Favorite styles to brew and why

Reads 1427 • Replies 31 • Started Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:24:28 AM CT

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HornyDevil
08:24 Tue 9/4/2012

Though this initially felt like a "Who is brewing this weekend?" or "Whatís in your fridge?" thread, I hope it comes off differently. In as much as Iíd like to find out how the palates of those on this board have changed over the years and how much of that has been driven by commercial trends.

Over the past hundred or so brews I have realized that I really like to brew the beers that I am good at brewing. No surprise there. Light-colored moderate gravity hoppy beers would be the first type. 100% Brett fermentations are the next. Iíve also done beers that were a combination of the two thought processes. Donít ask me why, but I seem to have a penchant for brewing those two broad styles of beer.

The next category are beers that I like to drink, but are very challenging and there isnít a whole lot of information out there regarding them. Of course Iím talking about sour beers. My first two attempts were all but undrinkable (though I did) and my third was only a slight improvement over those two. Since then I have combined my penchant of brewing with honey and mixed sour fermentations to pretty decent success and now have five sour beers going, four of which are more classic examples than the wine-strength sour braggots. I still donít feel like I have a great grasp on the style as far as the end product goes, but what I do feel is that I have a very good idea of the techniques and ingredients that make sour beer what it is. Iím anxious to see if Iím right when I bottle a blueberry and blackberry sour in a couple months.

All of that said, Iíve done a WHOLE BUNCH of experimental beers and some attempts at variations on classic styles that were not "bad" but are nothing that Iíd want to brew again. Many of them were tried repeatedly, but there was just something about the ingredient or the style that just didnít work out and I just didnít have the patience or didnít enjoy the style or concept enough to try to trouble shoot the beer any further.

How about you guys?

 
NobleSquirrel
beers 3439 º places 209 º 08:26 Tue 9/4/2012

I like to brew milds & lagers. Pretty much any type of lager, though my preference would be an adjunct pilsner. The maize really lightens it up and works great. I also really enjoy making mead.

 
drowland
beers 7804 º places 242 º 08:31 Tue 9/4/2012

Just about anything, though I tend to brew weird things, so to speak. Basically, I like to brew what I like to drink (and my wife, to a certain extent), which is often things I canít buy off the shelf or at breweries often. Usually this is dark beers or fruit beers with stuff in them. I also love brewing really hoppy beers because I love drinking really hoppy beers.

 
HornyDevil
08:38 Tue 9/4/2012

Originally posted by NobleSquirrel
I like to brew milds & lagers. Pretty much any type of lager, though my preference would be an adjunct pilsner. The maize really lightens it up and works great.


So . . . mostly highly sessionable beers?

Originally posted by NobleSquirrel
I also really enjoy making mead.


What about mead makes it enjoyable? Never made a proper mead, but I have experimented with quite a few varietals of honey, so Iím curious.

 
radarsock
beers 1146 º places 60 º 08:45 Tue 9/4/2012

Havenít brewed in a while, however I enjoyed blending the most. Iíd often work with rye, oats and wheat therefore the actually style may indeed be regarded as Specialty Grain. Arguably enjoyed alternative grains the most. Anyway, I blended together a Witbier with a rye IPA. It came out decent.

 
HornyDevil
08:47 Tue 9/4/2012

Originally posted by drowland
which is often things I canít buy off the shelf or at breweries often.


This is a fantastic point and is one of the reasons that I brew as many braggots as I do. I think there might be one or two examples available locally and when I look at the price points of them, and a great deal of the other "super premium" beers out there, I find that it is MUCH more cost effective to brew them myself. ESPECIALLY when one considers that my consistency is better than theirs most of the time. Now, donít get me wrong, there are beers out there that are worth the pricetag, but a great deal of the one-offs arenít them.

Originally posted by drowland
Usually this is dark beers or fruit beers with stuff in them.


Not a whole lot of those styles in Florida?

 
temporrari
beers 397 º places 12 º 09:00 Tue 9/4/2012

I mainly brew highly hopped IPAs in the 6-7% range. I find them fairly easy to brew, and the freshness of kegged homebrew canít be beat. Itís rare lately that I drink a commercial IPA that I think beats my own. Somewhat due to freshness, and somewhat I think because I usually use hops like Simcoe and Citra in copious quantities. To me, those hops give the flavors and aromas that IPA is all about.

I do enjoy brewing a stout and a Belgian occasionally as well, but I always find myself longing for hops when I have one of those beers on tap. I only have one beer ready at a time. Itís easier for me to run out and buy a bottle of darker beer than it is to grab a fresh, tasty IPA. And even though Iím not entirely displeased with my previous attempts at stouts and Belgians, Iím not quite as good at brewing those styles. So, what I can buy is usually a bit better.

I will admit Iím still new to all grain brewing, so Iíve not made a stout or Belgian without extract. But I have plans to do so, come cooler weather. Hopefully, I will get better at brewing them.

Overall, my brewing interest really does lie with IPA, standard strength stouts, and medium to strong Belgians. My favorites styles to drink. I would love to try brewing saison sometime.

 
NobleSquirrel
beers 3439 º places 209 º 09:29 Tue 9/4/2012

Originally posted by HornyDevil
Originally posted by NobleSquirrel
I like to brew milds & lagers. Pretty much any type of lager, though my preference would be an adjunct pilsner. The maize really lightens it up and works great.


So . . . mostly highly sessionable beers?


Yeah as itís what I prefer to drink. I also like the fact that Iím able to brew really clean beers and win awards for them.

Originally posted by NobleSquirrel
I also really enjoy making mead.


What about mead makes it enjoyable? Never made a proper mead, but I have experimented with quite a few varietals of honey, so Iím curious.


I like the process, the speed at which it can be completed and the finished product. Itís also a lot easier to experiment with spices and fruit than beer is due to the lack of carbonation (most of the time).

 
HornyDevil
09:29 Tue 9/4/2012

Originally posted by temporrari
I find them fairly easy to brew, and the freshness of kegged homebrew canít be beat. Itís rare lately that I drink a commercial IPA that I think beats my own. Somewhat due to freshness


Correct.

Originally posted by temporrari
and somewhat I think because I usually use hops like Simcoe and Citra in copious quantities. To me, those hops give the flavors and aromas that IPA is all about.


Absolutely. If youíre not using a varietal with big tropical fruit flavors and aromas, your hoppy beer will be lacking. However, those varietals need the juxtaposition of the grapefruity and/or herbal hops to balance them.

Originally posted by temporrari
I only have one beer ready at a time.


Thatís something I havenít had to worry about. My homebrew cellar is 100s of bottles strong with probably 20 - 30 different beers at any given time.

Originally posted by temporrari
I would love to try brewing saison sometime.


Simple grainbill (or extract), big hops (Saphir is a good choice), and 3711. You can thank me later.

 
tomer
beers 2788 º places 83 º 09:45 Tue 9/4/2012

Mead is my favourite at the moment.
Iím about to make a very sweet one with date honey which iíl spice with cardamom in the secondary, then iíl probablymake another one with fresh pomegranate juice added which should give it fantastic colour and flavour

 
HornyDevil
09:55 Tue 9/4/2012

Originally posted by tomer
Iím about to make a very sweet one with date honey


Iíd be interested to find out what type of character this honey has.

Originally posted by tomer
another one with fresh pomegranate juice added which should give it fantastic colour and flavour


Ever consider using/making pomegranate molasses?

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