Diacetyl in Beer with Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast 31

by Brad Smith on January 29, 2012 · 6 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!

MoreBeer is the sponsor of this week’s episode. You can show your appreciation to them on your next order by using the special order links here at BeerSmith.com/MoreBeer – a portion of each order will go to support the BeerSmith sites, podcast, and newsletters.

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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{ 5 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.

Adrien September 24, 2018 at 11:12 pm

FYI, in 2018, it is no longer necessary to have Flash installed or Javascript active in order to listen to the podcast. Clicking the download link will by default, open the mp3 in your browser and play it. I understand this is a 6 year old article, but if anyone is ‘cleaning up’ the site, these types of warnings (as are any about ‘Adobe Reader’ for PDF files) are good candidates for review. Thanks for the article and the podcast!

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