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Old 07-28-2014, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default What's your recipe philosophy?

I feel like I'm constantly on a quest to find the perfect IPA and stout and given my druthers I'd probably just brew an IPA and a stout with infinite slight adjustments until I found the perfect recipe.

The Quest for the Perfect Stout is undoubtedly the quest of a fool and a madman that only ends in tears, but does anyone else approach it this way?

It seems like most folks around here are brewing a wider variety of beers or cloning commercial beers and less focused on finding the Platonic ideal, which is totally valid. I'll readily confess to being a creature of habit when it comes to beer.

Just curious if anyone else is on the quixotic quest?

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Old 07-28-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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Well I'm not quite on the same quest but since I started I refuse to clone any brews until I have house recipes for a pale, ipa, Amber, brown and stout. They may not have to be perfect but as long as they are somewhat original and taste great to me then I'm content. Good luck in your quest sir!

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Old 07-28-2014, 03:07 PM   #3
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I personally am always on that fools errand of making "the perfect" _________ (insert style here). The problem with that is that my (and I assume others) tastes change. Sometimes it seems like each day I prefer another flavor.

With that in mind, I accept that I will not be able to make the perfect anything. I know we can make educated stabs at what we are looking for, though. I think when we homebrew we should base our successes or failures based on how closely we were able to replicate what we imagined when we designed the beer.

I think an excellent brewer is one who can knowingly design a beer with it's end results in mind and find 2 months later that their ideas were spot on. That is more revealing than whether or not the beer s/he created was "the perfect" _________ .

Sorry, I got thrown on a tangent there...

But yeah, I love to tweak recipes. I think it's part of the allure of homebrewing, even if it's not possible to find perfection in a beer style.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:26 PM   #4
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I like beer, but don't know enough yet to predict final flavors based on grain, yeast, adjuncts, etc...

So I just keep brewing new things. Brews that are particularly good (like my recent "Kiss Me I'm Irish Red") go onto my re-brew list.

I don't think I'll ever get into the quest for the "perfect" beer. I like too many varied styles.

However - a "perfect" Grand Cru or Abbey Ale might be in my future once I perfect my techniques and upgrade some equipment.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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My general philosophy in designing recipes is to keep things as simple as possible - especially when it comes to grain bills. I'm certainly not opposed to adding in more ingredients, but I like to try an idea in a very simple incarnation first - and then, after drinking it, add additional ingredients if necessary to the next batch.

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Old 07-28-2014, 04:50 PM   #6
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I don't know if I aim to find a "perfect" recipe, but I do know that I like to try and find ways of representing the style I'm brewing. Basically, when it's time to work out a recipe, I try and determine, what I've not tried before, and how I might be able to fit the style guidelines for a beer in a way that is new to me. I look at what's available as far as ingredients are concerned, and from there, create a recipe for a particular style.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
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For sure....

My "perfect" beer quest includes/has included:
Amber Ale
*British Mild
*British Bitter
*Scottish 70
Bo Pils
*A. Wheat

* = I have pretty much settled on a final recipe for these styles and really don't play around with them too much any more.

I am close on American Amber, APA and IPA - Still working out some details.

I have brewed some nice porters, but don't have anything set in stone.

I have brewed some great light lagers.... but, I feel like I lack consistency with them so not sure if I am where I need to be yet.

My starting point in any style almost always starts in 2 places: Brewing Classic Styles and the Zymurgy Gold Medal Recipes from NHC. I try to brew "as is" and then tweak from there.
Kegged/Serving: Session IPA, Dark Mild, Ordinary Bitter, Blonde Ale
: Barley Wine, Sour Belgian Golden on Cherries, Sour Cherry Stout
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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I don't have that quest, I've been brewing now for almost 4 years and I have a few beers that I have made a few times over and did very much enjoy but then had another beer style and thought "I need to make this". I make good beer and even some of the beers that I didn't like were awesome after a few months so I don't have any desire to perfect a recipe. That's my 2 cents.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:27 PM   #9
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I'll admit I brew almost exclusively from BCS these days. My brewing software is on a computer I'm not in front of very often, and I particularly don't like using it. As such I don't do alot of recipe formulation or tinkering with existing recipes, other than subbing hops or adjusting for AA%.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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To me, the perfect beer means it is the best in the category. I don't know if that is possible. Sometimes I like one IPA over another, but then might change my mind. I prefer to take notes an rank the beers I make. A 10 out of 10 on my scale is not perfect, but I really like it. (I haven't had any 10s... yet...)

Beer brewing is not about perfection to me, it's about making some beer that tastes great, and sharing it (and/or the brewing process) with friends.

I like beer.

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