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Old 07-01-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
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Default Too Fancy Too Soon (?)

This spring I started homebrewing with a canned kit and transitioned to partial mash kits before building my own partial mash recipes. The first recipe I built was for a robust porter but rather than being satisfied with a solidly built BJCP guidelined beer, I felt it necessary to add something to make it my own. I dryhopped for 10 days with unsweetened cocoa powder and ground chipotle I sanitized in bourbon. I tasted a glass at bottling and poured a bottle after one week and both times the chipotle has completely dominated the beer to the point I can't even taste much else. Hopefully it will die down after a few more weeks conditioning.

Am I the only one to try something too fancy too soon into homebrewing (only 25 gallons brewed)? If not what were some of the too fancy missteps you have made early on?

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Old 07-01-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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No....unfortunately it seems oh too common to try and push the limits of yeast and taste within the first few batches of brewing.

I'm guilty of having done this myself.

Moral of the story is that recipes that have been proven work for a reason...they are proven and work. My suggestion would be to continue brewing proven recipes until you fully understand what does and does not work when it comes to ingredients. At the very least, add additions in strict moderation....very strict moderation.

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Old 07-01-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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It is always easier to add more than it is to take away...

The chipotle does tend to mellow with time...pack some of that batch away, and taste it every few weeks or may end up pleased with it after all...
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Def too much chipotle,a little goes a long way. Brewing is a lot like canning in this regard. You can add a little now,more later if needed. But you can't take it out.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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I have been brewing for over 4 years now and definetly consider myself an advanced brewer. I finally starting to branch out a little and create my own recipes and/or modify proven recipes. I look at brewing as being a craft/art. You have to get the basics down first though before you can start doing your own thing. I can equate it with jazz musicians. A guy doesn't just pick up an instrument and start improvising. It takes years of getting the basics down before he can start doing his own thing IMO.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
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I'm right there with you. My dumbass decided to mess with my 2nd Mr. Beer kit and ruined a doppelbock. I threw 2 teaspoons of clove into the fermenter and that's all you could taste when it was done. Learned my lesson.
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:30 PM   #7
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If you want to play around with your beer, invest in a 3 gallon carboy or a few one gallon jugs. Split your batch, make half the base beer itself and go wild with the other half.
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Phunhog View Post
You have to get the basics down first though before you can start doing your own thing.
THIS! I'm taking the same approach. You have to master the fundamentals first. Once you start to grasp why things are happening and how to control them you'll be able to make definitive adjustments based on fundamentals that don't change. After the foundation comes the house.
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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Way too many homebrewers jump in with their own recipes before they have an understanding of how to compose a balanced recipe and before they have a solid base of experience in making homebrew successfully. My original brewing partner was working well outside the limits of our experience and equipment right from the beginning. He'd drink just about anything with alcohol and hops in it, but he never did get very good at brewing. Since I've been brewing on my own, I'll always follow someone else's recipe or use a kit for a new style. The modifications, if any, are saved for the second batch.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:44 PM   #10
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I made 2 kits then started modifying recipes and now consider everything I make to be "my" recipe. I don't think you really gain a lot of knowledge on how to make recipes by learning brewing techniques, I think you learn how to make recipes by making recipes. Just like when I cook, I look at 3-4 recipes for what I want to make, I look in my cupboard to see what I have on hand and I start cooking. Same thing I do when I'm thinking about a new recipe for beer, only I don't have ChiliSmith 2.0 when I make a batch of chili.

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