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Old 05-14-2010, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Beer Styles - Variables that Determine Style

I am sure this question has been covered, especially in the beginners forum, but here goes again...What variables/factors should I look at to determine what style of beer I am brewing? Is it based on hop varieties, their origin, malt, yeast. I have a red ale in secondary right now and was trying to figure out if it would fall into Amercian Ale - Amber or perhaps Scottish and Irish Ales.

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Old 05-14-2010, 01:28 AM   #2
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:17 AM   #3
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All of those affect a beer's style.
The "numbers" used would include:
SG and FG- the difference between the two is used to calculate your ABV
Your FG also gives you unfermentable sugars and "body"
Color is used in style guidelines
Bitterness usually measured in IBU's also is important

Also styles have several non-quantifiable characteristics to consider such as aroma, expected yeast and flavors it imparts, hop types and flavors they impart, malt flavor etc. etc. etc.

If you're determined to decide whether yours is an American or Irish Red compare the differences in the numbers and the written characteristics to see which best describes your beer. If it doesn't fit cleanly into one find the one that best describes it.

Generally I wouldn't worry too much about picking an exact category unless entering a competition or wanting to impress your friends.
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