Now that we have an idea about what foam is and how it forms in general, let’s look at some of the specifics of beer foam. A great place to start would be to analyze beer foam to see what it is composed of, and this is something brewing scientists did long ago. They skimmed beer foam, collapsed all the bubbles until it was a liquid again, and determined and ran tests to determine its composition. [Read more…]
Archives for March 2016
There are ways to to get a helpful critique of your beer, but — as with anything in life — what you get out of the process depends on what you put it in. In addition, being able to accept criticism is a skill some brewers need to learn.
Foam forms in a carbonated beverage when bubbles rising through the liquid begin stacking up on the surface. After awhile, however, the foam will begin to recede. There are three main processes involved in foam collapse.
You like your beer. Your friends like your beer. But, is it really any good . . . and how would you find out if you wanted to? For many beginning to intermediate homebrewers, the path to better homebrew is unclear because they have no way to assess their beer as it is currently brewed. Here is a quick guide to getting that done.
There are lots of places you can get feedback on your homebrew, and they vary greatly in how helpful they are. If you are a brewer who wishes to become serious about his or her craft, being able to judge your beer is an important part of the cycle of improvement. You can’t fix problems you don’t know about.
While in New Zealand, I brewed a batch of beer. The conference organizers wanted the speakers to each brew a beer at Marchfest (the yearly Nelson, New Zealand craft beer celebration). The beers will be judged in a contest later. We were each given a Grainfather (a combination mash tun/lauter tun/kettle for all-grain brewing) to use, and someone familiar with the machine to help us. (Thanks for the help, Cameron!) [Read more…]
At the 2016 New Zealand Homebrew Conference, I gave a talk on beer foam. Here’s that material, reworked into an article.
Why would anyone give a talk (or write about) beer foam? Besides the fact that I find foam interesting, there are a couple reasons. When we are served a beer, our first impression is visual — we notice the color, clarity, and the character of the foam in the glass. Secondly, and more importantly, good foam is a partial indicator of beer quality. As we will see, a number of things need to go correctly to get a nice foam stand. So, the presence of nice foam indicates the brewer has (at a minimum) taken sufficient care with his or her process to produce that foam.
There’s been a bit of a lull in Beer and Wine Journal (BWJ) recently, but that’s turning around starting now. In the past couple months, I have put the final touches on my book manuscript, assisted the photographer for a week in shooting pictures for the book, and — just last week — went to New Zealand for the first New Zealand Homebrew Conference (NZHC). Now I’m back home and have a bunch of articles planned for BWJ. Here’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks.