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Old 04-18-2008, 06:00 PM   #1
Mar 2008
Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 150

How many of you guys brew your own concoctions vs. trying to brew to a specific style. By that I mean just adding different malts to you grain bill and then classifying it when its done. If you have made an awesome home brew concoction, I would love to hear about it!

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Old 04-18-2008, 06:04 PM   #2
Tastes like butterdirt
cubbies's Avatar
Nov 2006
St Louis MO
Posts: 1,928
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

I am maybe 50-50, maybe even less than that. I really don't brew to style.

But also, on the flip side of that, a lot of the beers I make have a lot of overlap.

For example, my stout, could also really be called a porter. According to the BJCP guidelines, it meets all the classifications of a porter.

Plus, I also make a lot of pale ales...and I mean, what is a pale ale exactly? You could drink 5 different pale ales and drink 5 entirely different beers.

So, I guess in some respect I "technically" always brew to some sort of style, but in reality it is just me doing my best to blend ingredients into an awesome brew.

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Old 04-18-2008, 06:13 PM   #3
Maniacally Malty
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Apr 2007
Oakland, CA
Posts: 21,790
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i usually start with a style when designing a recipe, but often tweak it enough where it doesn't really fit anywhere.

lately i've been trying to brew more to style so i can enter in competitions. i was dissapointed i didn't get to submit anything for the last one.
Easy Partial Mash Brewing - Stovetop All-Grain Brewing

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Old 04-18-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
Aug 2006
Posts: 122
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Most of the beer I brew would not fit into BJCP style guidelines other than the "Other" category, because I like to use unusual ingredients. I do occasionally brew true to style if I'm hankering for a certain brew (I just did a Wit that was pretty straight forward), but I usually put my own spin on it. Of the last four I brewed, two had spices not normal for the style, and next i'm making a cream ale with Wild Rice.
That having been said, i usually approach brewing by starting with a specific style in mind, then adding on things I think will go well with that style. I'm not sure i've ever brewed by "just adding different malts" like you suggest. That seems risky to me
currently brewing:
Meridian IPA
On Tap:
Bohemian Pils
-Baltic Porter
-Belgian Brettanomyces Amber

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Old 04-18-2008, 09:42 PM   #5
Jan 2008
Burien, WA
Posts: 619
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I usually start out to style - and up to this point I write the recipe and go and buy the ingredients for it - the problem is they usually never have the exact measurements that I need so I round up or decide on the spur of the moment to add another pound of DME and the other oz of hops in.

The bitter in my signature turned out to be a hoppy pale ale (I know, I know,) strong enough (bitterness, hop flavor and aroma and ABV) to where my brother was telling me that it was in the IPA range, in his opinion.

The only time I worry about style is when I try to explain the beer to some body, without going into tasting comparisons and drawn out explanations. I've never really ran into problems and I only shoot from the hip when I have a pretty good idea of what it will do - don't want to start the "I improvised my recipe and F'ed up my batch" thread.
You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. --Frank Zappa

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