Author Topic: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!  (Read 7867 times)

Offline brewday

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #60 on: December 01, 2015, 05:16:25 PM »
If you think your beers improved, that's really what matters most.  I don't think you necessarily need to do a side-by-side to determine that.

Uh, yes you do...if you really want to know and not just guess.

Respectfully, Denny, that's nonsense.  Anytime one makes a major change in process, whether it's how you make a starter, your water profile, mash program, fermentation control or handling of roasted grains, we can and should be able to decide for ourselves if it results in improvement without setting up a specific test.  Do you like the beers better than before or not?  Pretty simple.  If it's not clear, or if someone keeps telling you that what you're experiencing isn't possible, then maybe it makes sense to compare.

I've never done a side by side of my own beers, yet I can easily mark off specific changes to my brewing process that coincide with significant improvement.  Going all in on Gordon's approach to water - for all styles - is certainly one of them.
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Offline denny

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #61 on: December 01, 2015, 05:21:20 PM »

Respectfully, Denny, that's nonsense.  Anytime one makes a major change in process, whether it's how you make a starter, your water profile, mash program, fermentation control or handling of roasted grains, we can and should be able to decide for ourselves if it results in improvement without setting up a specific test.  Do you like the beers better than before or not?  Pretty simple.  If it's not clear, or if someone keeps telling you that what you're experiencing isn't possible, then maybe it makes sense to compare.

I've never done a side by side of my own beers, yet I can easily mark off specific changes to my brewing process that coincide with significant improvement.  Going all in on Gordon's approach to water - for all styles - is certainly one of them.

With all due respect, you simply can't do that.  I've devoted years of study to this, given countless seminars about it and it was a prime point in the book "Experimental Homebrewing".  Confirmation bias just doesn't allow you to judge your own beer in any way other than a blind tasting.  Why do you think I did all those experiments?  Why do you think Marshall does his?  You say you've never done this so maybe you just don't realize how significant that impact can be.  I'm a BJCPO National judge with hundreds of beers of judging experience, yet I would never claim to be able to make a statement about the differences in beers without a blind triangle tasting.
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Offline tesgüino

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #62 on: December 01, 2015, 06:37:36 PM »

Respectfully, Denny, that's nonsense . . . we can and should be able to decide for ourselves . . .

With all due respect, you simply can't do that  . . . I would never claim to be able to make a statement about the differences in beers without a blind triangle tasting.
But there's another side to this. Most off us don't have the time or resources to do blind triangle tastings of every aspect of brewing. Most of us don't have the sensory training or palate to always know the difference. What we all have is the desire to make great beer that will be enjoyed by those who do. We rely on the Denny's, Marshall's and Gordon's for information that we can digest and and combine with our own experiences. I'd like to think that Gordon has done some type of blind tasting to come to his conclusions. The nature of Marshall's experiment linked to here makes it a single data point compared to Gordon's use of this technique over a broad range of beers. And when you read his explanation, it seems to be a logical conclusion. For hobby brewer, like most of us are, we have to keep an open mind to both sides of the discussion.

I brewed a black ale this past weekend and dumped the chocolate wheat in while I stirred the mash before my second runnings. For a process that added no more than 15 minutes to my brewday, it's worth the piece of mind until the experts can sort this out.

Offline brewday

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #63 on: December 01, 2015, 06:54:25 PM »
Denny, I admire the work that you, Drew and Marshall do.  I sincerely mean that.  But if it was a requirement to confirm every perceived improvement in my own beers by setting up a specific test, then frankly I'd stop brewing.  I'm not going to go back and do that, and I feel very strongly that certain changes I've made have resulted in better beer.  I'm sorry, you're just not going to talk me out of that.

For me this is a water thing, not a dark grain issue per say.  I haven't used the words astringent, harsh or acrid here.  World class beers are obviously made with dark grains in the mash, no question.  Again, for me this is about water.  I've personally adopted an approach to water that is consistent across all styles, regardless of dark grains.  From SRM 3 to SRM 43, my beers are better.  Period.  But I'm only talking about my beers.  I'm not telling anyone they should hold dark grains until vorlauf.  What I am saying is that in my experience it works.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread I intend to do a side by side for dark grains specifically because there are so many people saying it doesn't work.  But I've also noted that those who haven't found this method to be particularly successful, including Marshall, have fallen well short in extracting the proper color.  To me that's a key miss.  The more I read that the color wasn't there (and therefore neither were the flavors) then the more likely I am to believe that I'm handling the process differently, and the less likely I am to question my own results.  But I'll do the damn side by side!!

Here's what I'd tell people reading this:

If you're curious, try Gordon's approach to water and if you like it, adopt it.  If you don't like it, then don't.  That simple.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2015, 07:40:48 PM »
There can be a level of blindness that any brewer can have for their own beer. The 'my beer is good' perception can cloud the real perceptions. I expect that the same can be said for tasters that are friends of the brewer. For that reason, unbiased and blind tasting trials including triangle tests are better tools in determining if a change is an improvement or not.

However, in the absence of that testing rigor, a relative increase in level of satisfaction with your beer still has some merit. Just recognize that there may still be improvement needed.
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2015, 08:28:55 PM »

So for something like black IPA, does a mash pH of 5.5 play well for the hops? I can't remember if a lower mash pH is beneficial for better hop character or not.
I mashed my current black IPA at pH 5.4 according to Bru'n water and it came out wonderfully. Mashed 11oz debittered black malt for the entire 75 minute mash at 150F.

I don't expect that moving the pH to 5.5 for a hop-focused beer would be beneficial. The hops tend to get rough above 5.4. The other consideration is that black IPA seems to be only lightly focused on roast flavors and I don't think you can enhance them much.

I'm curious to how the mash ph effects the hops which are in the boil? Is it depending on how the mash ph carries over to effect the boil bph?
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2015, 11:44:32 PM »
There can be a level of blindness that any brewer can have for their own beer. The 'my beer is good' perception can cloud the real perceptions. I expect that the same can be said for tasters that are friends of the brewer. For that reason, unbiased and blind tasting trials including triangle tests are better tools in determining if a change is an improvement or not.

However, in the absence of that testing rigor, a relative increase in level of satisfaction with your beer still has some merit. Just recognize that there may still be improvement needed.
I tend to be the other way, too critical of my own beer. I'm fine with that too. When I finally get a beer to where I can't find anything I could do to improve it, I lock in that recipe/procedure. After 3 years of brewing that has happened once. I might be about to add two more to the list. Everything else ive ever brewed needs work. The one beer I have nailed down is an APA that took about 8 iterations to finally get right.

I like the blind triangle for proving certain things. But, if I brewed beer x, then wanted to make a change, im not going to brew beer x again with out change and with change just to do a side by side or blind triangle. I already know that I wasn't happy with it as-is. But I could see doing a blind triangle side by side on something like a protein rest, just to prove if there is a difference or what that difference is.

Offline brulosopher

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Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #67 on: December 01, 2015, 11:55:57 PM »

Respectfully, Denny, that's nonsense . . . we can and should be able to decide for ourselves . . .

With all due respect, you simply can't do that  . . . I would never claim to be able to make a statement about the differences in beers without a blind triangle tasting.
For hobby brewer, like most of us are, we have to keep an open mind to both sides of the discussion.

Indeed!
There can be a level of blindness that any brewer can have for their own beer. The 'my beer is good' perception can cloud the real perceptions. I expect that the same can be said for tasters that are friends of the brewer. For that reason, unbiased and blind tasting trials including triangle tests are better tools in determining if a change is an improvement or not.

However, in the absence of that testing rigor, a relative increase in level of satisfaction with your beer still has some merit. Just recognize that there may still be improvement needed.
This is fantastic, totally agreed.

I think what we're getting at here is the difference between "feeling" a certain process or ingredient change had an impact and actually being able to detect a difference. I'm skeptical by nature, I doubt everything whether I trust the source or not, myself totally included! This is what makes life interesting to me. By accepting without any evidence other than my memory that a beer I made last week tastes different than the same beer made months earlier save for a change or 2, it's just not enough to satiate my curiosity, and certainly not enough to make me feel comfortable advocating that others do what I did.

This is obviously different for others, and that's cool, I'd just like to see "do this and it'll make your beer better" morph into "here's some decent evidence beyond my anecdotal experience demonstrating this makes a difference."

But that's just me.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #68 on: December 01, 2015, 11:59:28 PM »
I'm curious to how the mash ph effects the hops which are in the boil? Is it depending on how the mash ph carries over to effect the boil bph?


I get what you're asking, but mash pH is one of the deciding factors in the character of a beer. Even though the mash is done before the boil, it's effects carry over to the final product. Much like a mash pH on the high end helps soften the edges off of a roasty beer, or a pH on the lower end can help give a crisp, drinkable character to a lager. It all starts in the mash.
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #69 on: December 02, 2015, 12:01:51 AM »
I'm curious to how the mash ph effects the hops which are in the boil? Is it depending on how the mash ph carries over to effect the boil bph?


I get what you're asking, but mash pH is one of the deciding factors in the character of a beer. Even though the mash is done before the boil, it's effects carry over to the final product. Much like a mash pH on the high end helps soften the edges off of a roasty beer, or a pH on the lower end can help give a crisp, drinkable character to a lager. It all starts in the mash.

Thanks I was hoping you would see this among the more important conversations taking place. Makes sense.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #70 on: December 02, 2015, 01:31:51 AM »
I'm curious to how the mash ph effects the hops which are in the boil? Is it depending on how the mash ph carries over to effect the boil bph?

Mash pH is a very large determinant of kettle wort pH. Kettle wort pH is a strong player in how hops are utilized and perceived in the beer.
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Offline Whiskers

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #71 on: December 02, 2015, 05:47:17 AM »
Blind triangle testing is far from the only valid methodology.  Like klickitatjim, I'm deeply critical of my own work.  However, when I ditched chlorinated city water I have no doubts that I could notice the lack of chlorophenol.  Didn't need a blind triangle to figure that one out.  It was incredibly obvious.  To this day I still know people who brew with city water and all of their brews show chlorophenol.  There isn't any need to side-by-side with equivalent recipes and one with chloramine city water. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #72 on: December 02, 2015, 10:34:49 AM »
In my opinion there's a time and place for no blind triangle. Such as trying a new or different hop in an old tried and true recipe. I know I like my APA with cascade and centennial in the whirlpool. So if I try cascade and mandarina bavaria, with the objective being to see if I like mandarina and cascade together, then just make it and see if it's good. But if I want to prove or disprove that mandarina is better in an APA at whirlpool than at 10 minutes, and I want to know that it's true for others not just me? Triangle test it.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 10:38:07 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #73 on: December 02, 2015, 12:30:37 PM »
Scientific experiments require discipline and effort.  Most of us just don't give a dang THAT much.  Kudos to those who do.

When I run my own experiments, I do them casually, and typically don't release them as scientific reports, so that other scientists can easily choose to refute my results even while they typically have no formal experimental results to report themselves that makes their beliefs or experience any more relevant than my own.  :P

Plus there are flaws with pretty much every experiment ever run in the history of the universe.  To declare one experiment as gospel would be extremely foolish.

Blind triangles are nice, but most of us will never bother.  And that's fine.  We don't all need to be scientists.

And, as much as some folks hate to hear this, science is NOT the only way to find truth.  It's a great tool, but it's never perfect.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 12:47:02 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline charles1968

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #74 on: December 02, 2015, 07:48:13 PM »
It's worth bearing in mind that science experiments can never prove a theory is true - they can only add supportive evidence. Every theory remains open to challenge. In my opinion that's the great strength of science. It doesn't claim certainty in the dogmatic way that religious or political ideologies do, and is inherently democratic.

No point doing triangle tests for things like clarity, carbonation, colour, abv - they're all easy to see or measure. But flavours/aromas are more susceptible to bias.

Having said that, I think triangle tasting tests suffer from one flaw, which is low sensitivity. See the brulosophy xbmt comparing belle saison with safbrew abbaye, for instance -only just scraped statistical significance:

"The fact 2 yeasts intended for different styles produced beers that were reliably distinguishable from each other isn’t all that surprising and confirms what most of us believe– yeast is a huge player in the beer character game. What did surprise me a bit is the number of folks who were unable to tell the beers apart, which included some very experienced craft beer drinkers. Like I mentioned earlier, I was expecting this xBmt to be a slam dunk with a huge majority of tasters accurately selecting the odd-beer-out, which wasn’t the case, significance was reached due to a single response."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 07:51:21 PM by charles1968 »