I'll try to make this short, but basically I brewed up BM's Centennial Blonde using Deathbrewer's PM method. I've done about 5 beers this way and they all turned out ok. Nothing great, nothing bad. I really am looking for something more if I continue though. So I decided to do back to back brews of the same beers with some slight variation in process and see what happpened.
First beer used bottled drinking water that had been in the basement for about a year. Grains and DME were from the big box store-packaged for who knows how long-and wyeast. Everything went ok. Mash temp jumped around a bit as I have a new stove and tried to get everything dialed in. Dumped everything in the carboy, trub and all. Topped off to 5.5 gallons and pitched. Fermentation was slow to start and not very vigorous. The wyeast packet never swelled, which has happened before. OG was a little high. 1.051 and the recipe says around 1.040.
Second beer used fresh bought bottled drinking water. Different company. Grains were from LHBS out of bulk bins. DME from them as well. Only 1 lb DME instead of 2 to keep the gravity down. Safale this time. Mash was more consistent with temperature. Racked to carboy. Topped off to about 4.8 gallons in smaller carboy. Fermentation was quick to take off and very vigorous. OG was 1.043.
The first beer is aweful. I mean, I've never made something so bad. They're both about a week into carbing in the keg. I will be interested to see if this is ever drinkable. I'll edit with a better description in a few weeks once it carbs up and a true comparison can be done.
The second beer is good. I wouldn't say great, but it's early. More of what I think of for a blonde. Kind of like a sessionable Leffe. I can see this being quite good in the near future.
I know I had too many changes in process to nail down what made the difference. Wasn't really the goal. Just wanted to see if these would be different at all. Could I be consistent?....do small things really make a difference?....well obviously they do. I'm chalking it up to either water, ingredients, or yeast. The way it tastes, I'm thinking ingredients. What say you and thanks for listening.