Home Brew Forums

Home Brew Forums (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum.php)
-   General Beer Discussion (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/)
-   -   Beer Tasting - Comparing your home brews to commercial examples (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/beer-tasting-comparing-your-home-brews-commercial-examples-176831/)

dndlyon 05-07-2010 03:16 PM

Beer Tasting - Comparing your home brews to commercial examples
 
Hi All,

I'm relatively new to the site, so am not sure this is the right place for this, subject but here it goes...

I'd like to set up a tasting "party" with some friends who typically drink Bud and Coors light. I want to make this kind of an educational thing - these are some of the different type of beers and characteristics, and here is how my homebrew compares. I've spent the last week kicking myself for throwing out my notes from the food fermentation classes that I taught in college! It's been awhile and I'm finding that I'm as much of a worrier on the first batch as everyone else! Since it's been a while, I'm starting simple (malt extract kits) to make sure I haven't missed anything and my system works before getting more complicated.

Any suggestions on what you would match with a Scottish Ale and a Honey Wheat? I've found several examples of good Scottish Ales (from BJCP), but am not sure what I can get locally (Ohio). I'm having a bit of trouble with the Honey Wheat - found lots of examples of German Wheat beers, but I'm looking for something closer to an American Wheat beer.

Eventually I'd like to turn this into a regular thing and really get into a range of beers, but I'm keeping it simple for right now and this is what I have in the buckets. ;) I'm thinking of this as a trial run for the bigger party when the fridge is stocked.

Thanks in advance!

l1ranger 05-07-2010 03:46 PM

where are you in OH?

if you're near c-bus, palmers beverage store probably has what you are looking for.

if you happen to be near newark, the beverage source has a good selection.

if you're near zanesville, weaselboy has a scottish on tap, but you'll have to get a growler to go, they don't bottle any of their beers.

slowbie 05-07-2010 04:10 PM

What type of scottish ale did you make? It's going to be easier to find examples of Strong Scotch Ales (aka wee heavy) than the 60/-, 70/-, or 80/- versions.

Looking at the BJCP guidelines for Strong Scotch Ale, Founders Dirty Bastard immediately jumps out as one that should be easy to find. Dark Horse makes a Scotty Karate Scotch Ale as a September to March seasonal and you may still be able to find some. Belhaven is listed for every single one and they distribute throughout the US.

As far as wheat beers go, I'm not sure how badly you want a honey wheat or if you'll be happy with an American wheat, but Bells Oberon is a wheat beer that most BMC drinkers I know think is the greatest beer ever. Many breweries make a summer wheat beer, so if you look up your favorite breweries online you should be able to find a couple American wheat beers. Throwing in Leinenkugels Honey Weiss just to highlight the difference between the ale yeast and the lager yeast might be a fun idea too.

I guess I wrote a lot without making too many suggestions but Bell's Oberon and Founders Dirty Bastard are great beers for those styles IMO and for more options I would recommend checking your favorite breweries first and then going to a beer store with a great selection and asking them for help.

http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/ has a good review/rating site to help you find a good beer store in your area if none of the ones posted above are near you.

dndlyon 05-07-2010 04:45 PM

Thanks so much for the info. I'm about an hour outside of Columbus, so I'll have to check out Palmers. To be honest, I moved to Ohio 4 years ago from Georgia and was so frustrated that I couldn't find the microbreweries and favorites anymore that I gave up looking! There was a great "beer" culture in Georgia and we were lucky to have a lot of small local brew pubs.

Thanks again!

SumnerH 05-07-2010 05:00 PM

Oskar Blues Old Chub is another stronger scottish ale that's available fairly widely (e.g. Whole Foods carries it). Good beer in cans.

slowbie 05-07-2010 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SumnerH (Post 2047736)
Oskar Blues Old Chub is another stronger scottish ale that's available fairly widely (e.g. Whole Foods carries it). Good beer in cans.

Unfortunately, the closest you're going to find Oskar Blues is in Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dndlyon (Post 2047711)
Thanks so much for the info. I'm about an hour outside of Columbus, so I'll have to check out Palmers. To be honest, I moved to Ohio 4 years ago from Georgia and was so frustrated that I couldn't find the microbreweries and favorites anymore that I gave up looking! There was a great "beer" culture in Georgia and we were lucky to have a lot of small local brew pubs.

Thanks again!

Don't give up! Although there's nothing quite like that great local brewpub, and I don't have any suggestions to help you out there, the midwest is a great place to be for beer. I will freely admit that I am biased, but if I were to make a top 5 beer states list, Michigan would be in it for sure (along with Colorado, Pennsylvania, California, and Oregon if you must know). Bells, Founders, Dark Horse, and Jolly Pumpkin are all great breweries that make it to Ohio. Great Lakes is in Ohio, and they make my favorite porter, the Edmund Fitzgerald. I've heard good things about Hoppin' Frog from Ohio as well though I haven't tried any of their beer.

The midwest beer scene is younger than the west coast and east coast, but there are a lot of other great breweries that are gradually increasing their distribution as well.

Anyways, that beerfly link in my previous post also can help you find local brewpubs.

Good luck!

Also, to throw out one last idea, if you really want to break down the perception that all wheat beers are the same, you could pick up New Holland Pilgrim's Dole, which is a wheatwine (barleywine brewed with wheat malt if you're not familiar). I personally thought it was too a bit too sweet, but if I were doing something like what you're doing I would consider picking it up strictly for the shock value it would have among BMC drinkers.

dndlyon 05-07-2010 08:35 PM

Forgot to mention - the Scottish Ale is the kit from Brewer's Best.


Quote:

Also, to throw out one last idea, if you really want to break down the perception that all wheat beers are the same, you could pick up New Holland Pilgrim's Dole - slowbie
Glad to see you write this. This is exactly what I would like to do. Most of my group just drinks to get drunk, so it will be interesting to me to see if I have any "converts". Don't get me wrong - nothing wrong with drinking to get drunk, but there's also nothing wrong with appreciating what you are drinking.:tank:

I also am aware that there can be a huge difference in home brew and commercially available brews. I'm also trying to be a bit sneaky and educate my "tasters" so they can give me the kind of feedback I need to be able to experiment with different recipes. I'm sure the "Bud Lighters" are going to be a bit shocked at the first taste of home brew no matter what it is(especially if they drink the last drops out of the bottle!).

slowbie 05-07-2010 10:04 PM

By the looks of the Brewer's Best recipe you've made a Scottish 70/-. In case you're not familiar with the Scottish ales, the varieties are more or less the same beer brewed to increasing strength. If you can find the Belhaven 70/- that may be your best bet. I don't know anything about the other beers listed for that style, but 80/- will be similar as will, to a lesser extent, the strong scotch ales. Both of those styles will probably be somewhat easier to find.

As far as 'converting' people to flavorful beer, Pilgrim's Dole is not the one you want for that. Bells Oberon IMO is a great choice for that. Pilgrim's Dole is the beer you give to the guy who says that wheat beers are women's drinks. Just make sure he knows its 11% ABV before he tries to down the whole thing to impress you. :D

dndlyon 05-13-2010 12:23 PM

Thanks again for the info! I think I might see if I can find Palmers this weekend on they way to pick up ingredients for the next batches (an American IPA and a Cream Ale).


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:23 AM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.