Author Topic: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing  (Read 358 times)

Offline Chris C

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Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« on: July 08, 2019, 03:39:46 PM »
I did my first brew all grain yesterday.  It went great and I'm excited to drink it in a few weeks!

It was from a recipe that was developed by one of the workers at the local brewing store.  Which I trust will be great.  But I'd like to figure out a way to start my own style of stuff.

The idea I had, was to do my next brew as the most simple beer I could do.  One kind of Grain, one kind of hops, and a yeast of my choosing.  That would help me understand the flavor structure better?  Then I can build on it as I see fit? 

Does this seem like a good way to develop my own style instead of just mimicking what other beer makers have done?  How did YOU get your own style?

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 03:55:40 PM »
I think that you have the right idea. You are making what is called a SMASH beer (single malt and single hop beer). This will help understand the flavor of a particular base malt and hop. It took me many years to grasp what flavors different malts and hops give to the final beer, and that’s not to mention yeast flavors. I made the mistake early on sometimes of adding too many specialty grains to recipe which ended up a muddled mess. You might want to start out with a clean, neutral yeast like American Ale in order to get a good idea of the malt and hop flavors and remember it can take some time which to me is half the fun.


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Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 04:49:25 PM »
You can always do what I did and get a job part time at your LHBS store.  Honestly it's one of the best things I've done for my brewing.  I've been forced to learn so much more about brewing and brewing ingredients.  Also, it's a lot of fun.

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 06:13:42 PM »
You might like this article: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/keeping-it-simple-with-smash-brewing/

There’s a HomebrewCon presentation that Drew did that helps explains the concept linked st the end of the article.


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Online Robert

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 07:00:59 PM »
This can help you with your process too, making sure you've got that down before getting too distracted with formulating complex recipes.  One of the all time greats of homebrewing,  Dave Miller, always had this advice when asked the best recipe to start with:  "8 lbs of malt.  2 oz of hops.  1 pack of yeast.  Brew it over and over till it always comes out the same."  This may be more extreme than you want to go, but you see the idea...
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Offline EHall

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 09:29:53 PM »
taste the grains. sample them at the LHBS. then start incorporating them.
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Offline MNWayne

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 01:06:32 PM »
I think your plan is perfect. When I started out building my own recipes I had grand ideas, I added a little of this and some of that and a quarter pound of the other, hmmmm, lets try 2, no 3, how about an entire salad of hops?  Tastes OK, how to make it better? I had no idea, way too many variables. Start with a SMASH, then change or add one variable at a time.  Sounds like a slow process, but actually a faster road to your signature beer with fewer dumpers. Take lots of notes, don't rely on memory. Learn about water, that was my final variable, and it was a game changer.
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Offline goose

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 01:32:32 PM »
I think that you have the right idea. You are making what is called a SMASH beer (single malt and single hop beer). This will help understand the flavor of a particular base malt and hop. It took me many years to grasp what flavors different malts and hops give to the final beer, and that’s not to mention yeast flavors. I made the mistake early on sometimes of adding too many specialty grains to recipe which ended up a muddled mess. You might want to start out with a clean, neutral yeast like American Ale in order to get a good idea of the malt and hop flavors and remember it can take some time which to me is half the fun.


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^^^^
I too made the same mistake when I first started with all grain.  Starting with a SMASH is a good way to get you brewing legs.

If you want to branch out with different styles, Google is your friend.  There are a lot of good recipes on the Interwebs that will help you formulate a good one for you.  I still do that to this day when I am making something new to get an idea of what has worked for others.  I take a little bit of this recipe, a little bit of that one, and come up with my own creation.  Learning the flavors of the grains from chewing them isd important so you can see what their flavor characteristics are. Your LHBS will often let you grab a few kernals and chew them.

Another thing that I have done if it is something entirely new for me is to take a small amount of the grains I am going to use, in the proper proportions, and do a micro mash of them in a beaker to see if the flavors from the different grains will work together. You only need a few grams of each grain to do this, again in the proper proportions. That way you can adjust things before you make a whole batch that you may or may not like.
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Offline BrewBama

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Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 02:07:24 PM »
I have one more thought that may help: while I concede the grain bill is an important foundation, I believe the flavors and aromas that I associate with the best beers I’ve had come from hops and yeast. I’ve begun using uncomplicated malt foundations and am researching various hop and yeast combinations to give me the style I am looking for. There are certain combinations that just seem to work well together.

One author describes it this way: when asked to describe the flavor of rhubarb many people say berries. Rhubarb itself does not taste like berries but rhubarb pie is often made with strawberries. The best beers are like that to me. The combinations are simply associated together so closely they take the beer to the next level that could not be done alone.


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« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 02:10:21 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline BrewnWKopperKat

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2019, 09:45:26 PM »
The idea I had, was to do my next brew as the most simple beer I could do.  One kind of Grain, one kind of hops, and a yeast of my choosing.  That would help me understand the flavor structure better?  Then I can build on it as I see fit?

Another option would be a grain bill with a base malt (80 - 90%) and a second malt (10-20%), often Munich, Vienna, or a lighter crystal malt.  http://hopwhisperer.blogspot.com/2013/12/single-hop-beers-part-1.html would be one approach for brewing smaller batches with extract (note that Munich DME became a product in late 2015).  More thoughts over here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/base-hops.668020/

Quote
How did YOU get your own style?

I found a lot of good information in Randy Mosher's books "Tasting Beer" and "Mastering Homebrewing".  If you look at the flavor wheels in "Tasting Beer", you may be able to identify a small number of commonly used hops that cover the wheel and skip many of the others (for example, brew with Cascade and you have a feel for Tahoma).   For malts, the idea of "common flavor blocks" (combinations of malts that yield a general flavor) can be found in "Mastering Homebrew".
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 09:49:36 PM by BrewnWKopperKat »

Offline BrewnWKopperKat

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2019, 10:35:02 PM »
A couple of good recipe lists (especially if one is on a "low google diet" ???)

« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 10:40:33 PM by BrewnWKopperKat »

Offline Kevin

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Re: Developing my own style - New to All Grain Brewing
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2019, 01:39:13 AM »
Pick up a copy of Randy Mosher's book, Mastering Homebrew. Creating recipes is not as easy as throwing some grains, a few hops and yeast into water. An understanding of malts and how they work with each other is needed and that is a big job. Add to it the need to understand the same relationships of hops which used to be a slightly easier job when I began brewing... C noble hops were all you had to know. Now there are new varieties rolling out yearly. You still aren't finished however. You also need to understand how to select yeast to provide the properties and characteristics you are after.
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