Author Topic: How do you blend your beers.  (Read 1098 times)

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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How do you blend your beers.
« on: September 10, 2010, 08:17:07 PM »
Would someone be willing to share technique how to blend and bottle beers?
How to be consistent across multiple batches of the same base beers?
I was thinking about it the other day but so far no cigar.
Thank you.
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Offline euge

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 09:57:16 PM »
Would someone be willing to share technique how to blend and bottle beers?
How to be consistent across multiple batches of the same base beers?
I was thinking about it the other day but so far no cigar.
Thank you.

Been working on it. One part Strong ale to 5 parts light young Pale ale is a good start. Remarkable.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline majorvices

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 04:47:53 AM »
I've had great results blending beers in my belly.

Seriously though, this is an art that I have not had time to explore but I imagine it takes years of tasting experience and you also need lots and lots of beer on hand to really do it properly.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 06:14:16 AM »
I've been known to blend kegged beers when bottling for competitions, mostly to make an overly smokey rauchbier a little milder and maltier by blending with a bock or a fest beer.  I experiment with the amounts to taste and then fill the bottles to a certain point with one and then top off with the other.
I've hear of others who brew a strong version of a beer, say a light lager or a scottish ale, and then add boiled, cooled, carbonated water to mimic the "weaker" beer in the same category.
As far as being consistent across batches, do you mean the base beers or the blended results?
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline enso

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2010, 06:28:23 AM »
I have yet to blend my beers, but I have some experience blending ciders.  Here is my procedure for that.

It is really helpful to have a graduated cylnder or some sort of vessel you can keep track of volumes in.  Draw off a quart or so of each base beer in separate containers.  Have a glass of water handy to cleanse your palate.  Taste each beer in a small glass to familiarize your taste buds and give you a vague idea of how to start.

Put measured amounts in your graduated cylinder and write down the blend amounts.  Then pour it into a tasting glass and makes some notes about that blend.  This should inform your next blend.  Maybe more of one or the other etc.

Rinse out you containers and keep make different blends until you find the one you like.  When you have it you can figure out the ratios of the base beers based on the volumes of the blend sample you want to go with.  Then it is just a matter of scaling up and racking the appropriate volume of each beer into a sanitized keg or carboy.  Then let it sit for a while (dependent on the beer character/abv, etc.) to let all the flavors meld and stablize.

It can get a bit confusing but take alot of notes and go slow.  Don't do it for too long or your palate will get somewhat fatigued and overwhelmed.

Hope that helps some.
Dave Brush

Offline tumarkin

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2010, 06:37:15 AM »
Haven't blended my beer, but I have blended some of my meads. The meads, being still, presented less of a challenge. Assuming your beer is finished & carbonated, it's a bit more difficult. But basic procedure would be the same.

You want to start at your bar or kitchen table with the base beers, a measuring cup or cylinder, and a bunch of glasses. Blend in varying, carefully measured proportions and do some comparative tasting until you get the mix right to your taste. You could then fill a keg with the selected proportions of the two (or more) beers, carbonate and you're ready to serve from the keg or fill bottles as desired.
Mark Tumarkin
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Gainesville, FL

Offline bluesman

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2010, 07:10:21 AM »
Check out Gordon Strong's article in Zymurgy magazine.  I forget which volume it was but it's a great start.  I have been doing some blending.  One of the keys is minimizing the exposure to O2.  Then of course it's all about taste and knowing when you have a winner in your hands.  Good Luck TB.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2010, 07:35:41 AM »
Take a glass or glasses and a measuring cup and just record what the amounts are of each beer or flavor you are blending and then blend in the keg by the same ratio. You do need to have an idea of what might be best and then a few trials can test the theory. Let's say I am blending beer A and B. You can put out 5 glasses and of A put in 1oz, 2,3,4,5 and then fill each to the 6oz level. Then figure out which is best and go from there. You will have used 15oz of each of the beers (less than a pint each) for the trials.

If I am adding a flavoring I add it to taste in a glass and then calculate the amount for the full keg.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2010, 05:49:28 AM »
Thank you for the ideas.

Another question is how do I blend it into the keg?
Let say I have two kegs with base beer and one empty clean keg.
My blend is 35% (1.75 gal) + 65% (3.25).
How do I know that I transfered 1.75 gal from first keg?
Do I use scale?
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline mthogan1997

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2010, 06:02:19 AM »
"How do I know that I transfered 1.75 gal from first keg? Do I use scale?"

Fill a keg 1 quart at a time. Stick a wooden yardstick into the keg and note the heights of various volumes. I also do the same thing for my brew kettle (1/2 gallon increments). The wood is nice because it makes a nice easily readable wet line.

Offline jeffy

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2010, 07:45:24 AM »
Thank you for the ideas.

Another question is how do I blend it into the keg?
Let say I have two kegs with base beer and one empty clean keg.
My blend is 35% (1.75 gal) + 65% (3.25).
How do I know that I transfered 1.75 gal from first keg?
Do I use scale?

Yes, if you are pushing the beer with CO2 from each keg in a closed system, then a scale is the best way to tell how much you have transferred.  If no scale is available and the beers are cold, you can take them out of the cool area and watch the condensation on the outside to see how much beer is inside.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline tankdeer

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Re: How do you blend your beers.
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2010, 10:27:04 AM »
I have never blended finished beer from kegs for packaging - just drinking various blends of whatever is on tap. I have however blended sour beers prior to bottle conditioning. The procedure is similar to what enso described. Basically have a good amount of each base beer and a good way to measure how much of each into your blend. Start by tasting each base on it's own, and then start blending in a glass until you get something you like. Make sure and keep track of exactly how much is going in, and once you settle on a blend, scale that up and rack into your bottling bucket and bottle like normal. I don't let them sit blended prior to bottling - just never felt the need. The blend will meld just fine in whatever package you put it into.
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