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Old 12-14-2010, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Go big or go home? well, I'm a "home"brewer...

Yeah, I tried to be clever with the title and fouled that one off...

Anyway, I was inspired by http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/craft-beer-bars-issue-i-have-them-211363/ and my recent leaning toward more reasonable gravitied brews. For the last several years, I was caught up in the bigger is better hype of the craft beer craze and until last month, had yet to brew anything less than 6%, with the majority clocking in well above that. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good, kick-you-in-the-ass beer, but I felt that I'm ready to work on balancing my beers out more.

So who else out there has come to this realization and has dialed it back a notch or two? What are your thoughts?

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:26 PM   #2
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in 2010, I only made two beers that were above 1.060 (one was right at 1.060, other was 1.072) and almost 1/2 of my beers were under 1.050.

i just brewed a 1.050 esb on sunday, and I plan on brewing Orfy's Mild (1.037) either later this month or early Jan.

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:29 PM   #3
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I haven't brewed anything with an OG higher than 1.052 in the year I've been brewing. My line of thought is I can brew the smaller beer that I drink on a regular basis and then when I want something higher gravity I can run to the liquor store and grab a few bottles and get more variety than I would if I brewed my own big beer.

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:30 PM   #4
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I try to keep my OG ~ 1.050 and up....I have stayed in the 1.050-1.075 all year.

Thought personally I find 1.050 to be great.....~5% beer is fine with me!

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:36 PM   #5
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I too was caught up in the hype of bigger is better, with beer anyway. Over the last year I have realized it is more about taste and the process. Less about the side effects. There are still some styles that I will crave. Barleywine, RIS, IIPA. But one 12 oz. and done.

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:40 PM   #6
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I started out big and now most of my beers are ~4.5-5%. There's a lot to be said about a good Mild or Scottish Ale.

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:45 PM   #7
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I think everyone gets into limit-pushing trends in this hobby. It's only natural. The highest OG I have in my current log book (stretching back 2 years or so) is 1.056. Most of my beers come in around 1.050. Through trial and error, I've found that to be my sweet spot.

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Old 12-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #8
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This last year of brewing (~22 batches) the lowest gravity beer has been 1058, highest was 1125. My wife says that she wants to make the bigger beers because if she is going to drink the calories, then it might as well be strong (1 7% beer vs the calories of 2 4-5% beers). I want to make smaller beers and have been shooting for OGs of around 1045-1055ish now. I want to make a couple of session bitters or something next year as well. When I tell my friends that I want to make a 4.5% beer they all ask why? Its simple, I like to drink, and I drink the same (for the most part) whether the beer is 4.5% or 8%. So why not drink lower alcohol beer that tastes as good and save the hangover.

But there is always a place for IIPAs, BWs, and 8.5% Old Ales

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Old 12-14-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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I never drink or brew very high gravity beers. A normal IPA is as far as I go. Just don't care for them personally. But, to each their own and there's room for all kinds of beer in this hobby.

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Old 12-14-2010, 05:08 PM   #10
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I started out with big beers, but soon gravitated back to 4.5-6.0% ABV beers. It's just much more pleasant to drink on a regular basis.

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