For some, the first thing that comes to mind when we say the word “aeration” is the process of digging up little plugs of dirt out of your backyard. While they’re not wrong, in the context of beer, it takes on a much different meaning. Yes, brewers keep aeration in mind when they mix up another batch of delicious homebrewed beer in one of our all-in-one brewing systems. Today, Bräu Supply will explain what aeration is and why it’s an important part of the homebrewing process.
Let’s get our definitions straight before we get too much further. Generally speaking, aeration is the process in which air moves through, or is mixed with, a liquid. In the case of brewing, this is literally moving or exposing your wort to the air, or deliberately agitating your wort to introduce air into the beer.
For the most part, yes, oxygen and beer don’t mix well. Oxygen can lead to your beer becoming stale, lending it that bland, almost papery flavor. Additionally, oxygen can dramatically shorten the shelf life of your beer. However, one critical component of your homebrewing process needs oxygen: the yeast. During the boiling of the wort, the heat and the roiling and bubbling of the mixture itself actually drives most of the oxygen out of the liquid. So, to ensure that your yeast survives and thrives in your beer, you’ll need to reintroduce some of that oxygen back into your beer.
Aeration is an essential part of the homebrew process, as oxygen is needed for your yeast to properly grow and ferment. The right aeration technique can result in more bold and complex flavors in your next beer. Make sure to check the Bräu Supply blog soon, as next time we’ll discuss the effects of oxygen on your beer.
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