Author Topic: So... what "IS" Ale?  (Read 827 times)

Offline Aksarben

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
So... what "IS" Ale?
« on: December 27, 2017, 06:08:57 AM »
I was looking at a Youtube.com video and saw this comment, which I might share here, since it's posted on Youtube as a comment, and ask.  What sort of mechanics/chemistry is involved in Ale brewing??

"Hot side oxidation begins when the water is slopped into the malt, stirred like mad and the lid closed for an hour. Home made beer usually goes from the boiler to belly in four weeks, the damage does not set in. Real issues become myth due to the type of liquid home made beer brewers produce. The liquid is basically distillers wash. I'm not sure that any experiments are of value when it comes to brewing Ale or Lager due to the poor quality liquid the experiments are performed on. High modified malt means that the malt has less enzyme content. The malt is high protein, except for certain types of Marris Otter which are very high modified malt but it is low protein. Marris Otter is distillers malt that home brewers have been convinced will make Ale and it will if enzymes are added. High protein malt contains less starch which means less sugar. It is basically, distillers grade malt. The single infusion is used in the brewing industry as a means to test malt. the temperature used for testing can be found in every recipe for producing home made beer. The method is used to produce grain alcohol. The liquid is called wash, the slang is moonshiners beer. That is the type of liquid that most home brewers produce which somehow by magic becomes Ale. It is chemically and enzymatically impossible to produce Ale using single infusion, single temperature method. The part about high sparge temps; you failed to mention that the complex starch called amylo-pectin enters into solution at temperature of 169 F and up. The starch bursts, the enzymes denature due to the high temperature and the occurrence creates starch carry over. But, that is probably a myth, as well. By the way, when you toss the starch in the garden notice that the birds are eating it. They are eating your money, more importantly, they are eating the starch that produces Ale and Lager. Yup, squeeze the bag, might as well squish the protein mud, protein gum, beta glucan and carry over starch right into the boiler, not to worry about tannin. Batch sparge while you're at it, that method insures that the highest amount of goop goes into the boiler. The method claims to increase efficiency, all that it increases is the amount of goop in the wort that a hydrometer floats high in. When the goop drops out, the hydrometer sinks and the brewer believes a false reading. Unless, your taste buds are tuned for drinking moonshiners beer with hops added continue to make home made style beer because everything works and everything that causes issues in Ale and Lager are myths. It is a conn story used to convince novices that anything goes and not much knowledge is needed to produce Ale. If novices knew what it takes to produce Ale the home made beer empire would not exist as it does today."

Not my thoughts.... his.   Youtube video of Brewing myths is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdr_TkbBb6c 
 Basically saying we are all drinking cheaply and poorly made distiller's wash with a bit of hops thrown in for good measure.
Vernon

Associate Winemaker, Fenn Valley Vineyards
Fennville, MI

I was born with nothing, and have managed to keep most of it.

Offline Phil_M

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1693
  • Southern Maryland
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 12:26:07 PM »
I'd say the guy is 90% talking out of his ass, and 10% close to being right. Especially the Maris Otter bit, that's pure bull. It may not be used properly, but what he says about it is dead wrong.

I will agree that most beer in the US is lousy, and that many making it don't know what they're doing. However, avid home and professional brewers who care enough to do some research can easily make quality beer.

Usually, the answer is to mimic a production brewery's techniques as closely as possible. Casking, Low O2, open fermentation, spunding, etc, all add up. Yes, many "debunk" that these do anything, however I think the better response would be "Why didn't this do something, since it does for the big guys?"
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline ethinson

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
  • Why is the beer always gone?
    • View Profile
    • River Pirate Brewing Co.
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 12:54:44 PM »
I think he has the highly modified malt part completely backwards... new highly modified malts are very HIGH in enzyme, not low.  The starches convert in minutes rather than hours. 

We don't use a single infusion to "test" our malt.. we use a single infusion mash in our 100bbl mash tun on every batch we make. 

"That is the type of liquid that most home brewers produce which somehow by magic becomes Ale." Yeah.. that "magic" is the yeast.

This guy has no idea what he's talking about and based on grammar I'm thinking he may not be English as a first language.  Which is fine, except there's a whole lot getting lost in translation.  Half of that statement just doesn't even make sense...

Or.. he's a whiskey snob who is anti-beer.  He goes back and back and back to comparing the process to distilling, and while they are similar, post-mash is completely different.  Whiskey wash uses different grains and no hops, so to call beer wort "wash" is a little too simplistic...
SE Portland - AKA Beervana
Captain and Chief Deck Swabber - River Pirate Brewing Co.
Certified BJCP Beer Judge
2015 Oregon Brew Crew Member of the Year

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3260
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 01:03:33 PM »
The video itself is great and effectively summarizes a lot of debunked myths.

The comment on the video, repeated in the original post above, is of course garbage from a troll.  Do not feed the troll.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline The Beerery

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1507
  • More you know, the more you know you don't know!
    • View Profile
So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 01:27:37 PM »
Based on that response I know exactly who it is!   Good old Vlad.  Who picked up on his shot?!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Herr, wirf Hirn vom Himmel!
(Oder Steine, Hauptsache er trifft.)
Check us out at www.lowoxygenbrewing.com (Now with forums)
"Consistently successful brewers are invariably the ones who operate low oxygen systems." -George Fix Circa 1999
Taplist and Fermentation Cellar
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change"

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8877
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 01:32:02 PM »
That made my head hurt. Not enough coffee yet.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3144
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 03:33:30 PM »
Definitely trolling
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline Aksarben

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2017, 03:56:44 AM »
I'm new to home brewing, and it was his last statement that made me curious... QUOTE:  " If novices knew what it takes to produce Ale the home made beer empire would not exist as it does today."

Of all types of beer, to me at least, ales seem to be the most varied and also the least complicated in terms of holding fermentation temps, aging, etc.  So it made me wonder, what is there in commercial beer making that would involve making ale that would be beyond the reaches of those brewing at home.
Vernon

Associate Winemaker, Fenn Valley Vineyards
Fennville, MI

I was born with nothing, and have managed to keep most of it.

Offline Robert

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2017, 11:58:46 AM »
^^^^
Nothing. The comment is ridiculous gibberish.  See reply #3.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Richard

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 06:01:22 AM »
The hydrometer comments are wrong, too. The hydrometer will not sink as high gravity "goop" settles out. If anything, it will rise as the goop settles and the lower density liquid floats on top.

Offline Aksarben

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2017, 07:16:35 AM »
The hydrometer comments are wrong, too. The hydrometer will not sink as high gravity "goop" settles out. If anything, it will rise as the goop settles and the lower density liquid floats on top.

Well... not quite, Richard.  Re read what you wrote.  Hydrometers measure densities in fluids,  antifreeze in autos, sugar (Brix) in wines, and sugars in beer (S.G. or Plato which for all intents and purposes is equal to brix for most).   Alcohol in water is less dense and causes the hydrometer to fall below 0.0  or 1.000 S.G.  In wine making if the wine started out around 23 or so Brix and goes dry we expect the Brix hydrometer to register in the negative brix numbers, which is the effect of the alcohol.  When you have dissolved matter, whether it is sugars or salt, or debris, it will cause the hydrometer to rise.  Too much pulp and matter at the bottom of the tanks, near the side valves will show an unusually high brix on incoming juice as compare to the cleaner and more settled out juice that is near the top of the tank. Anything that is in liquid can and usually does affect how deep the hydrometer sinks in the hydrometer jar.
Vernon

Associate Winemaker, Fenn Valley Vineyards
Fennville, MI

I was born with nothing, and have managed to keep most of it.

Offline The Beerery

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1507
  • More you know, the more you know you don't know!
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2017, 01:14:32 PM »
You guys think he is a troll but he is a far from.  He was taught by or maybe he was a brewer for Genesse, not exactly sure.  But he knows his stuff and hates single infusion mashing.  I guess we share that hatred, only I am less vocal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Herr, wirf Hirn vom Himmel!
(Oder Steine, Hauptsache er trifft.)
Check us out at www.lowoxygenbrewing.com (Now with forums)
"Consistently successful brewers are invariably the ones who operate low oxygen systems." -George Fix Circa 1999
Taplist and Fermentation Cellar
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change"

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3260
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2017, 01:51:57 PM »
You guys think he is a troll but he is a far from.  He was taught by or maybe he was a brewer for Genesse, not exactly sure.  But he knows his stuff and hates single infusion mashing.  I guess we share that hatred, only I am less vocal.

There must be a LOT lost in the language or dialect barrier then.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8472
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2017, 01:52:52 PM »
Seems like a strange thing to be emotional about

Offline Robert

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
    • View Profile
Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2017, 01:59:08 PM »
You guys think he is a troll but he is a far from.  He was taught by or maybe he was a brewer for Genesse, not exactly sure.  But he knows his stuff and hates single infusion mashing.  I guess we share that hatred, only I am less vocal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
So maybe his rage is just misdirected.  It seems his big point is that homebrewers don't take steps that will extend shelf life.  That's what most technical advancements of the last half century or so have addressed. But some triangle tests have shown a preference for conventional over LODO beers, and I'm becoming skeptical of my own step mashing (I think efficiency may come at the cost of overdegrading protein and carbs giving too thin a beer.)  So what is he left with? We poor homebrewers drink fresh beer!  Before prohibition every town in America had a dozen breweries serving just the local trade, and nobody drank beer more than a week or two old.  And they were able to use methods that more closely resemble "conventional" homebrewing.  It's sad if he's saying "Ha! We process our ingredients into industrial nothingness, while you slobs don't."  Here's to fresh beer!
Rob
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.