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Old 01-09-2010, 02:45 AM   #1
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Default When is a recipe finished?

I love a good amber ale. I am working on the ultimate (to me) amber.

This evening, I kegged a two week old amber. Force carbed a couple of liters to give it a taste. So, I am drinking what should be fairly nasty, green beer.

It's my best amber so far. And it was brewed 15 days ago.

It has a nice, creamy head. It is SMOOTH, with just the right balance and a nice crystal malty edge. Color is good, but it is a bit cloudy (chill haze).

Should I declare it perfect, or keep working on the recipe?

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:09 AM   #2
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This is not a question someone else can answer. I spent years fine tuning a porter recipe, thought it was perfect, and tossed it out when I found a better one.

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:29 AM   #3
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I am a perfectionist when it comes to my beer, so I'm sure it can always be better somehow. Like david said, it's all up to you.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:33 AM   #4
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If you're like me, you'll declare it "nearly" perfect, then think more about it and decide to tweak it just a bit.

I'll say, "Yum. I LOVE this beer. This is exactly what I wanted.

But wait. It's great. But, I wonder if there is not quite enough bitterness in the malt bill. Maybe 5 more IBUs? OR, what about more crystal malt? How about some aromatic malt, just for a little more malty nose. Wait, maybe another late hops addition. Or, maybe more dryhopping. Or, maybe a different yeast strain would be less fruity. I wonder if some calcium chloride in my water would bring out more of the malt backbone."

I've made some great beers. I've made some over and over, using the same recipe. But perfect? Never.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:37 AM   #5
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I can't answer either, I still tweak my recipes, though some less than others. I think a recipe is "done" when you brew it more than once "as is." When you just grab the recipe sheet and brew it, without a second thought as to "what if I add this, or change this?"

I have one recipe that I am still trying to perfect. I've brewed it 4 or 5 times differently and STILL isn't anywhere near what I want. In fact the last version was downright nasty.

I just realized that I brewed my wit recipe a second time and didn't change a thing except that I pitched it with hoegaarden yeast and last time I pitched it on a saison yeast cake, but I didn't change the grainbill at all....and if it tastes as good then it will be "nailed."

The two I actually have in my pull down are pretty much "gospel" and that's why I added them to the database, but I have a bunch on here in recipe ingredients that I keep fiddling with.

And then I think it's time to brew another variation of the brown, and change a couple things.

I dunno..Maybe never.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:41 PM   #6
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My Bock recipe took me 6 tries before i was totally happy with it.
Basicly i view a beer when i drink it, and go ahhh YUM! and dont think well maybe it needs more malty or etc...... It done, Complete and Locked.

Hope that helps...

Just remember one thing, The beer is about what YOU think it is. If you are happy about your beer and you like it, Nobodys opinion really counts. You have created that beer to your taste...Not theres.

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