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WolfMagus

Kind of Scientific

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So I've made a number of MB brews now and I've done most of the flavors that I'm really interested in trying out (just have a few more that I want to do). All of them have been pretty basic MB except for a few adjuncts here and there.

I know there are a lot of other things I can get into, but I was thinking of doing some semi-scientific experimentation to get a better idea of how the different ingrediants affect the final product.

My idea is to make my next 4-6 brews all variations on one MB refill. Since I generally like wheat beers I was thinking of using Whispering Wheat Weizenbier w/Golden Wheat as my base.

My Plans:
1) WWW w/GW and yeast from under the lid (the control)
2) Replace the basic yeast with Safbrew WB-06 Dry Wheat Yeast
3) Steep some grains [what would be a good grain to use?]
4) Add some extra hops [what would be a good hop to use? should I dry hop for aroma or boil for extra flavor?]

And maybe (if I'm not sick of WWW w/GW yet ;))...
5) Add some coriander and orange peel
6) Add some fruit [blueberry?, Cherry?]

Any comments from those with experience is appreciated. Also could use some suggestions to fill in the question marks if I decide to go through with this.

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Here's what I did with a can of WW and some wheat DME (which your Golden Wheat would sub nicely for). It came out quite good. If you've had Gumballhead, it was very much reminiscent...


Amarillo Wheat Ale
-----------
Brewer: swenocha
Style: Weizen/Weissbier
Batch: 2.40 galExtract

Characteristics
---------------
Recipe Gravity: 1.050 OG
Recipe Bitterness: 27 IBU
Recipe Color: 10° SRM
Estimated FG: 1.012
Alcohol by Volume: 4.8%
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8%

Ingredients
-----------
CaraVienne 0.50 lb, Grain, Steeped
Briess DME - Golden Light 0.70 lb, Extract, Extract
Briess DME - Bavarian Wheat 1.00 lb, Extract, Extract
MrB. Whispering Wheat Weizenbier 1.21 lb, Extract, Extract

Amarillo 0.12 oz, Pellet, 30 minutes
Amarillo 0.12 oz, Pellet, 15 minutes
Amarillo 0.25 oz, Pellet, 5 minutes
MrB. Whispering Wheat Weizenbier1.00 oz, Pellet, 5 minutes
Amarillo 0.50 oz, Pellet, 1 minutes
Amarillo 1.00 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes

US-05 yeast

Keep us posted on what you decide...

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I read about a master brewer in BYO magazine who did one recipe 30 times in a row. Each time he changed just one ingredient, or made one change in his hop schedule, to learn what difference each change made. I began doing that with my red ale. Except I alternate in other beers every other brew so that I can have a variety to drink while conducting this experiment.

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Gymrat wrote:

I read about a master brewer in BYO magazine who did one recipe 30 times in a row. Each time he changed just one ingredient, or made one change in his hop schedule, to learn what difference each change made. I began doing that with my red ale. Except I alternate in other beers every other brew so that I can have a variety to drink while conducting this experiment.


30 times? :blink: Wow, that is some dedication. I've want to do my little set of batches to learn more about the process. I want to be able to understand what I'm doing and make the best beer possible. But even at 4 batches I'm kind of going, "do I want to make that much of the same kind of beer, even if each batch tastes a little bit different?" I thought about doing what you do, mixing it up. But I want to keep them close together so that I can age them the same and then taste them all together. I have a hard time zeroing on small differences in taste without having them side by side.

Thanks for the story, it's helping me to commit to doing my experiment. If somebody can do 30, I should be able to handle 4. :cheer:

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Oh, and thanks for the recipe Swen. At least it gives me a starting place for grain and hops to try because I really had no idea.

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I think you have a good plan there. What will really bake your noodle though is when you make the same recipe the same way three different times, and they never come out the same. B)

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oly wrote:

I think you have a good plan there. What will really bake your noodle though is when you make the same recipe the same way three different times, and they never come out the same. B)

I've read that before somewhere (probably on this forum), that you can make the same exact thing and get different flavors. Why is that? And how to breweries manage to turn out an consistent product?

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if you have smaller containers you can use for secondary fermenters you can split the batches and put the fruit, dry hop, or coriander and orange peel in the secondary. or if you have more than one fermenter you can boil up a double batch and use different yeast when you split that.
let us know if you decide to experiment with other things such as priming sugar

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deckm wrote:

if you have smaller containers you can use for secondary fermenters you can split the batches and put the fruit, dry hop, or coriander and orange peel in the secondary. or if you have more than one fermenter you can boil up a double batch and use different yeast when you split that.
let us know if you decide to experiment with other things such as priming sugar


Well I have done a little experimenting with priming sugar. Still using plain old table sugar but I have used the calculators to figure out how to make them more/less carbonated without getting BOOM/flat effects ( hopefully :dry: ). But none of the batches I experimented on are done conditioning yet. Did most of the 2 batches as MB suggests and a few from each with a little bit more or less just to see how I like it.

One of these days I might get brave enough to try something other than plain sugar. But I like the sugar because it is easy to measure by the bottle and I like bottle priming.

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Sounds fun and somewhat like what I'm doing with the WCPA's that I have stocked up.

Keep us posted on how things turn out

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So here's what I ended up doing...

I used Whispering Wheat Weizenbier w/Golden Wheat as the base for all 6 brews. I made 1 gallon batches by splitting the WWW between 2, 1 gallon glass jugs. All of the batches were fermented for 3 weeks, and all were batch primed since I had to siphon the beer out of the glass jug into the LBK to bottle it anyway. After each batch had been in the bottle a total of 4 weeks, I put 2 of each batch in the fridge to stop the aging so I could try to compare all of them at a similar age level. So last Saturday me any by best friend sat down and tasted them all side by side to see what they were all like.

#1 Control: Regular Whispering Wheat with Golden Wheat and under the cap yeast.
Results: Exactly what you'd expect.

#2 Dry Hop: Same as the Control except after 1 week of fermenting I added 1 oz Amarillo Pellet Hops which stayed in until bottling (2 weeks).
Results: "Dry hopping only adds aroma", My &*#! Y'all are lying liars who lie. :P This brew tastes like grapefruit juice. But it smells really good. :laugh:

#3 Yeast: Just replaced the under cap yeast with 4g Safale US-05 Dry Ale Yeast.
Results: The bear itself was much clearer. It looked a lot like a macro brew. The taste difference was very subtle. You could tell it tasted different but not exactly how. The only way we could think to describe it was, cleaner and lighter.

#4 Grain Steep: Steeped 1/2 lb CaraVienne and added that to the wort.
Result: Slightly darker in color. Again the taste difference was subtle and difficult to describe. My friend said it was sweeter, but in the back of his mouth. To me it seemed to have more bitterness. The two things I expected out of it, freshness and more body, we could find no trace of.

#5 Spices: Added 3g Coriander and 1g Sweet Orange Peel (prepackaged stuff from the LBHS, not fresh) to the boiling water.
Results: Smelled slightly of orange. Tasted a little like orange but it was bitter. Maybe with more sweetness it might have been good, but we didn't like it. Think I'll stick with fresh zest from now on.

#6 Fruit: Added 1, 15 oz can of Oregon Blueberries after the first week of fermentation.
Result: Does not taste anything like blueberries. It has a smell and taste of fruit about it but you can't tell what kind it is. In fact it has a taste of dry wine about it.

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Excellent work WolfMagus.
Good experiment and post experiment review.
What is next for your scientific explorations?

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The problem with the fruit one is that it takes a lot longer to condition than the 4 weeks. Try it again in another 3 months and let me know how it tastes at that point.

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Well, I've actually gotten into AG with BIAB. I don't have any specific plans right now, other than to learn the process and see if I can successfully make beer from scratch.

My first batch, which has been in the bottle 7 days, was a definite learning experience. I forgot to turn off the heat when I added my grains so my temp spiked to 172. I had issues with maintaining a constant temp, it kept fluctuating all over. And I know I didn't get a full conversion of my starches from the iodine test. Just to give you an idea of how jacked up it was, Qbrew said I should have a OG of 1.064 and a FG of 1.016. I got 1.058 and 1.026. And I ended up with so much trub that I had to siphon the brew into my other LBK so that I could bottle it. The trub actually covered up the entire spigot it was so deep.

Leaning what NOT to do from my first batch I made changes to my process and the second batch, which is fermenting, went exactly as planned. Hope I can recreate that experience for my third batch. Can't wait to taste it either. Hope I put together something that will taste good (to me).

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D Rabbit wrote:

The problem with the fruit one is that it takes a lot longer to condition than the 4 weeks. Try it again in another 3 months and let me know how it tastes at that point.


Thanks for the info. I'm not fond of it as it is, so I will have no problem letting the remaining bottles sit for a while. ;)

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WolfMagus wrote:


#2 Dry Hop: Same as the Control except after 1 week of fermenting I added 1 oz Amarillo Pellet Hops which stayed in until bottling (2 weeks).
Results: "Dry hopping only adds aroma", My &*#! Y'all are lying liars who lie. :P This brew tastes like grapefruit juice. But it smells really good. :laugh:

FWIW, Aroma significantly affects perception of taste.

When you dry hop you're not getting any flavor addition because there's no Alpha Acid Extraction, the aroma comes from the aromatic oils that are generally pretty fragile and get easily destroyed during a boil.

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VTGroff wrote:

WolfMagus wrote:


#2 Dry Hop: Same as the Control except after 1 week of fermenting I added 1 oz Amarillo Pellet Hops which stayed in until bottling (2 weeks).
Results: "Dry hopping only adds aroma", My &*#! Y'all are lying liars who lie. :P This brew tastes like grapefruit juice. But it smells really good. :laugh:

FWIW, Aroma significantly affects perception of taste.

When you dry hop you're not getting any flavor addition because there's no Alpha Acid Extraction, the aroma comes from the aromatic oils that are generally pretty fragile and get easily destroyed during a boil.


I know aroma affects how we taste, but the taste is so strong that I doubt it can only be the affect of additional aroma. And the next time I try one I think I'll plug my nose before the first drink just to see what my perception of it is without any aroma. When I said it tastes like grapefruit juice I meant it in a very literal sense. That brew tastes like unsweetened grapefruit to me.

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Excellent job!

Thanks for posting your initial results.

It would be good to see the same evaluation criteria used at eight, twelve and sixteen weeks to trend the changes in each...

:)

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yankeedag wrote:

when dry hopping, try not to leave it in the mix for more than a week.


Good to know.

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WolfMagus wrote:


I know aroma affects how we taste, but the taste is so strong that I doubt it can only be the affect of additional aroma. And the next time I try one I think I'll plug my nose before the first drink just to see what my perception of it is without any aroma. When I said it tastes like grapefruit juice I meant it in a very literal sense. That brew tastes like unsweetened grapefruit to me.

Right, but the dry hopping isn't actually adding any hop flavor. Remember that your Whispering Wheat is a hopped malt extract, so it already has hops in it. The aroma additions from the dry hopping are enhancing your perception of the hop flavor that already exists in the brew.

Also, what Dag said.

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