Tag Archives: Pale Trial Zwei

Pale Trial Zwei – Review

It has been just over five months since Pale Trial Zwei was brewed, back on 31 August last year. The review is long over due. So, here it is.

A bit of a recap. Pale Trial Zwei was a follow on from Pale Trial Ein, one large batch split into five fermenters. Each fermenter had a different combination of yeast nutrient and with/without Campden tablet. For the Zwei batch this was pitched directly onto the yeast of the Ein batch after bottling. You can go back to the review and see that there was a wide range of flavours from the same original wort.

Pale Trial Zwei 1-5 for review

Pale Trial Zwei 1-5 ready for tasting and for review

There was some slight issues with the labelling and I’m not 100% sure if each of the batches, one to five, was recorded properly when bottled. Although there was an the ideas to do a comparison of the Ein beers to the Zwei beers, it isn’t possible.  We just have to compare the Zwei beers against each other.

Pale Trial Zwei #1
Plenty of melon, lime and grass aroma to this. A promissing start to the first beer. Flavour starts off with a smooth/sweet melon taste. Then there’s some stone fruit and a touch of sweetness with the melon flavour coming out more. The beer finishes off with a smooth end.

Pale Trial Zwei #2
If the first one had some good mixture of melon, lime and grass then this one takes it a bit further with more of the grass aroma. The melon and lime flavours come out at the start with a slightly lighter melon and more lime than #1. Soft flavours in the middle then finishing of with some slight amber malt and a touch of lime flavour.

Pale Trial Zwei #3
Clear melon and lime aroma from the start and a hint of rust. The flavour starts with the melon and rust from amber malt. Then the amber rust malt flavour builds a bit. Finally there’s a bite with some melon and dry finish. Clearly this has more going on than the rest and is the better one for it.

Pale Trial Zwei #4
Aroma is a simple mixture of melon and rust. At the start there’s a melon and bitterness to this. Hints of rust amber malt comes in then the flavour drops off at the end. Lighter and simpler in flavour than the rest.

Pale Trial Zwei #5
Not a great start with a banana aroma to start with. Some mellow melon flavours fist up. Then banana flavours come in and build to the end. Also has a bitter and tart finish which is not nice.

Summary
Was very impressed with these beers. Well, all but #5 and I think that might be infected, or something. The melon and lime elements from the Galaxy hops were the main players here. But interesting to see a rust amber flavour from the malt. Wasn’t expecting that and it was a pleasant surprise. For matching with food anything from simple fried fish to Vietnamese or Thai would work great. Anything with a bit of light spice or grease.

If I was to rank these the worst is the easiest, #5. The top two are #2 with the most melon smoothness and #3 with the most complexity. The rest are a bit harder. After a bit of back and forth I came up with the following from first to last: #3, #2, #1, #4, #5.

Was strange to see how these beers differed so much. Just like when I reviewed Pale Trial Ein, there was  a lot of variation. And again, it highlights how little changes in something like yeast nutrient or a campden tablet can impact the final flavour on a beer. There’s plenty more to learn about brewing. And that’s pretty exciting.

-Mikey

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Yeast adventures, capping it for now

The second round of experiments with yeast are done. Over a couple evenings in the last week I bottled the Pale Trial Zwei.

Pale Trial Zwei - carboy 1-5

Pale Trial Zwei in carboy 1 to 5 (left to right)

From the first impressions it looks like the yeast characteristics from Pale Trial Ein have carried over. There’s a strange tart and dry-sourness, especially from the first carboy. Carboy 2-5 were bottled on a septate day, so I can’t do a five-way comparison.

The good news is that the Galaxy hop flavours have come out well. There hasn’t been the big bitterness that I was getting with the Victoria Secret hops. Nice tropical aroma and flavour at the front. One these condition for a few weeks they should be good for the spring sun.

Pale Trial Zwei - sample 1

Pale Trial Zwei the sample from carboy 1

The one thing I really wasn’t sure about was how healthy the yeast might be. I didn’t know if there would be too much yeast, grown from the last batch. Maybe it wouldn’t be healthy enough, stressed from the last brew. Or maybe it would need more nutrients, which I deliberately didn’t put in. Plus I didn’t keep an eye on the fermentation. That said, it looks like things went smoothly.

Final gravity readings ranged from 1.010 to 1.008 and I’m happy with that. The OG was 1.047 and after bottle conditioning alcohol should be between 5.6% and 5.4%. That’s very respectable for a pale ale. The cause for the range in final gravity may have been due to a few things. Possibly sediments in the sample, possible yeast health, or a number of other things with the yeast.

Pale Trial Zwei - samples 2-5

Pale Trial Zwei samples from carboy 2 to 5

The bottling by myself was a bit of trial and error. The first carboy I used the old hand siphon. That is, two tubes with a pump thing. Have been using it for a while but works as long as you’ve got the flow going and don’t stop-start too much. For the rest (done on another night) I was able to use the Auto Syphon as the other carboys have a bigger opening. Had a bit more trouble with this due to the seal between the top and the tube. After a lot of trial and error I worked out better to pull the end out of each bottle and fill the next without trying to stop the flow. Lost a little, but not as much as stop-start. Something to work on. In an attempt to try and reduce beer loss, I left beer in the Auto Syphon between carboys, so mixing left over from one with the start form the next. Bottles marked, but not expecting anything noticeably different.

Pale Trial Zwei bottled 2-5

Pale Trial Zwei all bottled with bottles from carboy 2 to 5

Looking forward to trying these brews. I’ve had a bottle of each of the Pale Trial Ein bottles. They’ve settled down a fair bit. I didn’t do a side by side comparison, but the differences seam to be there. Will do a proper review in a week or two.

Been a bit slow getting new content up. Few reasons for that. I’m letting my fermentation times run a bit longer, like this one for three and a half weeks. I’m brewing less, next one in a few days. Chas isn’t brewing, he’s got a bit of a stockpile. But might be fixing that this coming weekend. And a few reviews haven’t gone up yet. I’m going to try and get a few of them up over the next couple weeks.

-Mikey

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Tiny magic things, yeast adventures

I’ve talked to a fair few home brewers over the last two years. Pretty much all aspects of brewing have been discussed. One thing that comes up every now and then is the use, growth and reuse of yeast. Something I’ve mostly avoided, until now.

Since day one of homebrewing I’ve used dry yeast. And, up to only earlier this year I’ve pitched it into the wort dry. Since then I’ve done some rehydration of yeast. And even a couple basic yeast starters. Nothing serious.

Off the back of the Pseudo Lager I wanted to capture that yeast. It was a basic US-05 yeast that did what it shouldn’t have been able to do. It took a strong pale ale extract brew and brought it down to a low 1.006. That’s around the lowest I’ve ever got a final gravity. But what was exceptional was that it did it over a period of a month. All the while temperatures ranged from as high as 14°C down to 0°C, maybe lower. I remember one professional brewer saying that the beer was probably stuffed. Yeast being “turned on and off” is not a good thing, by all accounts.

So, these magical tiny organisms had not only survived, but produced some pretty good beer. Could I get them to make more?

I looked up how to reuse yeast. And there are a few ways. The simplest is to pour new wort directly onto the yeast cake, once bottling of the last beer is done. This is a crude method as you’ve got all the dead yeast and left over hops as well. That not-good stuff is called trube. I say not-good because I haven’t come across anything yet that says it’s specifically bad for the beer.

The next method is referred to as washing. Again, you need to get the yeast after bottling. But this time you don’t have to, and can’t, use it straight away. You’re suppose to pour in some pre-boiled then chilled to room temperature water into your fermentation vessel. Boiling is important because you want water without oxygen, or as little as possible, and the heat should kill anything bad. Then you want to chill because heat kills yeast. Once at temperature dissolve the whole lot in the water and pour into sanitised vessels. These should have some kind of air seal as you don’t want any more oxygen. Put in fridge and wait for the cloudy stuff to settle. At the end there should be clear-ish water/beer at the top, a thin white layer if yeast, then a thick bottom layer of tan/brown coloured trube.

There’s a bit more to it, as I came to realise when I did that with the yeast from the Pseudo Lager. Long story short, I had to throw it all out.

Pale Trial Zwei - empty carboys

Pale Trial Zwei to fill these empty carboys

And that brings me to the last brew a couple Sundays ago (31 August). The Pale Trial Zwei was almost the exact same as Pale Ale Ein, but with Galaxy hops replacing the Victoria Secret hops.

  • 14 litre boil
  • 1.5kg Golden LME @ 40 mins
  • 15 grams Galaxy hops @ 30 mins
  • 11 grams Galaxy hops @ 15 mins
  • 1.5kg Golden LME @ 5 mins
  • 12 grams Galaxy hops @ 0 mins

Gravity came in at 1.047, less than Pale Trial Ein. That’s somewhat expected a there was more water in this by the end to dilute the malt.

And then pitched the wort onto the yeast cakes of Pale Trail Ein.

So, this experiment is to see if this can work as a successful way to reuse yeast. Plus want to see if yeast characteristics from one brew can carry over to the next. This second part is going to be the most interesting as the five Pale Trial Ein beers are different in colour and flavour.

Bottling will be next weekend. Look forward to letting you know how it turned out.

-Mikey

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