BBR Trub Experiment – The Truth is in the Taste

Got together with two good brewing friends last night to taste the beers I made for the Basic Brewing Radio / BYO magazine trub experiment.  You can click the BBR Experiment tag to see my previous posts on this, but essentially I brewed two beers (a light colored, low gravity ale and a dark colored medium high gravity ale) in which I split the wort between two fermenters such that all of the hop residue and trub went into one fermenter and only clear wort went into the second.

There were a few anomalies noted during the brewing, and the final gravities varied just a little, but not in a way consistent with the presence of trub.  Before the tasting last night I noticed that the “no trub” beer had a slight haze in the bottle, compared to the “fermented with trub” beer.

But what about the taste?  Well, with the help of the DW, we conducted a type of triangle test.  Each of the three tasters were given three samples of beer, one of which was different than the other two.  None knew if the odd beer was the ‘trub’ or the ‘non trub’ beer. Each taster was asked to identify which beer they thought was different from the other two, and which beer they preferred.

Interestingly in tasting both the light ale and the dark ale, each of were successfully in calling out the ‘odd’ beer.  In the case of the light colored ale, we all agreed that we preferred the beer that was fermented with the trub.  We found the trub fermented beer to be cleaner and crisper tasting, versus the non trub beer whose flavor was more muddled.  For the dark ale one taster strongly preferred the trub fermented beer.  For me and another friend, while we correctly identified the odd beer we found the differences very slight and just slightly preferred the non trub beer.

I will put together a more detailed report for James at Basic Brewing, and I will post it here.  I am looking forward to the results from other brewers who participated in the experiment, but in the meantime I am not going to worry about a little trub in my fermenter!

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