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Old 08-18-2008, 02:28 AM   #1
benko
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Default How frequently are you making "awesome" beer?

This question has its roots in a little bit of brewing self-doubt, which I know goes against the whole RDWHAHB philosophy, but I wanted to ask it anyway.

How frequently are you brewing what you consider an "awesome" beer? By this, I mean if you thought of your top few favorite beers, this would be one of them. I've brewed about fifteen batches now, and I'd say that only one (a hefeweizen) has been the type of beer that I would order several of at a bar. None of my beers have been bad. They've all tasted like decent beer, with no major problems, but they didn't blow my socks off, either. I don't want to kid myself and say that every beer I brew is the greatest I've ever had.

For example, consider the commercial craft beers out there. Out of every 10 new beers I try, probably 2 or 3 I don't care for at all, 5 to 6 are pretty average, and 1 or 2 will be beers that I really like and would order again and again. How many of your brews turn out to be that 1 or 2?

On a somewhat related note: What's your preferred approach to making that killer beer. Do you brew completely different recipes, and occasionally you hit one out of the park? Or do you find one that's promising, and then brew that same recipe over and over, making minor tweaks, until you reach your goal? If you do the latter, how often would you say it takes you to "dial in" your recipe?

Thanks for any thoughts. I'm really curious as to how you guys go about it.



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Old 08-18-2008, 02:52 AM   #2
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I brew something between 3 and 5 times a month. It's not always beer, I do mead and wine too. Probabaly 75% are what I'd call Above average for style. 20% are average and 5% or less are really ho-hum beer. I guess that is a pretty good average.
I've done a lot of styles, and only a few times done the same recipe twice. (Bier Munchers Cream of 3 crops!!!) But I have a problem refining my taste in beer. I like it ALL. I am thinking of trying to nail down a Lager (red Stripe only better??), A Pale or Amber, and A Stout to have on tap with Coke and Apfelwein as "House Brews". Everything else will be bottled, and experimental.


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Old 08-18-2008, 03:25 AM   #3
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Well, I don't have a whole lot of batches under my belt but I think I run about 70% awesome. I think a lot of that can be chalked up to my inexperience and "fiddle-fartin'" around with recipes. Once I get to that 50 batches mark, I expect to be brewing "awesome" batches 8/10 times.

4 - Pale Ales (1 extract, 3 AG)
The extract was very good, but uninteresting. 2 of the all grain batches were "awesome", and one batch was just pretty good.

3 - Wheat Beers (1 extract, 2 AG)
The extract was OK, and didn't have the wheat flavor I was looking for. The 2 AG batches were kick ass and I have had the most compliments on them. Wheat is not my favorite style, but it is a crowd pleaser and a SWMBO favorite.

1 - Brown Ale
Holy hell, this is the BEST beer I've made...and the best Brown Ale I've ever tasted.

1 - IPA
Great beer, and qualifies as "awesome".

1 - Kolsch
Not my favorite style, but crisp and clean and again a HUGE crowd pleaser.

1 - Stout (still in primary)
1 - Blonde Ale (still in primary)
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:28 AM   #4
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IMHO, I'm batting about 99% for drinkable brews, but 95% for good and great tasting beers...
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:41 AM   #5
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In the past year, each beer I have brewed has either met my expectations (in that I wouldn't tweak the recipe) or has exceeded my expectations (meaning it flowed from the faucet effortlessly).

I have only ever had 1 beer in my life that blew me away. And oddly enough it was a Tillburg Dutch Brown at almost a year past it's bottle date. Now, we can't even get that beer fresh here.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:41 AM   #6
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I think about 10% of my beers are awesome, 80% are acceptable and good, 10% questionable.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:58 AM   #7
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I want to change my #'s.
If you are not brewing 10% Questionable beers...You are a boring old duffer that is not pushing the envelope nearly enough.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:00 AM   #8
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Compared to BMC even my worst beer is awsome.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:15 AM   #9
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I've got a few brews I've actually swapped out of the kegerator because I didn't like them well enough. The only beer I've ever actually "loved" that I brewed was my Special Bitter.

I can't reproduce it dead on either.

I still make mostly good beer.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:35 AM   #10
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I've been trying to reproduce one of my favorites that I made. I have come close, but haven't nailed it down yet. I have made maybe 4 or 5 that I have just loved, a few other that other people have loved more than me, and 2 or 3 that have been poured down the drain. Other than that, most of my beers are really good, but pretty forgettable, as I would say a lot of craft beers are.


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