Frankenbeers - love 'em or hate 'em?

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gunhaus

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Frankenbeer, whatchya got stew, stone soup, Picaso brew, whatever you call it. You know what i mean, those beers where you have a pile of this and that laying around and just say what the heck! I usually get one or two of these a year, and sometimes you get a real gem with the hodgepodge.

A few weeks ago I started out with a pretty straight up cream ale bill - 75% 2 row, 25% corn some cream ale yeast and some Perle and Saaz hops. Alone it would have come together as a good beer - been there done that. But then I noticed a bag with 8 oz of flaked barley laying there left over. And I though a tad bit more mouthfeel wouldn't hurt. So in it went. Then i found 4 oz (3.6 but whos measuring) of roast barley. So in it went for some color. THEN, I had a jar with about 6 oz of homemade invert #2 sugar - so in she went - a bit more attenuation never hurts. And away we went. I got a wort that was clearly going to be in the red/amber territory, and crystal clear to boot. It smelled fantastic fermenting, and the sample when i measured for FG was dandy, even piss warm and flat. I gassed it up for a couple weeks, and last night while flipping the pork butts I tried a couple three glasses - Wowie! A very dangerous red lawn mower/bbq beer if i ever had one. Nothing exotic, and surely it would offend the hyper hazy IPA crowd, but a really nice brew. Still has a little haze but another two weeks and it will be a winner at the memorial day pig roast.

So what kind of abominations have you made that came out a real jewels?
 

Gorm

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We all got a few odd balls.

My most recent oddball was a squash ale. I was going to use a couple pie pumpkins, but changed my mind and cleaned up a couple buttercup squash. Since I was smoking a rack a ribs, I tossed the squash on smoked them for 2 hours. A excellent brew which I’ll make again this fall
 

Miraculix

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I brewed a miraculix best kitchen sink edition which turned out undrinkable :D

Still have to pour the bottles down the drain some time....

But I have to blame the yeast, pack was old, took forever to start, serious underpitch, not good at all. Next thing I did was buying the equipment needed for starters plus some canned wort, so in this respect, it was a total success.
 

BeerAndTele

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I usually don't stray too far off the beaten path, but 2 come to mind:

1. A blackberry pale ale with blackberry puree, lactose, and some additional Brewer's Best artificial concentrated blackberry flavoring thrown in at the end, just in case 😄. It turned out to be a decent by-the-pool kind of summer beer.

2. A pale ale with a combination of English and American Noble hops (Challenger and Liberty). I like them individually so I figured, "why not put 'em together??". There was some Willamette in there somewhere, but the late hop and dry hop additions were the Challenger and Liberty mixed together. I used American yeast (WLP008). Sounds weird, but it turned out surprisingly good. I had an opportunity to enter it in a competition (the one and only time I ever entered one), and I didn't know where to put it, so I put it into the American Pale Ale category. It didn't score well ... at all 👎. I mean it was a really low score. Funny thing was, they tried to be nice, "It's not a bad tasting beer, BUT ... ... ... ". Anyway, I happily drank it because I thought it turned out fairly tasty.
 

kevin58

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I've resigned myself to the fact that I am not a good recipe maker. Outside of SMaSH recipes using left over ingredients on-hand my creations never turn out as well as a published proven recipe.
 

tennesseean_87

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Frankenbeer, whatchya got stew, stone soup, Picaso brew, whatever you call it. You know what i mean, those beers where you have a pile of this and that laying around and just say what the heck! I usually get one or two of these a year, and sometimes you get a real gem with the hodgepodge.

A few weeks ago I started out with a pretty straight up cream ale bill - 75% 2 row, 25% corn some cream ale yeast and some Perle and Saaz hops. Alone it would have come together as a good beer - been there done that. But then I noticed a bag with 8 oz of flaked barley laying there left over. And I though a tad bit more mouthfeel wouldn't hurt. So in it went. Then i found 4 oz (3.6 but whos measuring) of roast barley. So in it went for some color. THEN, I had a jar with about 6 oz of homemade invert #2 sugar - so in she went - a bit more attenuation never hurts. And away we went. I got a wort that was clearly going to be in the red/amber territory, and crystal clear to boot. It smelled fantastic fermenting, and the sample when i measured for FG was dandy, even piss warm and flat. I gassed it up for a couple weeks, and last night while flipping the pork butts I tried a couple three glasses - Wowie! A very dangerous red lawn mower/bbq beer if i ever had one. Nothing exotic, and surely it would offend the hyper hazy IPA crowd, but a really nice brew. Still has a little haze but another two weeks and it will be a winner at the memorial day pig roast.

So what kind of abominations have you made that came out a real jewels?
sounds like you made something sort of like a KY Common.
 

monkeymath

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I've never made one myself; brewing, packaging and cleaning takes so much time that I don't have any intentions to "just brew whatever" or add ingredients simply because I have them on hand.
But to each their own; ideally I'd enjoy to brew much more often, and then I might also like to be a bit more spontaneous.

Just, for the love of god: don't publish those recipes that contain 50g each of twenty different grains that you "had lying around" and wanted to use up. Each ingredient should have a definite purpose. If you enjoy your "Frankenbeer" [not to be confused with a beer from Franken, the German name of Franconia], try to work out a recipe from there, simplify the list of ingredients, etc.
 

davidabcd

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I've only done it twice and while the changes weren't drastic, the outcome wasn't so great. This is not to be confused with tweaking a recipe.
I prefer known and successful recipes.
 
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I have a 6G carboy inoculated with our house sour culture. I throw leftovers and dregs into it and then keg it when it fills up. Cider, wine, beers of all types, a 1/4 gallon of this, a gallon of that, oak chips, fruit bits from the bottom of fermenters, whatever.

It is the best sour I have ever made and it changes every year. I named it The $h!t Show because I expected it to taste like trash, but I am on Year 3 and it is still putting out amazing beer. Go figure :eek::eek::eek:!
 

Miraculix

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I have a 6G carboy inoculated with our house sour culture. I throw leftovers and dregs into it and then keg it when it fills up. Cider, wine, beers of all types, a 1/4 gallon of this, a gallon of that, oak chips, fruit bits from the bottom of fermenters, whatever.

It is the best sour I have ever made and it changes every year. I named it The $h!t Show because I expected it to taste like trash, but I am on Year 3 and it is still putting out amazing beer. Go figure :eek::eek::eek:!
I'd really like to try that one :D
 

renstyle

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Good timing on this thread as I am in the planning stages of my first Frankenbrew!

After transferring my specialty grains to dollar-tree containers, I had a whole bunch of misc grains (10-11) from 120L to Torrified Wheat to Munich and all places in between, 100-200g each.

I also purchased a dry sachet of Lallemand Munich Classic Wheat yeast in error (wheat beers are not my thing) that I wish to utilize.

Going to try a porter-esque grain bill once I add in all my misc grains.
Bitter with 28g of Nugget split 50/50 between 60mins and 15mins for about 28 IBU.

This will be my next pressure fermentation to see how much of the clove/coriander/banana character I can suppress.

Should prove interesting.
 

hamachi

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I had a bunch of leftover adjuncts, hops, and flavorings that went into a "Motley Ale" that I brewed a few months back. It turned out surprisingly tasty. I always get my grain fresh from the LHBS, but in keeping with the kitchen sink theme, I used a mix of barley, wheat, and oats.

Not that anyone would want to try to reuse my "recipe". But for the record, here's what went into what ended up as a 3.3 gallon batch:

2.0# 2-row
1.0# white wheat
0.5# flaked oats

0.65# grape concentrate
0.5# honey
0.25# Golden Syrup
0.2# light brown sugar
6.5 oz. lactose

0.5 oz coriander
0.75 oz. orange peel
0.75 oz. tangerine peel

"tea" from 1 or 2 oz. gesho sticks boiled for 15 min.
0.10 oz. Magnum 13.4% @ 60 min.
0.30 oz. Willamette 5.8% @ 60 min.
0.11 oz. Cascade 6.8% @ 20 min.
0.12 oz. Centennial 9.7% @ 5 min.
0.17 oz. Willamette 5.8% @ 5 min.
0.21 oz. Cascade 6.8% @ 5 min.

1/4 tsp WLN1000 nutrient, 0.1 tsp Fermaid K, 0.2 tsp Fermaid O
WLP001 yeast

OG = 1.060
FG = 1.009
 
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I'd really like to try that one :D
I'd love to share, but as you can see, Apple Maps isn't sure how to get to Germany.
IMG_8AF8162DAAB1-1.jpeg
 

Maalea

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During the lockdown, I ran out of grains. I had 3 lbs of dark munich DME. Just shy of 3 lbs of light pilsen DME. I was using for starters. And a couple lbs of crystal. The dark DME was at least 5 years old and solid as a brick. I beat it up with a mallet into chunks, then put it into a food processer, Freakin magic it was powder. So I made an extract brew with some crystal steeping grains. I also had a bunch of German nobel hops and some pearle. I used the Germans as bittering and finished and dry hopped it with the pearle. Fermented it with a west coast slurry. A true Frankenbrew. A dark German IPA.

It was very drinkable. I dropped off a couple bottles to my friend, with a note Enjoy a homebrew!! He had no idea what the hell he was drinking but had no problem finishing them off.
 

InspectorJon

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At the end of March 2020 I made Lockdown 2020 Double IPA. It was not really throw everything I have in but it was definitely a beer using only and most of what was on hand. I have made it a few times since because I thought it was quite good. I added a bit of white wheat last time and liked that.

69% Pale 2 row
17.5% Vienna
6% Crystal 15
4.5% Carapils
3% cane sugar (I'll try #2 invert next time)

CTZ and Simcoe for bittering
Azacca, Galaxy and Simcoe late and dry hops.

If anyone wants to look at the current iteration: Lockdown 2020 Double IPA
 

renstyle

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Well, other than the yeast selection, this didn't really turn out to be much of a "Franken Bier" malt bill. All of my misc grains were already included in my Taddy Porter recipe aside from the 120L and Caramunich I, so this is a fairly standard porter.

Handy, as it cleared my misc bucket with just one brew!

Out of EKG and Fuggle, so trying to bitter with just Nugget. I'm using the calculators to time my additions to reach an IBU of 28.

The fermentation of my last 2 pressure lagers at room temp went pretty well, so going to try and pressure ferment this Munich Wheat and see how it turns out.

Batch Volume: 24 L (Kettle)
Fermenter Volume: 21.16 L
Boil Time: 60 min

Original Gravity: 1043
Final Gravity: 1013

IBU (Tinseth): 28
BU/GU: 0.65
Color: 24 SRM

Yeast
Lallemand (LalBrew) Munich 70%

Malts (3.928 kg)
2.4 kg (61.1%) — 2-Row — 2.6 °L
340 g (8.7%) — Victory Malt (biscuit) — 28 °L
320 g (8.2%) — 40L — 40 °L
270 g (6.9%) — Chocolate — 350 °L
270 g (6.9%) — Wheat White Malt — 2.3 °L
230 g (5.9%) — 80L — 80 °L
76 g (1.9%) — 120L — 120 °L
22 g (0.6%) — Caramunich I — 38.2 °L

Hops (28 g)
14 g (20 IBU) — Nugget 13.4% — 45 min
14 g (8 IBU) — Nugget 13.4% — 10 min
 
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