From Reinheitsgebot to a Full Array of Adjuncts

Not all that long ago, “adjuncts” was a bad word in craft brewing. Many of us were guided by Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 stating beer shall be made only with malted barley, hops, and water with the amendment later to include yeast on the short list of permissible ingredients. Adjuncts used to be the fillers, the cheaters, and the outcasts and now they’re sitting at the lunch table with the cool kids. Since the word “adjunct” has been bastardized historically, we shift to the more inclusive terminology: brewing ingredients. In the past few months I’ve had a call for more botanicals and aseptic fruit purees than ever before. Orange peel, chamomile, juniper, grapefruit, raspberry, and even rhubarb have been included on orders to ship along with malt and hops lately. With the rise of craft breweries continuing, consumers seek what’s new and different and brewers respond with experimentation, collaborations, and one-offs. If only I could pour samples for you electronically through the screen or at least waft some aroma your way via smell-o-vision. Can somebody invent that for laptops and mobile devices please?

Spotlight on Aseptic Fruit Purée: Brewer’s Notes on Using Aseptic Fruit Purée

  • Dosage Rate: Subjective to desired level of fruit aroma and flavor / as high as 21 lbs of fruit per barrel of beer for raspberries grapefruit, apricot, pineapple, blood orange (ie citrus fruit) depends largely on hop usage
  • Add 17 lbs/BBL with the beer when pitching the yeast
  • Put the 17 lbs/BBL into the empty fermenter cone, pump the chilled bitter wort into the fermenter pitch the yeast, continue to fill the fermenter
  • On day 3-4, bung the tank, add 4 LBS/BBL like a dry hop to sustain fruit aroma throughout fermentation sugars in fruit will ferment out; add the fruit just before closing off the tank to capture aroma keep an eye on the pressure as it builds; make sure the added sugar doesn’t overshoot tank’s pressure rating naturally carbonate beer from the final bits of fermentation in the tank

A Punch of Pure Lupulin

The new Cryo© products from YCH hops are taking the craft brewing industry by storm, giving hop-forward beers an extra burst of fresh hop aroma and flavor. The Cryo© process freezes the freshness of the whole hop cone whereupon the Lupulin glands are isolated from the rest of the vegetative matter. The Lupulin is then pressed into fine, delicate powder for the purest form of Lupulin available. For another version of this Cryo© innovation, the Lupulin powder is pelletized to provide the option to brewers who want to use Cryo© for dry-hopping.

Flavor Contributions from the Spectrum of Specialty Malt

Some brewers used to resent winemakers for having the flexibility of blending and for no consumer expectation that one vintage would be the same as the subsequent years. Consumers were enamored with talk of terroir. Well, we can talk terroir too, in fact, please do! Growers of the grains you use in brewing certainly work with different soil, sunshine, and other natural elements depending on where they are in the world. Do you know your barley strains as well as you know your hop varieties? Copeland, Metcalf, Voyager, Synergy… as with hops, there are new and old varieties of barley. Growers are paid a premium to keep older varieties with lower yields growing, like Maris Otter, for its versatility and brewing integrity.

Collaboration Brews Across The Country

Collaboration brews are not only fun for the consumer audience, but are also a great way for brewers to learn from one another and work together. Curious about a malt or a brewing ingredient you’ve never worked with before? Seek out a fellow brewer who knows that ingredient well and trade some knowledge. Teamwork, unity, and community are highly marketable themes, but it’s not just about the end-user in these initiatives. The art and science of recipe formulation and brewing are unique in their process and product. Have questions and inquiries? Use us, your suppliers, as a resource, after all we know a lot of brewers out there.