Several months ago, I brewed a kolsh-ish lawnmower beer. Most people think it's the best I ever did. I did it as a partial BIAB, with a small amount of extract. The mash temp was about 156*.
Several weeks ago, I brewed another batch, this time using my igloo mash tun, and lowering the mash temp to 152*. I seem to notice a lot more hop flavor in this batch than the last. The consensus is that the first batch was far superior in terms of smoothness from start to finish, and overall flavor. Others have mentioned the hop difference, so I know I'm not the only one tasting it.
Aside from the mash temp and the process (tun vs. BIAB), the only other difference is more control of the fermentation temps. The first batch was fermented under a wet t-shirt in a swamp cooler. The second batch was fermented at 65* in a ferm box. Other than that, the recipe was identical.
Did the lower mash temp allow for more hop flavor to come through?
It seemed like a good idea at the time...