Beer Maturation and Yeast with John Palmer – BeerSmith Podcast #168

by Brad Smith on March 31, 2018 · 2 comments

John Palmer, author of “How to Brew” joins me to discuss the beer maturation process and the critical role that yeast play in beer maturation. We also discuss methods to speed up the maturation process.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (48:17)

  • Today my guest is John Palmer. John is author of the top selling beer brewing book How to Brew (Amazon affiliate link) now in its fourth edition, as well as co-author of Water and Brewing Classic Styles (Amazon affiliate links). John has a web site featuring his first edition at
  • We start with a short discussion of John’s recent trip to Mexico and why John thinks we are living in the “Golden Age” for beer brewing.
  • John recently did some presentations on yeast and beer maturation – we begin with a discussion of what the beer maturation process is.
  • We talk about how many off flavors are caused by yeast, but also how yeast play an important role in mitigating and reducing off flavors.
  • John discusses the yeast life cycle, and how it is closely related to the stages of brewing.
  • He shares his thoughts on maturation which is largely a process of reducing byproducts and waste left over from the brewing process.
  • We discuss some of the byproducts that yeast produce and also how yeast clean these up.
  • John tells us why yeast growth rate is important, as well as why pitching rates are critical for yeast health.
  • We talk about diacetyl as well as acetalaldehyde and how yeast mop these byproducts up if given the chance.
  • John shares his tips on rapid maturation of beer and we discuss the technique of cold crashing and lagering.
  • John gives us his closing thoughts.


Thanks to John Palmer for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Randall Junk July 6, 2021 at 10:06 am

Good Morning Brad,
Been brewing for 3 years and just was recommended to purchase BeerSmith which I did. Love it and very useful for me due to I no longer have to do the math for my recipes. Love your podcasts also. While watching a couple I noticed you do not have any or did I miss it on adding fruit to one’s fermentation. Being here up in Wisconsin the strawberry, cherry season is here and in a short time other types will be maturing. I was researching the addition of fresh fruit and there seems to be a bunch of methods for this application. A podcast would be helpful and very timely for this application. Thanks for your time and a great product.

Randy Junk
Manitowoc, WI

Brad Smith July 6, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Thanks – I’ve been working on new articles and will try adding one covering fruit ingredients, which are very well supported in BeerSmith 3 now!

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