Author Topic: Fauxpils results and discussion  (Read 17370 times)

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2210
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Fauxpils results and discussion
« on: August 02, 2012, 09:55:15 AM »
Here is a rough draft of my fauxpils results, along with my raw data. I'm hoping with some discussion I'll be able to update and change anything I may have neglected. Differences between the beers was very small and frequently contradictory, so I caution you from reading too much into my results.

This study was really easy to put together, very hard to analyze. I'm providing my data so you can look at it for yourself to decide if I draw a reasonable conclusion. If you disagree with my methods or results, it's easy to find qualified people on the AHA forum to serve as evaluators. Any study is useless if it can't be replicated, so I encourage anyone interested in this topic to organize their own study.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B29juefwLV4gSk0xN0NfRDFONnM < Latest version of results and summary.
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B29juefwLV4gcnNjZFRCakpVa2s
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B29juefwLV4gVnNBanpUaDNscFk
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B29juefwLV4gRHhZUExfUmlBcHM

Big picture:
1) Decoction probably won't make your beer better.
2) Decoction mashing extracts more gravity from malt, and may extract more compounds that can be perceived as "dry" as well. Whether that's good or bad for a given recipe will depend on personal preference and your targeted beer profile.
3) The wort from the decocted beer was noticeably clearer. Hot break can bind with hop acids and reduce hop utilization, so the difference in perceived bitterness may be due to reduced hot break in the boil kettle.
4) Using melanoidin malt doesn't emulate decoction mashing
5) There were a lot of contradictory descriptions of the beers. How people perceive aroma and flavor is complex and not easy to anticipate.

What the data supports:
1) Decoction increases mash efficiency.
2) There was no statistically significant correlation between the BJCP scores and recipe.
3) 57% of evaluators preferred the no-sparge beer with 5% melanoidin malt (5%) over the triple-decocted beer (3X), 29% had no preference, and 14% preferred 3X.
4) Judges were significantly more likely to correctly identify duplicate beers than expected based on a random guess. 

What the data probably supports:
1) Small difference with 3X leaning toward dry/bitter, 5% leaning toward malty/balanced.

What the data might support:
1) No difference other than color
2) Small difference, but no agreed-upon difference.
3) Either no-sparge or decoction had no effect, and the only difference was due to melanoidin malt.

What the data doesn't support:
1) Decoction makes a better beer
2) Decoction makes your beer maltier than using melanoidin malt w/no sparge.
3) Decoction makes a smoother beer
4) Decoction makes a beer more people prefer

Problems with the study:
1) Small sample size
2) I only have room for two fermentors in my freezer, so I could only make two beers at once to compare.
3) There were some issues with inconsistent carbonation from bottle priming. I've never noticed a difference in carbonation levels in my beer before, so this was really interesting for me.
4) A couple samples may have had a low-level infection. If I could consistently brew perfect beer, I wouldn't spend so much time on the AHA forum trying to learn about brewing.

Mixed variables:
I framed the study as a comparison of no-sparge vs decoction because I wanted to confound evaluators' expectations. If decoction could provide some special je ne sai quoi beyond just darker color and increased maltiness in a way that melanoidin malt can't emulate, that should have shown up in the results, with more people preferring 3X or more people describing 3X in more favorable terms. In any case, it's possible the no-sparge, decoction or the melanoidin malt had no effect, but I'd say it's more likely that no-sparge or decoction had no effect and melanoidin malt had some effect.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 05:53:03 AM by nateo »
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13600
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 10:25:54 AM »
Wow, Nate, VERY interesting!  I want to thank you for all your effort with this!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline garc_mall

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 852
  • [1892.9, 294.9deg] AR Lynnwood, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2012, 10:30:59 AM »
You got me with that melanoidin malt. I felt that the astringency was wrong in a no-sparge beer, but the darkness and maltiness got me. If I would have known there was melanoidin in the no-sparge, I probably would have changed my mind. I think I might add some melanoidin in my alt next time I brew it. Thanks for the analysis, it definitely made me think about how much your knowledge and perceptions affect the beer you taste.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline ccfoo242

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 780
  • I drank what? - Socrates
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2012, 11:20:48 AM »
Thanks for the information.

Sent from the future...

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Online kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1057
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2012, 11:22:43 AM »
I think the experiment was well designed.

You appear to ascribe tannins as a source of difference between 3X and 5%.  Another possibility could be the extraction of minerals as described in http://www.hoptomology.com/2012/07/25/the-pilsner-urquell-showdown-decoction-vs-single-infusion-was-it-worth-it/?goback=.gde_100650_member_138949540
Brewers of South Suburbia
Brixie's Brewers
Oak Park Homebrewers

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2210
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 11:34:33 AM »
Another possibility could be the extraction of minerals

That's really interesting. I've updated my OP to reflect that it may not just be tannins that cause a perception of dryness. My water had low minerals, but not nearly as low as Pilsen water.

When I tasted the beers in my study in an A/B tasting, it was really obvious what the differences were. When I did an A/B/X triangle tasting I really struggled to identify differences. I'm not sure how the person in that experiment structured his tasting, but I think A/B vs A/B/X makes a huge difference in your results.

Also, in his experiment did he compensate for the increased efficiency? I adjusted my decocted version to keep OG and FG the same as the 5% version. I'm surprised his OG and FG figures were so different.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 11:37:05 AM by nateo »
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8808
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 11:39:00 AM »
I haven't had the time to go through all of the data yet, but want to thank you for all of your hard work on this experiment. Very nice work Nate!  :)

Your contribution to our hobby is much appreciated.
Ron Price

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2210
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 11:44:47 AM »
I haven't had the time to go through all of the data yet

Don't think too hard on it. Listen to the music, not the notes.

I spent hours and hours running statistical analyses and compiling lists of descriptors, only to end up with graphs and charts that were meaningless, confusing, or not supported by the subtext of the evals.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline tom

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1110
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2012, 11:50:02 AM »
Awesome!
Thanks a lot for doing this.
Brew on

Offline ccfoo242

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 780
  • I drank what? - Socrates
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2012, 11:53:12 AM »
I spent hours and hours running statistical analyses and compiling lists of descriptors, only to end up with graphs and charts that were meaningless, confusing, or not supported by the subtext of the evals.

Well then, the Koch brothers have some global temperature data they'd like you to chart. :o zing! Thank you, I'm here all week.

Sent from the future...

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Online kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1057
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2012, 12:06:55 PM »
Another possibility could be the extraction of minerals

That's really interesting. I've updated my OP to reflect that it may not just be tannins that cause a perception of dryness. My water had low minerals, but not nearly as low as Pilsen water.

When I tasted the beers in my study in an A/B tasting, it was really obvious what the differences were. When I did an A/B/X triangle tasting I really struggled to identify differences. I'm not sure how the person in that experiment structured his tasting, but I think A/B vs A/B/X makes a huge difference in your results.

Also, in his experiment did he compensate for the increased efficiency? I adjusted my decocted version to keep OG and FG the same as the 5% version. I'm surprised his OG and FG figures were so different.

The blogger's study is not as well designed as yours.  I don't think that he tried to control the gravity like you did.  However his data matches comments I've read that the Pilsener Urquell water is super soft but that the necessary calcium content for yeast health comes from the malt.
Brewers of South Suburbia
Brixie's Brewers
Oak Park Homebrewers

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 12:11:58 PM »
i can't wait to go through in more detail
thanks for letting me participate and evaluing my beers as well

don
Don AHA member

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 12:41:04 PM »
i may have mentioned this in the initial thread, but one of the things i wanted to share was the bottle labeling.  NateO had the bottles labeld with shapes circle, star, square, rather than 1, 2, 3 or a,b,c.  this meant that there was no predisposition on order being tasted or even an assumption that beer 1 and 2 are different and which one is 3.  just a little take home for future studies.
Don AHA member

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13600
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2012, 12:50:26 PM »
i may have mentioned this in the initial thread, but one of the things i wanted to share was the bottle labeling.  NateO had the bottles labeld with shapes circle, star, square, rather than 1, 2, 3 or a,b,c.  this meant that there was no predisposition on order being tasted or even an assumption that beer 1 and 2 are different and which one is 3.  just a little take home for future studies.

I agree.  I thought that was brilliant!

BTW, Nate is it OK if we identify ourselves in the results so people can laugh at us (me)?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline saintpierre

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 407
  • Augusta, ME
    • View Profile
    • www.malthomebrewclub.org
Re: Fauxpils results and discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 01:18:37 PM »
Wow, interesting research! Thanks for the hard work, much appreciated!
Mike St. Pierre, P.E.
Maine Ale & Libation Tasters (MALT)
BJCP Certified
[719.4, 74.1] AR