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-   -   How hard is it to make bad beer? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/how-hard-make-bad-beer-77952/)

gigidogg 08-27-2008 04:16 AM

How hard is it to make bad beer?
Please, stories welcome.

I have been doing AG for about a year now. I have some of the classic issues, eg low efficiency at times, missing my mash temp, desire for more and better equipment (read SWMBO fiscal responsibility lectures), and I have yet to make a beer that is not good if not excellent. Am I just gifted? Please, somebody knock me off my pedestal.:cross:

P.S. May be it's the 3 month old Saison talking. Who knows. 7.6% and clean does make for an entertaining night of brewing.

McKBrew 08-27-2008 04:17 AM

It's pretty difficult unless you try to do something wacky. I added coffee to a recent beer. I should have paid more attention to the methods described but tried something different. I have a keg full of carbonated coffee.

Wables 08-27-2008 05:14 AM

I decided to design my own stout for my 3rd AG recipe. It tasted like liquid smoke, with some charcoal mixed in, so I dumped it. That was the only batch I have ever dumped. I have had a couple of so-so recipes in the past couple years. ALL OF MY SO-SO RECIPES HAVE INVOLVED THE OVERADDITION OF HIGHLY KILNED GRAINS!!!!! Just so I am clear, read the previous sentence again, out loud. When I am using base grains, and anything else under 120L, things just seem to turn out good to great. The only exception the So-So rule above was when I primed a batch with pure Maple Syrup. Either Charlie P. was wrong, or the syrup was boiled down more than normal, but when you pour a glass, there is 3/4 foam.

Baldy_Beer_Brewery 08-27-2008 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by gigidogg (Post 820032)
Please, somebody knock me off my pedestal.:cross:

I don't think the pedestal is that high and there are a lot of us on it anyway. Brewing beer is just not that hard. At least brewing good beer isn't. The only real challenge I could imagine would be those who try to brew the same recipe time after time and reach a consistant color, taste, mouthfeel, ABV, etc.

But just brewing good beer? That's easy IMHO.

adamjab19 08-27-2008 12:24 PM

The only way you can make a bad beer is if you have picky tastebuds and don't like the warm sensation of alcohol passing through your body. It's ALWAYS all good.

fratermus 08-27-2008 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by gigidogg (Post 820032)
...I have yet to make a beer that is not good if not excellent. Am I just gifted? Please, somebody knock me off my pedestal.:cross:

I think I finally screwed the pooch on a batch recently. I was doing one of Jamil's recipes and thought "hey, these ingrediants look out of whack. I will adjust the snot out of them". Nice, huh?

The execution is fine (no off-flavors introduced by technique or sanitation) but at the 3rd carbing week it doesn't taste like something I want to drink 5gals of. Maybe time will help. I'll keep it around.

Note to onlookers: make any new recipe by the book first, THEN adjust to taste.

p4ck37p1mp 08-27-2008 01:22 PM

Define bad. I made a light ale for the wussy drinkers and found it to be like water, no flavor, no nothing, little abv. I forced myself to drink that crap just to make sure I remembered how bad it was. I think the lesson will stick. I've gotten pretty adventurous with making recipes up, it always comes out as beer. Just a matter of what you're expectations are. A lot harder to screw up ag, at least in the sense of abv. It will still taste great. My first IRA 6-7 years ago that I brewed without the buddy that taught me to homebrew had very low abv as I screwed up the sparge. Tasted fantastic though, so I didn't consider it a total screw up or bad beer at all, just had to work hard to get a buzz. :D

BigKahuna 08-27-2008 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by McKBrew (Post 820034)
I have a keg full of carbonated coffee.

How does that go with steak and eggs?

I'd say that as long as you at least loosely follow GABP (Generally Accepted Brewing Procedures) and some marginally reasonable recipe structure....you are about 98% likely to produce beer. There is also the pride factor in drinking what you made. But I'd bet you are....like a lot of us....making pretty good beer.

Revvy 08-27-2008 01:29 PM

There's a difference between making a bad tasting beer, and ruining it...and it's hard to ruin (i.e. infect for the lurking n00bs) but it is pretty easy to make dissapointing batches. It's like cooking, you can easily have an unbalanced batch, or a batch with too much of one or more ingredients, like 'mus and Wable mentioned...or using a yeast that produces flavors you don't want in your beer.

But I wish I could press the idea of the difficulty to actually ruin a batch...I mean, all of us at one time or another have dropped a grommet or something in our fermentor, or stuck an unsanitized body part in...or forgot to sanitize their wine theif once, splashed hot wort, has had a siphon break, or done some other bonehead move, and usually the beer STILL turns out fine...

flyangler18 08-27-2008 01:32 PM


stuck an unsanitized body part in
Please don't tell me you are teabagging your beer, Revvy! :D

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