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Old 08-27-2008, 04:16 AM   #1
gigidogg
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Default 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.

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.

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Old 08-27-2008, 04:17 AM   #2
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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.

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Old 08-27-2008, 05:14 AM   #3
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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.

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Old 08-27-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigidogg View Post
Please, somebody knock me off my pedestal.
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.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:24 PM   #5
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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.

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Old 08-27-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigidogg View Post
...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.
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.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:22 PM   #7
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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.

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Old 08-27-2008, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
I have a keg full of carbonated coffee.
NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL BREAKFAST BEER!
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.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:29 PM   #9
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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...

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Old 08-27-2008, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
stuck an unsanitized body part in
Please don't tell me you are teabagging your beer, Revvy!
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