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Old 12-09-2012, 05:50 AM   #21
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I think the software idea is right about some of the odd things in recipes.
Scale them up and down and it will come up with fractions of an oz of hops or grain that no one would have come up with when designing a beer.

I don't get frustrated though. If a recipe looks like too much trouble I have two choices.

1) modify it in a way that makes sense to me and I think will come out right.
2) move on to another recipe.

Who cares if others are coming out with recipes that I don't want to bother with.

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Old 12-09-2012, 03:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 45_70sharps View Post
I think the software idea is right about some of the odd things in recipes.
Scale them up and down and it will come up with fractions of an oz of hops or grain that no one would have come up with when designing a beer.

I don't get frustrated though. If a recipe looks like too much trouble I have two choices.

1) modify it in a way that makes sense to me and I think will come out right.
2) move on to another recipe.

Who cares if others are coming out with recipes that I don't want to bother with.
You're spot on with the brewing software. One thing I do a lot is determine the percentages of each part my grain bill, enter each grain into Beersmith as a portion of a pound (say .8lbs 2-row and .2lbs Munich), and scale up to my desired OG. This often winds up with weird amounts which I round up or down to the nearest quarter or eight of a pound; whatever keeps my percentages close to what I intend.

On topic, complexity has its place as does simplicity. The key is knowing when to use a complicated malt bill and how to do so without muddling your flavors.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:07 PM   #23
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I tend to agree that the simpler a recipe the better. Some times the reason a recipe is so complex is because certain flavors are attempting to be mimicked. Look at old style German beers or some Belgian varieties: certain grains are added to mimic the flavor of a decoction mash.

I, for one, stay simple. I rarely use more than four grains and only use 3 different hops in my IPA. That IPA also has about 1.25 lbs of hops in it so I could totally be talking out of my anus here.

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Old 12-09-2012, 04:13 PM   #24
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Yooper, not to be a contrarian here but.... while I fully agree with you on your justification of complex hops, where desired, I beg to differ with your comment on malt. I love simplicity in an IPA malt bill but I also brew an "Old Rasputin" clone that has 4 roasted malts (Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Brown Malt and Caramel 120). Throw in a couple others in addition to base malt and about 100 IBU of hops and you have a complex bitter chocolate coffee flavor that is amazing. This is one of my favorite recipes. It sounds crazy but it reproduces the malt profile of Old Rasputin. Have I tried it without all the malts? No. Would I bother, probably not. Just my $0.02. Do what works for you.
But Caramel 120 isn't a roasted malt, its a caramalt, right? So you're still serious, but bordering on silly

I think Yooper was talking about roasted barely+black patent+carafaI+carfa III, or something like that.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:09 PM   #25
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But Caramel 120 isn't a roasted malt, its a caramalt, right? So you're still serious, but bordering on silly

I think Yooper was talking about roasted barely+black patent+carafaI+carfa III, or something like that.
Right. Brown malt is a great base malt for a porter, and crystal/caramel 120 is a crystal malt. I meant that I've seen a couple of stout recipes that do exactly what tennesseean said- carafa, carafa dehusked, roasted barley and black patent. Really? What does the carafa dehusked bring to this? It's one thing if you have it and just want to use it up, but I think it's important to look at the ingredients and figure out why they are in there when you're following someone else's recipe.

I like complex flavors in some beers, and think that using two kinds of crystal malt is a "must" in American ambers for depth, but overall I like simple grainbills. It's just that I don't like anything in absolutes!

Saying, "use only two kinds of grain!" is as silly as saying, "use at least 6 kinds of grain!" and that's what I take issue with.

I've had some SMaSH beers I've enjoyed, but for the most part I've found them one dimensional and bland. One of the best beers I make, though, is a Vienna lager. That's one kind of malt- Vienna malt. My pilsner recipe is 92% pilsner malt and 8% carapils. Those are great beers.

But that doesn't mean that every beer style should only have one or two kinds of malt- think of a porter or a stout. Sometimes you need some character malts!
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:17 PM   #26
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I try not to let too many things irritate me.

How somebody else chooses to brew their beer, sure as hell isn't going to be one of the illustrious few.

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Old 12-09-2012, 06:50 PM   #27
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I always see threads for bigger beers with simple grain bills where folks say something along the lines of "finally 6 months or a year later the complexity is really starting to shine". So, if you were making a beer that you wanted to drink that was younger, would you not use a complex bill to get whatever depth you are looking for without waiting however many months to get there?

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Old 12-09-2012, 08:12 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
I always see threads for bigger beers with simple grain bills where folks say something along the lines of "finally 6 months or a year later the complexity is really starting to shine". So, if you were making a beer that you wanted to drink that was younger, would you not use a complex bill to get whatever depth you are looking for without waiting however many months to get there?
Not necessarily. 2 different things.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #29
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I've been reading a few too many posts on here and have come to the conclusion that some folks here fall into a few categories.

Beer Engineers - All science and no artistic creativity. To me these are the folks that will do what the OP stated. Minute additions to a grain and hop bill that in their mathematical calculations will be the be all end all of beers. I honestly don't see adding 37.86g of 200* toasted maris otter into a grain bill and tasting or feeling the results. Over complication for complications sake.
Hipster Beer Cooks - All artistic creativity and no science for the sake of a fad. Granted the idea of throwing a grain and hop bill together to see what sticks is nice but 200+ IBU maple flavored bacon beer is a bit silly IMHO. If it floats your boat that's dandy but not very inviting.
Beer Recipe Fundamentalists - So it is written, so it shall be done! No deviation from the recipe no matter what happens. They will wait weeks for the properly denoted type of grain to arrive and not let "themselves" into the recipe.
Mash Slingers - The "if I got the grain on hand it goes in the recipe, whip up a batch and run with it" brewer. I like that a lot but the lack of repeatability is often the victim of some great beers.
Beer Chefs- The tastes are so refined they miss out on the basics at times. Don't get me wrong I love subtlety in beers but I'm not looking for subtle mint chocolate and citrus taste when I'm swinging a hammer.
Beer Crafting - Something I think we all strive to be but get caught up in the other categories. Relax, think about it a bit, then make it. If it works great, if not adapt and overcome.

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Old 12-09-2012, 09:20 PM   #30
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I've been reading a few too many posts on here and have come to the conclusion that some folks here fall into a few categories.

Beer Engineers - All science and no artistic creativity. To me these are the folks that will do what the OP stated. Minute additions to a grain and hop bill that in their mathematical calculations will be the be all end all of beers. I honestly don't see adding 37.86g of 200* toasted maris otter into a grain bill and tasting or feeling the results. Over complication for complications sake.
Hipster Beer Cooks - All artistic creativity and no science for the sake of a fad. Granted the idea of throwing a grain and hop bill together to see what sticks is nice but 200+ IBU maple flavored bacon beer is a bit silly IMHO. If it floats your boat that's dandy but not very inviting.
Beer Recipe Fundamentalists - So it is written, so it shall be done! No deviation from the recipe no matter what happens. They will wait weeks for the properly denoted type of grain to arrive and not let "themselves" into the recipe.
Mash Slingers - The "if I got the grain on hand it goes in the recipe, whip up a batch and run with it" brewer. I like that a lot but the lack of repeatability is often the victim of some great beers.
Beer Chefs- The tastes are so refined they miss out on the basics at times. Don't get me wrong I love subtlety in beers but I'm not looking for subtle mint chocolate and citrus taste when I'm swinging a hammer.
Beer Crafting - Something I think we all strive to be but get caught up in the other categories. Relax, think about it a bit, then make it. If it works great, if not adapt and overcome.
This nails it. wherever you find yourself in there, whatever suits your style and what you are shooting for, go for it, I'm rooting for you. I'm never gonna hope that your batch turns out bad so I can say, "you should have done it this way." but, whether it turns out good or bad for you, doesn't effect my brewing either way.

I think you'll find bits of me in between the first 2. just a beginner, I'm all about gathering equipment and gaining technique. I'm learning the science of it and I guess the art will come in time.

I'm mostly at the mercy of my LHBS and only buy enough for the batch at hand, so #s 3 & 4 don't apply

and my taste buds aren't refined enough for #5

it boils down to: It's all beer, it's all good.

Which I now pronounce to be the Words of House Grog

EDIT: jeez... all that and I forgot to address the OP. No. it doesn't irritate me one bit. I wouldn't do it that way, but anyone else is free to brew the way they want to brew.
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