Start Your Own Brew­ing Lab with a Li­brary

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Gearhead -

You don’t need a ded­i­cated clean­room and a mas­ter’s de­gree in mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy to set up your own home­brew-scale lab; just a few books will set you on the path to el­e­vat­ing your brews with the power of sci­ence!

A good place to start is Proof: The Sci­ence of Booze by Adam Rogers (Houghton Mif­flin Har­court, 2014), says Jes­sica Davis, Qual­ity & In­no­va­tion Man­ager at The Bruery (Pla­cen­tia, Cal­i­for­nia). A pop sci­ence jour­ney through the hu­man race’s ob­ses­sion with ethanol, Proof is a book that will make you thirsty not only for some of the bev­er­ages Rogers de­scribes in brisk prose but also for more de­tails about the chem­i­cal re­ac­tions and bi­o­log­i­cal pro­cesses at the heart of all al­co­holic bev­er­ages.

The com­mon thread among beer, wine, spir­its, and ev­ery other al­co­holic bev­er­age is, of course, yeast, and there’s no bet­ter primer on the lit­tle bug­gers than Chris White and Jamil Zainash­eff’s Yeast: The Prac­ti­cal Guide to Beer Fer­men­ta­tion (Brew­ers Pub­li­ca­tions, 2010). This book is part of the Brew­ing El­e­ments Se­ries, and you don’t have to be a mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist to get a lot out of it, though you might feel like one after you’ve read it. Writ­ten with the home­brewer in mind, a quar­ter of the book is ded­i­cated to build­ing an at-home lab, from how to pick a mi­cro­scope to what to do with the cell counts once you’ve made them.

Once your mi­cro­scope is set up and you’re count­ing cells and man­ag­ing yeast cul­tures, turn your nascent lab into a home­brew-scale qual­ity as­sur­ance pro­gram with help from Qual­ity Man­age­ment: Es­sen­tial Plan­ning for Brew­eries by Mary Pel­let­tieri. Pub­lished by Brew­ers Pub­li­ca­tions, the guide is aimed at pro­fes­sional brew­ers (and is priced ac­cord­ingly), but small brew­eries and se­ri­ous home­brew­ers will ben­e­fit from im­ple­ment­ing the pro­cesses Pel­let­tieri de­tails in the book.

Craft Beer & Brew­ing Magazine® has a few on­line cour­ses you will also find help­ful. Check out In­tro­duc­tion to Eval­u­at­ing Beer, Trou­bleshoot­ing Your Beer, and Ad­vanced Yeast Man­age­ment at learn.beerand­brew­ing.com.

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