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Old 01-15-2007, 01:14 AM   #1
idkid
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Okay. I've done quite a bit of research on the two main types of beers (ales and lagers). understand that one of the determining factors as to what type of beer you have is the type of yeast and its ideal fermentation temp. However, I also know there are tons of types of the two. So the only thing I can come up with is the ingredients must determine the more minute differences between the different types of ales and lagers. So, besides on clone brews, how can I know what ingredients I'd like to have if, say, I decide that I'd like to brew a certain type of ale. Is there a good resource for this??? I hope this question makes sense.

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Old 01-15-2007, 01:40 AM   #2
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Well, to an extent, that IS the big question. If you want detailed answers, get a copy of Ray Daniels' "Designing Great Beer". If you're just getting started, read, read, read. Read clone recipes to see what ingredients are in there. Read forums like these religiously, see what the experienced brewers are using in their recipes. Don't worry about forumulating your own recipes right away, work off from established recipes and you'll naturally start picking some of this up.

I know Papazian's book (Complete Joy of Homebrewing) has some discussion, as would, I have to imagine, John Palmer's How To Brew (the first edition is available online, for free, at www.howtobrew.com).

But really, it comes down to a lot of reading and a lot of brewing; there really isn't a shortcut that I am aware of.

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Old 01-15-2007, 01:48 AM   #3
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Thanks. I was just kinda wanting to get a basic idea of "what makes it what." I'll pick up those recommended books. Thanks again.

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Old 01-15-2007, 01:49 AM   #4
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Start with Papazian and Palmer; that's the bible and the technical manual for this hobby. Daniels' is the graduate course - a great book, a phenomenal book, but you'll get a lot more out of it once you have a couple batches under your belt.

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Old 01-15-2007, 01:56 AM   #5
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this link tells you a lot about any kind of beer style and its characteristics.

http://www.bjcp.org/2004_BJCP_Guidelines.pdf

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Old 01-15-2007, 03:03 AM   #6
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wow...that site is exactly what i needed...thanks

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Old 01-15-2007, 03:08 AM   #7
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At the "How to Brew" website, he goes into good detail about how to achieve some of the basics: Click this to see the most basic breakdown of common styles.

Also, check chapter 19 of that online book; it's all about designing your own recipes. Finally, BeerSmith has been a huge help to me, for the simple fact that it actually has lots and lots of different types of malt, hops, and yeast in it, along with descriptions of their flavors and effects. It also includes the whole BJCP guidelines for all styles from both 1999 and 2004.

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Old 01-15-2007, 03:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
So the only thing I can come up with is the ingredients must determine the more minute differences between the different types of ales and lagers.
Just to list some of the major factors which will vary the style and outcome.
  • Yeast, yeast, yeast.
  • Base grains in varying combinations.
  • Specialty grains in varying combinations.
  • Adjuncts of which there are dozens.
  • Mash or steep durations, temperatures and steps.
  • Boil times with varying Hops and hop time additions.
  • Fermention Temps, Times and Dry Hop or other additions.
And it is so much darn fun!!!!!!
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler 13
Just to list some of the major factors which will vary the style and outcome.
  • Yeast, yeast, yeast.
  • Base grains in varying combinations.
  • Specialty grains in varying combinations.
  • Adjuncts of which there are dozens.
  • Mash or steep durations, temperatures and steps.
  • Boil times with varying Hops and hop time additions.
  • Fermention Temps, Times and Dry Hop or other additions.
And it is so much darn fun!!!!!!
When you think about it, the different possible combinations are mind boggling (and so is the the beer). Some other factors might be: Water type (hard, soft, sulfer, etc) and added salts.

I agree that the yeasty beasty makes a big difference.
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