Aug 142010

OK, it’s been a while.  Between moving, removing a fallen tree, generally taking care of a one-year-old, and working, it’s been hard to find extra time.  

Here’s the questionnaire we presented to the homebrew club a few months ago regarding the English ale yeast strains.  In short, everyone could taste differences in all beers.  Some strains were more popular than others.  It is interesting that 1768 is a very polarizing strain.  Some loved it, some hated it.  Overall, it was an educational, but labor intensive, experiment.  Given the differences between all of these yeasts, I highly recommend comparing different strains when formulating recipes.  Comparing eight at a time is not practical (or advisable), but pick two or three and compare the results.  Picking one strain every another won’t make or break your recipe, but I guarantee it will make the difference between a good beer and a great beer.

Could you taste differences among the samples?
Yes (24)   No (0)
Everyone could taste differences
How did you expect the samples to compare?
Very Similar (7)    Somewhat Similar (13)   Not Similar (2)

How did the samples actually compare?

Very Similar (2)    Somewhat Similar (16)   Not Similar (5)
Most people expected the samples to taste somewhat similar and found that they did.  There was a general shift from Very Similar towards Not Similar after tasting the ale.

Which sample did you enjoy the most?
1026(3) 1028(3) 1098(2) 1099(3) 1275(2) 1768(3) 1882(4) 1968(4)
Nothing substantial here.  This looks like a fairly uniform response with all yeast strains finding favor.

Which sample did you enjoy the least?
1026(5) 1028(0) 1098(2) 1099(4) 1275(1) 1768(8) 1882(2) 1968(1)
Two stains stood out on this question; 1028 was notable for no one finding it objectionable.  Over one-third of the respondents chose 1768 at the least enjoyable ale.
Which sample produced the best Special Bitter?
1026(2) 1028(1) 1098(1) 1099(3) 1275(3) 1768(6) 1882(0) 1968(4)
1768 was chosen by 30% of the tasters as producing the best Special Bitter.  This is notable especially considering that over one third of the tasters disliked the 1786 ale in the preceding question.  1882 is notable in that none of the tasters indicated that it made the best special bitter.
Which sample produced the worst Special Bitter?
1026(4) 1028(1) 1098(0) 1099(3) 1275(1) 1768(8) 1882(2) 1968(2)
Once again the tasters indicated a strong reaction to 1768.  It was selected to produce the worst Special Bitter as well as produce the best.  Over one-third of the responses indicated that 1768 produces the worst Special Bitter.  1098 was not found objectionable by anyone.
Which yeast strain are you most interested in brewing with?
1026(5) 1028(2) 1098(0) 1099(4) 1275(2) 1768(3) 1882(5) 1968(3)
The most noteworthy response was that no one indicated that they were interested in brewing with 1098
Which yeast strain are you least interested in brewing with?
1026(6) 1028(0) 1098(0) 1099(4) 1275(1) 1768(8) 1882(2) 1968(2)
Many members of the group indicated that they were not interested in brewing with 1026 and 1768.

Both 1768 and 1026 seemed to produce strong responses throughout the tasting questionnaire.  1028 and 1098 are significant in that no one indicated that they were least interested in brewing with them.

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