I Can’t Believe It’s Not Biotransformation!

  • Speakers: Leandro Meiners, Matias Cavanna
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2022
  • Pittsburgh

We’ve all heard it in conversations with fellow brewers or read it on a forum: “Add this particular hop variety for biotransformation,” “dry hop during high kräusen for biotransformation,” or “biotransformation produces tropical flavors and aromas.”

Biotransformation is, without doubt, one of the trending topics in the brewing world. But what is this biotransformation that is touted as magic? Is there just one type? Does it always produce tropical flavors and aromas? Is it true that dry hopping at certain times encourages it? Could the effect of dry hopping mid-fermentation be something else?

This seminar explores the different types of biotransformation, refer to what scientific research has shown so far for each, and then assess the impact that each type could have on our beers, providing practical brewing tips and debunking many myths that abound on this subject.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the different types of biotransformation and their potential impact in beer flavor;
  • Explain how to use exogenous brewing enzymes (or specific yeasts) that foster some of these types of biotransformation
  • Simplify your brewing process by demystifying biotransformation and avoiding unnecessary steps or procedures
  • Understand that biotransformation is not a one-stop shop for explaining all the unknown changes of beer flavor and aroma when dry hopping during active fermentation

About the Speakers

Leandro Meiners started off his professional life as an IT security consultant and continued this path for over 15 years. After being bitten by the homebrewing bug, he ended up dropping his former career and earned an MSc. in brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt in Scotland. Having gained practical experience working at two breweries in France, he returned to his homeland, Argentina, to start his own brewery and taproom called PLACEBO. Leandro also has a blog, in Spanish, about brewing science called Zythologia and he is the co-host of Birratecnia, a podcast in Spanish focused on sharing academic research and putting it into context of the day-to-day brewing activities.

Mati Cavanna started homebrewing in Australia and developed his practical and technical knowledge between Australia, New Zealand, and Japan while working for Asahi’s small and large breweries. He then quit his job and headed back to South America to found Dos Dingos. He is currently the head brewer at Dos Dingos Cerveza Independiente (with operations in Spain and Argentina), De Puerto brewpub (Uruguay), and Rural Casa de Barricas (Uruguay).

Mati also co-hosts Birratecnia, a podcast and research platform in Spanish focused on sharing academic research and best practices for the craft brewing industry. In addition to this, he is the co-author of “Skeptical Brewing,” an ongoing feature series in the American Homebrewers Association’s Zymurgy magazine.


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