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Old 11-10-2010, 04:59 AM   #1
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Default Why are your best beers almost always your "Oops!" beers?

Let me preface by stating that I am towards the tail end of one of my accidental 12.87% masterpieces. I may stutter.

Now, back on point. Why is it that the best beers are almost always the ones you simply can not replicate? You know the one; your grain bill ran short so you had to improvise with what you had laying around, or the one where you had way too much pre-boil wort, so you had to do an extra long boil to get closer to your mark. You know, the ones where the blessed Gods of Beer sprinkled extra magic pixie dust into your average brew, turning it into something, well, magical.

My examples. I brewed my first AG Dark Bitter and completely and royally screwed up how much wort I would have before the boil. I was brewing a 3gal batch, but started with 5gal of wort. So, what did I do, I boiled the hell out of it. For two hours. I thought it was going to be crap as it smelt like I had started a brushfire in my boil pot, extra charcoal. I almost dumped it right than and there, but I thought, "screw it". I dumped my yeast and let it roll. It was rough at start, all burnt, nor malt. It matured, and the burnt turned into chocolate, and the residual CARMALIZED sugars turned into nectar. Yeah, it was only 3.2%, but damn, it was sublime!

Lastly, I brewed up a dark belgian, and all went to plan; I hit my gravities, my efficiencies, and boil times after a perfect mash, but I had to improvize on the yeast. The recipe called for a seasonal Belgian yeast which my amazing local home brew shop didn't have, but being the innovative spirit, I did some checking and found the perfect yeast for my next creation Wyeast Belgian Ardennes 3522. Or so I thought. Needless to say, I have NEVER seen a yeast as aggressive and hungry as that yeast. I'm not even slightly exaggerating when I say it took this bad bot down from 1.1 down to 1.001 in about 5 days. Yeah, one point zero zero one. Five days. Wow.

Long story short it sat in secondary for an extra month because I was too lazy to bottle it, but it is now ready and damn, it is strong. At this point, being brewed about 3 months ago, it is young and likely to mellow, but even still with all its angsty juvenile heat it is ridiculously drinkable. In large amounts, for about 30 minutes anyways. God save me if that heat goes away and the 12.87% stays.

It hurts because this is as close to perfection as I may ever get, and it was by accident!



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Old 11-10-2010, 05:07 AM   #2
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It don't matter how much you fvck up on brew day so long as you take note of each and every fvck up. Even down to how many minute it took you to "fertilize" the flower bed during mashout. I heard it here, paraphrased of course, "I prefer to think of the Ooops beers as limited edition specials"



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Old 06-02-2011, 01:15 PM   #3
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So far all of my beers were fantastic. I loved every one of them like children. I had some sort of fvck up with every last one. I just want to plan a beer and have it come out exactally how I planned it.

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Old 06-02-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
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My best beers have always been the ones that went flawlessly. My 'oops' beers end up being not very drinkable. Then again, I don't drink while brewing and try to do everything the exact same. I also make sure I have everything on hand BEFORE brew day.

But when I was starting out there were mistakes aplenty. We learn to eliminate them and become better brewers from them.

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Old 06-02-2011, 01:32 PM   #5
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Does a calculated oops count? I say this because I knew the old can of cooper's OS lager (6/09) was going to be a bit darker than the beer typically produced from said can. I knew I wanted to use Munton's plain DME for the flavors. But the LHBS was out of plain light,so I went with plain extra light. Any port in a storm,you know. With one ounce each of Kent Golding,& Willamette,I was on my way.
It took 4 weeks to get down to FG & dry hop the last week. 3 weeks in the bottle,I tossed 8 of them in the fridge for 6 days. What came out was the same color as the Salvator doppel bock we had been enjoying lately. But had that wonderfull English buiscotti-like sweetness,with the hops producing lemon grass,floral,earthy,spicy aromas & flavors. 7-8 weeks in the bottle,it tasted more like a smoothed out Salvator. Still had a slightly sweet toasty quality,but the hops had degraded to a bright sort of mild bitterness on the back. Still pretty good. Didn't think it would end up so good that Gary at home brewer tv would give it 3 thumbs up!?
It's gunna be fun trying to duplicate that...
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:51 PM   #6
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Because they're the beers you are most likely to leave alone to do their thing without fussing over them or poking at them every couple of days.

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:02 PM   #7
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so far my 2 worst f**k ups did not turn into great beer....First fu** up....Brewing a Maple Brown, I used just normal table maple syrup. Every funky nasty chemical came out when it fermented out. First batch I ever poured out, it was rough.

Second eff up was following a extract recipe that called for 2 little water, basically, I ended up with 1 gal of wort to mix with 4 gal of water....it's my Irish Some what red bud light, on tap now....errrr My BIL loves it however, rookie....

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:36 PM   #8
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We have a brewery here in town called Strange Brewing Co. They have been running for a little over a yr now. Their best beer was an accident. They accidentally mixed their stout with a cherry wheat. When they tasted it, it was delicious (and it was). They have been trying to replicate that mistake and it has never been the same.

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Old 06-02-2011, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
It hurts because this is as close to perfection as I may ever get, and it was by accident!
I know what you mean. A couple of months ago I was brewing a CA Common with some buddies of mine. I had been more or less following the recipe in Jamil and Palmer's book, but had to make some substitutions at the LHBS. One of which was switching from a mild chocolate to a chocolate malt; little did I know the chocolate malt I was substituting was 620L!

Not not only that, but we had been drinking beers casually all day, so I missed a few timing marks, forgot to add in a few things until the last minute, and so on.

At first, I was worried that I had created a monster. Then, after a few weeks in bottles, it's turned out to be one of the best beers I've made.

Moral of the story: more RDWHAHB while brewing!
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:26 PM   #10
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The nice thing about brewing is that if you stick to the basics of sanitation and you know what is going into your beer it will at least turn otu drinkable.



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