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Old 02-27-2013, 04:42 AM   #1
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Default "Bastard" Ales - Who does these and how?

So, as dedicated hombrewers, most of us keep certain ingredients, like favorite hops, malt and yeast on hand at all times.

Anybody else ever pulled together the last half ounce of one hop, the last quarter of another along with whatever leftover grains from other batches to make a 'bastard' ale.

I used to do this as an extract-with-grains brewer all the time, i'd buy my hops in bulk amounts and my malt extract by the one or two gallon bucket, and specialty grains by the kilo.

Most recipes called for a pound of one type of malt, half of another, so many pounds of extract, etc... so i'd end up with odds and ends, so i'd throw together a once-around-the-brewhouse and see what i got; often good, sometimes startlingly bad...

I can't be alone in this.. anybody want to share their horror stories


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Old 02-27-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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From the title I thought this was going to be about Stone Brewing

I think it's more of a mongrel than a bastard, but I've done something similar. I made an IPA with re-pitched yeast and an assortment of hops leftover from various batches. I named it Sloppy Seconds IPA...


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Old 02-27-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
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For a while I was collecting the extra pre-boiled wort from themash and was going to brew with it once I had a workable amount. It smelled rather interesting, but than I moved and sadly threw it away.

Sorry for the anticlimactic story.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #4
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I have done one of those so far. It was before I had a vacuum sealer and didn't want to waste the hops I had around It was an IPA I brewed a few weeks back. I don't have it on tap yet, so I don't have a complete taste test of it done, but I have pulled a sample of it and it's not bad at all.

Basically, I had a few ounces of this crystal and that crystal. As well as a few ounces each of 4 other malts. Then I had about 2 ounces total of leftover hops, Saaz, Tettnag, fuggles and chinook plus a few others that were a few pellets here, few pellets there (I'm a pack rat, I save everything). I just mixed those in as I went with each hop addition and used a base of 2 row to build the recipe with Centennial and Cascade as the main hops. Basically, I got rid of everything I had except for a bag of chocolate malt.

I'll keep an eye on this thread and report back after it's been on tap long enough. I plan on labeling it as Mutt IPA on the tap handle. I actually hope it's not too good, because I didn't write down exact quantities and will probably never be able to reproduce it.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:09 PM   #5
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I did a beer back in November with leftovers. Had to buy the base malt but everything else was leftover grains & hops. I couldn't tell you the amounts, I was just going through my box of grains and throwing stuff in. I've been calling it an Imperial Red Ale but I don't think that's really right because it should probably be a bit drier to be "Imperial." It kind of leans toward the barleywine side of things but I don't think it's really that either. Anyway, no horror story here, this is a pretty good brew. In fact, I'm drinking one right now.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:21 AM   #6
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I call it a Kitchen Sink beer. It's a fun experiment, but honestly I feel that to make a good beer you really need a plan. Mine was something like 1.5# combined of Special B, caramunich, and enough Maris Otter to reach 1.080. Some English hops and fermented with an English ale yeast yielded some sorta malty nonsense. It was like an ESB/Old Ale thing.

Brew days for me are less frequent these days so I don't really want to waste a session on an experiment.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:55 AM   #7
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I just did one with new grains. Shooting for a mild/malty profile, so used 9.5lbs of 2-row and 1lb munich malt, hit about 80%.

The strange part for this is that the wife bought some calypso hops and wanted to use them as an aroma hop. 12.8%AA, but she is SWMBO. The local brewshops are closed on mondays, so I gotta go to my backup container. She rejects Cascades, my Amarillo are being saved for a Rye-PA, no more warrior or centennial, but I do have about 1oz of hops leftover from previous brews... quarter each of Willamette and East Kent Goldings, plus a half of Perle. She liked the beers I used those on, so she said just go for it... I average the AA for all three, run the numbers with a boil schedule and squeak out 37.2 IBU.

I have no bloody clue what this one's gonna taste like....
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:24 PM   #8
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I threw together a "Franken-pale" with every last scrum of whatever left over in the freezer... it was 'muddy' tasting to me... no real discernable flavor profiles, just 'muddy'... hope that description helps whoever.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #9
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I brewed about 5 or 6 brews before I decided to use the leftovers in my next brew (a dry stout). Everything went normally until I tried my first bottle (about 8 weeks after brew day).
It was fantastic, and would have put Guinness out of business if I had released it onto the market.
Of course, I couldn't remember what I had substituted for what, and I didn't make notes on brew-day. I spent a lot of time over the next few years trying to duplicate that brew, without success.

I've done it on several other occasions as well (taking detailed notes), but never got anything special out of them.

I'm not sure what the moral of this story is.
It is either:
Always take notes when deviating from a standard recipe so you can repeat it if you want to
or
You will never make a fantastic beer if you take notes.

-a.


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