By Lee W. Janson Ph.D.
Here’s a category they didn’t provide at your college (although might be you probably did a few self sufficient learn of the subject). the following, in nontechnical language, is the true tale of what’s happening in that bucket, carboy, and bottle. Does each brewer have to comprehend the chemistry excited by making beer? No. Will realizing it support each brewer make tastier beer? completely.
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Extra info for Brew Chem 101: The Basics of Homebrewing Chemistry
Additional iron may inhibit yeast metabolism, cause haze, and give an undesired metallic or “inky” taste to beer. , causes nerve and brain problems). Also causes haze. Magnesium (Mg+2) Essential for yeast metabolism. In small amounts, increases beer flavor. In excess amounts, gives strong bitter flavor. Manganese (Mn+2) Trace amounts are essential for proper yeast metabolism. Above trace levels, gives an undesired taste to beer. Nickel (Ni+2) Gives metallic flavor at any levels above trace. Nitrate (NO2–2) Has no effect on beer flavor or yeast health.
What do we mean by “form” molecules, and what are “reactive groups”? You see, these atoms can link to each other to form what are called chemical bonds. These bonds have all kinds of fancy chemical qualities like energies and angles, dipolar moments and electron shells and orbitals, but we don’t care about that here. The important thing to know is that a C can link or bond to other C’s or some O’s or H’s or any of the other atoms, and vice versa, to make molecules. In chemical notation, these bonds are drawn as lines connecting the two atoms.
These changes can affect the ability of the water and ions to dissolve all the malts, hops, and other goodies that make up beer. Therefore, changing the amount of acid by changing the amount and type of ions can directly affect the beer’s composition and flavor. We’ll talk a bit more about acid level in Chapter 4 in the information on mashing and sparging, but a detailed discussion of this topic is not needed here. A much more thorough review of water chemistry, flavor, and acid level and the dissolved ions that affect them is given by Dave Miller and Greg Noonan in their books (see reading list on page 109).