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Old 07-19-2007, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Honing your recipes by limiting your brews

So, I am thinking about focusing on say only two beers that I make and alternating between the 2 and just brewing only those for a while. I guess to see what subtle changes in ingredients and technique will do and also to "perfect" the recipes. It is a hard decision because there are so many styles I still want to make and many I would like to try and make again that did not turn out before. I think it is the right thing to do though as I have also been having a rather hit or miss brewing year (missing more than hitting) and I think this will help my brewing. Plus the two are already favorites recipes of mine, an APA and a scottish 80/- that I would love to have on hand all the time. Maybe I'll thrown in a third depending on frequency of brewing. I am really itching to brew but I have no kitchen at the moment. I can brew outside but I am a little paranoid about bottling outside.

Anyone else limit themselves to a couple of styles and recipes? Especially folks who feel compelled to brew EVERYTHING possible? Well, okay, I do not want to brew every style, but most...

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:02 PM   #2
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I think it's a great idea for troubleshooting and fine tuning.

So far, I have been having too much fun trying different recipes, and they have been turning out pretty tasty, so I have only repeated 2 batches. Of course, when those kegs run out again I will probably make more. That's one of the reasons I have been accumulating kegs - I can keep brewing my favorites, while trying new stuff too!

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:04 PM   #3
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That's what I do.

I love a certain style. British Ales so pretty much stick to them. I brew 3 or 4 beers regularly and maybe every 4th one try something different but still something I know I like.
Maybe once a year I'll experiment.

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:22 PM   #4
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So Orfy, do you brew them the same way each time?

I guess I also want to see how much they differ batch to batch even if I attempt to be consistent. I realize there will always be a lot of variables but I want to taste some together and see just how different. Actually, my latest batch of each that got me thinking about this are so good, I am afraid I won't be able to duplicate them!

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:43 PM   #5
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I tend to brew a recipe twice to see how it comes out and if it comes out the same each time. Then if I think I can in improve I'll tweak one or two things a smallish amount.
I'll try to adjust the colour a little and improve/adjust the taste to match what I'm triying to brew. I'll also try and address clarity and head retiontion issues.
I may also keep exactly the same ingriedients but adjust the mash temperature or time.

I'm lucky that I love one style so much that I never get fed up with it.

I loves me beer.

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:50 PM   #6
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I think I'm going to do the same thing - focus on two brews for a good while to work on my technique. I just started AG brewing and I need some practice with my setup. I also need a better sense of how small changes in ingredients and temps can effect the final result.

I've chosen an english pale ale and an american amber ale, since these are my favorite ale styles. These beers will probably become my house beers. I might even make one of them an extract + steeped grain recipe rather than AG since extract brewing is so quick and easy.

However, SWMBO likes variety and has recently become enamored of the high (over?) hopped IPAs that are in vogue now, so I'll need to work an IPA into the rotation too.

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:56 PM   #7
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I am starting to do this, too. After my initial leap into PM and AG brewing, I went a bit wild brewing all sorts of different styles (generally only once each). Now I have settled down and want to try to brew some really good beer.

I am thinking I might actually go back to small (3 gallon) batches for the purposes of experimentation and tweaking. 5 gallons takes a while to drink (unless the family comes over), whereas smaller batches give you the opportunity to brew more frequently (which I enjoy).

This is the really fun part of the hobby. I used to brew just so I would have good, inexpensive beer on hand. Now I am more interested in the challenge of brewing quality and interesting beer. Lotsa fun!

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:57 PM   #8
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I just started doing the same thing, focusing on one style of beer. Along the lines of what's already been said I wanted to refine one recipe so that I could call it my house beer and always have some available. My style of choice was a hefeweizen. The first batch of it that I did was extract with grains but I just converted the recipe to PM and will be trying it out for the first time this weekend. It will be my first ever PM so I'm very much looking forward to it.

I'm considering going with two styles though just for variety and I figure if I make one a quicker style of beer, my hefe, I can make the other something that will need time to condition, perhaps a nice stout.

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Old 07-19-2007, 08:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy

This is the really fun part of the hobby. I used to brew just so I would have good, inexpensive beer on hand. Now I am more interested in the challenge of brewing quality and interesting beer. Lotsa fun!
I couldn't agree more. I'm at the point where I've got the basics down, but now I need to nail down the fine points. Working on one or two beers at a time will help with that.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:45 PM   #10
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I'm looking to move in this direction as well. You can only really fine tune your procedures when you limit the other variables, and brewing a different type of beer each batch makes comparisons much less effective.

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