Experimentation - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Experimentation

Thread Tools
Old 11-01-2007, 05:48 PM   #1
Oct 2007
South Florida
Posts: 1,364
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

So i want to make the best tasting beer ever (don't we all ) and it occured to me the other day that "What if i use 2 secondaries in brewing 1 batch, or even possibly 2 brew kettles and 2 primaries?"

Scenario 1:

brewing an Ale, and after X amount of time in primary separate into 2 secondaries and dry hop with different hops. with this i think that you can test out different adjustments to recipes using just one batch.

Scenario 2:

Divide all ingredients equally (2 brew kettles) and add different bittering hops and from there on place into 2 primaries, 2 secondaries, etc.

Do any of you guys do these kind of things to hone in on a specific taste/aroma? I know that it might be a bit much, cleaning wise, using 2 kettles, 2 primaries, and 2 secondaries for 1 batch but should that matter when trying to make some fricken awesome beer?


Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 06:09 PM   #2
Aug 2006
Boerne, Texas
Posts: 432

Or try different yeast.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 06:11 PM   #3
Jul 2006
Gonzales, Louisiana
Posts: 81

Just keep brewing beer on a regular basis and you'll get to where you want to go.

Sounds like your trying to rush things and that always leads to burning out and the eventual quitting of what it is you were doing.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 06:34 PM   #4
Jun 2007
The "Ville"
Posts: 1,918
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts

No, you are absolutely right. 2 batches with one single difference will tell you the difference that ingredient made.
There are too many factors involved in adjusting from batch to batch. Most people can't take the same ingredients and make the same beer exactly the same twice, it almost always comes out a little different, so how can you judge what difference a small adjustment to the recipe made?
I actually split one batch into 3 parts using exactly the same ingredients but with different HOPS. I made the first one just with HOPS A, the second just with HOPS B, and the third with a blend of the 2. This told me a lot about the 2 varieties of HOPS. I would like to do this with every kind of HOPS before too long.
I feel very strongly that intimate knowledge of ingredients is the only way to intentionally make a great beer.
Great beer can be made with a little of this, a little of that and just hope it works out well. But you won't get a great beer every time.
BOTTLED: "Route 66 IPA" 7% ABV, "Dave's Imperial Stout" 12% ABV , "Spider Imperial Stout" 9%ABV , "Mutt Irish Ale" 7% ABV, "Sorta Sierra" IPA's 4.4% ABV, "Habanero Ales" 5.5% ABV, "Pumpkin Seed Ale" 5.5% ABV , "Marzen" Lager, "Step child Ale",
PRIMARies: "Caramel Amber" , "Black Porter"
SECONDARIES:1 :"Miller Ale"
On DECK: Another Russian Stout

Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 07:22 PM   #5
Oct 2007
Edgewater CO
Posts: 627
Liked 26 Times on 20 Posts

Yes, it's a lot more work and might contribute to burnout. But for experimental sake it's the best to compare. With totaly seperate batches so many other factors will effect the end product. Why stop with 2 secondary fermentere? 5 1 gal jugs could work as secondaries where you get lots to play around with. Diffrent dry hopping for instance vs. none etc. The more you can keep the same on the front end will give you closer real results of the later. Plus then after botteling you can invite a few friends over, crack open 5 diffrent bottles of very similar beers and discuss the preferances of each!

Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 07:26 PM   #6
ScubaSteve's Avatar
May 2007
, DC
Posts: 3,680
Liked 85 Times on 59 Posts

I have seen some brew clubs do this...from what I understand, yeast makes the biggest difference. You could make two totally different beers that way, or if you are trying to refine just one style, such as an IPA, you could adjust/change the hops. I say do it!

Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 08:54 PM   #7
Funkenjaeger's Avatar
May 2007
Nashua, NH
Posts: 1,598
Liked 12 Times on 10 Posts

I brewed a batch of scottish ale a few weeks ago, and I sized the batch to come out to 6 gallons instead of 5 - then I put a little less than a gallon in a 1-gallon glass jug as an experimental batch with different yeast, and the rest went in a regular carboy as the main batch with the originally intended yeast.

Seems like an easy way to do a little experimentation any time you brew a batch, without having to devote a half a batch (or more) to an experiment that's somewhat likely to fail.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 10:41 PM   #8
Maniacally Malty
DeathBrewer's Avatar
Apr 2007
Oakland, CA
Posts: 21,790
Liked 270 Times on 135 Posts

sounds like a great experiment. i've been meaning to test out some yeasts (5 x 1 gallon with different yeasts, probably a belgian beer) but haven't gotten around to it yet.
Easy Partial Mash Brewing - Stovetop All-Grain Brewing

"Death is always with us." - Brewpastor

We will remember...

Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 10:52 PM   #9
Jul 2007
Mandan, ND
Posts: 604
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I think a posting of beer diary entries that have information on experimenting, as it was described, would be a really great help to others. Though there are a million and one variables, it would give people a different idea of how different yeast, hop and malt options work together (in particular, the hops) to create a unique taste.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2007, 02:42 AM   #10
landhoney's Avatar
Apr 2007
West Palm, FL
Posts: 1,349
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

I'm experimenting with 'wild yeast' and fermenting batches with one wild yeast at a time to learn about their character so I can make my own "Lambic Blend". First was Brett C, now Brett L, next up is Pedio, etc.
I think experimenting with different ingredients is an awesome way to learn and make better beer.
Here are some experiments:
The first one is different sugars, the second different hops( one variety used per beer).

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Experimentation and small batches OCLemon Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 10-17-2009 04:08 PM
NanoBrews for Experimentation? JMSetzler General Techniques 3 01-23-2009 06:19 PM
Excess honey experimentation bluefoxicy Mead Forum 22 09-15-2008 10:35 PM
Experimentation hoss75 General Techniques 5 03-23-2008 02:34 PM
looking for advice on doing some experimentation ethangray19 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 02-12-2007 12:22 AM

Forum Jump