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Reustonium 12-28-2010 03:58 AM

Split Batch Experiment
I just wanted to share a little experiment that I started a few weeks ago. I brewed a very simple very pale ale.

Grain Bill:
13# Rahr 2-Row Pale

Mashed at 154F

1oz Sterling @ 60min
1/2oz Sterling @ 15min

The hops were from my fathers hop garden, it was nice to use up some of the homegrown yield.

1084 fermented in a 60deg basement

OG: 1.066
FG: 1.015

I've split the batch into three 2-gallon plastic fermenters with the intension of conducting three very different flavor experiments.

Bucket One gets Rye-Whiskey soaked American Oak Cubes
Bucket Two gets Watermelon extract and red food dye
Bucket Three is undecided.

Here's the un-altered beer.

Here is the brewer's best Watermelon extract.

With Food Coloring

This is the same sample of beer with 2 drops of food dye.

Two of the Three mini-batches, the buckets are from Northern Brewer, awesome deal in my opinion. $6

Here is the medium toast American Oak which has been soaking in Jim Beam Rye for the last month.

Finally a couple of cubes in the Oak batch

If you have any recommendations for the third mini-batch please let me know! So far I'm thinking either freeze distilling or adding a shot of espresso.


voodoocurt 12-30-2010 04:46 PM

This is exactly what I want to do!.....These look awesome, I especially like the watermelon idea....that would fit in well down here in LA (lower Alabama). For the third; what about some peppers? I just saw an article in the Jan/Dec issue of Beer Mag and they spoke about roasting them and then dry hopping them.....just an idea. Or, what about brown sugar and rosated pecans? I'm looking at this option, which brings me to my question.

After you split them; how will you add the priming sugar and how much to each?
Have you thought about multiple experiments with one base, and then splitting them further down into large bottles and/or growlers? Same question applies to the sugar...

Anyway, good luck.....


Reustonium 12-30-2010 08:22 PM

Thanks Voodoo,

Peppers are an interesting idea, I might try some brown sugar or maple syrup and get another fermentation going.

Sadly since I have such small batches I won't be force carbonating, so I'll just measure out the proper weight priming sugar (perhaps maple syrup for that one batch), and I might need to rehydrate some US05 or something for carbing the bottles.

The only reason I'd go against doing individual bottle experiments is that I'd like several bottles of each variation so I can taste them horizontally at different times.

sean6247 12-30-2010 10:37 PM

Leave it as is for a control. This way you can know exactly what effect the Watermelon extract and the oak chips have on the beer.

dvdanny 12-30-2010 10:43 PM

I second the control, it's nice to beable to taste what different additives to do beer when compared to what the beer originally was suppose to be.

cklages 12-31-2010 12:32 AM

Agreed on the control. I just brewed a 2-row smash not because I particularly wanted it, but more because I want to better understand what the other malts are bringing to the party in my other beers. Its all about understanding our process to make us better right? :)

RM-MN 12-31-2010 12:45 PM


Originally Posted by sean6247 (Post 2512462)
Leave it as is for a control. This way you can know exactly what effect the Watermelon extract and the oak chips have on the beer.

I'll agree with this one. I split 2 batches, one a cream ale and the other a red ale. The split I did was in the bottling, bottling half and then adding blueberry extract to the second half. Interesting experiment and one I don't plan on repeating because the half without extract was much more pleasant to drink and the flavor with the extract wasn't strong enough to really notice. Without the unadulterated half to compare to, I would have never known just why my blueberry wasn't what I wanted.

voodoocurt 01-01-2011 04:20 PM

Great idea on the control, I'm kinda new to all this so I didn't even think of that.
Sorry if I seem redundant but I'm trying to figure out how much sugar for priming for the 2 gallons; so how much will you put in? 1 cup, 1/2 cup just trying to make sure I don't under carbonate and/or blow up some bottles. Thanks in advance....


Reustonium 01-04-2011 07:26 PM

A few considerations...

1) given the very small batch size any variation in volume measurement or priming sugar measurement will be significant.

I will measure the weight of each batch, then use the Specific Gravity of that batch to accurately calculate the volume. Since I'm looking for about 2.4volumes of CO2, I will use 36grams of corn sugar (per Beer Smith).

2) I'm going to prime half of the control sample with maple syrup. For this Palmer recommends adding 2-3 gravity points per gallon of wort. Again I will need a very careful measurement of batch volume. But from there it should be pretty straight forward.

I'll post pictures and details on bottling day.


CPooley4 01-04-2011 07:46 PM

Interesting. I'm doing something similar as well. Just did a 2 row pale and cascade pale ale. Splitting into 2 separate batches for fermentation. One will be dry hopped as usual and the other will be dry hopped, but will also have honey added at high krausen.

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