I wish to begin all grain brewing shortly.
I am very lost when it comes to the different varieties of base and specialty grain, and how I would go about learning the differences between the various grains, the ratios of combinations of these grains, the interactions of these grains with different hops, the interaction of these grains with different yeasts, etc.
It is nice to see that there will be so many combinations, but I'm not even sure of how to approach this.
Given that I have 8 carboys, I could theoretically do some hard core experiments. For example, from How to Brew
, there are 4 base grains/malts: lager, pale ale, wheat, and rye. Thus I could do 4 batches using 100% of a single base malt. I could then do 50% mixes of Lager/Pale, Lager/Wheat, Lager/Rye, Pale/Wheat, Pale/Rye, Wheat/Rye. I could then do 25/75 mixes of the above and vice versa.
Ok that sounds way fun, but which yeast and hops would I chose for this? I would obviously want to use the same yeast and hops for this tasting experiment so I could learn the grains. But I think I would want to chose a yeast/hops that is rather shy and wouldn't radically alter the taste of the yeast.
Now base malts would be easier to learn since there is only 4 of them and thus 6 ways to combine them at 50% ratios, or 12 ways at 25/75% ratios.
However, introducing the non-base grains increases the number of combinations dramatically. I won't even begin to calculate how many batches it would take to learn how these specialty grains interact with the base grains at which ratios.
How does a beginner to All Grain learn the grains!?