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Old 01-30-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
benxrow2002
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Just wondering how you more experienced brewers got started with different styles. Did you try to make clones of your favorite beers or did you just throw stuff together to make something unique? I'm asking because I just finished brewing my 3rd batch and in my head, it's almost like I have free reign to make whatever I want and have tons of ideas in my head.



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Old 01-30-2008, 02:29 PM   #2
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Welcome to HomeBrew. It's a lot like cooking, you just have to be familiar with what the ingredients will contribute or be willing to make that beautiful mistake.



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Old 01-30-2008, 02:33 PM   #3
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Well, I've always followed recipes (sort of) and done "styles" or "clones". I think it's because I've always been a little cautious about making a beer exactly the way I like it. I overthink the ingredients, and the styles and have a hard time thinking up recipes. I think that's my basic personality and not something I'm proud of!

I wish I was the kind of person you are, though- that sounds awesome to have some ideas in your head and be willing to take some risks. I think some of the best brewers must be like that. I'm more likely to "experiement" with hops than with malts, unless I'm actually looking for something specific.

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Old 01-30-2008, 02:39 PM   #4
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I'm still pretty new, so I mostly follow recipes that are known be good examples of a style. I'm still learning about different ingredients and styles, so this works for me.

But, yeah, I hear what you are saying. You do have the freedom to brew what ever you want and its a great feeling

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Old 01-30-2008, 03:08 PM   #5
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Get yourself a copy of Ray Daniels book Designing Great Beers. It will help you to understand how the ingredients work and how they go together into the classic styles.

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Old 01-30-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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I'll follow a proven recipe for the most part. I might adjust the grains/hops to dial down the ABV%, but always try to maintain the original gravity-to-IBU ratios by plotting on this chart.

gravity_hops_ratio.jpg

With the shortage of hops right now, I think we're all forced to "improvise" our recipes.

One note, if you're going to create a recipe from scratch, avoid over complicating things.

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Old 01-30-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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I think that brewing new styles and formulating my own recipies is one of the best parts of brewing. I will normally pick a few styles that I haven't brewed before, then review the styles BJCP style guidlines and come up with a recipe of my own creation based upon those guidelines.

I'll then do some searching to compare the recipe I came up with to other similar recipes to make sure that what I have come up with is proper for the style. Sometimes I make some adjustments and other times I feel that my recipe is just fine the way that it is.

Don't feel that you have to be a style geek though. What's so great about this hobby is that you can brew whatever you want and as long as you like it - that's all that matters.

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Old 01-30-2008, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul
Get yourself a copy of Ray Daniels book Designing Great Beers. It will help you to understand how the ingredients work and how they go together into the classic styles.
+1 for that book. Another thing I've done is take classic/solid recipes and brew them to the tee. Then I would tweak them in ways I thought I'd like to make them my own. You have to find the balance between creativity and acceptible combinations. Like anything else, knowing the fundamentals is crucial. You can't start improvising off the bat, but eventually you can go so far as forgetting style-guidelines if you like...

edit - brewtus and I are not purposely posting next to each other, although it may start looking that way
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:12 PM   #9
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What's up with the Chewbacca avatars?
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulive

edit - brewtus and I are not purposely posting next to each other, although it may start looking that way
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
What's up with the Chewbacca avatars?
Soulive is still suffering from Wookie envy... and now he's stalking me.

When you post whore as much as we do you're bound to respond to the same thread a lot.


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