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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: HoosierBrew on June 26, 2013, 04:27:29 PM

Title: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 26, 2013, 04:27:29 PM
With all the debate lately on "best of" beer lists, thought I'd throw out the important list close to all our hearts.  Forced to pick, what are the 3 best beers you ever brewed ?  Not an easy choice, but I would say  :         
1.  IPA (2010) - I've made so many it's hard to pick, but this one was bittered with Chinook, finished with Amarillo/Cascade/Centennial/Columbus.  2 row, Munich, Biscuit, Crystal40.  Awesome.

2.  Tripel (2007) - I had a lot of batches in the mix then, which gave me the time to age it longer than I might have normally.  9%. I used WY3787 @ 65, then free rose from there. Smelled of peach, pear and Aromatic,  and went down like silk.

3.  "Bourbon Barrel" Oatmeal Stout (2009) - Used bourbon soaked oak chips in  my 7% Oatmeal Stout, which I had been tweaking for years. The bourbon and chips didn't dominate, just blended perfectly.

OTOH several others could have made my list, but it's fun to think back on.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: jamminbrew on June 26, 2013, 05:23:27 PM
1) My Scottish Wee Heavy, 12% abv, aged on oak chips that were soaked in 15 year old scotch.
2) My first IPA, which also won me my first gold medal. Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: rapurcell85 on June 26, 2013, 05:36:06 PM
1) Rye IPA with Amarillo, Centennial, and Cascade.  A beautiful citrus flavor with a nice rye spice.
2) Coconut Porter.  The chocolate malt provided a nice balance to the sweetness of the toasted coconut.
3) Oatmeal Cookie Stout.  Imperial Oatmeal Stout with molasses, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla beans, and whiskey.  Placed 3rd in the Christmas Beer Category early this year. My best yet :)
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: thebigbaker on June 26, 2013, 06:12:31 PM
1.  My Pale Ale w/ Magnum, Simcoe and Cascade.  The three times I've entered this beer and won its category twice and 3rd once.  I'm going to experiment with a "White" version of this beer this weekend and brew with half 2-row and half wheat.  Also makes great beer batter for vidalia or sweet Maui onion rings!

2.  Pumpkin Ale.  You ask me this question in October and I'll put this one #1!  This is my wife's favorite beer and the one that got her brewing with me.  I make my own pumpkin spice mix and use fresh cinnamon and nutmeg along with powdered ginger and allspice.  Gotta admit, I'm a little afraid to try fresh ginger.  May experiment and try adding some vanilla beans this fall.

3.  Coconut Milk Stout.  I serve this one on nitro and it is really smooth.  I took Left Hand's Milk stout, backed off the roast malt and upped the chocolate malt and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes for two weeks.  The spent grains for this brew makes killer peanut butter chocolate bars!

4.  Winter Warmer.  Based off Avery's Jubilation with a few alterations.  Plum, caramel, raisins and molasses help hide the 8.5%ABV.  I may make an extra batch this year and throw in some bourbon soaked oak. 
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: dannyjed on June 26, 2013, 06:52:38 PM
1. 2010 American Barley Wine - This one just got better with age and the hops still stand out.  I won a 1st place and 2nd Best Of Show.

2.  Vanilla Porter - This is not Denny's recipe, a porter recipe I've tweaked for about 3 years and I soak the beans in Bourbon for a week then add to the keg.  My wife's favorite.

3.  Belgian IPA - I just made this for the first time about 4 months ago and it turned out to be a wonderful surprise.  I got some Weyermann Abbey Malt from a friend in my brew club and I used Wyeast 3522 (Denny's suggestion) along with Simcoe and Amarillo hops.  I need to brew this again soon.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on June 26, 2013, 07:04:55 PM
The beer coming out of my lambic solera is my favorite and best.

Following behind would be my rye imperial stout, doppelbock and a crazy belgian brown ale with brett that has developed from a so-so beer into a fantastic beer.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: tcanova on June 26, 2013, 08:17:10 PM
I have a red IPA that I have brewed several times that is always well received.  I also like my hefeweizen that I brew using a decoction mash.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: chumley on June 26, 2013, 09:03:19 PM
I brewed a Protz and Wheeler recipe in 2003 or so, from their book "Brewing Great European Lagers at Home", or something like that.

Anyhow, the recipe was a clone of Eggenberg's Ur-Bock 23.....this came out better than the original....I think because I hopped it more.

Basically, the recipe was

OG 1.100  Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils (pitch on a yeast cake)

70% pils
30% munich

Mixed hops of Saaz and Mittelfrueh......Bittering around 25 IBUs.....flavor and aroma additions at the end.

Fermented at 50 for a month....then lagered for 9 months!!!!!

Then bottled with some fresh lager yeast added to the bottling bucket.

Damn that was good beer. Drank the last bottle 7 years later, in 2010....still tasted as good as it did 5 years ago.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: cornershot on June 27, 2013, 02:33:51 AM
1. APA with 2 row, Goldpils vienna, munich, columbus and amarillo.
2. CAP with black rice
3. Evil twin: straight from Mr Malty
4. Janet's brown

Coincidentally, these beers are all fresh on tap right now! Lucky me!  :)
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: denny on June 27, 2013, 08:36:19 AM
The next one.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: factory on June 27, 2013, 08:41:30 AM
The next one.

+1

That's what I was going to say.   ;D
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: drjones on June 27, 2013, 09:22:46 AM
How about a worst beer list?
I'd say my chocolate weizen experiment (schokoweizen - i still think it could be done right - but this one wasn't)  and very likely the Belgian double I just bottled with too much star anise as a late boil addition (1/2 oz - should have tried 1/2 tsp)... ah well, that's how we learn.

On the good side were the simple ones, like an APA with six row, 1# biscuit malt, and three cascade additions.
My last saison (wheat, pilsner, aromatic) hopped with Motueka was pretty OK, too.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: erockrph on June 27, 2013, 10:54:21 AM
1) I still haven't settled on a proper name for it, but I brewed a smallish, hoppy dubbel this winter with every plummy ingredient I could think of (Special B, D-180 Candi Syrup, Caliente hops, Unibroue yeast). It didn't really fit any particular style but the flavor and aroma were amazing.

2) I'm drinking a table-strength Saison brewed with 3711 right now that is the perfect summer beer. It is dry, spicy and finished a bit tart. The 3711 leaves a great juicy mouthfeel that makes this the beer equivalent of a dry white wine. I will be brewing this again all summer with various additives (hibiscus, currants/gooseberries, white wine must, etc)

3) I've been playing around with brewing hoppier versions of various beer styles lately. Some have been excellent (see #1 above), and others have been mediocre. I think I've gotten a lot of the experimenting out of my system, because I keep craving the last regular-old IPA I brewed with Simcoe-Amarillo-Citra and Chinook for bittering. Seems like I've done a lot of wandering only to find that my house IPA recipe is the one I enjoy the best of all.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: beersk on June 27, 2013, 11:11:43 AM
The next one.
That's not a fun response! The fun is thinking back on beers that stood out the most in the time we've been brewing.

1 - None More Black IPA batch (2012) where I did a hopstand on last year was incredible. I've since started doing that every time. 5oz of simcoe/chinook blend at flame out, let sit for 30 minutes. Makes a huge difference.

2 - Espresso Monkey Coffee Porter (2013) I have tap right now is pretty stellar. Cold brewed decaf Espresso Monkey from Fair Trade coffee. I wanted to be able to drink a pint or 3 at night without the caffeine affecting me.

3 - Satan's Little Helper IPA (2010) I think it was 2row for the base, then some crystal 55, and a little roasted barley for color, columbus bittering and cascade finishing. For some reason, that beer was awesome. Perhaps because it was the first beer I ever had on tap, since that was right when I got my new kegerator. I drank 4+ pints of that a night. I think that beer lasted a week, maybe 2...
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: bazowie on June 27, 2013, 11:28:17 AM
Myan Chocolate Coffee Porter w/ Vanilla beans.
Friend and family favorite.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 27, 2013, 03:00:08 PM
The next one.

Right on!  Always improving.  At least I hope so.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 27, 2013, 03:57:43 PM
The next one.

Right on!  Always improving.  At least I hope so.
I definitely feel that I'm always improving, in part due to the wealth of knowledge on this forum.  I just felt that, after a couple decades of brewing, it's fun to look back on some of the really memorable ones.  Sometimes, even though I brew and hit numbers pretty consistently, there's that batch sometimes that just freaking nails it head on.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: WDE97 on June 27, 2013, 05:07:46 PM
1) my McLaggan's Scottish 80/- that I brewed in late 2011. We served it at club night at NHC in Seattle and I received a lot of really good compliments. It was definitely one of, if not, my best beer ever.

2) IPA - Bitter with Columbus, FWH with Amarillo, use Simcoe/Amarillo/Willamette for late and dry hopping. I don't like super bitter IPA's, so I shoot for around 70 IBU. Its placed 1st in the IPA category all three times I have entered it in our county fair.

3) Belgian Tripel i brewed earlier this year. Tapped the keg last month and it already tastes amazing!! Several of my friends think it is the best one they have tasted. Can't wait to brew more of it.

Waiting in the wings is a Sour Blonde that my brew club did last September. It's been aging in a Cab Sav barrel from a local winery ever since. We plan to do a first tasting this weekend. I'm hoping it jumps into the top 3!
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: alestateyall on June 27, 2013, 05:21:46 PM
Not necessarily in this order...

1. I made a Lager with Honey, Cry Havoc yeast, and 1 oz of Zythos at 0 min. Crazy combo but it was really awesome.

2. I made a session pale ale (1041 OG) with all Citra hops. Maybe the best beer I have made.

3. All centennial pale ale. Crazy good.

PS. I am drinking a basic blonde right now that's not too shabby.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: bboy9000 on June 27, 2013, 05:35:53 PM
1) Belgian Pale based off JZ's "Antwerp Afternoon" but w/ Belgian Pale Malt instead of the pils and Wy 3522

2) Belgian Blond w/ Wy 3522

3) American "Reprobate Stout" ala JZ

34 batches in 1 1/2 years and the top three were based off JZ's "Classic Styles" but I've brewed some good ones from the AHA Homebrewpedia too which isn't surprising as they're award-winning.  Close behind the stout is a Pumpkin Ale from Charlie Papazian (Cucurbito Pepo) but I made a compromise on the spices between his and Jamil's spice regimen which was a little more conservative in the amounts of spices but kept the vanilla bean.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 28, 2013, 07:17:45 AM
The next one.

Right on!  Always improving.  At least I hope so.
I definitely feel that I'm always improving, in part due to the wealth of knowledge on this forum.  I just felt that, after a couple decades of brewing, it's fun to look back on some of the really memorable ones.  Sometimes, even though I brew and hit numbers pretty consistently, there's that batch sometimes that just freaking nails it head on.

Well, I tend to brew the same handful of recipes over and over so it's hard for one or two batches to stand out.

I would say my Resignation Ale, brewed after I quit my job in 2006, was quite good.  And quite strong.  Probably close to a barley wine, but really just a strong ale.  Aged in bottles and the last one went into a glass sometime late last year or early this year.

The saison (pronounced "say, son") I brewed for my 1st daughters Christening.  Also quite strong.  The priest passed out in a chair later that day.  Perhaps he was just tired?

Maybe my first batch of clones of Chimay or Kwak.

These are really more my most memorable, rather than best.  Certainly subsequent batches of Chimay and Kwak have improved but nothing's really the same as the first good Belgian you brew.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: cfleisher on July 02, 2013, 03:17:53 PM
1. Saison -- 7.5 percent, made with rye and the White Labs Saison 1 yeast. Just opened a year-old bottle and it is perfect.

2. Pumpkin Porter -- 8 percent, chocolate and just a hint of the pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove).

3. Belgian Wit/wine hybrid -- 5.5 percent Belgian wit with ginger and muscat grape juice.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: udubdawg on July 02, 2013, 03:50:18 PM
Kolsch, Robust Porter and Belgian Pale Ale are my go-to answers for this, but I think I can add Dortmunder and Schwarzbier to the list.  Those are all consistent.  Single best batch?  probably a batch of RIS a couple years ago.

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: klickitat jim on July 02, 2013, 05:54:21 PM
The best is yet to come, but soon.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: kgs on July 02, 2013, 06:01:59 PM
I am right now tasting my first-ever fermentation-controlled homebrew, a Cal Common from a recipe called McSteamy. I'm having a major "whoa" moment. I've brewed this recipe before and it was pleasant, but this batch is... oh, mmmmm. Mmmmm. Like... me, I brewed this?!

My other best beers were a stretch where I was brewing Denny's RyePA, and despite lack of temp control it was really yummy, and my stouts.  I also have a batch of Janet's Brown Ale (pre-ferm-control) that came out nice.I still brew horrible Belgians, and I've brewed other beers I would rather forget. For the next several years my brewing time is hugely limited, so I may keep going back to the recipes I know work. Redoing everything with fermentation control would be a good move, methinks.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: klickitat jim on July 02, 2013, 06:44:21 PM
Temp control is ever so oh so big time
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: dglucasii on July 02, 2013, 07:20:51 PM
My best brew was a Dopple dark Heffe...used about 2 cups of honey and added raspberries and blackberries...nailed it.  Tasted like Purple Haze's big brother.  Did it in '03 when I first started brewing and didn't know crap about the process...just threw stuff in the brew pot.
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: hoser on July 02, 2013, 07:27:53 PM
My best brew was a Dopple dark Heffe...used about 2 cups of honey and added raspberries and blackberries...nailed it.  Tasted like Purple Haze's big brother.  Did it in '03 when I first started brewing and didn't know crap about the process...just threw stuff in the brew pot.

Isn't a dopple dark heffe just another name for weizenbock? ;D
Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: amh0001 on July 02, 2013, 08:25:17 PM
#1 Janet's brown ale! Tasty!

#2 Northern Brewer's Patersbier. Let me start with saying I do not prefer belgians. The first time I made this beer, I did not get the typical Phenolic flavors that are common in belgians. I got this clean crisp slighty fruity ester, with solid pils backbone. I have brewed it 3 times since and it always comes out too Belgian.

Cheers!

Title: Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
Post by: Delo on July 03, 2013, 09:31:16 AM
My first beer because that's what started it all. It turned out pretty good and got me hooked on homebrewing immediately. If it didnt, who knows what I would be doing with any extra time I have and spare space in our basement, garage, and spare bedroom.

Maybe not my best but memorable beers:
My baby belgian ale brewed for the birth of our daughter
Stout and Hefe I brewed for my friend's wedding.
Dark side of the moon American Dark Ale BlackIPA IDA whatever.