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Old 12-02-2010, 01:29 AM   #1
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Default I almost gave up brewing.

I started brewing over the summer after first watching Beer Wars and then reading through Homebrewing for Dummies. I always drank BMC's (including what I thought was a craft beer Blue Moon).

Wanting to brew what I was accustomed to, my first batch was an all-grain Miller Lite clone using a self-modified version of DeathBrewers method (should have followed to a T). I mashed WAY too high, took forever to sparge. The final result was drinkable if you don't mind cringing a little with the aftertaste.

I tried the same recipe again with my same modified method thinking the drinkability problems were caused by the high mash temps. This time the beer turned out considerably better; but still not something I would ever buy.

I kind of felt defeated. I had invested all of this money, hours researching / brewing, and a couple months of waiting and all I had for my effort was beer that substandard. My friends would drink it (and tell me it was decent); but it was embarrassing that something I put so much time and effort into was subpar. Some people cant bake, I figured I just couldn't brew.

Then I decided to take a step back and make an Extract batch - Deception Creme Stout. I brewed and bottled, and while I was waiting for it to carb / condition I bought some Young's Double Chocolate Stout which was really good. You could imagine the joy I felt when I cracked my first bottle of Deception and it was BETTER than Young's! I was so proud to serve it to my buddies and when I kick one back it feels so good that I made something that tastes so great.

Coming off my success I figured I would give all-grain another try - Bee Cave Brewery Haus Pale Ale following DeatBrewers guide explicitly. It just went into bottles but the sample that tried was phenomenal!

I'm officially hooked. I went from getting ready to sell my stuff - to asking for a mashtun and a bigger brewpot for Christmas.

Anyone have a similar experience of going from COMPLETE frustration to being hooked?

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Old 12-02-2010, 01:36 AM   #2
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No, but just wanted to offer a word of affirmation about your extract brewing experience -great beers can be made with that process. And you can focus on other aspects of brewing, like yeast health or managing fermentation. Congrats on your brew!

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Old 12-02-2010, 01:45 AM   #3
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I can totally understand how starting with AG could be frustrating. There's quite a bit more process to pay attention to. I started doing AG this past year, but I still do extract periodically, particularly when I don't have time to do AG but still want to brew. There's noting wrong with mixing and matching brewing methods. You'll get great beer either way. And why not do some extract while you work on your AG techniques. Best of luck. Keep in mind, EVERYONE has crappy batches once in a while.

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Old 12-02-2010, 01:57 AM   #4
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1 of my early ag batches was a northern english brown. man, was i glad when it was gone, as i couldn't bring myself to dump it!!! kick back, have a homebrew, and go at it again. we've all been there

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Old 12-02-2010, 01:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BeerWars View Post
my first batch was an all-grain Miller Lite clone
That was two big mistakes right from the start:
#1: All-Grain is just too much for a newbe brewer.
#2: a good American Lager is impossible to home brew.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:06 AM   #6
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#2: a good American Lager is impossible to home brew.
I think the proper quote is, "a good American lager is impossible to brew," period.

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Old 12-02-2010, 02:38 AM   #7
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I think the proper quote is, "a good American lager is impossible to brew," period.

or "A good American Lager isn't light or Miller"
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:24 AM   #8
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No, but just wanted to offer a word of affirmation about your extract brewing experience -great beers can be made with that process. And you can focus on other aspects of brewing, like yeast health or managing fermentation. Congrats on your brew!
The weather just broke here - so I can get my fermentation temps down. I hear that makes the biggest improvement.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:26 AM   #9
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I can totally understand how starting with AG could be frustrating. There's quite a bit more process to pay attention to. I started doing AG this past year, but I still do extract periodically, particularly when I don't have time to do AG but still want to brew. There's noting wrong with mixing and matching brewing methods. You'll get great beer either way. And why not do some extract while you work on your AG techniques. Best of luck. Keep in mind, EVERYONE has crappy batches once in a while.
I was pleased with the results, but there is something that lacks in satisfaction of making an extract batch. I just had 2 in a row... LOL
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:28 AM   #10
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1 of my early ag batches was a northern english brown. man, was i glad when it was gone, as i couldn't bring myself to dump it!!! kick back, have a homebrew, and go at it again. we've all been there
LOL - sounds like we were in the same boat. OMG the first batch didn't taste bad when you were pouring it down, but the aftertaste was so brutal that you had to shake your head after each sip. I was relieved when it was gone.
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