EXBEERIMENTAL SCIENCE 2023
In 2023, we mixed things up as we challenged three Australian independent breweries to don a lab coat and craft not one, but TWO beers - a "control" and an "experiment!
In addition to live event attendance and online attendance via the live stream, we introduced watch parties at venues across Tasmania, allowing those in regional areas to enjoy the experience with like-minded beer nerds.
This was also the first year we had the brewers come together to brew a collab beer, Pils Of Wisdom Cold IPA. Some of the profits from the beer went towards our first scholarship which helped brewers obtain brewing science qualifications!
RANGE BREWING (QLD)
Since 2018, the Brisbane-based Range Brewing has been at the forefront of innovative brewing. With an impressive backlog of weekly releases under their belt, Range continues to push the boundaries with outrageously hop-loaded TIPAs or lip-puckering sours.
Range's lead brewer Ally Thomson joined us on the panel for the 2023 event. With a degree in microbiology and organic chemistry, Ally was our idea of the ideal nerdy Science Made Beerable panellist.
Can you dry hop with spent hops?
“In with the Old” 5.0% Pale Ale
“Out with the New” 5.0% Pale Ale
Here's what Ally had to say: "There’s no hiding the fact that Range Brewing loves their hops. Double or sometimes even triple dry-hopped beers frequently appear on our weekly release list and it’s not uncommon for the phenomenal aroma of spent hops to fill the brewery everytime a fermenter is cleaned out.
I know we’re not the first brewery to wonder how we could harness this aroma for a second time round and yet, almost always, hops are discarded after first-use in the brewing industry.
Over the last decade studies have shown that regardless of hop variety only about one-third of the dry-matter composition of hops is utilised during dry-hopping with up to 77 percent of alpha acids and 51 percent of total oil is retained in spent hops which would suggest the potential for spent dry-hop reuse is considerable.
While a handful of breweries do experiment with spent hops on the bittering hot-side, not many use them in a dry-hop and even less so in hop-focussed styles. Range Brewing wanted to look at a direct side by side comparison of beers with fresh T90 dry-hop vs the same recycled T90 dry hop. And so, we have made two pale ales, identical in recipe and design with the only difference between the two is that one (“Out with the New”) has been dry-hopped with fresh Citra and Vic Secret T-90 pellets while the other (“In with the Old”) has been dry-hopped with the very same recycled Citra and Vic Secret hops from the former."
Needless to say, the experiment was well-received, with some attendees preferring the beer with re-used hops. Range were pretty chuffed with the results too. So much so that they launched a Preloved Series to further explore the concept!
SHAMBLES BREWERY (TAS)
Long time friends and partners of the event, Shambles Brewery are a staple of the Tasmanian beer scene. Started by former science teacher, Cornel Ianculovici, Shambles are well-known for their passion for experimentation and solid beers.
On the night, lead brewer Henry Tanner, sat down with us. Henry’s wealth of experience and passion for pushing the boundaries of brewing has led him to constantly experiment with new ingredients and beer styles, expanding his skills and knowledge along the way.
Does haze have a perceptible impact on flavour?
“CTRL” 7.0% Hazy IPA
“EXP” 7.0% Hazy IPA
For exBEERimental Science 2023, Shambles Brewery brewed two IPAs using the exact same recipe. "CTRL" follows conventional Hazy IPA wisdom: lots of oats and wheat, no finings, massive dry-hop and no filtration. A traditional “juicy hop-bomb” with a pillowy mouthfeel and more tropical fruits than you can poke a polyphenol-protein complex at.
However, for "EXP", they used fancy, modern techniques (including finings, centrifugation and dancing naked by the light of a full moon) to create a "New-World Hazy" – a ground-breaking “bright IPA”.
On the night, we did a blind test and results were mixed. We couldn't tell one from the other, but some seemed to think they could pick out the haze...
MOLLY ROSE (VIC)
Molly Rose is known for taking the path less travelled, and experimenting on their merry way down that very path. You'll often find them brewing a saison or even a spent olive brine gose!
Founder and brewer Nic Sandery pulled up a chair with us on stage. A natural speaker, he shared his passion, love and knowledge on all things beer (but in particular those wonderfully fun-guys, yeast!)
What impacts can a yeast strain have on a beer?
"Adorned” 6.6% Belgian Dubbel
“Polished” 6.4% Bock
Yeast is at the heart of every beer, and its selection and handling play a huge role in the success of crafting a magnificent beverage. Yeast can not only change the flavour profile but it can change the mouthfeel, the carbonation, the foam and even the colour of the beer.
For their exBEERiment, Molly Rose made a wort with some stunning Voyager malt and split it down the middle in two of a dish bottom fermenter (which keeps yeast happy).
"Polished" was pitched with a malt forward lager yeast to make a Bock-style beer, while "Adorned" was fermented with a classic Belgian Trappist yeast, resulting in a dubbel-style beer.
The beers were an absolute hit with crowd and brewers alike. It was also the perfect showcase of how much difference yeast can have on beer, even the foam colour was different! Why might that be? We're not entirely sure - the mystery of the foam colour remains!
2023 COLLAB BEER
PILS OF WISDOM COLD IPA
We didn't just ask the brewers from Shambles Brewery, Molly Rose Brewing and Range Brewing to brew beers for ExBEERimental Science, we also got them together before the event to brew a science-inspired collab beer!
"Pils Of Wisdom" Cold IPA - 6.1%
Sporting a Pilsen water profile, this experimental Cold IPA features delicious goodies from our event sponsors to create a drinkable hop-bomb of flavour!
The legends from Voyager Craft Malt offered up the malt bill, which included their Pale Schooner, Triticale and Voodoo, plus their latest Certified Sustainable product, Dexter Carapils Malt.
Our friends at Hop Products Australia provided the copious amount of hops required, which included Centennial Incognito in the whirlpool, a heavy double dry hop of Vic Secret, Citra and Cascade with a generously sized pour of Galaxy Spectrum to seal the deal.
Yeast-superstars Bluestone Yeast provided the crispy pilsner yeast required to fit the style, offering up a liquid starter of their Freiberg Lager yeast.