Creating a balanced beer

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

kenpotf

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
534
Reaction score
10
Location
mckinney
I'm trying to come up with a porter recipe using Beersmith. I'm going to be doing an extract with specialty grains (I haven't ventured into the partial mash/AG arena yet). How do I know what makes a balanced beer? In Beersmith, you can adjust IBUs, ABV, etc, via sliders based on the style. Is that a good measure? Should I be looking at some other factors?
 

unionrdr

Homebrewer, author & air gun collector
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
39,152
Reaction score
3,786
Location
Sheffield
I don't have any brewing software other than priming calculators. But I like neutral bittering,late malt additions,& flavor/aroma hopping from 20-25 minutes on down. I get good malt presence & hops are on the back for the finish. Which means from the back side of the middle of your tongue on back.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,667
Reaction score
12,299
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Beersmith is great help to create a balanced beer. First, when you choose the style, read over the "details" of it. It'll tell you what flavors to look for, what malts to use, and so on.

And balance is a bit tricky. In Beersmith, look at the right information under your OG. The SG/IBU ratio will be there. Very few beers, even those that are balanced, are .500! A beer like an IPA will be .800-1.100 for example, while a cream ale will be more like .335. A porter will be .400 to about .660 or so.

Also, when you choose your "style", you get the OG, color, IBUs, etc, to make the beer to style. That really helps!
 

edb23

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
467
Reaction score
24
Location
Pittsburgh
+1 to what yooper said.

I'd like to add though that sometimes a beer can fit in the style guidelines and still be a little unbalanced. for malty beers like porters, don't use too many finishing or flavor addition hops, stick mostly to bittering
 

SailorTodd

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
153
Reaction score
4
Location
Washington
+1 to what yooper said.

I'd like to add though that sometimes a beer can fit in the style guidelines and still be a little unbalanced. for malty beers like porters, don't use too many finishing or flavor addition hops, stick mostly to bittering
The last point, about finishing and flavoring hops is excellent. With porters and stouts, the character of the malts used in it are what generally should shine through in both flavor and aroma, and late hop additions can really hinder that (of course unless you're part of the hop head beer craze here in Cali. They go nuts with the hops even with a lot of porters and other dark beers).

I also like to refer to this chart as a very loose guide when determining how hoppy I want my brew:

Of course, the IBUs can vary greatly based on the formula for obtaining them (rager vs tinseth) so like I said, a very loose guide.
 

beergolf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
6,102
Reaction score
1,281
Location
collingswood
Also, look at a lot of different recipes for the style you are brewing. You will notice a lot of similarity. Just like when I cook, I look at a lot of recipes and then do my own take on them. Once you have a general idea, then use brewing software to put the recipe together and see how the numbers turn out.
 
Top