Ruth BarryWinner System Wars at Good Beer Week 2017

I’m a Homebrewer, and an undergrad studying in the Biological Sciences at La Trobe University. My interests revolve around fermentation, often enlisting non-traditional (or often considered spoilage) micro-organisms, to see what unique flavour profiles they can create. I enjoy drinking traditional Belgian/ French/ German style beers, but I am also fascinated with understanding the biochemical processes that are involved in creating the fermentation characteristics that are associated with these styles.

It is of my belief that science has already done plenty of research into understanding how to make a boring (but reproducible) lagers cheaply and efficiently. It’s my interest to understand some of the science behind some of the lesser studied, craft brewing trends, i.e. dry hopping, how different yeasts interact with hops, etc. etc. etc.

I think it’s important for brewers, particularly those working with ‘wild’ bacteria and yeasts to have some basic understanding of the microbes they work with, and how to best achieve desirable characteristics from them. Using traditional techniques can make amazingly complex beer. But without having a culture you’ve worked with for several hundred years, it is very easy to make (really) bad beer. Hence why I rather err on the side of caution, and use pure strains and the knowledge that science has to offer. Instead of sticking to old tired traditions that are not really applicable to breweries starting in this day and age.

But in the mean-time while I finish my studies, before attempting to chip away at some of the more archaic brewing practices that still linger in contemporary brewing. I’m happy experimenting on the home-brew scale and perfecting my techniques in brewing interesting, but well-crafted beers.

Taking traditional styles, such as the Berliner Weisse, and re-constructing the recipe and process, to make something more appropriate to the ingredients available, modern-day palates, and current scientific knowledge. (and most importantly, relevant to the equipment I have to brew with.) Making beers, for example; my dry-hopped, spiced cubed soured Berliner Weisse inspired beer. In my attempt to challenge the idea that all sour and/or Brett beers taste ‘infected’ and terrible.

I hope you all enjoy.

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