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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > It's not always about the alcohol
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:12 AM   #1
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Default It's not always about the alcohol

My half buzzed post for today which goes contrary to what I'm doing right now. Probably should be posted somewhere else, but I think it's worth sharing with everyone.

The one thing that I think is probably the most important thing I learned once I had made a few batches. It's not always about the alcohol.

Many new brewers including myself started out thinking "hell yeah, I can brew beer and make it as strong as I want and get my buzz on!"

It didn't take me long to realize how far out there that line of thought was. Sure there is a time for the 10% Barleywine, or the 14% Imperial Stout. It's not always in the dead of winter on a cold day, although I think I drink more of my higher ABV beers in the winter.

But as I move on, I find myself wanting more of those session beers. The 4-5% wheats, pale ales, etc... I haven't made a mild or ordinary bitter yet, but it's on my list.

On a 74 degree day like today, the 6.5% red rye ale is good, but a bit much. On a warm day, it takes me a heck of a lot less beer to get to where I am now than if it were cold and rainy.

So what is the semi-buzzed point of this?

New Brewers.......

A great beer doesn't have to be loaded with alcohol. A great beer sometimes is the one that you can pour all day long and enjoy without seeing double.

And that is my Public Service Announcement for today.


Make Beer, Not War.

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Old 05-29-2009, 12:55 AM   #2
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I disagree, a day without seeing double because of my homebrew is like a summer day without sunshine!

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Old 05-29-2009, 12:58 AM   #3
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I concur. I am drinking a Kolsh right now that is great. I little wheat, a little fruity, and nice and light. The dog and I can sit around and pant together.

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Old 05-29-2009, 01:23 AM   #4
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My personal favorite - and best received by my freeloading, homebrew-swilling friends - was an Ordinary Bitter that came out around 3.7%.

I hit the flavor and the bittering pretty much perfectly to my taste. The extra alcohol would have just been "tits on a boar hog" as my grandfather would say. (meaning completely unnecessary)

Just my $0.02

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Old 05-29-2009, 01:32 AM   #5
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You know, I LOVE beer. Love it. Love the smell, the taste, the aroma, the mouthfeel. At 135 pounds, if I drink more than about 3 "big" beers, I'm toasted. I don't want to drink BMC swill, though. So, I can make a 5% IPA that tastes great, and doesn't get me ripped. Even though I am capable of making a good barley wine, the vast majority of my beers weigh in between 4.8% and 6%. Because I can drink a "couple two tree" of them, and still have a family life. Having one while I'm out for a paddle (avid kayaker), or out in the boat, or while hiking, or enjoying the view at the lake, is awesome for me.

Maybe it's the whole "quality vs quantity" thing for me- I would rather have a couple of excellent beers than a case of swill to get me drunk. I'm about 99.9% over the getting drunk phase of my life. If I get a bit drunk now, it's purely by accident- it means I was enjoying some craft beers a bit too much!

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Old 05-29-2009, 01:49 AM   #6
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I really try not to make anything about 6.25%. Just think of the money you save when you shoot for an IBU/SG ratio of 1.2+ that has a SG of 1.058

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Old 05-29-2009, 02:16 AM   #7
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I shoot for 5.5 to 6.5% ABV. I want it to taste good, smell good, go down good and give me a good buzz.

It's all about balance.

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Old 05-29-2009, 02:35 AM   #8
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I like 6% plus, I'm a big guy and it takes a little alcohol to warm me up. When I don't feel like getting warmed up I drink ice tea. I've been lucky so far my beer tastes good and it does the job. Just kegged a tripel that tastes like beer flavored mouthwash 10.75 ABV
hopefully a couple months back in the closet will bring it around.


Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he’ll sit in the boat and drink all day

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Old 05-29-2009, 03:04 AM   #9
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I want to see Yooper toasted...
Just kidding, I couldn't agree more with this post. I wish I could figure out a way to show this to my brother-in-law who does mr beer. He always adds corn sugar to everyone of his brews and doesnt ever use a hydrometer. So everytime I go to his house, I have a thin bodied, flat, sugarfest beer. I put on a happy face and smile as he goes "its like 8.5% abv". I have to say, its a slap in the face to me, and I dont know why. He has been a BMC past, and still is stuck on the lighter wheat beers, etc. Dont get me wrong, I love wheat beers, have over 50 of them bottled right now, but mine arent sugar watered piss. Anyways, this thread really hit me hard, and I had to get it off my chest.

P.S. Corona blows balls.

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Old 05-29-2009, 03:18 AM   #10
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There's a time and place for beers of all levels of ABV, but low-gravity session ales always occupy a tap.

The BGSA I just bottled is 9.5% ABV, the historic porter around 6.5%....but my absolute favorite is March Brown Mild at 3.5% ABV that I whack back en masse. 'Bout the closest thing to a house ale of any beer that I brew.

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