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Pinter Tasting Tests - Minimum vs Recommended

Hello all, my name is Riaz and I’m the Community Engagement Representative at Pinter. Welcome to the Pinter Tasting Tests! This will be all about brewing to your individual preferences. 

For this series of trials, I’ll be brewing 2 of the same Pinter Pack side-by-side in our own controlled environment, changing one key variable to showcase how changes to the brewing process can provide different results. 

The Pinter may make things a lot simpler compared to other brewing methods by cutting out tasks such as extensive recipe designing, a full day of brewing prior to adding the yeast, and having to clean several vessels and tools, but different methods can still affect the end result.

In this first edition, we’re exploring brewing times. After lots of in-house trials, our Brewing Development team sets the brewing parameters for each Pinter Pack based on the fermentation and flavour profile of the beer from their own esteemed recommendations. We've set out to publish what the impact and feedback was of different brewing times. 

First up, we wanted to look further into different brewing times - Minimum vs Recommended - for one of our beer styles. How much difference actually is there? Is it noticeable? 

Here’s what we say about the difference between the two in our Tips & Tricks:


Recommended times allow for a more complete maturation of the beer in terms of flavour, aroma, and appearance, and guarantees a more stable equilibrium between carbonation and head space. 


This is a simple way of covering the difference; we’re going to go into more detail in this trial to showcase the extent to which brewing with Minimum or Recommended can affect your Fresh Beer. 


I brewed two separate Pinters of Bigmouth Remixed, a community favourite. The Minimum time for this is 6 days of brewing and 3 days of conditioning, and Recommended is 7 days of brewing and 5 days of conditioning. Both were brewed so that they finished conditioning on the same day and were tapped at the same time.


Besides this, no variables were different between the two - both were kept in the same incubator at 20C and then the same fridge at 2C. Both were cold crashed for the first day of conditioning and the Hoppers were added just before undocking for the remainder of conditioning time until tapping. At the point of tapping, all tasters were conducted blind so not to cause any bias.



Then came 4pm on #ThirstyThursday - time for the best part of any Pinter Tasting Test - tapping! Pinter staff got involved with this Tasting Test - 24 guinea pigs in total. They were all asked to sample the Pinters blind so as not to have any bias and I was interested to hear that the majority were able to correctly identify which Pinter was which.

Correctly Identified Recommended vs Minimum

Unable to Identify Recommended vs Minimum

Preferred Recommended

Preferred Minimum

19 (79%)

5 (21%)

17 (71%)

7 (29%)



There was a slight difference in appearance between the two, with the Recommended Bigmouth having increased clarity and appearing slightly lighter in colour - see the images below.

                        Minimum Bigmouth                          Recommended Bigmouth


Flavour and mouthfeel


The Recommended Bigmouth's carbonation impacted mouthfeel, with more pronounced bubbles and having a livelier sensation on the tongue. There was also increased crispness and the prominent flavours were the ones you would expect - stone fruit, citrus, and white grape - the Hopper flavours were very pronounced. Overall, the Recommended Bigmouth had a slightly more rounded flavour, with Minimum Bigmouth often being reported as having an extra maltiness as well as a slight sweetness, which is less typical of a Session IPA, contributing to arguably more flavour overall.

Of the 24 staff who tried the samples, 7 in fact preferred the Bigmouth with Minimum times over the Recommended, citing these differences as the reason. 



Why Brewing Times Matter


Appearance: The Recommended Bigmouth was clearer due to there being a longer time for sediment, predominantly yeast, to drop post-fermentation. It appeared slightly lighter in colour due to its reduced haze so, if clarity is your preference, our Recommended times are the way to go - don’t forget cold crashing as well.


Carbonation and pouring: At cooler temperatures, beer is able to absorb more Carbon Dioxide. Allowing more conditioning time means that more of it will be absorbed by the beer rather than remaining in the head space, i.e. increasing the carbonation and reducing the pressure within the Pinter, meaning that it pours more easily and the final carbonation is higher. If the conditioning temperature were warmer, I would expect the difference between the two Pinters to be more pronounced, with the Recommended times having a similar level of control as was experienced here and the Minimum times having slightly less.


Flavour differences: In terms of the flavour differences, the “extra maltiness” reported gets scrubbed away over time so that it’s no longer perceived in the Recommended Bigmouth. It’s possible that the residual sweetness that was present in the Minimum Bigmouth was due to a slightly immature fermentation, leaving some fermentable sugars remaining.  


It’s also important to note two things here. First, it would likely be possible to achieve more similar results when brewing a Minimum Bigmouth with warmer brewing temperatures and cooler conditioning temperatures - a complete fermentation would be reached sooner and conditioning temperature is a more important factor than time. And second, whilst the Recommended Bigmouth’s flavour profile was more desirable for the beer style based on the majority of Pinter staff’s preferences, others preferred the Minimum times - this goes to show that some people will prefer a Minimum Bigmouth as we all have different opinions! 




If you prefer a more carbonated, drier, more well-rounded beer, Recommended times will likely be worth it for you. However, if you prefer your beer to have a bit more sweetness and a malty tang, Minimum times may be better for you. It’s also worth noting that some Pinter Packs will have more or less significant differences between their Minimum and Recommended versions. This means only one thing… more Tasting Tests to come!


Let us know what you’d like to see us trial next…




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