Projects and Thoughts

Pales in Comparison tasting notes

I finally got to sample of Bow Bog Brewing‘s version of the pales in comparison along side my own. The idea was for the two us formulate a recipe, brew that recipe, using nearly identical ingredients. The two of us ‘designed’ recipe fairly arbitrarily. During an email exchange we agreed on a style, then I picked the hop bill, and I finally goaded Mike into picking the grain bill. I don’t think either of us has much in the way of experience making recipes, but this came together surprisingly well. We were both happy with the outcome, but I think we both have ideas on how we’d change it to fit our ideal local rye pale ale.

Here are the brewing details, recipe, etc:

Brew Day Notes:
Untapped Page:

The taste test setup. I chilled both beers to the same temp. I then I requested my lovely wife pour 2 samples of one beer, and one of the other.

IMG 2455

All three samples are identical in color.

They all have equal carbonation.

The head retention on one sample I’ll call A, is clearly less than the other two, I’ll call B, and C.

A has a bit of a tart, almost acetic nose.

B has a really mello nose, almost no nose, a tiny bit of hops.

C Seems more aromatic. Than both A or B. More malt, more earth and spice.

The taste of C is a bit watery, spicy, and dry.

The taste of B is earthy, spicy, and dry.

The faste of A very similar earthy, spicy, less hop flavor. However it had a bit of an off twang. It tasted as if it might have had a slight bottle infection.

My guess was that B and C are the same beer, and that A is Mike’s beer, and checking with my blind test taker; I was correct.

I repeated the test, swapping position with my wife, and she picked Mikes sample as her preferred beer, saying the other tasted yeasty. I also repeated the test later in the week with very similar results, I slightly preferred mine, but they were very similar in most regards.

From forming the recipe, to the tasting this has been a really enjoyable experience. I liked the idea of trying to create the beer from scratch, and trying to match minds and skill with one of my oldest friends. The friendly competition was also fun. You can see from the above photos, the beers appear to be almost identical. The aromas, and flavors were really close, only differing slightly. Next time, I think I’d go a bit bolder with the hops, I’m really a hop forward type of guy. I’d also dial down the ABV, and get close to 4.5. I think Mike said his plans were to add even more Rye, something he’s been in search of all year.



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