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Old 02-13-2010, 12:21 AM   #1
Sep 2009
North Dakota
Posts: 2,947
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When i first started homebrewing I was trying to brew crowd pleasers, pale ales, amber ales and other medium gravity ales. Over time I have started to discover that it is way more worth my time to "shoot for the moon" so to speak and brew styles and types of beer that are commercially expensive or commercially rarely available. I have found myself brewing and formulating more barly wines, strong scotch ales, belgian trappist style ales, old ales..etc..etc...etc.. These big huge beers that cellar well and cost you an arm and a leg at the beer store.

I enjoy a good pale ale or wheat beer as much as the next guy, but for me as a homebrewer, the ROI is much, much larger with a barley wine that I can give as gifts and savor for a very long time and it improves with age.

Has anyone else had a similar epiphony so to speak?

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Old 02-13-2010, 12:26 AM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,535
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That's interesting. I find that my experience has been totally different. I also used to go for more diverse styles, and crowd pleasers, but then I changed. I realized I am a total hophead. I like IPAs and APAs and hoppy ambers, so I started brewing about 80% hoppy beers. I throw in an oatmeal stout or an alt now and then, but I rarely brew any high ABV beers or anything not "hophead material".

I do have to brew ambers, for my spouse. I have to have at least one beer on tap that is approved, so that all of my other beers can simply please ME!
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

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Old 02-13-2010, 12:30 AM   #3
Dec 2009
North Pole, Alaska
Posts: 1,809
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Being a malt-o-holic, I've been brewing huge beers from the start. It's only recently that I've been appreciating the simplicity and ease of smaller beer.
10 gallon electric system
Stovetop 110v single vessel 5 gallon system

Primary: saison
Secondary: nada
Conditioning: macaroon stout
Drinking: store bought

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Old 02-13-2010, 12:35 AM   #4
Edcculus's Avatar
Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,546
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I used to think huge beers were cool. I still brew them for special occasions, but I find myself brewing more hefeweizens, witbiers and bitters. All low gravity session beers.

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:25 AM   #5
sp1365's Avatar
Jul 2009
Marengo, IL
Posts: 479

I'm a lot like Edcculus. I brew almost exclusively session beers. So far I have only brewed 1 beer above 1.060, the rest have been small beers. I will brew a big beer every once and a while (planning a barelywine soon), but I just love smaller beers.

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:47 AM   #6
kaiser423's Avatar
Feb 2009
Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 485
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Yea, I'm tending towards sessions. Love the taste of what I produce, and just want to be able to drink, and drink, and drink it.

Can't do that so much with a barleywine.

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:59 AM   #7
Registered User
Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,882
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I like to brew a big beer on occasion, but since they last for a while I don't need to go crazy on them. I brew lots of session stuff, so that way I don't have to go out and buy beer.

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Old 02-13-2010, 03:10 AM   #8
Wayne1's Avatar
Mar 2008
Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 1,073
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I am with the last few posters. Big beers just don't do it for me.

I want quality flavor along with massive quantities

OG under 1.050 seems to fit most of what I like. LOTS of flavor and aroma hops.

I have made an Oktoberfest style with lost of malt and a couple of Blondes and American Wheats. All session beers.

I feel that is a big reason I came back to homebrewing. Too many commercial micro-brews are 1.060 and above. It is rare to find a micro session brew. If you do, the price is the same as the higher gravity brew. That doesn't work, for me.

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Old 02-13-2010, 03:19 AM   #9
Jan 2010
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Posts: 402
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crowd pleasers?! oh no, my friend, not for me. I'm gonna brew what I think I'm gonna like.

granted, I'm a newbie. and I do like big beers, I've not met a barleywine I didnt like, and belgians are great too.

at this point I'm trying to build up a pipeline. after that, I'm sure I'll throw in some big brews, but 2 to 4 (12 oz) big beers is plenty for me at one time. after that I'm gonna move on to a session brew.

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Old 02-13-2010, 03:36 AM   #10
eanmcnulty's Avatar
Sep 2009
Addison, IL
Posts: 782
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I have been using close the same APA recipe but varying the hops. I want to find which hops I like best. Seems I like Cascade and Amarillo the best so far. No surprise from what I've been reading here.

So, I brewed a Stout this week. Still used Cascade and Amarillo, but added a little Goldings. Probably a little hoppier than a stout should be.

The next will be a red ale. Yep, and American red ale with Cascade and Amarillo! After than I am out of ingredients. Might change direction, but I really want to use some citra hops. Hmmm...

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