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Best beer you can't make again?

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DaWhip

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So I'm knocking back the latest to go in the kegerator and loving it, but realize I can't do it again.


  • I bought the Wild Card Ale kit from Austin Homebrew, it is basically a mixed bag of the grain orders they mess up, they just top it off with enough 2 row to make sure you can mash. They throw in some hops and some Nottingham and send you on your way for $20 for a 5 gallon batch.
  • I didn't like my OG (~1.040ish), so I dumped in the rest of the bag of sugar I found in the house.
  • I had a bottle of premixed Old Fashioned (Slow & Low: Rock & Rye) that I didn't particularly like, so I dumped that into the boil too...alcohol boiled off, but the hint of orange and bitters made it through.
  • I forgot to set my temp controller when I was cold crashing and the batch froze, thankfully I caught it before the carboy exploded. I racked to keg leaving about a gallon of clear ice in the carboy.
  • Aged for a month

Dark brown ale colored, honestly the body is too light and not much head, but that makes it really crushable too. The Crystal Hops agree with the Old Fashioned notes. I couldn't have done this on purpose if I tried. I'd post a pic, but my glass is empty and I don't need any more tonight.

Anyone have a similar experience just throwing some things together?
 

8rnw8

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Subscribed. No similar experiences but can almost taste that crazy awesome "mistake". Pictures needed!
 

Biscuits

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When I first decided to scale a recipe I did it by guesstimates instead of dividing linearly or using a calculator...it was my version of the Summer Citra Cerveza recipe I found in the database here on HBT. The first batch was so amazing...wonderful grapefruit/orange/lemon aroma and flavor from the whirlpool addition citra hops. Ever since then I have changed systems twice and have been chasing the dragon, so to speak, on recreating the original....It's become something of an obsession.
 

filthyastronaut

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Made an IPA recently with a mixture of different experimental South African hops that I was lucky enough to get some samples of. Not quite done, but the bottling sample tasted fantastic and I'd be amazed if I ever got the opportunity to brew the same recipe.
 

ajr628

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Won a competition with a local brewery where they handed out a brett yeast blend they made. My fault for not collecting some of the yeast. Currently going through different strains to find the closest thing to theirs.
 

kh54s10

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I have used leftover ingredients and brewed with minor errors so I can't brew those exactly the same.

But I have used kits in the beginning, and Beersmith for recipes since. I know what went into them and my mistakes were minor. So I could get close to any recipe I have made thus far.
 

TexasDroughtBrewery

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Was making a cream ale and it was only my second all grain batch I've ever made and we had all the ingredients milled and combined at the LBHS. Got the mash temp all ready to go and was trying to slowly pour the grains in the mash tun when an undetermined amount of grains dumped on the dirty garage floor as the paper bag ripped. At this point in my brewing career I was like..well **** can't use those any more (now I would just scoop them off the ground and dump them in anyway lol) but anyhow...so I took some biscuit malt and honey malt I had and tried to eye ball what looked like to be the amount I dropped and just tossed them in the mash tun. My thoughts then were I needed exactly X amount of pounds/ounces of grain!

The beer turned out really good but who knows how much of what grain was really in the beer. But more of anything its just a funny beginners brew story for me to laugh about and how at the time I was so worried about the beer.
 

Cyclman

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I am made a bourbon barrel Cherry quad, an omage to Boulevard's BBQ. Actually, according to several members of my brew club, it bested it- however, I never wrote down the exact additions I did. My later recreation wasn't up to snuff. But I will keep trying!
 

bobeer

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That's the best part of small batch brewing and homebrewing in general! Each batch is pretty much a one of a kind thing meant to be enjoyed for the moment. Even when I have beer on tap it's never 100% the same every day when I pull a pint. It's always getting more conditioned, the hops fade, specialty additions come out more or fade, etc, etc...
Some times when a beer is just awesome I bottle a few off the tap and save them for a rainy day.
 

planker101

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That is quite the combination from the OP. I like the creativity. My dragon is definitely an oaked IPA I used to make. I had to stop brewing for a few years and lost my recipe. Definitely going to try and recreate it. I was my all time favorite beer I made.
 

shifty314

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The first time I made Graf. I was a brand new brewer. I missed all my numbers. I over sparged. I didn't cool the wort properly, I pitched the yeast too warm. I ended up with some sort of wild yeast from the cider, or possibly an infection. Thankfully it didn't over attenuate because I bottled it up anyway. I literally did all the things wrong.

And it was awesome. It aged well, it's in my top 5 easily. I have 3 bottles left. I'm hesitant to even drink one because I know how few there are left. But I'm running for office this fall, so if I win I'll break one out to celebrate.
 

WaltStarr

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The first time I made Graf. I was a brand new brewer. I missed all my numbers. I over sparged. I didn't cool the wort properly, I pitched the yeast too warm. I ended up with some sort of wild yeast from the cider, or possibly an infection. Thankfully it didn't over attenuate because I bottled it up anyway. I literally did all the things wrong.

And it was awesome. It aged well, it's in my top 5 easily. I have 3 bottles left. I'm hesitant to even drink one because I know how few there are left. But I'm running for office this fall, so if I win I'll break one out to celebrate.
You should culture the yeast from one of those bottles! If you don't, it'll be nearly impossible to duplicate it. It's not too tough. Don Osborn did it in this video:

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYFp5ghf0wU[/ame]

And if you search on Youtube for 'culture yeast from commercial beer' you'll find lots of other videos!
 

arcorey

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The third all grain recipe I did was an oatmeal stout. It was a disaster of a brew from the word go. We missed every temperature and water volume. We went with too little into the fermenter, took forever to cold crash the kettle due to using our homemade IC chiller for the first time, spilled wort at every step due to open valves, spilled beer when bottling, and took 8 weeks for it to bottle prime. It is to this day the best stout I've ever had. I've tried that recipe I know 4 times, and while some are really good, none come close to that one. Found a stray bottle a few weeks ago and chilled it and split it with a brew buddy. We are still in awe of that stout after being nearly 1.5yrs old.
 
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DaWhip

DaWhip

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Some times when a beer is just awesome I bottle a few off the tap and save them for a rainy day.
I always have the best intentions, but next thing I know the keg is kicked and I didn't put any away.
 

RD400F

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I once made a clone of Westvleteren 8 that tasted really bad about 6 weeks into bottling. I thought it was infected and dumped 90% of the batch.

I'd occasionally find bottles that had made it past detection and would try them because why not. Well, they never impressed until I found one that was about 2 years old. Last of the batch...and....

It almost tasted the same, the aroma was pretty much dead on. It was a little thinner but very close to the original. And I dumped the majority of it. Live and learn but I'm not gonna get upset over beer that takes 2 years to be spot on when I can make one that's like that in 6... :D But it was pretty much one of the worst brew days I ever had...the mash schedule was all messed and same with my temps because I wanted to try decoction mashing. I still have the notes and recipe in my brew binder, maybe I should do it again...
 

ChemErik

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I don't have any I can't brew again, but I made a crab apple saison I won't repeat the way I did it. I made a really basic saison than racked it on 7 lb of mashed up crab apples from my tree (frozen and thawed). It took almost 2 months for the crab apples to ferment and made so many lees I lost about a gallon of beer. I'll try it again next season, except I'll juice the apples instead of mashing them. Hopefully it comes out as good because this one is amazing in the way the saison funk and tart crab apple flavors blend.
 

Tribe Fan

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I had a 6 year hiatus when I went overseas. All my old recipes are in Promash, on a macbook that has parallels deleted. Oh well. Make some new ones.
 

dnr

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My first beer I ever made used a wheat LME that say in my basement for 7 years.
Came out almost pitch black. I will never be able to age my extract that long in the future.

My wife said it was better than many beers she's had from real breweries. I purchased beer she's enjoyed on the past and she asked for the old wheat ale I made.
I did a few things to make it taste better, too.
 

Jayjay1976

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I made my first pilsner a couple of years ago, wasn't anything special until they had quite a few months of age on them. Then it was fantastic so I savored the last few with close friends and put up a couple of bottles for the future. Cracked one open a few weeks back just to see how it was doing and the flavor was unbelievable. Only have one bottle left, a 22oz bomber that lost a few ounces in a near-freeze accident. Not going to open that one any time soon, just want to see how it evolves. Some of the best beers I've brewed were drank and gone long before they hit their prime.

Patience is the rarest ingredient in a brewer's arsenal, and perhaps the only one that can't be bought.
 
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Transamguy77

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Several years ago I brewed a beer with my cousin and uncle, it was a fun day with family and lots of beer drinking, I kept detailed notes but the recipe was a kitchen sink beer and it was a “black IPA” but in the end it wasn’t very black but a solid IPA, anyway when I moved I lost all my notes and that beer was fantastic but we will never have it again.
 

gonefishin2

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Last brew day went as follows:
-Mash was 8* over target (getting used to a new mash tun—a little ice cooled it down)
-forgot to close my HLT valve as I was refilling it for the batch sparge..
-dropped my 150* temp down to 130*
-ALMOST gave up at this point
-dipped a bucket into my mash tun and pulled out a gallon or so of wort w as little grain as possible and poured it back into the HLT
-Attempted a decoction mash
-missed 150*, so onto a double decoction!
-missed my volumes by -1 gallon
-ran out of O2

Created a delightful dry sesion IPA... exactly what I was after—but never again.
 

dnr

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tough crowd, i'd just confidently inform her "i'm the only brewer you need".....
I'm now a brewer. Not a brewery. But I'm sure that will lead to a nice necking session.
 

hodge

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Brewed a German Pilsner recently and used sour malt instead of lactic acid for my water. Turned out that the batch had a subtle sourness to it that I didn't like.

Decided that I was going to throw some pickling lime in the keg to neutralize and I ended up throwing in way too much (1 tbsp). Started adding lactic acid by the tsp back into the keg until I reached an equilibrium point. Basically a lot of back and forth with acid/base to the finished beer and it definitely wasn't "clean" as a result. Decided to throw in about 3 oz of Rakau dry hops to just bomb it with hops to mask any off flavors.

Turned into something that I think people are into these days (juicy?, cloudy, hoppy, etc.). Glad I didn't dump it!
 

jswillbrewforbeer

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I brewed a Morebeer English Pale Ale kit 4 years ago. I modified it by throwing in 2 oz Fuggles at flameout and fermented it on a second generation US-04 cake. I didn't have temp control at the time and made a note that "fermentation temp rose as high as 73F." I'm assuming I meant ambient temperature. It was the first beer I brewed that I loved and to this day still one of my favorites. It had this unique and excellent black cherry ester profile. I tried recreating it 3 or 4 times and wasn't able to manipulate those esters again so I gave up. This thread has tempted me to try again...
 

Lost Nutz Garage

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I've had to move twice in the past three years - so the last brew at each location was designed to utilize my remaining ingredients.
From my notes the beer names (I name all my beers :rolleyes:) and style

Hop Dump - "a NE IPA -sorta"
Wit's Up Wit Dis? --"Witbier #24A/ out of style"
 

gunhaus

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I brew a Dortmunder, I have brewed it many times. Simple: Pilsner, some Vienna, some Munich. Golden clear yummy. I went to the LHBS and handed the counter guy my grain bill, while I went back and partook at the on site nano brewery. Next day I proceeded as normal until I began to vorluf the mash, and it became VERY clear something was off the mark. Instead of golden goodness, I was getting a deep red/brown wort! It smelled good, and it tasted like . . . . Well - wort, and I was already committed. I had not the slightest idea what it was, so i just kept my Dortmunder hop schedule. I fermented with 34/70. And waited to see. 6 weeks later, what it was, was the best damn beer i every made. I would not try to describe it by style, and I have NO IDEA what grain the counter guy slipped into my grain bag. I took a couple of bottles to the shop with me one day and tortured him as well with the fact I would never have a hope of repeating the brew. He agreed it was a decided shame! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
 

FromZwolle

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back when i was still dialing in my haus pale, i had a keg accidentally 'ice' itself. i really didn't understand why the keg kept getting more tasty and somehow stronger every day. the half gallon of ice in the keg when it kicked explained a lot.

recipe is gone, and only iced about 1/4 of the keg. i could maybe recreate it, but probably not.
 

Brooothru

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I brew a Dortmunder, I have brewed it many times. Simple: Pilsner, some Vienna, some Munich. Golden clear yummy. I went to the LHBS and handed the counter guy my grain bill, while I went back and partook at the on site nano brewery. Next day I proceeded as normal until I began to vorluf the mash, and it became VERY clear something was off the mark. Instead of golden goodness, I was getting a deep red/brown wort! It smelled good, and it tasted like . . . . Well - wort, and I was already committed. I had not the slightest idea what it was, so i just kept my Dortmunder hop schedule. I fermented with 34/70. And waited to see. 6 weeks later, what it was, was the best damn beer i every made. I would not try to describe it by style, and I have NO IDEA what grain the counter guy slipped into my grain bag. I took a couple of bottles to the shop with me one day and tortured him as well with the fact I would never have a hope of repeating the brew. He agreed it was a decided shame! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
Maybe you got some CaraMunich (56°L) perhaps instead of Munich (7°L). It could happen. Don't ask me how I know.
😮
Brooo Brother
 
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