Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How to make sense of it all
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-18-2011, 12:43 AM   #1
william_shakes_beer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,148
Liked 152 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default How to make sense of it all

Here's where I am;

I've made about 10 batches, extract and steeping grains, partial boil. I have taken thorough notes on the recipies for each, the expected OG and FG, actual OG and FG, yeast strain, hops schedule, ETC. and tasting impressions after 4,6,and 8 weeks in the bottle (for those thst lasted that long) A few of the results were quite pleasant, but more than not " left something to be desired" I'd like to take the info I have and somehow compile it into a tool I can use to predict what I will like. I can run Mr Malty and add IBU to the other info, but I'm not sure if I will have something that is useful. I'd like to get to the point where I can look at a recipie and make initial adjustments to suit my personal preferences, rather than just"brew as is" and grind through a batch that's not my favorite. Is there any benefit to what I am looking for, or is it better to just pick a style and experiment until I get a recipe I like, then file it away in the vault and move on to another style? of the 10 batches I've made, 1 I would not touch, and 1 is a rebrew with adjustments that still isn't where I want it.

__________________
william_shakes_beer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2011, 01:09 AM   #2
KCBrewer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
KCBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Independence, MO
Posts: 8,590
Liked 1420 Times on 1389 Posts
Likes Given: 46

Default

Try making smaller batches. You could do 5 one gallon batches, each with different modifications that you think you may like.

In the mean time, read up on different malts, hops, yeasts, etc. and take notes of the things you think you may like.

__________________
"I'm no gynecologist, but I'll take a look at it."
KCBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2011, 01:13 AM   #3
scoundrel
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
scoundrel's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 810
Liked 44 Times on 34 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by william_shakes_beer View Post
Here's where I am;

I've made about 10 batches, extract and steeping grains, partial boil. I have taken thorough notes on the recipies for each, the expected OG and FG, actual OG and FG, yeast strain, hops schedule, ETC. and tasting impressions after 4,6,and 8 weeks in the bottle (for those thst lasted that long) A few of the results were quite pleasant, but more than not " left something to be desired" I'd like to take the info I have and somehow compile it into a tool I can use to predict what I will like. I can run Mr Malty and add IBU to the other info, but I'm not sure if I will have something that is useful. I'd like to get to the point where I can look at a recipie and make initial adjustments to suit my personal preferences, rather than just"brew as is" and grind through a batch that's not my favorite. Is there any benefit to what I am looking for, or is it better to just pick a style and experiment until I get a recipe I like, then file it away in the vault and move on to another style? of the 10 batches I've made, 1 I would not touch, and 1 is a rebrew with adjustments that still isn't where I want it.
I think you should just start by just focusing on picking a couple styles. Think about what you'd order at a bar or buy at a store. Then learn about that style. What are the predominant grains, yeast and hops used. Look at all-grain recipes. Note the base malts and find out how they could be converted to extract. Note the specialty grains. Then build a few recipes.

To me, it seems like you're taking the natural path to all-grain.The benefit of extract brewing is its a good place to start. You get excited when you see how good of a beer you can make. But there are so many unknowns and as you get better you start searching for answers to make your good beer great. With all-grain (besides more flexibility) you quickly get an understanding of recipe ingredients and formulation.

Even if you can't go all-grain now that's okay. Simply understanding the style will make converting to extract easier and you'll be able focus on making small tweaks to make some really outstanding beers.
__________________
BrewGeeks.com
My Brewday
Track Your Beer

Starter??? I don't even know her!
scoundrel is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2011, 01:45 AM   #4
BOBrob
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: escanaba, michigan
Posts: 582
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

Default

+2 on whats been said already. Look in the recipes/ingredient forum for ideas, and Denny's Sticky "Ingredients Guide" is priceless for getting that certain something. From hops to yeast he does a great job of describing the flavors and use of ingredient and what to expect when properly used. I go back to read more all the time. Cheers

__________________
BOBrob is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2011, 01:53 AM   #5
pericles
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bryn Mawr, PA
Posts: 744
Liked 21 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I suggest that you look into Ray Daniel's Book, Brewing Great Beers. Every professional I've ever met has a copy, and praises it as the must-have guide for recipe formulation. Jamil (who is a professional now too, I guess) has said the same thing.

Another good technique is to make a series of simple pale ales: 95% 2-row, then 5% Crystal 20. Make another with 5% Crystal 40. And another with Crystal 80. Then try 5% Vienna, 5% Munich, 5% Honey. You get the idea. That will help you learn about grains.

__________________
Primary 1: Hasty IPA
Primary 2:
Secondary: Soured Golden
Kegged: American Wheat
Bottled: Belgian Golden Ale.
Planning: American Amber
pericles is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2011, 02:10 AM   #6
Piratwolf
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Va Beach, VA
Posts: 2,119
Liked 127 Times on 119 Posts
Likes Given: 82

Default

Hey, Shakesbeer!

Sounds like you're in the same spot I was in September. I did a couple of things that seem to have made a huge difference. Here they are, in the order of importance to improving my beer:
1. Ferm temp control. Eliminated strange, unwanted flavors.
2. Calculating my pitches & making starters according to Mr. Malty
3. Washing/repitching yeast slurry
4. All grain--more control via mash temps, grains, etc
5. small batch test runs on simple recipes as suggested by earlier poster--really helped me dial in my process and flavors
6. Listening to The Jamil Show podcasts every day (no, seriously)
7. Starting to use liquid yeasts

Just FWIW

__________________
Piratwolf: "I've heard that Belgian Blondes can be "panty droppers" but they're not particularly high IBU nor cheap."

jmendez29: Haha! I get it! :ban:
Wait. You're not talking about beer, right?
You're talking about beer. That could have been a whole lot more fun.
Piratwolf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2011, 12:09 PM   #7
MikeinCT
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Watertown, CT
Posts: 213
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

I have been brewing all grain for a bit over a year. Probably made 10 batches of the same recipe - American Amber Ale. I choose this because I like it. I focused on getting everything right. That means - flavor, abv, yield, technique, time to brew - etc. So pick a simple recipe and focus on getting it right. BTW - I dont think you will make bad beer but you can improve dramatically with practice. You will find lots of help on this forum. I have also found good info on youtube.

__________________
MikeinCT is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
jetmac
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Mcdonough, Ga
Posts: 1,159
Liked 17 Times on 17 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinCT View Post
I have been brewing all grain for a bit over a year. Probably made 10 batches of the same recipe - American Amber Ale. I choose this because I like it. I focused on getting everything right. That means - flavor, abv, yield, technique, time to brew - etc. So pick a simple recipe and focus on getting it right. BTW - I dont think you will make bad beer but you can improve dramatically with practice. You will find lots of help on this forum. I have also found good info on youtube.
+1

That's a great idea.
__________________

Wayne Gretzky-"100% of the shots you don't take, don't go in

Revvy>>You shouldn't worry about ANYTHING, you didn't hurt the yeast, they know what they need to do, they want to eat all that sugar they are swimming around in. They want to pee alcohol and fart co2, it's their nature.

Bobby_M>>I flood the keg with CO2 for one minute with the lid off, rack the beer in to the bottom gently, seal it, flood it, vent it. If there's still O2 in there after that, F it.

jetmac is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #9
william_shakes_beer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,148
Liked 152 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Thanks for the input.

1. Got a ferm chamber, been using it for the last 4 batches. (frees up my shower!)
2. Started doing starters and harvesting from split starters the last 2 batches. I've decided to limit my yeasts used to the 3 I am ranching to reduce the varibles.
3. Got a stir plate controller just waiting for me to get all the other parts and put it together.
4. Where would I find a link to the Jamal show podcasts?
5. I've already got a copy of "brewing classic styles, which I am re-reading now.
6. Been using liquid yeasts since batch 4.
7. "Designing Great Beers" sounds like a good reference, with more info on the ingredients. Just placed it on order.
8. What container works best for fermenting a 1 gallon batch? I have a small (5cf) fermentation chamber that comfortably holds 1 brewing bucket, but no more.

__________________
william_shakes_beer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-19-2011, 01:44 PM   #10
pericles
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bryn Mawr, PA
Posts: 744
Liked 21 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Www.thebrewingnetwork.com
__________________
Primary 1: Hasty IPA
Primary 2:
Secondary: Soured Golden
Kegged: American Wheat
Bottled: Belgian Golden Ale.
Planning: American Amber
pericles is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kit Recipe Make Sense? mdineenwob Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 22 12-09-2011 01:14 AM
2 stuck fermentations, the only link is oat malt, does this make sense? asterix404 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 08-29-2011 01:34 AM
Boiled off most of my wort. i need more common sense. VincentOates Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 07-02-2011 08:12 PM
Does this make sense? timmystank Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 05-06-2009 03:39 PM
Does this make sense? ruprplxd Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 03-22-2009 02:20 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS