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Old 11-12-2012, 12:16 AM   #1
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Default How do you fine tune your recipes?

considering it takes about 2 month to get from the trial to result how do you fine tune your receipts? I have just tasted the best beer I have done so far - what should I do with the next batch? Do the exact same thing? Try to eliminate the costly components? I know when the beer is wrong (i.e too bidder, too thin, or too sweet), but what to do when it is about great?

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:22 AM   #2
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considering it takes about 2 month to get from the trial to result how do you fine tune your receipts? I have just tasted the best beer I have done so far - what should I do with the next batch? Do the exact same thing? Try to eliminate the costly components? I know when the beer is wrong (i.e too bidder, too thin, or too sweet), but what to do when it is about great?
When it's perfect, don't mess with it! You could try to eliminate the more expensive ingredients, but then you'd have a different beer.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
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year right, how can you tell it is perfect? I am just saying it is the best of my brew that I have tasted so far.
which btw came from by replacing 2-row with pilsner and sitting in secondary for 2 month (I think pilsner is the main reason but how can I know?)

I am definetly putting the exact batch right away, but I am also thinking about how to make it better (or cheaper?)

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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Trial and error. Just learn what each ingredient brings to the table, change ONE thing each time you make the recipe, make note of the differences, and then repeat. Sure, each try takes two to three months, which means that perfecting a recipe may take years, but hey, the learning process requires you to drink beer so the waiting's not so bad.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:49 AM   #5
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yes, unfortunately this is what I am doing so far - keeping the log, changing one thing at a time, learning the influence of hops, grains and temps on the final product, I wish I'd be The Big Lebowski and don't give a ****

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:02 AM   #6
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You can always do it the way you did the first time and compare the two side by side. Provided you have some left of the original once the second one is ready. That way you will gain a better grasp of your procedures, system, etc. Then of course change one item, i.e.; amount, type or time, and then understand what they add or subtract from the recipe.

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Old 11-12-2012, 05:07 AM   #7
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If you like to experiment, consider 1 gallon batches. Also, doing Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) beers is a great way to see just what each brings to the table.

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:19 AM   #8
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I've been doing a lot of split batches lately, pitching 3 different yeasts. It's an easy experiment as you only have to brew one batch, then split it. So, it's not much more work and it can help determine which yeast goes great with that recipe.

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Old 11-14-2012, 04:05 AM   #9
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I agree with the sentiment that people are putting forth here. Tweaking a recipe with purpose requires that you have the tasting skills to understand where the flavor you want to change is and where you want to go with it. From there you need the brewing and ingredient knowledge to know how to get where you want to go.

You don't have to keep rebrewing the same beer to acquire that knowledge IMO. Brewing and tasting similar styles such as Pale Ale, IPA, IIPA, etc. can teach you how changing a few ingredients and their amounts can result in different styles too. Split batches are a great way to check out yeasts and understand why you would choose an English strain over an American for what you want to get out of a beer. Or, if you are ever in San Diego check out the White Labs tasting room. That place is like a yeast school.

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Old 11-14-2012, 04:39 PM   #10
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Tweaking!

I'm closing in on 100 batches under my belt and yet I have only brewed maybe 10 different recipes. As one of the above posters talked about, this is the amazing thing about small or split batches. I've fermented my DIPA at 61, 63, 65, with notty, with 05, with 04, with a hop tea, without...on and on. I even try to do double brew days if I want to experiment with my hop schedule, FWH or late hop. That way I can taste the result side by side. I've done my Pomona Ale about 30 times, my Botolph's Ale about 20. I always do a smash if I want to incorporate any new hop into a recipe.

I've learned so much and continue to tweak. I am trying my Pomona again next week during a double batch day...one with flaked barley for head retention and another with carapils to compare. Its cheap and easy the smaller the batch size is...the only way I know my recipe is perfect is when it tastes amazing and I stop asking...what if I did x.

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