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Yeast and Beer Flavors with Dr Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast #164

Dr Charlie Bamforth joins me this week to discuss how brewing yeast and yeast health affects flavors in Beer.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (53:15)

  • Today my guest is Dr Charles Bamforth, Professor of Malting and Brewing Science at the University of California at Davis. Charlie specializes in the study of wholesomeness in beer including beer perception, polyphenols, foam stability, oxidation and flavor stability. Charlie is the author of over 20 books on beer including the ASBC Practical Guide to Flavor (Amazon affiliate link) mentioned in this episode.
    • I do apologize for the video quality this week – we were unable to get a solid video connection.
  • We discuss Charlie’s pending retirement as well as some upcoming courses he is teaching through the University of California at Davis and also in Nottingham.
  • We talk about how yeast is the primary cause of some 10 of the 16 commonly referenced “off flavors” in beer according to the Beer Judge Certification Program score sheet.
  • Charlie starts with some off flavors from his book on “Flavors” (linked above) starting with sourness – which he ties closely to beer acidity.
  • We discuss the current trends in “sour beers” as well as ways to introduce sourness and manage it.
  • He next moves on to talk about diacetyl and VDKs including pentainedione, as well as their cause and how to reduce them.
  • Charlie and I discuss esters and how they come from “esterfied” alcohol especially higher order alcohols. We also talk about ways to manage and reduce them.
  • Next we move on to alcohol itself which can be an off flavor or “feature” in certain high gravity beers.
  • We discuss acids – in particular excessive fatty acids that can build up in a wort that has not been properly aerated before pitching your yeast.
  • We finish with a discussion on sulfur and a few other off flavors.
  • Charlie provides his summary on how to reduce off flavors that are caused by yeast.


  • Thank you to our sponsor Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine for sponsoring this episode. I encourage you to subscribe to their great magazine!
  • And also Anvil Brewing Equipment. Anvil is a new line of kettles, burners and accessories from John Blichmann at Blichmann Engineering. They make top quality brewing equipment built to last a lifetime.
  • Also check out BeerSmith, BeerSmith Mobile software and the new DVDs John Palmer and I filmed – How to Brew with Malt Extract and How to Brew All Grain are available now. You can subscribe to the BeerSmith newsletter for free to get some great articles on home brewing.

Thanks to Chris White and John Blichmann 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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This post first appeared on Home Brewing, please read the originial post: here

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Yeast and Beer Flavors with Dr Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast #164


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