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Guides/Beer

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Honey.pngMaltRaw.pngWheat.pngBeerKettle.jpgSmall barrel.jpgDrinking.png

Brewers!

For T7, a GDocs Beer Calculator is available. Make a copy and experiment!
A modest experiment, adding in fields for "Fruity" and Spicy" can be found on Peacefulness' Beer Page. Also, I believe that the calculation for "Muddled" does not match the in-game definition, and an adjusted formula is available on the same page.

Also try this alternate calculator - it'll detect most common beer defects quickly and visibly, but doesn't include as many flavor profiles as the above calculator. For the casual brewer! Rip's Quick Beer Calc

Beer Recipes

Overwhelmed by the complexity of this guide? Try Brewing from a Recipe

Introduction

Beer is made from honey and grain (malt and/or wheat), brewed in a Beer Kettle. Through use of the right yeast or combination of yeasts, and with proper ingredients, you can concoct beers with a wide variety of flavors, features, and potencies. This guide shows how to become a productive brewer.

What You Will Need

To get started in the exciting world of beer brewing, you will need the following:

You will also need a supply of ingredients for the beer itself. You will not need these for yeast testing, though, so you can build your ingredient supply while you look for a good kettle location:

Lastly, you need a place to brew! See the Yeast Testing article for how to find a suitable location and seal time for your kettle.

IMPORTANT: The rest of this guide assumes that you have isolated a yeast and are ready to begin brewing with ingredients.

The Beer-Making Process: An Overview

It takes 60 Wood and 25 Water to start a kettle of beer. Once started, the beer making process goes through two phases:

  • Brewing (20 minutes) -- in which grain and honey are added to the brew.
  • Fermentation (40 minutes) -- in which local microbes enter the kettle and convert the brew's sugars into -- ideally -- alcohol.

The brewing phase counts down from a 1200-second timer. At any point during this stage, you may add grain and/or honey. The type and amount of ingredients, and how early or late in the process they are added, determine a number of factors -- not least the amount of sugar and vitamins available in fermenting.

The fermentation phase counts down from a 2400-second timer. At any point during this stage, you may seal the kettle. Sealing the kettle prevents any (more) microbes from entering. While you can get drinkable beers from an unsealed kettle, most of the time you will want to seal the kettle after the yeast microbe has entered, and before bad microbes enter. (See the Yeast Testing guide.)

Once the fermenting is done, you may leave the beer in the kettle indefinitely. With an empty small barrel in your inventory, you may Take the beer (kegging it). You are given a display showing the statistics of your beer.

  • If the beer is undrinkable, it will automatically be thrown out, and your barrel is left empty.
  • If it is drinkable, you are given an opportunity to name the beer for later use. (Once you use the beer, your barrel is returned.)

Beer Characteristics

Beer results.png

Let's start by looking at a finished product. After you keg a brew, you will see a screen that looks like the one to your left. On the top will be a description of your finished beer, or a description of your failed brew (e.g. "Nonalcoholic Soup"). Below that is a page of statistics about your brew. Let's review them one by one, so that we need no longer fear them.

Alcohol

This figure shows the total alcohol in your brew. Alcohol is produced by yeasts as they consume sugar; for each unit of sugar eaten, 1 alcohol is produced. A brew must have alcohol of 100 or more to count as beer; anything less is "soup".

If a beer has alcohol of 800 to 1199, it is Potent. Beer with alcohol of 1200 or more is Very Potent. All else being equal, higher-potency beer is generally preferable because it stays fresh longer.

Color

This represents the beer's darkness. If color is between 200 and 499, it becomes Brown Beer. Over 500 makes it Black Beer. Color is another way to bring variety to a beer; additionally, sometimes a banquet or festival will specifically require a brown or black beer.

Color is created by the grain in the brew -- the more you add, the earlier you add it, and the darker the roast, the greater the influence on color. Burnt malt and wheat have the most effect on color (and, in fact, have few other characteristics, so they're used almost exclusively for coloring purposes).

Mold

If you allow mold microbes into your kettle, some of your sugar may be converted into mold. Ideally, your kettle will be sealed to avoid this, so mold will generally be zero. (See the Yeast Testing guide for more on kettle sealing.) A brew can survive with very small amounts of mold (50 or less); anything more will ruin it outright.

Vitamins

This shows the amount of vitamins left in your brew after your yeasts have had their way with it. Microbes such as yeasts consume vitamins for "fuel" as they process sugar; insufficient vitamins will halt the fermentation process. There will nearly always be leftover vitamins in a finished brew, and they're harmless.

Vitamins are created by the ingredients you add during the brewing phase. Honey adds a little, malt and wheat significantly more. The less-roasted your ingredients, the more vitamins they provide (the main use for raw malt/wheat is to add lots and lots of vitamins). Adding the ingredient later in the brewing phase produces more vitamins.

Glucose, Maltose, Lactose

The next three categories show the leftover sugar in your brew. Glucose and maltose are the sugars used in brewing. (There is no such thing as lactose in the game; it was never implemented and will always be zero.) Sugar is created by the ingredients you add: honey provides glucose, malt/wheat provides maltose with a little glucose. This sugar is then converted by the yeasts into alcohol.

Owing to the way microbes work, there will nearly always be sugar left over in your brew. This is a good thing, as it is this residual sugar that provides the sweetness to counteract the bitter flavors. If the ratio of bitterness to sweetness is too high, a brew becomes Bitter Beer and undrinkable. On the other hand, too much sweetness compared to bitterness produces Cloying Beer, also undrinkable. Thus, you want leftover sugar to be neither too much nor too little.

Sweetness that is below a certain fixed threshold will yield Dry Beer, while above a certain threshold will make Sweet Beer.

Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Acetic Acid

Ideally, these will all be zero. Citric acid will definitely be zero, as it was never implemented into the game and nothing produces it. Lactic acid and acetic acid are produced by unwholesome microbes (lactobacilli and acetobacter, respectively). Generally, you will seal your kettle in a manner that prevents these undesirables from getting in (see the Yeast Testing guide for more details).

Lactic acid produces a sour flavor. In high enough proportion (compared to sweetness and bitterness), it can overwhelm and ruin a beer, but is harmless otherwise. Acetic acid, on the other hand, will always ruin a beer at levels above 50, regardless of other factors (amounts less than 50 are fine).

Flavors

Every brew sports a variety of flavors to a greater or lesser degree. Some flavors (such as Honey) derive from the ingredients added during the brewing phase, but most are created by yeast(s) during fermentation as a byproduct of alcohol production. Some flavors only appear when the brew contains malt, others only when wheat is added. The sample beer pictured above was made with malt and honey, so the "wheat flavors" such as Vanilla and Blackberry are not present to any degree.

  • Fruity flavors include Orange, Banana, Cherry, Date, Grapefruit, Pear, Blackberry, Prune, and Honey. If the total amount of fruity flavor is high enough, the beer gains the Fruity descriptor.
  • Spicy flavors include Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Clove. Enough total spiciness grants a beer the Spicy descriptor.
  • Pleasant flavors include Barley, Bread, Jasmine, and Vanilla.
  • Unpleasant flavors include Grassy, Nasty, and Herbal. Grassy or Nasty over 100 ruins a beer; Herbal does not.
  • Bitter flavors include Tannin and, to a much lesser extent, the spicy flavors (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Clove). Bitterness needs to be properly balanced with sweetness (from the leftover sugars) or else the brew will not be drinkable.

Microbes Detected

At the bottom is a list of the microbes in the brew, in the order in which they appeared in the kettle. Which microbes are present depends on where your kettle is placed and what time you sealed it. See the Yeast Testing page for more details.

The Brewing Phase

The brewing phase lasts for 1200 seconds, or roughly 20 minutes. At any time during this phase, you may add ingredients (honey, malt, and wheat) to the kettle. The type and amount of these ingredients will determine some of the attributes of your beer. These attributes are further modified by the time at which the ingredient is added.

  • Glucose is a sugar, and is provided by all ingredients, but most of all by honey. Malt and wheat provide only a little bit. Glucose is twice as sweet as maltose, but it's also the first sugar targeted by hungry microbes, so your typical beer will have very little glucose left over.
  • Maltose is a sugar provided by wheat and malt. Yeasts and other microbes start eating maltose only after there's no more glucose to be had; thus, most of the leftover sugar in a brew will normally be maltose.
  • Color is created by wheat and malt. (Honey is colorless.) The darker the roast of the grain, the darker the color. Also, the earlier in the brewing phase you add the grain, the darker the color.
  • Vitamins, which are consumed by microbes during fermentation, are created by grain and, to a lesser extent, honey. The later you add the ingredient, the more vitamins are created. The darker the roast of the grain, the fewer vitamins it creates.
  • Barley flavor is created by malt. The earlier in the brewing phase you add the malt, the stronger the barley flavor. Raw malt gives twice as much barley flavor as light, medium, and dark roasted malt. Burnt malt has no barley flavor at all. The counterpart flavor in wheat beer is Bread.
  • Bread flavor is created by wheat. The earlier in the brewing phase you add the wheat, the stronger the Bread flavor. Raw wheat gives twice as much Bread flavor as light, medium, and dark roasted wheat; burnt wheat has no Bread flavor at all.
    • In addition, Bread flavor is produced by yeast whenever there is wheat in the brew. This is added to the Bread flavor created by the ingredients. The amount of flavor created per alcohol varies by yeast.
  • Honey flavor is created by honey. It works the opposite of barley flavor: the later in the brewing phase you add the honey, the stronger the honey flavor.
    • In addition, Honey flavor is produced by yeast whenever there is malt in the brew. This is added to any Honey flavor created by the ingredients. The amount of flavor created per alcohol varies by yeast.
  • Tannin, a bitter flavor, is created by malt. The earlier in the brewing phase you add the malt, the greater the effect on tannin. Also, the darker the roast of the malt, the less tannin it creates.
  • Grassy flavor is created by raw and light roasted malt. (Grassy flavor can also be created by yeast during fermentation.) The earlier in the brewing phase you add the malt, the greater its effect on grassy flavor. Raw malt adds significantly more grassy flavor than light roasted malt. If grassy flavor goes above 100, your beer will be undrinkable. The counterpart flavor in wheat beer is Herbal.
  • Herbal flavor is created by raw and light roasted wheat. It functions the same as Grassy flavor does with malt beer, except that a high Herbal does not appear to ruin a brew.

Note that Banana, Blackberry, Cherry, Date, Grapefruit, Orange, Pear, Prune, Jasmine, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, and Nasty flavors are determined entirely by the yeast being used. They are not created until the fermentation phase, when the yeasts get to work.

Ingredient Characteristics

Ingredient Glucose Maltose Color Vitamins Barley Flavor Bread Flavor Honey Flavor Tannin Flavor Grassy Flavor Herbal Flavor
Malt (Burnt) -- 2 12 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Malt (Dark Roasted) 2 10 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 6000 / (T + 240) 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- -- 1.5 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- --
Malt (Medium Roasted) 2 10 3 * (T + 240) / 1440 8400 / (T + 240) 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- -- 2 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- --
Malt (Light Roasted) 2 10 1.5 * (T + 240) / 1440 12000 / (T + 240) 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- -- 3 * (T + 240) / 1440 1.5 * (T + 240) / 1440 --
Malt (Raw) 1 5 1 * (T + 240) / 1440 15600 / (T + 240) 12 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- -- 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 12 * (T + 240) / 1440 --
Wheat (Burnt) -- 1 12 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Wheat (Dark Roasted) 2.4 5 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 8400 / (T + 240) -- 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- 1.5 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- --
Wheat (Medium Roasted) 2.4 5 3 * (T + 240) / 1440 9600 / (T + 240) -- 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- 2 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- --
Wheat (Light Roasted) 2.4 5 1.5 * (T + 240) / 1440 10800 / (T + 240) -- 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- 3 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- 1.5 * (T + 240) / 1440
Wheat (Dried, Raw) 1.2 2.5 1 * (T + 240) / 1440 12000 / (T + 240) -- 12 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- 6 * (T + 240) / 1440 -- 12 * (T + 240) / 1440
Honey 10 -- -- 1200 / (T + 240) -- -- 1200 / (T + 60) -- -- --

T = Time remaining (based on nearest tick; see below)

Formula is for 1 deben of ingredient -- multiply result by # of ingredient.

Each calculation is rounded off to the nearest whole number.

Example #1: Adding 30 Malt (Light Roasted) with 300 seconds remaining creates 60 glucose, 300 maltose, 17 color, 667 vitamins, 68 Barley flavor, 34 Tannin flavor, and 17 Grassy flavor.

Example #2: Adding 30 Wheat (Medium Roasted) with 900 seconds remaining creates 72 glucose, 150 maltose, 71 color, 253 vitamins, 143 Bread flavor, and 48 Tannin flavor.

Example #3: Adding 60 honey with 600 seconds remaining creates 600 glucose, 86 vitamins, and 109 Honey flavor.

Timing and "Ticks"

For the purpose of these above formulas, it should be noted that the game views the brewing phase not as 1200 seconds, but as a series of "ticks" spaced 12 seconds apart. Ticks occur on every second evenly divisible by 12 (except for 0): 1200, 1188, 1176, etc. When making calculations, the game will round off to the nearest tick. If the add time is exactly halfway between ticks (e.g. 1194 is halfway between the ticks at 1200 and 1188), it will round downward to the lower tick. The only exception is the final six seconds of the brewing phase (between 1 and 6 seconds remaining): this range is not rounded down to zero, but rounded up to 12.

In other words, adding an ingredient with anywhere from 1200 and 1195 seconds remaining will be calculated by the game as an add time of 1200. Adding between 1194 and 1183 will be treated as 1188, and so on. At the end of the brewing phase, anything between 1 and 18 is counted as 12. To put it graphically:

Actual Add Time Effective Add Time
1200 - 1195 1200
1194 - 1183 1188
1182 - 1171 1176
(...) (...)
42 - 31 36
30 - 19 24
18 - 1 12

The Fermentation Phase

The fermentation phase lasts 2400 seconds, or roughly 40 minutes. During this time, local microbes -- most importantly, yeast -- will enter the kettle and go to work on the sugar in the brew. It is not possible to add further ingredients during this phase.

During fermentation you may take one action: sealing the kettle. Sealing the kettle prevents any further microbes from entering for the remainder of the phase. This allows control (in a limited fashion) over which microbes will act in your brew.

There are 100 numbered microbes in the game, of which over half are useful yeasts. The remainder are Lactobacilli, Molds, and Acetobacteria -- these are generally harmful to a brew and should be avoided. In order to make drinkable beer, a brew needs alcohol and therefore at least one yeast. Thus, it is necessary in many spots, and useful in others, to isolate a yeast before you try to make beer.

A desirable microbe which converts sugars to alcohol and flavors.
  • Mold
An undesirable microbe which converts sugars to mold.
  • Acetobacterium
An undesirable microbe which converts sugars to acetic acid (vinegar).
  • Lactobacillus
An undesirable microbe which converts sugars to lactic acid.

(For simplicity, this article will use "yeast" interchangeably with "microbe", since yeasts are the important microbes for brewing beer.)

Fermentation Timing

Much like the brewing phase, the fermentation phase is broken into a series of discrete "ticks". In the case of fermentation, each "tick" lasts 24 seconds, with the exception of the first tick (2400 to 2389 seconds), which is 12 seconds long. Presumably the last fermentation tick is either 12 seconds or 36 seconds; it's unknown which is the case. But in general, we can say that fermentation consists of about 100 24-second steps.

Time Remaining Size of Tick (in seconds)
2400 - 2389 12
2388 - 2365 24
2364 - 2341 24
2340 - 2317 24
(...) (...)
1236 - 1213 24
1212 - 1189 24
1188 - 1165 24
(...) (...)

And so on.

When microbes enter a kettle, they do so at the start of a tick. There are thus about 100 effective possible entry times for microbes: 2388, 2364, 2340, ... 1236, 1212, 1188, etc.

How Microbes Behave

(For a full listing of microbes and their characteristics, see the Microbe article.)

All microbes consume the sugar (glucose and maltose) in a brew, generating their product -- alcohol, in the case of yeasts -- on a 1:1 basis. Glucose is always converted first, then maltose. Microbes also consume vitamins as they work. A microbe will produce up to its alcohol threshold provided it has enough sugar and vitamins to eat.

Every microbe shares six characteristics: growth rate, alcohol threshold, glucose floor, maltose floor, vitamin ratio, and vitamin threshold.

  • Growth rate is either 10%, 20%, 30%, or 40%. During fermentation, a microbe will consume sugar and vitamins in a series of "bites", taking one bite each 24-second tick in the fermentation phase. Each "bite" is larger than the one before it. The microbe's growth rate describes how quickly the bites increase in size.
  • Alcohol threshold is the maximum alcohol level at which the microbe will continue to take "bites". When the alcohol level of the brew reaches this level, the microbe will stop working.
  • Glucose floor is the minimum amount of glucose that the microbe will leave behind. When glucose reaches this level (or if it was less than the floor to begin with), the microbe will stop consuming glucose and start working on the maltose.
  • Maltose floor is the minimum amount of maltose that the microbe will leave behind. When maltose reaches this level (or if it was less than the floor to begin with), the microbe will stop working.

Example:

  • Yeast-X has a glucose floor of 7, maltose floor of 203, and alcohol cap of 573.
  • A brewer is using Y-X to make a beer, adding 20 honey and 50 medium malt during the brewing phase.
  • Total sugars in the brew: 300 glucose, 600 maltose.
  • During fermentation, Y-X will first convert 293 glucose into 293 alcohol (leaving 7 glucose).
  • It will then work on the maltose, converting 280 maltose into 280 alcohol (leaving 320 maltose).
  • It will then stop because it has now created 573 alcohol (the alcohol cap).

Additionally, a microbe consumes vitamins as it works. If the vitamin level drops below a certain threshold (which, again, varies by microbe), the microbe will stop converting sugar into alcohol, no matter how much sugar it has to work with.

  • Vitamin ratio ranges between 1 and 8. It measures how much alcohol is produced by each vitamin eaten. For instance, a microbe with a vitamin ratio of 6 will need to eat 1 vitamin for every 6 alcohol it produces. (Due to the rounding that takes place with each "bite", the overall ratio of total alcohol produced to total vitamins consumed may not exactly equal the vitamin ratio, but it will be close.)
  • Vitamin threshold is the lowest vitamin level at which the microbe will continue to take "bites". As long as vitamins are equal to or above the threshold, the microbe can take another bite of sugar and vitamins. Once vitamins drop below the threshold amount, the microbe will stop working. (The vitamin threshold is not the same as a vitamin floor. It is perfectly possible for the vitamin level to fall below the threshold; this merely ensures that no further bites will be taken.)

A sealed kettle which contains a single yeast may be modeled as follows:

  1. If the vitamins remaining is less than the vitamin threshold, stop.
  2. If the alcohol in the brew is greater than the alcohol threshold, stop.
  3. Take a "bite" of sugar. The first bite is always 10 sugar; further bites increase in size as governed by the growth rate.
  4. Consume glucose, up to the limit set by the glucose floor.
  5. If no more glucose can be eaten, consume maltose, up to the maltose floor limit.
  6. Produce 1 alcohol (and proportional flavors) per sugar consumed.
  7. Consume vitamins equal to the number of sugar consumed divided by the vitamin ratio.
  8. If both the glucose floor and maltose floor have been met, stop.
  9. Return to step 1.

In other words, the yeast will produce alcohol until one of three things happens:

  • It runs out of sugars
  • It runs out of vitamins, or
  • The alcohol level is greater than its alcohol threshold.

Yeasts will always convert glucose in preference to maltose.

Alcohol Threshold vs. Max Alcohol

As a brewer, you will of course want to know the maximum amount of alcohol possible with each yeast. If you look on the Yeast page, you'll see that each yeast is listed with a Max Alcohol value. That value is not the same as the alcohol threshold we were discussing above, though. Alcohol threshold is the point above which the yeast stops taking "bites" of sugar; the alcohol level at the end of that final bite is the maximum amount of alcohol that yeast can produce.

Figuring out max alcohol for a yeast is easy: do a test brew with lots of sugar and lots of vitamins, and see how much alcohol you get. Figuring out alcohol threshold is far trickier -- in fact, we don't even know what the alcohol threshold is for any of the yeasts in T5, and we only know it for a few non-yeasts. Nonetheless, we know it exists because of the way multiple yeasts interact with each other. If there were no such thing as an alcohol threshold (as separate from max alcohol), we would expect a multi-yeast brew to always produce right up to the max alcohol of the largest yeast in the brew. In practice, that doesn't happen -- multi-yeast brews cap out at a slightly lower level.

For most practical brewing purposes, alcohol threshold isn't important -- max alcohol is the thing that matters.

Flavor Production in Fermentation

We've seen above that some of the flavors in a beer come from the ingredients: Barley and Grassy flavors from malt, Bread and Herbal flavors from wheat, and Honey flavor from honey. In addition to these, there are a variety of flavors which are created by yeasts during fermentation, as a byproduct of alcohol production. Every yeast produces these flavors in their own fixed proportion to the alcohol produced.

Because every yeast has a limit to the alcohol it can produce (the alcohol cap), so too does each yeast have an effective limit on how much it can create of a given flavor. Every yeast produces every flavor to some extent, but only some yeasts are capable of producing a flavor in sufficient quantity to be "tasteable" (200 or more). For instance, Yeast-82 can produce up to 254 Vanilla, and is thus desired for making vanilla-flavored beer. Some yeasts produce no special flavors in any significant quantity. A few yeasts produce large amounts of undesirable flavors, such as Nasty or Grassy.

There are two sets of flavors produced in fermentation: those generated by malt and those generated by wheat. If you have no malt in your brew, none of the malt flavors will appear; similarly for the wheat flavors.

Flavors derived from malt:

  • Orange (fruity)
  • Banana (fruity)
  • Cherry (fruity)
  • Date (fruity)
  • Honey (fruity) - Note that this adds to any Honey flavor created by the ingredients
  • Nutmeg (slightly bitter)
  • Cinnamon (slightly bitter)
  • Grassy (unpleasant) - Note that this adds to any Grassy flavor created by the ingredients
  • Nasty (unpleasant)


Flavors derived from wheat:

  • Bread (pleasant) - Note that this adds to any Bread flavor created by the ingredients
  • Grapefruit (fruity)
  • Pear (fruity)
  • Blackberry (fruity)
  • Prune (fruity)
  • Jasmine (pleasant)
  • Clove (slightly bitter)
  • Vanilla (pleasant)
  • Herbal (unpleasant) - Note that this adds to any Herbal flavor created by the ingredients

(Note that Honey, Bread, Grassy, and Herbal flavors are also created in the brewing phase from ingredients. Yeasts will produce additional quantities of these flavors during fermentation.)

Flavor in Mixed Malt/Wheat Brews

What happens if a brew contains both malt and wheat? In that instance, it will produce both malt and wheat flavors, in proportion to the relative quantities of malt and wheat it contains.

  • Example: A brew is made using 30 raw malt and 20 medium wheat (plus some honey). 1000 alcohol is produced. Of the grain that was added, 60% was malt and 40% was wheat; thus, the beer will generate 600 alcohol worth of malt flavors and 400 alcohol worth of wheat flavors.

If a brew contains neither malt nor wheat (that is, it only contains honey), then none of the malt flavors or wheat flavors will generate. This situation pretty much dooms a brew to failure: since honey does not create tannin, there will be no bitter flavors to counteract the sugar, and the brew will end up "Cloying Beer" and be undrinkable.

Output

You can collect your finished brew anytime after the end of the fermentation phase. You must be carrying a small barrel to do this. When you keg your brew, you will receive data on its attributes -- you will never know for sure how your brew turned out until you try to keg it. If your brew is undrinkable for some reason, it will automatically be thrown out. If your beer was successful, it will be stored in the barrel and you will have the option to name your beer.

Beer Attributes

When you keg a beer, you will be shown the levels of the various attributes as well as the final flavor. The attributes are:

  • Alcohol
The higher the alcohol value, the more potent the beer.
  • Color
The higher the color value, the darker the beer. The earlier in the brewing phase you add the malt, the darker the color. Also, the darker the roast of the malt, the darker the color. Burnt malt is mainly used to create color.
  • Mold
Produced if there was mold among the microbes that worked on your brew. If there is too much mold, you get undrinkable Moldy Beer.
  • Vitamins
Vitamins remaining; no effect on the taste of the beer. Consumed by microbes during fermentation. Created by malt and honey. The later in the brewing phase you add the ingredient, the more vitamins are created. The darker the roast of the malt, the fewer vitamins it creates; honey creates fewer vitamins than dark roasted malt, and burnt malt creates no vitamins at all. Raw malt is mainly used for vitamins.
  • Glucose
A sugar; the more sugars, the sweeter the beer. Created by grain and honey. Honey adds 10 glucose per unit. Light, medium, and dark roasted malt add 2 glucose per unit. Raw malt adds 1 glucose per unit. Burnt malt adds no glucose. Wheat provides 120% of the glucose of a similarly roasted malt.
  • Maltose
A sugar; the more sugars, the sweeter the beer. Not as sweet as glucose. Created by grain. Light, medium, and dark roasted malt add 10 maltose per unit. Raw malt adds 5 maltose per unit. Burnt malt adds 2 maltose per unit. Wheat provides half the maltose of a similarly roasted malt.
  • Lactose
A sugar. Despite being displayed, there is no way to get lactose in a beer.
  • Citric Acid
Despite being displayed, there is no way to get citric acid in a beer.
  • Lactic Acid
Produced by lactobacteria; too much will produce undrinkable Sour Beer.
  • Acetic Acid
Produced by acetobacteria; too much will produce undrinkable Vinegar Beer.
  • Barley
A flavor produced by malt. The earlier in the brewing phase you add the malt, the stronger the barley flavor. Raw malt gives twice as much barley flavor as light, medium, and dark roasted malt. Burnt malt has no barley flavor at all. The counterpart flavor in wheat beer is Bread.
  • Bread
A pleasant flavor produced by wheat and yeasts.
  • Banana
A fruity flavor produced by yeasts from malt.
  • Blackberry
A fruity flavor produced by yeasts from wheat.
  • Cherry
A fruity flavor produced by yeasts from malt.
  • Date
A fruity flavor produced by yeasts from malt.
  • Grapefruit
A fruity flavor produced by yeasts from wheat.
  • Orange
A fruity flavor produced by yeasts from malt.
  • Pear
A fruity flavor produced by yeasts from wheat.
  • Prune
A fruity flavor produced by yeasts from wheat.
  • Honey
A fruity flavor produced by honey. It works the opposite of barley flavor: the later in the brewing phase you add the honey, the stronger the honey flavor.
  • Jasmine
A pleasant flavor produced by yeasts from wheat.
  • Vanilla
A pleasant flavor produced by yeasts from wheat.
  • Nutmeg
A bitter, spicy flavor produced by yeasts from malt.
  • Cinnamon
A bitter, spicy flavor produced by yeasts from malt.
  • Clove
A bitter, spicy flavor produced by yeasts from wheat.
  • Tannin
A very bitter flavor produced by malt. The earlier in the brewing phase you add the malt, the greater the effect on tannin. Also, the darker the roast of the malt, the less tannin it creates.
  • Grassy
An unpleasant flavor, produced by yeasts or by raw or light malt. Too much grassy flavor will produce undrinkable Grassy Beer. The earlier in the brewing phase you add the malt, the greater its effect on grassy flavor. Raw malt adds significantly more grassy flavor than light roasted malt. If grassy flavor goes above 100, your beer will be undrinkable. The counterpart flavor in wheat beer is Herbal.
  • Herbal
An unpleasant flavor, produced by yeasts or by raw or light wheat.
  • Nasty
An unpleasant flavor produced by yeasts. Too much nasty flavor will produce undrinkable Nasty Beer.
  • Microorganisms
A list of the microorganisms that entered your brew during the fermentation phase, listed in order of when they entered. You can control the list of microorganisms, to an extent, by choosing when to seal your kettle.

Beer Qualities

A beer may have the following qualities:

Property name Condition to be met
Very Potent Alcohol >= 1200
Potent Alcohol >= 800
(no name) Alcohol < 800
Dry (Glucose * 2) + Maltose < 150
Sweet (Glucose * 2) + Maltose > 300
(no name) 150 < (Glucose * 2) + Maltose < 300
Black Color > 500
Brown Color > 200
(no name) Color < 200
Fruity Orange + Banana + Cherry + Date + Honey > 500
Spicy Cinnamon + Nutmeg > 300
Bold flavor Flavor > 1000
Noticeable flavor Flavor > 400
Hint of flavor Flavor > 200
(no description) Flavor < 200

Each flavor in the beer (cherry, nutmeg, etc.) may be "bold", "noticeable", or just a "hint". A flavor that is very strong can drown out a weaker flavor; if you have 1000 honey flavor and 200 barley flavor, the barley will not appear. A flavor is drowned out if it is less than 50% of the most powerful flavor in the beer.

If two or more other flavors are greater than 50% of the strongest flavor, it will have "muddled flavor", and none of the flavors will apply.

Unsuccessful Brews

Not all brews become drinkable beer. There are many situations which will cause a brew to fail:

  • Nonalcoholic Soup (undrinkable)
Alcohol < 100
Any brew with alcohol < 100 will be described as "soup" instead of "beer". Moldy Soup and Vinegar Soup are also possible, if mold or acetic acid are high in addition to low alcohol. (High lactic acid just makes Nonalcoholic Soup.)
  • Cloying Beer (undrinkable)
Glucose + (Maltose/2) > Tannin + Cinnamon + Nutmeg + Lactic
  • Bitter Beer (undrinkable)
(Glucose * 2) + Maltose < Tannin + (Cinnamon + Nutmeg)/5
  • Caustic Beer (undrinkable)
(Glucose * 6) + (Maltose * 3) < Cinnamon + Nutmeg (very high fruity flavours can also produce Caustic Beer)
  • Grassy Beer (undrinkable)
Grassy > 100
  • Moldy Beer (undrinkable)
Mold > 50
  • Nasty Beer (undrinkable)
Nasty > 100
  • Sour Beer (undrinkable)
Not well understood, but may be (Lactic + Acetic) > (Glucose + Maltose)
  • Vinegar Beer (undrinkable)
Acetic > 50

(my first attempt yielded Acetic = 73 and an undrinkable Vinegar Beer: Temm) (my first attempt yielded Acetic = 62 and an undrinkable Vinegar Beer; Fugue) (ditto, Acetic=62, Vinegar Beer --Numaris) (My experiments show brews becoming Moldy upon mold > 50; therefore I would assume the same threshold exists for the Vinegar fail. --Hekatef)

The exact effect of Lactic is still uncertain, but I have had several beers that should have been Cloying, but were drinkable, and had some lactic acid. Simply adding lactic to tannin in that formula fits all my results.

(It appears that lactic acid does not directly spoil a beer the way mold and acetic acid do, though the sour flavor might ruin a beer -- or possibly save it from cloying or bitterness. In this respect, one could say that lactobacilii are the least useless of the useless microbes. --Hekatef)

Multiple-Yeast Brews

The simplest brewing is done with single-yeast beers -- that is, brews where the kettle is sealed to let in only one yeast. You can enjoy a long and varied brewing career making only these (and most brewers do), but it's also possible to brew beer that involves the interaction of two or more yeasts. Since the mechanics of multiple-microbe beers are even more complex than those of single-yeast brews, why study them?

  • Variety. Some flavor and attribute combinations are only possible by combining two or more yeasts. For example, in Tale 5, the only yeast that produces Prune beer is Yeast-89; however, Y89 tops out at 574 alcohol. If you want Potent or Very Potent Prune beer (so that it will last longer on the tasting table), the only way to make it is to combine Y89 with something else.
  • In particular, some tests, such as the Test of Festivals and the Test of the Banquet, may call for specific beers which are not achievable with any one yeast (Very Potent Cherry, for example). Tracking down yeast blends that can fulfill these demands will make passing these tests a little easier for everyone (and just might make you a Great Big Hero in the eyes of your fellow Egyptians).

Overview of Multi-Yeast Fermentation

Here's basically how it works when you've got multiple yeasts in a brew. As described in previous sections, yeasts (and other microbes) work in steps, processing sugar in ever-increasing "bites" until the yeast reaches the alcohol threshold, or it runs out of sugar to eat, or it runs out of vitamins.

When there is a second yeast in a brew, both yeasts work simultaneously in this step-by-step process -- but the process is staggered. The second yeast starts in after some fixed # of steps.

  • Example: In a brew which contains Yeast A and Yeast B, Yeast A comes in first and takes the first 12 bites on its own. Then Yeast B comes in, taking its first bite while Yeast A takes its bite #13. On the next step, Yeast A takes bite #14 while Yeast B takes bite #2. And so on.

A yeast will still stop when it reaches the alcohol threshold, vitamin threshold, or sugar floor, but the other yeast will keep going if it hasn't reached its own limits. Fermentation stops once all of the microbes in the kettle have reached their respective limits.

What governs the stagger time between two microbes? It appears to be location-specific, based on the difference in entry times between the two microbes. The correlation is still being worked out. But it's important to keep your specific kettle location in mind when you're working with multiple microbes. It's possible for even a small change in location to show a noticeable difference in relative entry times of your microbes -- and that in turn may lead to noticeable changes in your results.

General Strategies

Although multi-yeast brewing involves a lot of math and a lot of variables (not all of which may be understood even by tale's end), it doesn't mean it's not worth playing with. Some rules of thumb can be boiled down from all the complexities.

  • If you want to know what a particular yeast mix does, then try it! Just get in there and make a beer and see what you get. Don't wait for Hekatef or anybody else to write a beer calculator that can predict what you'll get before you try. Predicting is pretty much impossible without knowing the relative entry times of the yeasts at your kettle spot, and you won't really know that until you do a test or two, so you might as well try first.
  • When testing, add ingredients as though you were brewing for the largest yeast in your kettle. The ending alcohol level should be somewhere in between the lowest and the highest alcohol caps of the yeasts you're using.
  • The best candidate for multi-yeast brewing is a spot with a low-alcohol yeast followed by a high-alcohol yeast. Remember, the first yeast in the queue gets first crack. If you have a low-alcohol yeast in the second or later spots, odds are good that the brew will already be at or near that yeast's alcohol threshold by the time it gets its turn, and it won't be able to contribute much. In an ideal spot, your yeasts will enter the kettle in ascending order by alcohol limit. Then each yeast in turn will have "room" to contribute to the overall beer.

So one really good use of multiple-yeast brews is when you've got a yeast that produces a neat flavor, but not a lot of alcohol. Find a spot where that yeast comes in first, then pair it with a second yeast that is Potent or Very Potent. You'll get the tasty flavor of the first yeast, plus the extra alcohol from the second yeast, and everyone will be happy.

Note: An important aspect is how much time each yeast has to do its job. How much time is between the yeasts, and how close is the final yeast to 0. usually you want big time intervals, so the processes can run to the max, but sometimes you can actually benefit from short time intervals, either allowing more flavor from the second yeast, or in some cases pushing the max alcohol (if the second yeast is allowed to grow more, the final 'bite' will be bigger). This also means that in theory you could gain new flavor combinations from a combination of 2 high-alcohol yeasts with a short time interval between them. - Solaris

Tools

ATITD Timer - very useful for hearing when your beer kettle wants attention.

T7 Tools

For T7, a GDocs Beer Calculator is available. Make a copy and experiment!
A modest experiment, adding in fields for "Fruity" and Spicy" can be found at http://www.atitd.org/wiki/tale7/User:Peacefulness/Beer

BeerCalc utility written by Larame for Windows and .NET Framework: | BeerCalc.

Also try this alternate calculator - it'll detect most common beer defects quickly and visibly, but doesn't include as many flavor profiles as the above calculator. For the casual brewer! Rip's Quick Beer Calc

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