    December 28th, 2020  |  35 mins 10 secs

    This week, we continue our draught line cleaning discussion with Keith Lemcke.

  • Episode 027: Draught Line Cleaning P1

    December 21st, 2020  |  35 mins 45 secs

    Draught beer line cleaning is a critical factor in the service of excellent draught beer. Cleaning your system frequently ensures beer quality but increases the cost of service due to beer lost when preparing the lines for cleaning. Throughout the industry, there is debate over the "best practices" in draught cleaning, including what defines a "clean" draught system. With the ever-increasing selection of draught beers, it is imperative not only to the brewer but all the way to the consumer that the beer provided as draught is representative of the beer provided by the brewer. The challenges of clean beer lines have never been more evident than today. Many of the draught beers on the market come with active yeast cultures, wild yeast cultures, and bacteria, all part of the flavor mix. These organisms can contaminate draught lines for the next beer to be tapped on those lines. Additionally, the intrusion of contaminant microorganisms from various sources and breweries needs to be eliminated and controlled within draught systems to ensure that the beer poured is exactly as intended.

  • Episode 196: Goose Island's Wild Yeast Chase

    December 14th, 2020  |  31 mins 26 secs

    In 2018 Goose Island was plagued with a wild yeast contamination identified in post centrifuged products. This is how we systematically sought root cause, and ultimately eradicated the contamination despite our previous process understandings.

  • Episode 195: Thiol-releasing Capability of Brewers Yeast

    December 7th, 2020  |  33 mins 43 secs

    It is well known that hop-forward beer styles exhibit tropical fruit aromas. These aromas are conferred by a range of hop-related volatile compounds, including polyfunctional thiols such as 3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol (3SH) and 4-methyl-4-sulfanylpentan-2-one (4MSP). These compounds are present at relatively high concentrations in hops and are extracted into beer during dry-hopping. Polyfunctional thiols are also abundant as non-volatile glutathione and cysteine conjugates in hops, and to a lesser extent can be found in barley (and therefore, malt). These conjugates are cleaved into amino acids and free thiols by enzymatic activity of yeasts, thus bound precursors may represent an important pool of tropical fruit flavor in beer, particularly in beer styles where dry hopping is minimal. In order to successfully liberate this pool of flavor, yeast with strong carbon-sulfur ß-lyase activity are needed. In wine research it has become evident that only a small number of commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae starter cultures possess this capacity. High-activity strains may release 10-30x higher concentrations of free thiol from the same amount of available precursor, relative to low-activity strains. This variation has been linked to a range of inactivating mutations in the carbon-sulfur ß-lyase encoding gene, IRC7. In this study we have catalogued several additional mutations in IRC7 that are found in brewing strains of S. cerevisiae. Based upon known mutations that affect wine strains we compare predicted IRC7 activity for various brewing strains, and actual measurements using a model substrate. Furthermore, we show that one of the mutations only found in brewing strains inactivates IRC7. Overall, the data show that brewing S. cerevisiae strains vary widely in their potential to release polyfunctional thiols from conjugated precursors, and that efforts to extract maximum flavor from malt and hops should include consideration of yeast strain.

  • Episode 194: Metallic Off-flavor in Kettle-Sours

    November 30th, 2020  |  28 mins 1 sec

    The story of how Creature Comforts Brewing tracked down and eliminated metallic off-flavor in kettle-sours.

  • 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.