Oh the pain of dial-up! I have not been able to get on the internet for over a week! This is too much. We hope to be getting a faster connection, sooner rather than later.
The to-prime or not-to-prime experiment continues. My latest test of the no-prime theory is with a stout. This is a very dark beer I brewed with a good bit of dark roasted barley and fermented with a Wyeast German Ale yeast culture. This yeast is an explosive worker. It creates a huge krausen and gets done quickly. I thought it might be an excellent candidate for bottling without priming so I bottled half with primer and half without.
The bottles that were primed came out as expected. They have a huge tan head that takes up about half the mug. They also have the strong chocolaty taste characteristic of the German Ale yeast. I forgot to put in the lactose during the boil, so they are somewhat light-bodied for a stout, but still a very satisfying full-flavored beer. Success!
Being just short of a month since bottling, I opened one of the unprimed bottles. As expected, the beer had much less carbonation, though it still managed about an inch of white foam at the top of the mug. The taste was excellent. Again, as expected it was noticeably, though subtly, different from that of the beer in the primed bottles.
The flavor of the beer from the unprimed bottle seemed to be a bit sharper. The chocolate flavor was definitely more pronounced. The flavor provided by the hops was also more noticeable, but still in the background, as it should be with a true stout. There was just enough carbonation to tickle the tongue as it slid smoothly by. Another success!
It seems that once again I have managed to get two distinct and excellent beers just by priming or not priming bottles from the same batch of wort. I am beginning to like this method. It has opened a new frontier of experimentation. Let us see what the unprimed beer tastes like in another month.