Author Topic: aiming higher or aiming lower  (Read 240 times)

Offline fredthecat

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aiming higher or aiming lower
« on: May 27, 2022, 09:49:01 pm »
well, 2021/winter 2022 was "the year of the pint" i thought.

my theory was that i would make full-flavoured, low-alc (4.7% or less, ideally low 4s) but easy drinking pints to be able to have a drink or two on a weekday and not worry. i planned to phase out my smaller bottles, only 500ml or bigger to speed up bottling day.

did this, and overall, with specifics pertaining to my particular situation re: limited brew/bottling-day availability it did not work out:
-had issues with extract brews, which i expected to be adequate/good yet be shorter brew days. - they were short brew days but the beer was clearly inferior to all-grain (problem isolated as the DME, but still the rest isnt confirmed(
-all-grain brews tasted good, but still the <4.8% aspect led to these brews that were almost wonderful, but just adequate.
-led to bloated feeling of consuming too much when i was trying to have a good sesh on a weekend.
-feeling of unwarranted hangover/dayafter due to this large amount of liquid consumed
-since a good sesh requires more liquid to meet inebriation requirements, my beers seemed to disappear faster than ever.

in short, my "ultimate session pint" concept has failed, and now im going nearly 180 and making higher ABV beers.

-value per costs/time are higher than making a ~3.8 to 4.5% beer (if i make the same volume of 11% beer (my most recent) it takes basically the same amount of time as a 4% beer)
-i prefer the intensity of a strong beer, i dont have issues with high OG fermentations, they taste great to me so far.
-bottle in 330mls, more individual beers

-negative - i am worried about messing up a potentially expensive high gravity beer.


 thoughts?








Offline pete b

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Re: aiming higher or aiming lower
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2022, 06:25:44 am »
This seems obvious, but why not both: alternate session beers for weekdays and higher abv for weekends.
You said you are not satisfied with your session beers. Do you like English ales? I find them as satisfying a pint as any and I usually brew ones that end up in the 3.7% to 4.3% range. Try Pattison’s 1957 Whitbread IPA recipe if you haven’t yet.
As to length of brewdays I feel your pain as I find it hard to carve out time to brew. Investing in an all in one helps. I have ct probably 11/2 off my brewdays since getting my Anvil. I mill grain and add water and salts at night and set it to be at mash temp when I get up around 6. I can pitch yeast and b3 cleaned up by 10:00 a.m. I also steal time by heating sparge water to around 190 and using ice packs in my chilling water. I have even done overnight mashes.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: aiming higher or aiming lower
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2022, 08:30:54 am »
I will piggyback on what was said.  Why not do both?  My plan is to keg a batch and then a week or two later, brew a batch to bottle.  The ultimate goal is to have two different styles on hand, one being a lower ABV more summer beer to enjoy and not get loaded.  I am still very new to this, but this is going to be my first try and this.  My 5 gallon keg has been in the kegerator for about a week, so my brother and I are going to do a brew day and hang out and have a few while we do our thing.  I know you say the time is the issue, and I agree it does take time, but for me it gives me a chance to just relax and enjoy the process.  The all in one is a dream right now, but I have to admit I like doing it with some involvement and not just set and forget.  I am sorry to ramble, but for me, I am going to have a rotation with bottles and keg filled about two weeks apart so I don't go dry, so to speak.  If I do, I will buy commercial stuff and give my pallet a rest.  Either way, enjoy the process, that is what I have been told time after time by those that I consider the experts here.  RR

Offline fredthecat

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Re: aiming higher or aiming lower
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2022, 11:15:16 am »
This seems obvious, but why not both: alternate session beers for weekdays and higher abv for weekends.
You said you are not satisfied with your session beers. Do you like English ales? I find them as satisfying a pint as any and I usually brew ones that end up in the 3.7% to 4.3% range. Try Pattison’s 1957 Whitbread IPA recipe if you haven’t yet.
As to length of brewdays I feel your pain as I find it hard to carve out time to brew. Investing in an all in one helps. I have ct probably 11/2 off my brewdays since getting my Anvil. I mill grain and add water and salts at night and set it to be at mash temp when I get up around 6. I can pitch yeast and b3 cleaned up by 10:00 a.m. I also steal time by heating sparge water to around 190 and using ice packs in my chilling water. I have even done overnight mashes.

i considered some alternative brewday strategies like overnight mashing, the extract+specialty malts. i have not tried overnight mashes but want to sometime. however i haven't made a recipe yet that I believe would be a safe way to test it out.

i bought all my stuff for this brewing setup just 2 years ago, so i feel like i haven't amortized it yet (for myself). but yes, i look forward to getting an all in-one at some point. they seem to be really user-friendly and reliable now.

re: 1957 IPA - i always heard it recommended. looking at the recipe i'm guessing the power of the recipe is the EKG or "sugar #1" . i love EKG hops, and imho i couldn't brew without them. im really thankful to ron, obviously. i used to read through his european beer guide posts before i even knew him by name. im especially thankful for him emphasizing the sole use of pale malts/amber/brown/black for so long in england, as well as the use of sugars. ive been having really great luck with mixes of these at amounts that were not recommended for so long in homebrewing circles. im looking forward to doing a real 15% brown, ~5% black, 70% pale, 10% invert sugar porter when i can.


I will piggyback on what was said.  Why not do both?  My plan is to keg a batch and then a week or two later, brew a batch to bottle.  The ultimate goal is to have two different styles on hand, one being a lower ABV more summer beer to enjoy and not get loaded.  I am still very new to this, but this is going to be my first try and this.  My 5 gallon keg has been in the kegerator for about a week, so my brother and I are going to do a brew day and hang out and have a few while we do our thing.  I know you say the time is the issue, and I agree it does take time, but for me it gives me a chance to just relax and enjoy the process.  The all in one is a dream right now, but I have to admit I like doing it with some involvement and not just set and forget.  I am sorry to ramble, but for me, I am going to have a rotation with bottles and keg filled about two weeks apart so I don't go dry, so to speak.  If I do, I will buy commercial stuff and give my pallet a rest.  Either way, enjoy the process, that is what I have been told time after time by those that I consider the experts here.  RR

i hear you, there was definitely a time where i would enjoy the process lol. not to say i don't, but to me it's more like a satisfying work experience.

re: alternating high/low - i only have 3 carboys and so many bottles (about ~50litres storage worth i believe) TBH. i could buy more i suppose, but another advantage of the stronger beers, is that again it takes more time to get through them, allowing me to keep around a bunch and let them age. any low ABV beer is still that high-work time investment for relatively less alcohol produced.

regarding this - i live in canada, and beer prices which were already high are skyrocketing. omnipollo is contractbrewed for canada by steamwhistle. i sometimes like omnipollo, so grabbed one that didnt have a pricetag, brought it to the front intending to buy it thinking "3.50, even $4, ill just get it and try something new". it was $5.25 for a basic IPA tallboy. give me a break. i need to homebrew if i want to drink, because im not paying these criminal prices. the liquor/beer monopoly stupidly made it so radlers and <3% ABV beers are still priced like a normal beer ($3.25+ a tallboy) so for me, financially it makes sense to just buy a non-alcoholic drink (i don't drink in the daytime anyway) rather than make or buy a low alcohol beer.

https://www.ratebeer.com/Ratings/Beer/Beer-Ratings.asp?BeerID=942138 this is it, lol yeah a middling meh IPA. i could make this for 1/6th the cost.


« Last Edit: May 28, 2022, 11:19:16 am by fredthecat »