Author Topic: regular beer line up  (Read 1595 times)

Offline goschman

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regular beer line up
« on: January 06, 2014, 05:07:24 PM »
I have finally decided to start a line up of regular beers so that I can tweak and perfect each recipe over time. I have been experimenting a bit too much and making some interesting beers but I have definitely learned that simple is usually better for me. I have done certain recipes multiples times but never regularly.

I have narrowed down to 5 recipes which I like, think are interesting, and would like to perfect. I will do other beers every once in a while but want to stick to these core recipes for a while. Who else does this and to what extent? 5 is probably more than I need considering I can only have 3 on at once and usually only brew one batch every 3 weeks.

I have got them down on paper with their specs (ABV, OG, IBUs, etc) and I have noticed that the taste for my personal brewing is driven more toward "american" styles and lighter colored beers. I have an interpretation of a Kolsch but every one of the 5 different beers is pretty american-centric with some sort of twist.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 05:18:33 PM by goschman »
On Tap:                       
American Wheat / Blonde / Walter Wit / GoschaLagerBier / American Strong Ale
              
Fermenting: nothing :(
Up Next: XPA #2:Azacca-El Dorado, Baltic Porter, Saison

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 05:42:06 PM »
Someone (maybe Denny) said that to really dial in a system, as well as a style, brew it over and over until you have it down, tweaking for what works and dropping what doesn't or is unnecessary.  I did Bo Pils that way for quite a few batches (with various ales between Bo Pils batches, so I didn't burn out on the one style).  Then the same for Munich Helles.  Enjoying making some darker lagers now.  Kolsch and saisons are going to dominate the late spring to summer!  But before I get to those I gotta make some RIPA!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 06:34:19 PM »
I've been working an IPA, a lager, and a Mild turned 60/- for several months. Approaching satisfaction, next will be consistency.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 07:52:02 PM »
I spent a big chunk of last year working on a saison recipe. Got it pretty close at this point, or I burned our on it and couldn't think of a useful change to try. So now I'm playing with an IPA recipe.I'm happy with my kolsch so to mix it up with the IPA I'm going to work on lagers this winter/spring.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 07:59:38 PM »
I really like to experiment with recipes, so I really don't have many regular beers that I brew exactly the same each time. There's still way too many more beers in the pipeline that I want to try out, before I really take the time to dial in a recipe with precision. I have a base IPA recipe, but I never use the same hops or hop schedule when I brew it. Same thing with my Saison - I feel like I nailed the base recipe the first time, so now I use it as a base for other things (fruit, hibiscus, etc).

I do have a Porter recipe that I've brewed a couple of times that I have gotten from "meh" to "good". Eventually I will try to hit "great", but I'm just not inspired at the moment.

Now that I have a fermentation chamber I will probably work up a 'fest recipe that I always keep on hand, and maybe a Schwarzbier (eventually). But I still have the most fun playing around with new recipes, so I don't know if I'll ever have more than a few beers in regular rotation.
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 08:20:06 PM »
I like to brew a given style, take good notes, and move on to the next one. But occasionally I get a touch of OCD on a style, like saison last year. I brewed a few with different yeasts @ different temps to get a feel for what I could achieve. As for IPA I have a couple base grists but have never used the exact hop schedule twice as said - There are too many good hops (new ones all the time) not to want to experiment with. But there are a lot of great styles to dial in. That's where this forum comes in - the collective knowledge is pretty strong.
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Offline braufessor

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 08:24:05 PM »
I started doing this a couple years ago and it has really helped me improve my brewing - not just of the beers in my rotation, but all my beers.

I would say the beers I brew regularly with minor tweaks/same recipe are:

British Bitter
British Mild
Bo - pils
American pale ale
American Amber
Porter

The mild, bitter and pale ale, in particular, I probably brew 7 times each per year for sure.

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 08:25:14 PM »
I have been working on my DIPA, Belgian golden strong, and Stout. I've got the DIPA down, enough to have won 3 golds and have brewed it twice at a local brewery. (Tooting my own horn here...) The golden strong still eludes me, but it has gotten pretty good. My stout, on the other hand, hasn't been the same twice. Maybe I should quit using exotic crap in it?
I have also started my first lager, and am looking forward to figuring this one out, too.
But I love to brew a wide variety of beer, and haven't spent a ton of time focused on a few.
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 09:01:43 PM »
There are still way too many styles that I haven't brewed yet for me to totally rein things in, but I've also been trying to standardize my lineup over the past year.  Basically, I want to have a house recipe for each style of beer that I like. 

I'm not trying to knock it down to 5 styles, but when I want a porter, I want to be able to open up my brewlog to that page and go for it, without having to recalculate all the mineral additions, etc.  Also, I'm not designing my own recipes yet, but making small tweaks to some proven recipes. 

This year I'm scaling back to 3-gallon batches, which should help me brew more often and make refinements.  I've done two 3-gallon batches so far with the new gear, and it's been a lot of fun.  Really not much different than 5, but it just seems more manageable. 

Offline punatic

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 09:22:42 PM »
I have mostly moved on to the next big thing, so the main thrust of my fermentations are focused on that.  However, I do have three brews I've settled on to be in the regular rotation (on tap all of the time):
Munich Helles, Coriander Marzen, and Imperial IPA.  The helles I've brewed 139 times, the marzen 103 times and the IIPA 61 times.  Brewing them has become so routine, I don't even measure temps or gravities anymore. 
In a word: repeatability (it's stems from my lab training, I guess).

Every once in a while, just to mix things up, I brew a Pre-prohibition Pilsner (aka CAP) - 28 times
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Offline beersk

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 07:34:46 AM »
There are still way too many styles that I haven't brewed yet for me to totally rein things in, but I've also been trying to standardize my lineup over the past year.  Basically, I want to have a house recipe for each style of beer that I like. 

I'm not trying to knock it down to 5 styles, but when I want a porter, I want to be able to open up my brewlog to that page and go for it, without having to recalculate all the mineral additions, etc.  Also, I'm not designing my own recipes yet, but making small tweaks to some proven recipes. 

This year I'm scaling back to 3-gallon batches, which should help me brew more often and make refinements.  I've done two 3-gallon batches so far with the new gear, and it's been a lot of fun.  Really not much different than 5, but it just seems more manageable. 
I think that's a goal of mine this year, is to brew more recipes out of Brewing Classic Styles, proven recipes, instead of making my own and being disappointed with them (and myself). I brew 4 gallon batches, which is a manageable size. I do it mainly because that's all my system can handle, but even if I move somewhere where I could brew outside on a burner, I think I'd still brew 4 gallon batches. It's just a nice size.

But, there's still too much I want to brew to start really nailing down a few recipes. Although, I'm having troubles brewing a good oatmeal stout. Also want to brew a porter in the vain of Odell Cutthroat Porter or Summit Great Northern Porter. I think those are the two big ones for me at the moment that I want to really get down.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:37:44 AM by beersk »
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Offline yso191

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 07:44:22 AM »
I just recently decided to do this with just two beers: IPA and RIS.  That is because it seems like every time I am looking at a menu or a store shelf, one or the other is what I'm looking for.  To that I will add a Scottish 60/, because that apparently is what the BMC drinkers around me really like that I brew.

I've got the IPA down pretty well, and the Scottish Ale close.  It's the RIS that is up for work.
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2014, 07:54:43 AM »
My kegerator has three taps plus room for a fourth keg with a picnic tap, and I probably brew every three weeks or so. I ALWAYS have my house Pale Ale on tap #1; it's my wife's favorite ("If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy") as well as the go-to for my MBC-drinking friends. I've brewed it dozens of times, with only slight adjustments since I got it dialed in. Tap #2 is my attempt to duplicate Bell's Two-Hearted; I'll probably keep it as my house IPA once I'm satisfied with it and until I tire of it. Tap #3 and the picnic are rotating, but it seems I always have a Belgian on one of them (most recently a Double, Tripel or Belgian Dark Strong) and the picnic has had (for me) specialties - right now, a Holiday Ale from a Biere de Garde base, and prior to that, a Sweet Stout. This kind of profile seems to work for me. I have several beers that have great popularity and I can brew in production mode without a lot of thought, plus I get to try some new stuff now and again to keep the creative juices flowing.

Offline goschman

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 09:10:02 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.

I have considered reducing my batch size so that I can brew more often but still not sure. I am thinking about using smaller batch sizes to bottle bigger experimental beers that can age and stick around for a while. Maybe I will start with 3 regulars for now as that seems like a good number. A couple of them seem to have a seasonal feel to them anyway so I could probably keep those to a couple of times a year.
On Tap:                       
American Wheat / Blonde / Walter Wit / GoschaLagerBier / American Strong Ale
              
Fermenting: nothing :(
Up Next: XPA #2:Azacca-El Dorado, Baltic Porter, Saison

Offline chumley

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Re: regular beer line up
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 09:12:00 AM »
My kegerator has 4 taps but can hold up to 12 kegs.  I try to go with this:

1.  Lager.  About 75% of the time it is some type of pilsner.
2.  Ale.  American or British.  About 33% of the time an American IPA, 33% of the time a British bitter, the other something else.
3.  Belgian.  Usually a pale or a tripel, sometimes saison or a dubbel, once in a blue moon a sour.
4.  Rotator.  Any style.  Usually depends on time of year and what's on the other three taps (example: if I have three pale/amber beers on tap, this usually is some kind of dark beer)