Southwest Brewing News August/September 2011 : Page 1
Beer is simple. We established that in Part 1 of this article, which covered water and malt, in the June/ July issue of SWBN . In this issue, we explore the last two ingre-dients necessary for beer: hops and yeast. Again, we ﬁ nd that these seemingly simple ingredients belie their true complexities. By Bev Blackwood II W hen the crossing guards go down at the nearby railroad crossing, it’s happy hour beer prices at Barrio Brewing. Owner Dennis Arnold smiles about it. “Sometimes you can see people on the other side of the gate going ‘Dammit, we’re missing the happy hour!’” Hops on the bine, and in pellet form, surround yeast slurry in a flask. PHOTOS AND COLLAGE BY JIM PETROSINO HOPS Once a brewer has made wort, he turns to his spice rack, which consists of hops. Hops are ﬂ owering seed cones that grow on a female perennial climbing plant, called a bine. Like the other ingredients, each hop has an individual variety of characteristics. Unlike water, these characteristics came about through analyses ILLUSTRATIONS BY HANS GRANHEIM and reﬁ nement of the product through selective breeding and optimizing growing conditions. Beer styles developed around not only the water and malt available, but the availabil-ity of certain hop strains. One example is Bohemian pilsners, e.g., Pilsner Urquell . These are crisp See Back to Basics p. 4 Barrio Brewing basks under the bright Tucson sun. Left-Dennis Arnold, owner of Barrio Brewing and Gentle Ben’s, in the Barrio brewhouse in Tucson, Ariz. PHOTOS BY BEV BLACKWOOD II Event C al en e dar ......... ............ ............. ..... 2 From m t he h Edito r ............ ............ . .......... ... 3 Best o f Sh how (Gues t Auth ho or) ...... ............ .6 Business o f Be eer e r ................ .......... .......... 7 Directories & Ma aps .... ............ ...........12-15 Arkans as Arkansas s .......................8 ..... ..... ............... 8 Ok lahom ma ......................9 ...... ..... ......... ..... 9 Oklahoma N Mexico/SW Mexico M o/S / W TX X .......... .. ......... 10 S California Ca aliforn nia ................. .......... ........ 16 Sa n Diego D ego .................... Di .............. . ....... 17 1 San S/ C Texas Texa s .................... T .. ......... ........... 18 1 S/C Au stin n ......................... .......... ................ 19 Austin N Texas Texa a s .......................20 .......... .............. 20 Ne N vada a ........................ ............ ............. 21 Nevada C Arizona Arizon na ....................22 ......... ............22 N Arizona A izona ....................23 Ar .......... ........... 23 S A Ar izona .....................23 ........... ........... 23 Arizona That Barrio is here at all is a testament to the focus Arnold has had on bringing craft beer to the thirsty people of his native Tucson. It’s been over two decades since he started that quest, when h he converted Gentle B Ben’s, a restaurant just o off the University of Ari-zo zona campus, into a brew-pu pub. “Tucson was totally un unfamiliar with it,” states Arn Arnold. The old house wh where Gentle Ben’s was See Barrio p. 5
Back To Basics
Part 2 - Hops And Yeast
Once a brewer has made wort, he turns to his spice rack, which consists of hops. Hops are flowering seed cones that grow on a female perennial climbing plant, called a bine. Like the other ingredients, each hop has an individual variety of characteristics. Unlike water, these characteristics came about through analyses and refinement of the product through selective breeding and optimizing growing conditions.
Beer styles developed around not only the water and malt available, but the availability of certain hop strains. One example is Bohemian pilsners, e. g., Pilsner Urquell. These are crisp and refreshing without being bitter. This is due to the use of Saaz hops that contain low amounts of alpha acids, the main bittering agent in a hop. India pale ales on the other hand, needed a hop with different characteristics. IPAs needed to be kept fresh and drinkable during long transport. The high alpha acid content of the hops used in IPAs, and other bitter beers, acts as a natural preservative, in addition to providing flavors. Modern hop products usually have an alpha analysis printed on the label, expressed as a percentage of a hop's total weight. This indicates the potential bitterness of the hop.
Hops, like malt, fall into two general categories. Bittering hops are boiled to release strong, bitter flavors, while aroma (or finishing) hops are added later to release more subtle flavors and aroma to a brew. Hops can be used early, or late in a brewing cycle. It all depends on what the brewer is trying to achieve. Hops are like spices, and affect the beer's tastes, and smells, so they are added with much forethought.
Mike De Smet, of De Smet Farms in Bosque Farms, N. M., informs, "Hops grow like a weed." That is what prompted him to try growing them in the desert in the first place. Historically, hops are grown in milder climates than De Smet's. He says the Cascade variety of hops he started out with, originally bred and grown in Oregon, "have developed their own spicy flair," which the New Mexico brewers have developed recipes around with good success.
There are numerous types of hops and they are available in a variety of forms. Many are dried after harvest and then packaged whole, some are ground into a powder and made into pellets for easy storage and measurement. Hops can also be obtained fresh, or "wet," and there are even hop liquid extracts available to a brewer.
After a brewer has combined his water and malt into wort, and spiced it with the addition of hops, he cools it as rapidly as possible and introduces yeast to begin the fermentation process.
Yeast is about as simple as it gets, as far as life is concerned. One cell buds to reproduce. It can do this with or without oxygen. In the world of brewing, it almost always happens without oxygen, anaerobically.
Like all of our ingredients, yeast seems simple, but is really quite complicated. While it is reproducing, it is actively converting the carbohydrates in the wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Obviously, in beer making, the goal is to convert sugars into alcohol, but the production of carbon dioxide also plays a vital role. The CO2 produced rises to the top of the wort, forming an oxygen barrier, inhibiting the growth of unwanted microorganisms, such as bacteria.
Over the centuries, brewing yeast has been refined through selective breeding, into two main species. The most often used are Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. pastorianus (originally S. carlsbergensis). The former is used in the making of ales, and is active at temperatures between 60- 80°F. It is known as top-fermenting yeast, as it clusters together at the top of wort. The latter, is active at temperatures down to 40°F or so; and is used in producing lagers; preferring to cluster near the bottom of a brew. Hundreds of strains of each have been created to tailor to a beer to a brewer's desires.
Genetically, ale yeast is very similar to the yeast found in those packets in your refrigerator. In fact, it is the same species: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which Wyeast's microbiologist Jess Caudill says is the "most studied microorganism in the world." Brewer's yeast is tailored to excel at producing ethanol rather than CO2. Baking yeast is a strain that does the opposite. It excels at producing CO2 to make bread rise.
Yeast can be bought in shelf-stable dried form, or in liquid form, suspended in an anaerobic environment of liquid nutrients. A brewer can start with a single tube, or packet, of yeast from a supplier like Wyeast and quickly produce as many hundreds of billions of cells as necessary to efficiently convert a given volume of wort into a desired volume of beer. The yeast that remains after the fermentation of a brew can be saved and reused a number of times before it becomes unstable and produces random flavor or aroma changes to a recipe. Matt Mercer, of Old World Brewery in Phoenix, Ariz., forces his leftover yeast into kegs for storage and reuse. It is just like the single package of anaerobically suspended yeast a homebrewer might start with, on a much larger scale.
Whatever a brewer is trying to achieve, he must do so with knowledge of all the variables surrounding four ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. Some of those variables are locations, times, temperatures, minerals, ph, ions, acids, oils and breeding. Four simple ingredients, one complicated problem, with hopefully one delicious result. In the end, all of the intricacies associated with each specific ingredient boil down to what ends up in your glass, bottle or can. Beer is just a dash of art atop a pile of science. I told you it was simple.
Read the full article at http://swbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Back+To+Basics/798109/77107/article.html.
Train Yourself To Find Barrio Brewing
Bev Blackwood II
When the crossing guards go down at the nearby railroad crossing, it’s happy hour beer prices at Barrio Brewing. Owner Dennis Arnold smiles about it. “Sometimes you can see people on the other side of the gate going ‘Dammit, we’re missing the happy hour!’”
That Barrio is here at all is a testament to the focus Arnold has had on bringing craft beer to the thirsty people of his native Tucson. It’s been over two decades since he started that quest, when He converted Gentle Ben’s, a restaurant just offthe University of Arizona campus, into a brewpub. “Tucson was totally unfamiliar with it,” states Arnold. The old house where Gentle Ben’s was Located was no treat either. “It had opened in 1971,” Dennis recalls, “and when I came across it in the late 1980s, it was trashed.”
Arnold opened the brewpub in 1990, with a brewhouse that he says was not particularly well manufactured. He also didn’t realize just what he was getting into, having had no formal training in brewing. He remarks, “I’m a self-taught brewer. I’ve made about every mistake that there is.” He continues, “And I’ve learned from it.” That’s not to say he didn’t seek out help. “I used to read The New Brewer magazine and get some ideas from there and then talking with Mary-Anne Gruber at Briess and getting ideas on recipe formulation and malts like that.” Gentle Ben’s had been open for four years when they were forced to move to the other side of the block, where the restaurant remains to this day. The move brought not only a new and improved brewhouse but also a desire on Arnold’s part to find someplace he could call his own. “I knew that in moving the brewery, that I was going to be moving the brewery again,” he recalls. “There was going to be no opportunity to expand the brewery [at Gentle Ben’s] without taking up customer space.” So he began to look for a site that could accommodate the brewery and any future expansion.
On the Right Track
Arnold found his space on the edge of South Tucson in 1999. “It was basically an 18,000 square foot Quonset hut with just tin on the outside and nothing on the inside.” While most of the interested parties wanted to tear the 1950’s vintage structure down, “I saw some charm in it, but mostly what I saw was 4,000 square feet of cold box!” he laughs. Convincing the city of Tucson that his plans were a good idea took a bit longer. “It took us 3,000 days from the time I first Walked in there until we opened our doors.” His voice tinged with disbelief. “It’s just that the city of Tucson is very difficult to get anything done in.”
Barrio Brewing opened its doors in early 2006 and supplies its beer to its namesake brewpub and to Gentle Ben’s, which no longer brews. It’s a little rough around the edges, as befits its neighborhood. Railroad tracks cut across the intersection of Toole & 16th streets and the blast of train horns sometimes interrupts the flow of conversation. The bar is a recycled glue laminated beam that has a ribbon of malt sealed into a carved channel. It’s typical of the waste not, want not mentality that Arnold practices, as he also has recycled equipment in the brewhouse. Barrio has carried over some of Gentle Ben’s menu items and of course, the beers as well. While Arnold’s standards like Tucson Blonde haven’t really changed much over the years, he’s collaborated on a wide range of other beers with Tucson homebrewers. In fact, Barrio spends considerable time and effort on community benefits, like his “Ales and Tails” promotion (a dog wash event.) “For a week or so we had a solid layer of dog hair on our parking lot from all the washing going on,” grins Arnold. “He’s been in business here for so long,” comments longtime customer and friend, Scott Schwartz. “He’s been instrumental in the Arizona Brewers Guild at the state level. He really has defined brewing in Arizona.”
“When we moved down here, we weren’t expecting much,” Arnold muses, “because it really is in the middle of nowhere.” Even so, he’s seen his sales grow every year, which speaks well for the future. “This is the Noah’s Ark of Tucson,” he smiles. “I get the old folks, I get lawyers from downtown, I get the railroad guys from across the street; it’s just an incredible mix.” Barrio Brewing’s beers may be a challenge to find, but the vision and drive of the man that created them and his unique brewpub that serves them up is special, even when there’s not a train going by.
I saw 4,000 square feet of cold box!
- Dennis Arnold, Barrio Brewing