A pint for Dionysus

March 23, 2012

Pale Experiment 2012

Filed under: homebrew — Tags: — grotusque @ 3:52 pm

In my relentless pursuit of things to do, I decided I would try making two beers with the exact same ingredients, save for the yeast. It hasn’t quite worked out, as you can see:

The beer on the left is lighter in color and I’m not sure why. The only difference was that I used Pacman from Wyeast in that, while in the one on the right, I used an ale yeast I got from Hopworks.

There is another difference: the wort on the left was brewed one week after the one on the right. It’s possible, then, that the lighter wort just hasn’t had enough time for things to drop out. That explanation doesn’t make much sense…so I suppose it really isn’t much of an explanation.

The most logical one is that: some darker malts got mixed up in the first batch. This is a possibility, since I mill my grain at FH Steinbarts and the person ahead of me could have been using darker malts: it wouldn’t take much to shift the color, I think.

That said I’m still surprised at the difference in color and I don’t have a truly satisfactory reason as to why there is a difference here. I’m also surprised at the activity of the yeast. The Hopworks yeast has been going like gangbusters for two weeks. The Pacman yeast? One week and now the beers look like this:

You can see how the beer on the right still has a thick layer of yeast working, where the left side? Not so much. I don’t know what it means but I do know that, despite being made later, the one on the left is nearly ready to go into secondary. I’ll get a gravity reading when I do that, which will hopefully tell me how far it’s come and if I just need to let this beer sit for a bit longer–or maybe, once I give it to other people, they can tell me what went awry, if anything.

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6 Comments »

  1. Have you considered getting your own mill? Maybe even a good coffee grinder would do the job. That way you could make sure it’s clean before you mill each batch.

    Comment by Ron — March 24, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    • That’s a pretty interesting idea. I don’t think I’ve seen a coffee grinder on a big scale (grinding 2 pounds of grain 3 ounces at a time seems silly) and I don’t know if it would impact the beer in a negative way but…worth asking around about.

      Comment by grotusque — March 25, 2012 @ 7:03 am

  2. [...] now my pale ale experiment has come to a conclusion and it’s time for some [...]

    Pingback by Two Pales « A pint for Dionysus — April 27, 2012 @ 8:29 am

  3. Looks really nice! I’m thinking of making some pale ales for summer, but unfortunately can’t find time to start … :)

    Comment by onthetear — April 29, 2012 @ 1:15 am

    • I know the feeling but sometimes I just have to tell the lawn to mow itself, I’m brewing.

      Comment by grotusque — April 29, 2012 @ 8:54 am

      • True indeed, true indeed! :) Perhaps this time I should do smth like that as well. Just to avoid spending the summer with store bought beer again … :)

        Comment by onthetear — April 29, 2012 @ 9:14 am


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