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Author Topic: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?  (Read 4900 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« on: March 15, 2022, 01:24:01 pm »
I helped derail the WHAT'S BREWING THIS WEEKEND? thread so I started a new one here.

When you brew, what styles do you like to make and drink?  Are you brewing mainly for yourself, you and your significant other?  Kids of drinking age in the house?  Friends, family, neighbors, etc?

For me, I like to make normal, everyday beer at least to me:  Helles, Pilsner, Festbier, Vienna Lager, bitters, American Lagers (both pale and dark... think Shiner Bock on the dark) and American ales like Blondes, Reds, Ambers, etc.  American Wheat with clean hops and clean yeast... not orange peel and coriander-style beers.  I generally do not make IPAs, stouts or Belgians.  The ABV of my beer is typically between 4.5% and 5% or so.  Standard beer for the masses.  My wife will (well... did) drink my beer and I have three kids 22, 24, 26 who also drink my beer when they're in town.  Friends, family, neighbors, etc. will drink it too.  This says a lot:  When I did not have my beer on tap when I recently moved, I bought commercial beer:  Modelo, Victoria, Negra Modelo, Shiner Bock, Paulaner Original Munich Lager, Weihenstephan Helles, Dos Equis Amber, Goose Island IPA. 

Do you try to clone beers?  Do you try to make a beer that you can't get locally?  Do you brew the same recipes over and over or wing it each time?  Please share. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Online denny

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2022, 01:50:38 pm »
Mainly AIPA, with some Belgian styles and German lagers thrown in. Plus any one offs that fit my tastes.  No hazies, pastries, or out there stuff. When I use unusual ingredients, like mushrooms, I make sure they support the flavor, not define it. My goal is primarily to enjoy the brewing process, and secondarily to make beer my wife and I like. She pretty much only drinks 70+ IBU beers.

I may be inspired by a commercial beer, but I never attempt to "clone" it.  For one, that's pretty much impossible. For another, the commercial brewer will make it better than I can, so why bother? About the only one that comes even close to that category is the Rochefort 8 "homage" beer I make ocassionally.
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Offline Megary

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2022, 02:17:12 pm »
Stouts and Porters make up 50% of what I brew.  I absolutely love my American Dry Stout (my name) and that recipe gets repeated verbatim every time I brew it.  My English(ish) Porter has been a work in progress but I'm a whisker away from finalizing this as well.

The other 50% of my brewing is a big mix and made up of beers that I probably only brew once a year, tweaking as I go: American Wheat, Saison, IPA, and Cream Ales are the most common of the rest, but Bitter, Brown, Blonde, APA, Irish Red have their place as well.  I don't brew Czech lagers, German Pils, Bo Pils, Helles etc. because they aren't my thing and I'll just leave it at that.  :)

I do like to brew one-offs as well.  They keep the blood pumping, so to speak.  I made a Grodziskie last year that was a revelation.

Oh, and a yearly Barleywine is now a must after having a surprise hit with one last year.

I brew mainly for myself but my wife, while not a big beer drinker, will partake as well, especially the Stout. My son, when home, will usually make mincemeat out of whatever's available.  Holiday company has me brewing for the masses so that means an IPA for sure and something seasonal.

If I'm buying beer, it's 90% craft and 90% of that is local craft.  I'll have the occasional Big Beer on hand but that usually sits around until I get the guilts and drink it.

I don't clone beers, but can certainly get inspiration (read: steal ideas) from something I enjoy.  This is usually ideas about Hops and Hops combinations since they are the great brewing mystery to me.

Offline MNWayne

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2022, 02:31:22 pm »
Bo pils is my wifes favorite, so it's always on tap. The other tap usually is an APA or IPA with an occasional oddity thrown it there for kicks and giggles, like a spruce beer, wheat or a NEIPA. I always make a porter in the early winter, it's by buddy's favorite so I give him a keg at Christmas.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2022, 02:38:12 pm »
My sons seemed to inherit my taste for beer:  Smooth, straightforward, balanced, refreshing.  If I have a pale lager or a dark lager on tap, they'll wolf it.  Maybe an amber lager that is a little hoppier, things like that go fast.  My daughter is more likely to do something off-the-map.  Last summer I had a Mexican pale lager on tap.  She squeezed some lime onto a plate and then dipped the rim of the glass into the lime juice and then she had another plate with tajin spice (pepper and lime?) on it.  So she seasoned the rim of the glass and then tapped the Mexican Lager into it.  Others that were over (nieces and nephews) liked the idea so they started doing it too.  My beer is not safe when my kids are around. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2022, 02:39:45 pm »
Bo pils is my wifes favorite, so it's always on tap. The other tap usually is an APA or IPA with an occasional oddity thrown it there for kicks and giggles, like a spruce beer, wheat or a NEIPA. I always make a porter in the early winter, it's by buddy's favorite so I give him a keg at Christmas.
Any chance you would share your BoPils recipe?  It's a style I like and try occasionally (I like the Staro strain 2782 and have used 2278 too) but I always feel it could use a tweak.  Cheers and thanks. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline HopDen

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2022, 02:42:22 pm »
I mainly brew lagers. Low ABV +-5% I do occasionally make ales such as Bitters, Kolsch style, Am. Blonde, Belgian style ales and a big RIS for barrel aging every couple years. I don't care for sours, pasties, hazies or fruit beers. 99.5% of the beers I make are my recipes based on BJCP guidelines, boring maybe but that's what we like. I seldom move outside of that box. I have only brewed IPA's a handful of times in the 13 years Ive been brewing and I don't really care too except when I sample a well made and balanced example, not to bitter and definitely not hazy, then I want to brew one!!

Offline Megary

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2022, 02:46:26 pm »
My sons seemed to inherit my taste for beer:  Smooth, straightforward, balanced, refreshing.  If I have a pale lager or a dark lager on tap, they'll wolf it.  Maybe an amber lager that is a little hoppier, things like that go fast.  My daughter is more likely to do something off-the-map.  Last summer I had a Mexican pale lager on tap.  She squeezed some lime onto a plate and then dipped the rim of the glass into the lime juice and then she had another plate with tajin spice (pepper and lime?) on it.  So she seasoned the rim of the glass and then tapped the Mexican Lager into it.  Others that were over (nieces and nephews) liked the idea so they started doing it too.  My beer is not safe when my kids are around.

That's how I would describe my Stout!  My all-season beer.

Offline BrewBama

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What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2022, 03:34:18 pm »
I enjoy taking raw ingredients, combining them, and making something special from them.  The end product is simply an inevitable outcome of the planning, prepping, processes, etc…. IOW, it doesn’t matter what style of beer is brewed, the pleasure is derived from the DIY.  The end product that I can share with family and friends, especially when someone says “did you make this?”, gives me a sense of pride and satisfaction.  A few buddies around the fire or football on TV, family for a gathering of some sort are highlights but I really don’t drink but one or two beers a day if at all.

I like to smoke and cure meats, stuff sausages, bake bread and pizza, cook French, Italian, and Mexican cuisine, grill a steak, some wings or a burger, a bit of gardening, do my own landscaping/lawn care, fix my own tractor, etc. all for the same reason: I did it myself even though much of this is readily available in the marketplace.

I want to brew a few good beers across the color/flavor spectrum vs becoming a jack of all trades, master of none.  Too often in the past I’ve seemed to get in my own way to let perfect get in the way of good.

It’s no secret my brewing techniques are heavily influenced by Gordon Strong’s Brewing Better Beer and Charlie Bamforth’s interviews and documents as well as my own experience. So, I developed process controls where I could and simplified my recipes and approach based on sound principles substituting specialty grains and/or hops in/out to create variety.

I like to try to brew for the occasion though I miscalculate sometimes and simply disregard others. 2x Bock as a Christmas Ale, Scottish Ale for New Years, Stout and/or Irish Ale for St Pattie’s, something light and refreshing for Memorial, Independence and Labor Days, Brown Ale or Porter when it starts getting cold for an ingredient in Chili, and so on...

I am coming up on 160 all grain batches since AL made homebrewing legal. I was in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and a member of a local community of fellas I was in the Army with. So, I will attempt to make a Special Dunkel-style for this special occasion.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2022, 03:50:28 pm by BrewBama »

Offline HopDen

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2022, 03:41:42 pm »
I enjoy taking raw ingredients, combining them, and making something special from them.  The end product is simply an inevitable outcome of the planning, prepping, processes, etc…. IOW, it doesn’t matter what style of beer is brewed, the pleasure is derived from the DIY.  The end product that I can share with family and friends, especially when someone says “did you make this?”, gives me a sense of pride and satisfaction.  A few buddies around the fire or football on TV, family for a gathering of some sort are highlights but I really don’t drink but one or two beers a day if at all.

I like to smoke and cure meats, stuff sausages, bake bread and pizza, cook French, Italian, and Mexican cuisine, grill a steak, some wings or a burger, a bit of gardening, do my own landscaping/lawn care, fix my own tractor, etc. all for the same reason: I did it myself even though much of this is readily available in the marketplace.

I want to brew a few good beers across the color/flavor spectrum vs becoming a jack of all trades, master of none.  Too often in the past I’ve seemed to get in my own way to let perfect get in the way of good.

It’s no secret my brewing techniques are heavily influenced by Gordon Strong’s Brewing Better Beer and Charlie Bamforth’s interviews and documents as well as my own experience. So, I developed process controls where I could and simplified my recipes and approach based on sound principles substituting specialty grains and/or hops in/out to create variety.

I like to try to brew for the occasion though I miscalculate sometimes and simply disregard others. 2x Bock as a Christmas Ale, Scottish Ale for New Years, Stout and/or Irish Ale for St Pattie’s, something light and refreshing for Memorial, Independence and Labor Days, Brown Ale of Porter when it started getting cold for an ingredient in Chili, and so on...

I am coming up on 160 all grain batches since AL made homebrewing legal. I was in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiments and a member of a local community of fellas I was in the Army with. So, I will attempt to make a Special Dunkel-style for this special occasion.

Well stated!

Thank You for your service!!

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2022, 03:54:02 pm »
One thing about IPAs for me is that they should really be served as fresh as possible to get that great hop character.  I will make an APA or IPA with a lot of late hops and dry hops but I'm not going to drink that beer regularly and so its lifespan is going to be on the short side.  For that reason, I might order a beer like that when I'm out and enjoy it that way.  I like it but a lot of times the hop character will fatigue my tastebuds.  I don't really want 5 gallons of a beer like that around so I tend to buy it instead of make it. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline ttash

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2022, 04:11:28 pm »
My wife and I love lagers, so that is 90% of what I brew. Helles, German and Czech Pilsner, Vienna, Dunkel, Dortmunder, Festbier, Schwarzbier, Rauchbier, Pale and dark Bock, Classic American Pilsner, American dark lager.
The other 10% is usually Scottish Export, Dark Mild, Belgian Pale and Blonde, American and German Wheat beer, and the occasional Coconut Porter.
During the holidays I'll brew a big batch of something rich, alcoholic, and special, in the British, Belgian or German tradition, to give as gifts.
My wife and I love to cook, as do our friends, and we have lots of get togethers with delicious food and beers.

Offline Kevin

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2022, 04:34:44 pm »
I became fascinated with Ron Pattinson's blog and the history of British beer and beer styles. Most of what I brew are recipes he has unearthed in 100 to 200 year old brewing logs. Mild, Bitter/Pale Ale, Porter and Stout are my mainstays. I've started experimenting with Belgian beers the past two years and this winter I brewed my first lagers.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2022, 04:41:33 pm »
I brew what I like to drink.

For ales I like APA, IPA, ambers, blondes, and porters.  For lagers I mostly brew Helles, Dort, and Pilsners.

I don’t deviate too far from above.  Different malts, hops, and yeasts keep it interesting.

I have two barely legal sons. They’re taste buds haven’t developed to appreciate flavor and bitterness in beer. I am trying to develop a recipe they will like.  I found one (an American Light Lager with 12 IBU), but I didn’t care for it. Too true to style for me ;)  Now I am trying to brew a pub ale and red ale they will like. We’ll see. Those might be too big a leap.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2022, 04:51:41 pm »
who? i brew 99% for myself and give a few at random times to neighbours.
when?
why? to get stuff that is not available (selection is actually quite limited here) and get beer for much cheaper than govt set minimum beer prices.
what? ~4-6%ABV stouts/porters that are obvious roast, not subtle (25%), english ales (~20% but likely increasing), belgian yeast beers of always different style (~10% but will likely decrease to 0%), balanced european style lagers, "munich malt beers"/vienna lager/pilsner/just lager (25%), 20% very strong beers using the yeast cake from one of the other types (strong stout, belgian or bock, "one offs").

i tried to not be an old fogey about these new beer styles like hazy, DDH, (new world/craft) sours, pastry and milkshake. but honestly these are mostly just badly, badly done. milkshake and (less so) pastry as concepts i believe could be really interesting if done well, but i dont have great examples to try here of either. don't outright hate sours, but i think its an excuse to make cheap and palatable-to-the-masses beer that is shallow and one-dimensional. i hate the feel of hazy/DDH, hate the hopburn and just all of it.

a practical impediment village taphouse mentioned on IPAs, is that it takes me about 2 months minimum to get through my resultant ~4.5 gallons of beer i get if its 5%, and if its an IPA the way i like it, of at least 7%, that would probably stretch it out to 3 months+ and the beer would clearly be waning by that point. so i go for malt-focused strong beers.

im continuing to evolve my regular brews and cut out the ones that i wouldn't want to do again for various reasons:
my likely future brews will be ~33% dry stout/porter/brown ale, 33% variations on bitters,EPAs, 20% lagers in winter, ~13% very strong beers some likely oaked if my next oak project (april) turns out well.