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Old 06-20-2012, 07:53 PM   #1
BVilleggiante
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Default Change In Flavor The Second Time I Brewed The Same Recipe...

So I just brewed my Irish Red Ale for the second time using my MoreBeer Smart Recirculating System. The first time I brewed my red, it turned out to have a really nice sweet malty flavor when it was ready to drink.

I just tried a bottle from my second time brewing this recipe and that sweet malty flavor is no where to be found. Same recipe with three variations that could have resulted in this change:

1) The first time I brewed I used my Ranco Controller to monitor my rest temps. The second time I brewed I used my handheld Thermapen Thermometer and not my Ranco. The Ranco's temp. guage is centered toward the middle of the mash tun while the Thermapen measured the temp from the top of the mash tun.

2) The first time I brewed I just pitched the yeast packet. The second time I brewed I used a starter.

3) The first time I brewed I kegged. The second time I brewed I bottled.

I'm going to brew this recipe again for a third time but this time I'm going to use the Ranco Controller as my temp gauge again and split the batch into two carboys. In one carboy I'm only going to pitch the yeast packet, and in the second I'm going to do pitch a starter. I figure by doing all of this, I should be able to find what step made my malty sweetness go away in my second batch.

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
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What were the gravities of each batch? I'm guessing it's the yeast starter maybe over attenuated?

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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I suspect that there may be a difference in the carbonation levels. But it's really just a guess. There are some many variables and I don't have the opportunity to taste the beers.

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:05 PM   #4
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Final gravity of the first was 1.014, final gravity of the second was 1.011 I believe. I don't have my sheets in front of me at the moment, but from memory that's what they were.

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What were the gravities of each batch? I'm guessing it's the yeast starter maybe over attenuated?
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Pitching just the yeast versus having a good starter can make a big difference in the beer so that's a definite possibility. Were fermentation temperatures similar to both batches?

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:49 PM   #6
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Yes, fermentation temps were exactly the same at 68 degrees. I know this only because I can control them.

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Pitching just the yeast versus having a good starter can make a big difference in the beer so that's a definite possibility. Were fermentation temperatures similar to both batches?
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:24 PM   #7
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Ester profile created by under pitching the dry packet added to the slightly higher FG likely explains the perceived difference in sweet malt profile. I'd be interested to hear how the next split batch experiment works out.

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Old 06-20-2012, 10:51 PM   #8
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I'll let you know. I'm going to re-brew this on the 30th.

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Ester profile created by under pitching the dry packet added to the slightly higher FG likely explains the perceived difference in sweet malt profile. I'd be interested to hear how the next split batch experiment works out.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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So, I said I'd give an update when my third batch was ready, in which I re-brewed it the original way. Here's my update:

The sweet malty profile I was looking for is back. It appears the starter I used in the second batch was in fact the cause of the lack of maltiness. However, this third batch is lacking a full bodied flavor. The first batch which was perfect sat in a keg for about 2.5 weeks at 2.6 vol. before it was tried and was found to be excellent. The third batch (current batch) has been kegged for a week as of today. So I'm hoping that this lack of full bodied flavor is due to the short time in a keg compared to the first batch i.e. one week in a keg vs. two and a half. I'm hoping that as the red sits for the next 1.5 weeks it will gain this full bodied characteristic and also carb. up some more.

To be honest, everything was brewed exactly the same as the first batch. If at the end of 2.5 weeks it is still lacking a full bodied flavor...I'll be at a complete loss. Only time will tell and I'll update this thread in another 1.5 weeks to give an update.

I am happy that I got the sweet malty profile back and now know the cause of it lacking in the second batch.

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Old 07-27-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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Glad to hear you've got your flavors mostly figured out! That's the real beauty of the hobby is learning what you enjoy and how to recreate it. And in the end of the day the experimentation leaves you with more beer to drink! Keep us posted if more aging does anything for the full body you're looking for, but I'm not sure how that'll change in the keg (I only bottle so I'm unfamiliar with what the time in the keg will do to change the drinker's perception).

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