So I've noticed that I see a lot of "What did I do wrong?" or "Why's my beer smell like a dumpster?" type posts.
Rather than that route, I got to thinking that I'd like to hear about people's successful brews. For many of you, it may be a silly idea- you can crank out consistent good beer at will, so describe your first really good one.
For the rest of us who are still kind of spotty, let's describe our favorite brews- recipes, procedures, fortunate accidents, etc....!
I'll go first- my best brew was my latest one.
Sometime in late November 2009, I decided to brew my second lager (first one was one brewed over the winter of 2001 in a garbage can of ice... didn't turn out so well), but the first one with a temp controller and a chest freezer.
I figured I'd brew something that my friends, family, etc.. would like, and that's really simple. My brother had told me how much he'd enjoyed Zywiec when he was in Poland that summer, so I found the Clone Brews recipe for it and used that, except that I didn't hop it so much.
The recipe ended up being about 6 lbs of Briess Pilsen DME, 1/2 lb of 10L crystal, and 1/4 lb of Carapils, 18 IBU of US Hallertau, and the settled yeast cakes from 2 one gallon starters of the Wyeast 2782 - PC Staro yeast (Staropramen)./
I cooled it with my plate chiller, left it in the chest freezer until about 50 degrees, and pitched the yeast(also grown at 50 degrees).
Fermented 2 weeks @ 50, diacetyl rest @ 65 for 3 days, and cooled 1 degree per day down to 28F, with an intended lagering time of about 6-8 weeks.
Things got interesting, and I didn't end up bottling it until sometime in August!
It's really good for an extract beer; no extract tang, no real off flavors- just a tad sweet, and overly fizzy, because I mismeasured my priming sugar. Everyone seems to love it!