Diacetyl in Beer with Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast 31

by Brad Smith on January 29, 2012 · 5 comments

Dr Charles Bamforth, Professor of Brewing Science is my guest on this week’s show and he shares with us a detailed look at diacetyl (an off flavor) and how to control it in your beer. Join us for a detailed look at this interesting bit of home brewing science.

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This Episode Sponsored by MoreBeer!

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (33:22)

  • Dr Charlie Bamforth is a Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California at Davis, and an expert in commercial beer brewing science. This week Charlie shares with us a detailed look at the buttery off flavor that comes from diacetyl.
  • Charlie’s books include Beer is Proof that God Loves Us, Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing, What is a Good Beer, Standards of Brewing: Formulas for Consistency and Excellence (Amazon Affiliate Links) and many more.
  • Charlie starts with a discussion of the buttery flavor of diacetyl and how it is used for flavoring artificial butter and popcorn.
  • We talk about where diacetyl comes from and how it is a natural byproduct of fermentation
  • We discuss the precursors for diacetyl as well as the way diacetyl is reabsorbed by yeast after fermentation is complete
  • Charlie shares that how bacterial infection contributes to diacetyl infection especially in dirty keg lines
  • We talk about the development of a diacetyl rest (14C or 57F for a Lager) as well as Krausening (with active yeast) as a solution for removing diacetyl
  • Charlie shares his summary of how to reduce diacetyl using methods practical for homebrewers
  • We mention Charlie’s books – several of which are linked above, though others are also available on Amazon

Thanks to Dr Charles Bamforth for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rich February 2, 2012 at 6:49 am

At 28:12  they talk about Krausening home brew and seem to suggest that it should be reserved for “gently flavored products”.

Is that due to cost/ effort involved or is there a detriment to the final product if you did this to, say; a doppelbock? I would think that if the brew were important (i.e. A competition brew) the effort would be a modest investment in some insurance.

Anyone know if there is a potential negative flavor impact?

crush March 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I wasn’t aware that Charlie was two people, (re: they!). But he’s sitting on books on knowledge. And he can pronounce the chemical compounds correctly. What a guy!

crush March 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm

So much enjoyed this, but Charlie says it many times indirectly. Krausening isn’t pronounced krausening.

Wayne Odom May 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Fun podcast.

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