All Pacific Gravity news.

Ask the Brewmaster: My Homebrew Smells Like Rotten Eggs and Corn!

This Month’s Question:  My beer sometimes has a corn-like sulfury smell.    What can I do about it?

Answer:  A corn-like smell is usually due to a specific chemical compound called dimethylsulfide, or DMS for short.  DMS forms in the malting process and in the boiling process while brewing any beer.  It is the result of a thermal degradation of sulfur-containing amino acid in the grain called s-methylmethionine.   This amino acid is present in all malts.  Hence, all beers have some amount of DMS.

DMS is a highly volatile compound.  This makes it an easily detectable compound in aroma, even in trace quantities.  Fortunately, the volatility makes it fairly easy to scrub out of your beer.

DMS-scrubbing-by-co2

The amount of DMS in your finished beer depends on a number of factors.  First of all is the amount of s-methylmethionine in the grain.  High protein malts such as six-row have higher amounts, hence more DMS.  Some of the DMS is driven off by heat in the kilning process.  Hence, the paler malts kilned at lower temperature have more.  These two factors combined contribute to the fact that pale lagers (made from pale six-row malt), often have high levels of DMS.  Not surprisingly, corn also contains a lot of s-methylmethionine.  These characteristics are a hallmark of lager beers.  A lager without DMS tastes rather bland.

The second factor that affects the amount of DMS is how much is removed from the wort during the boil.  Every bubble of steam that comes out of the kettle will carry some DMS with it.  Hence, longer boiling times and a more vigorous boil tend to reduce DMS levels.  For best results, you want to keep the boil rolling for the whole time.  Don’t simmer your beer! Read more

New Club Website

August marks the official rollout of our new club website.  We’ve moved to blog style website which will allow us to have a more up-to-date and active website.  We’ll be posting all of our newsletter and email announcement content to the website on a periodic basis.   The new website will allow member interaction via comments and much more.

The new club website also marks the demise of our monthly newsletter and periodic email announcements.  In the interest of reducing overhead and duplication of effort, the website will become the club’s primary method of communications and will essentially replace the newsletter and emails.  The monthly newsletter will evolve into a monthly flyer promoting that months events with the rest of its monthly content  moving to the website.  The email announcements will be replaced with notifications from the website when articles are posted.

Since we’ll no longer be sending newsletters or email announcements, you’ll need to subscribe to the new website to stay in the loop with news and up-coming events.  The club website provides two ways to subscribe to it: via email or via RSS feeds.  To subscribe via email, enter your preferred email address in the text box in the upper left corner of the club web page and click the subscribe button below.  Once you’ve subscribed via email, you’ll receive an email whenever a new article is posted on the website.  To subscribe via an RSS feed, click the subscribe link in the upper right corner and follow the instructions to add it to your favorite news reader.  Once subscribed via an RSS feed, you’ll get a summary in your news reader of all articles posted on the club website.   If you don’t subscribe, you’ll have to manually check the website for the latest info.  So subscribe now and stay in the loop…

Pacific Gravity Gazette Archives Now Online!

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New PG Website

Welcome to the new Pacific Gravity website, with new and improved blogging functionality!This site is Gravatar enabled. To add your picture, please register at Gravatar.You can stay updated on new posts through RSS, or subscribe by email.

Cheers!

Pacific Gravity in the News

The PG Ladies have been getting a lot of attention recently. Last month they were covered in an article in the LA Time’s Food section and this month they were on the tube. The local CBS affiliate came and covered the special Ladies Meeting we did a couple of weeks ago. They aired the story they put together last week but in case you missed it, you can access it on their website.

kcal/kcbs video
la times article