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Topics - brulosopher

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The low oxygen brewing method, aka LODO, is purported by some to be the only way to produce unique German lager character on the homebrew scale. We were curious and decided to put it to the test. Results are in!

Fermenting under pressure at higher temperatures has been said to allow brewers to produce lagers quickly by suppressing formation of expected esters and other undesirable character. To test this out, we had a panel of blind tasters compare the same lager beer fermented at an absurdly warm temperature, only one batch was under higher pressure. Results are in!

Lauded for its ability to impart toasty yet delicate biscuit-like character, Maris Otter is one of the most commonly used base malts by brewers of styles ranging from English Mild to American IPA. A bit less expensive, standard American 2-row malt is said to provide a simpler and cleaner malt component to beer. We wanted to see whether blind tasters would be able to tell a difference or not and put it to the test. Results are in!

While hazy beer has become a trend of late, some homebrewers still take steps to ensure their homebrew is brite. Many have found great success fining with gelatin, but our friends of the herbivorous persuasion are forced to used other options, one of which is Biofine Clear. In this xBmt, we investigate the differences in clarity and character between the same beer fined with either gelatin or Biofine. Results are in!

It's been a long time coming, but we're back with another edition of The Hop Chronicles! This time, we evaluate an experimental hop sent to us by the rad folks at HOPSTEINER. Check it out!

Fermentor options are vast these days, forcing homebrewers to choose between different materials, shapes, and sizes. I'm personally partial to plastic/PET carboys for their ease of use and reduced risk of amputation, though some remain convinced this material is too oxygen permeable and prefer fermenting in glass carboys. Curious whether such claims held any water, we put this one to the test and the results are in!

Water chemistry in brewing is key and one important component to that is mash pH. While pH can be controlled to some degree with minerals, brewers tend to rely on acid to make significant reductions, the two most popular of which are phosphoric and lactic. In this xBmt, we investigate whether the type of acid used makes a noticeable difference. Results are in!

The hop stand has become a popular way for home brewers to impart heaps of hop aroma without adding much in the way of bitterness. At least that’s what many of us think. Curious whether claims that a 20 minute hop stand is equivalent to a 20 minute boil addition, we put it to the test, adding the same amount of the same hops at either point in separate batches. Results are in!

A couple weeks ago, a beer idea by The Order of Yoni was getting a lot of attention due to the microbial source of the bacteria used to make it-- a woman's vagina. Then just like that, the murmur softened. As obsessive planners who already had this Brü's Views topic set, we figured we'd share our opinions on the matter anyway. A huge thanks to 2012 Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer recipient, 2013 American Homebrewers Association Brewer of the Year, and current PicoBrew Master Brewer Annie Johnson for sharing her thoughts... On Vagina Beer!

For those of us who prefer our beer clear, gelatin is an incredible resource-- simple, cheap, and very effective! Inspired by a conversation with John Palmer, I was curious if the amount of gelatin used to fine would have an impact and so we put it to the test. Results are in!

It's commonly accepted to sparge with warm water, though there's been some chatter lately about going the simpler route of using cooler water. While others have reported success with the cool sparge method, we wondered if it resulted in a perceptibly different beer when compared to using standard temp sparge water. Results are in!

Our first collaborative xBmt with House Of Pendragon Brewing is in the books! We tackled one of the most commonly requested variables, the step mash, and had over 120 people participate in the evaluation. Results are in!

A controversy has arisen over an aspect of beer that some seem to take quite seriously: clarity. With the growing popularity of so called New England/Northeastern IPA from the likes of The Alchemist, Tree House Brewing, and Hill Farmstead Brewery, people in clear-beer loving regions have begun to wonder what's going on. This is the focus of today's Brü's Views, which includes the perspectives of guest contributor John Wible from 2nd Story Brewing Co. in Philadelphia, PA. Check it out!

Results from the first vorlauf xBmt showed us the method seemed to have little impact on distinguishability. Curious just what it would take to produce a difference, we designed an xBmt to test the limits, adding over 8x the amount of grain a typical vorlauf filters out to one boil and comparing it to the same beer made with a normal vorlauf. Results are in!

Whether or not to bag one's hops during the boil is a dilemma every brewer experiences, with some claiming it has a negative impact on hop utilization while others swear it contributes to better beer by reducing the amount of hop matter that makes it to the fermentor. Curious of the actual impact, we put it to the test in this exBEERiment and even sent samples off to Oregon BrewLab for IBU analysis. Results are in!

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