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Old 08-17-2012, 03:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by capnzak View Post
I'm sorry. I think I asked this question in a really dumb way. What I really wanted to know is, which grains and hops should I always have on hand and why?
As far as brewing what I like to drink... The thing is, in Japan beer is crazy expensive. A single bottle of any decent imported beer is about 500JPY. Therefore I want to brew beers that I wouldn't really be able to afford. I have a hop wholesaler that I can order from, but I am ordering by the pound. Likewise, I can order grain here in Japan, but ordering by the kilo is much more economical.
My original question wasn't really what I wanted to ask. However, I am curious to know if there are any styles that a "serious" beer drinker/brewer must try?
2 row, marris otter, maybe some crystal 40 or 60, and the 3C's hops.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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Whattaworts dream list of absolute must-brew styles:

APA
Cascade Pale Ale
Hefewiezen

Sorry man, I'm just a bit more ambitious!

To the OP....if you just want to know some styles that you should try that maybe you haven't yet, my advise would be to go to your local craft brew store that sells singles and buy as many of the styles you have never had before and have a sampling day. If you like them, brew them.

My list was more a "what skills to strive for as a brewer" list, not a "read my mind and tell me which kinds of beer I'll like that I've never had before" list.

Cheers to all, least I be FLAMED!!!
Definitely not my dreamlist by any stretch of the imagination. He has limited resources in a place that's not exactly budget or brewer friendly. I was trying to think of some styles where he could buy bulk grain and make several styles with said grain. It's about practicality.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:32 PM   #13
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There's no such thing as "must brew styles." It's about what you like. Your tastes are different than mine, and different from Whattaworts and everyone else. I would never for example brew a hefe, or most wheat based beers, because I can't stand them. I know brewers who are not hopheads, so for them an IPA has no appeal.

If you want to know what to brew, look at what you like to drink.....If you don't know what you like to drink, but some beer. A lot of beer stores these days sell mixed sixers. Go mix and match and grab stuff you've never had before. Then read about them in the BJCP guide, and start exploring the style, then search for some recipes and figure out what to brew.

Things like this are really too subjective to be able to give any really substantive answer.

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Old 08-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #14
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Things like this are really too subjective to be able to give any really substantive answer.
I totally agree with this. Instead of "must brew styles", I'd say think about "must brew techniques". Meaning figure out what you like, then instead of doing a single infusion mash, try a step mash or a decoction mash. Or if you're doing extract, try doing late extract additions. If nothing else, it changes up the process a little bit so you don't get bored by brewing 10 hefes, but you're still making beer that YOU like.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Whattawort View Post
2 row, marris otter, maybe some crystal 40 or 60, and the 3C's hops.
Definitely a good list. Here is a little more expanded list:

2 row malt of your choice (l like Marris Otter), lots of it.
Munich Malt - good addition in small amounts to a lot of different styles
Variety of Crystal Malts - 40 for sure, 60 for sure, 20 is good to have also.
Roasted Malts - For darker beers, Chocolate for sure, Roasted Barley, maybe some black patent.
Wheat malt: nice addition to almost any style and the occasional wheat beer is always nice.

On hops, I stock American varieties and English varieties. Depending on what you like, this can vary quite a bit.

Centennial: My go to hop for IPA's, but harder to get these days. Try any good pungent style for most hoppy American styles (Columbus, Simco, Amarillo, others). Do some reading. Stock two of your favorites and you can brew just about anything American.

East Kent Goldings: Good for just about any English style, barleywines, stouts, brown ales, etc. Can substitute other "Goldings" varieties if needed. Challenger is also a good English variety.

Get some neutral bittering varieties for general use and not so much "hop character". This will help to extend your inventory of the American and English varieties that might be harder to find. Some examples: Nugget or Perle (my standard).

If you are limited on inventory, this is a good start and will allow you to brew a good variety of beers. As you brew, you can hone in on which styles you keep returning to and eliminate some of the stock items and add others so that you don't have items that just "hang around" and don't get used.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:33 PM   #16
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If you are really ambitious, you can also make your own crystal malts from base 2-row so you don't have to buy as many specialy malts in bulk. If you use the search function you can find several threads on how to do this. Along with the base 2-row and Munich, I am a big fan of Vienna malt as well. As far as hops go, there are so many different styles it depends on what profile you are looking for and what I like you may not...

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Old 08-19-2012, 08:22 AM   #17
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Thanks for the advice everyone.

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