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Old 12-04-2007, 06:22 AM   #1
Jayfro21
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Just wondering, but how did most of you get to know all the beer styles that you do, and don't, like? I know that I like many different IPA's, amber ales, stouts, porters, some blondes, a few wheats, etc, but this has come from sampling commercial examples. I ask because I want to brew a different type/style of beer each time I brew, but I won't really know what it's like until I find a good commercial example. Thanks for any and all insight!

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:45 AM   #2
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You say it as though it may be a chore to buy a lot of different kinds of good beer and finding out what you don't like.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:49 AM   #3
mikeyc
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My journey to what beers that I like has taken a while. Most beers that you try out, are going to be commercial beers. Unless you, or someone you know brews enough to where you can just sample their beers. For me personally, there is not very many beers that I just do not like. So I stick to the styles that I like. I love IPA's, and Pale Ales. I like alot of hops. I also like Stouts and Porters. So I try different commercial beers of the styles that I like. And as far as brewing I look and research different recipes that I can find and If I like it I'll brew it. Thats just my two cents though.

 
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:26 AM   #4
denimglen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesefood
You say it as though it may be a chore to buy a lot of different kinds of good beer and finding out what you don't like.
I don't know about the original poster but some of us don't have access to a wide selection of beers or simply can't afford it, both of these things for me.

Personally I just read through recipes and style guidelines to get a feel for what I could like. Like above, I haven't come across a beer style I have disliked, some I wouldn't brew a full 5 gallons of again but I've still managed to drink the entire batch.

 
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:26 AM   #5
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I didn't know that I disliked IPA's till I bought one of those pyramid boxes with 4 different kinds of beer. I still have 4 of those awful thunderhead bottles in the fridge. I try to give them out to friends, but they don't like them either.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firepunk
I didn't know that I disliked IPA's till I bought one of those pyramid boxes with 4 different kinds of beer. I still have 4 of those awful thunderhead bottles in the fridge. I try to give them out to friends, but they don't like them either.

You can send those Thunderheads to me, Ill take em off your hands. I love those. One of my favorite IPA's IMHO.

 
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
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I guess the only way to know for sure is to try the styles. The thing that usually happens to us brewers is that our palates and tastes change. We had a survey around here on preferences around summer 2006 and I replied about beers being all about the malt. About a year later, I replied the exact opposite- beers should be all about the hops!

So, I started making styles that I knew I liked. When I got comfortable with ingredients, I started making things that sounded good to me. I've made some ok beers, and some awesome beers. Some I'll make over again, some I'll never attempt again. I've never really had something I didn't like but there are lots of styles I still haven't attempted to make. The only thing I know is that I don't usually like wheat beers- but if someone sends one in a beer swap, I'm always game to try. Because I'm not sure what it is that I don't like about them- maybe it's a yeast that I might not like.

I'd say that when you go out, see what kind of bottled beer they have and order one. If you don't like it, well, you might be out the $5 or $6. If you like it, you discovered a new style that you like.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:04 PM   #8
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Do you live in an area that has a World Market? World Market and some specialty beer retailers let you buy single bottles of 60+ brands of beer. It's a great way to try something new without dropping $8+ on a 6 'er.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew
I guess the only way to know for sure is to try the styles. The thing that usually happens to us brewers is that our palates and tastes change. We had a survey around here on preferences around summer 2006 and I replied about beers being all about the malt. About a year later, I replied the exact opposite- beers should be all about the hops!
And I would wager that if we take the poll again in ANOTHER twelve months, you'll be kickin' the malt again

As Cheese noted, that's the fun part of the hobby, getting to try new stuff. And, you don't have to do ALL of your studying this weekend, this is a lifelong process. You can read the style guidelines, you can talk to your friends, you can read all the beer reviews you want - but there's no way to know whether you like a Saison or an Imperial IPA or a gueze without dropping the coin and buying a bottle or two.

Some stores will let you mix-and-match from different six packs, or buy individual bottles; those will become your regular haunts.

Plus, I'd recommend getting to know as many local homebrewers as you can, join a club, or look for HBT people who are around you. If you become a paying supporter of HBT, you can participate in the beer swaps we do as a group, or maybe you can arrange one on your own. If you meet with local folks, they may have some more-unusual beers for you to sample; we tend to be an adventourous lot. And, there are some styles that you simply will not find many commercial examples of, yet are becoming more and more common among homebrewers (lots of sour beers, for example).
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayfro21
... I ask because I want to brew a different type/style of beer each time I brew...
If I might give a small piece of advice that was offerend the November 2005 issue of Brew Your Own magazine, in an article by Chris Colby, entitled "10 things to try", the point of the article being that these were 10 things that every home brewer should try during their career.

"2. Attain Perfection
One of the great things about homebrewing is that you can make a different beer every time you brew. However, picking one of your favorite beer recipes and tweaking it to perfection can be a nice diversion from the “random roulette” of brewing a different style every batch. Rebrewing and tweaking a single beer can teach you how different variables affect your beer. The effect of individual variables might not be so obvious when you brew a cream ale one month and an oak-aged Russian imperial vanilla stout the next.

To successfully tweak a beer, take careful notes when you brew — noting not only what you planned to do, but what actually happened. Also, take careful tasting notes of the finished beer. Based on your tasting, identify aspects of the beer you want to change and brew it again, changing only one variable (or at most a few if they are unrelated). Take good brewing and tasting notes again and taste your first beer side by side with your tweaked beer.

Once you get your beer to the point you want it, brew it again with no changes to see how consistent you are. If you’re really serious, you may want to buy the ingredients for two (or more) batches in bulk to really keep every variable as constant as possible.

Brewing and tweaking a single beer gives you experience you can apply to any of the beers you brew. It also gives you a relatively long-term project to tackle and rewards you with progressively better and better beer.
"

The complete article can be found here: http://www.byo.com/feature/1383.html
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