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Like the BBB, the homeBBBrew board is not a club, just a place to talk about making beer. Is there a swap you would like to see happen? If we can find a few others who have something similar then lets do it!

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Stéphane
07/11/06 06:58 PM  
Is your favorite beer one of your own?
I have recently begun to think I should start brewing my own beer. There are many professionally crafted beers that I want and feel I need to try before I even prepare to engage in such an enterprise, yet I sense an ineluctable pull towards home brewing. My perspective at the moment is that brewing requires a lot of energy, patience and drinking power of which the third is most problematic. Certainly the final rewards may be worth the effort, but I keep thinking to myself I should continue drinking what is of known quality before I attempt expressing myself in this medium.

I'm not worried about how time-consuming or expensive the work may be but my aim, if I were to start brewing, is that my favorite beer of all, would eventually be one I have created myself. So that's my question. Is your favorite beer (or one of your favorite beers), one you have created yourself? Is it an attainable goal?

N8
07/11/06 08:30 PM  
Re: Is your favorite beer one of your own?
To some extent, the goal is to make that perfect beer that you only before have been able to taste in your head. I've only actually achieved that once or twice in 14 years of homebrewing. Not that I dislike my beers, I enjoy just about all of them. But that is what keeps me coming back. Just like in golf, most of your rounds are average, but occasionally your hit that perfect swing, round, whatever, and that is what keeps bringing you back.

Another attractive quality to brewing your own is that you can experiment with different ingredients and make whatever your imagination comes up with. Your are fairly limited to certain styles and types of beers. You can't go out and get a sweet potato triple, or a date pale ale, but you can sure make one at home.

There are all kinds of reasons to get into brewing your own beer. Trick is to find your own reason that lures you to try again.

N8
07/11/06 08:31 PM  
Re: Is your favorite beer one of your own?
...and yes, I would rather drink homebrew than most commercial beers.

Cheer & Beers

N8

Dave I
07/11/06 08:32 PM  
Re: Is your favorite beer one of your own?
"There are many professionally crafted beers that I want and feel I need to try before I even prepare to engage in such an enterprise"

How can I change your mind? I have not made all of the beers that I love. So far I do not know if I have made my favorite beer of all or not. Come to think of it, I just had a Stout today that I really, truly remember loving (Lion Stout, which I really like a lot) only to find that I like the Baltic Porter I made better! I have two Belgians that are aging (Delirium Tremens clone still in primary and Rochefort 10 clone aging in secondary) that I have high hopes for.

I'm a novice with maybe a dozen batches, maybe less, the first few which were disasters and the last few turned out nice. With that being said, I think it is absolutely possible for at least one of your favorite beers to be a homebrew or to be able to make a homebrew version of your favorite beers.

However, it usually takes several batches for you to get all of the kinks worked out. If you start brewing now you can get familiar with some of the grains, hops, yeasts, and brewing processes so that when you know what you want to make you have a better idea of exactly what to put into the beer, or at least a ballpark of what to aim for. And do not be ashamed of making a successful recipe that is close to what you think you want and then just tweak it to be in line with your ideal beer. It is much more enjoyable if you have success with a relatively simple tried-and-tested recipe than to try something you created that looks great on paper but does not turn out quite so hot.

My advice? Start brewing right away and try something simple at first (i.e. beer that uses only a few ingredients and an ale yeast like a Pale Ale, Stout, Dubbel, Brown Ale, etc.)!

-Cheers

Ubriaco
07/12/06 09:21 AM  
Re: Is your favorite beer one of your own?
When I first started out I was making beer that was decent, Id say 70% as good as what I could obtain commercially. As time progressed my skills improved greatly. I am now to the point where my experimental brews and first runs on recipes end up being as good or better than things I can buy from the store, and I have to say that I dont really like commercial beers in comparison to what I can make now.

To give you more information: I never clone or brew to any style (I cook the same way, probably not coincidence), however I made a beer about 4 months ago that was kind of saisonish. Well the story goes that I was sitting on my porch and had just bought a bottle of Achouffe and my fiancee and I were drinking it when she said to me "isnt this what we have on tap" I thought she was crazy until I went inside and poured some off the tap. The side by side comparison was so similar that untrained palates couldnt distinguish. Ill tell you mine had a slightly more sour note to it but they were virtually identical.

So with practice it is possible to achieve better than commerial and for your beers to consistently be your favorite beer. I am on batch 112 now and once I switched to all grain and did that for a while by batch 20 I had learned the ingredients well enough to BS my way into some really good beer. I agree with Dave I, there is no need to try a ton of pro beers, do that as you brew, progress your skills and palate simultaneously, I think you will be happy with the results

SteveG
07/12/06 09:51 AM  
Re: Is your favorite beer one of your own?
I think in a general sense all things equal homebrew is better. We don't have to worry about mishandling on the road, in storage or at the tap. IMO homebrew is at its best out of a keg, bottles can be great but being able to draw off a glass is really a treat.

But of course there are some amazing brewers out there, I'd be lieing if I said that my stuff was preferable to commercial brew including stuff from Bear Republic, Pizza Port or any of the really fantastic ones. So honestly, you can buy better beer than you can make. But you can make better than alot that can be bought.

>>brewing requires a lot of energy<<

Not really

>>patience<<

I'd have to agree here!

>>and drinking power<<

Not necessarily. I am a real big guy but cannot compete with many of my smaller drinking friends (which would be most of them) in terms of volume. So when I make beer its either for some event where many will be hitting the keg or a brew that ages well! It can be very rewarding to observe the graceful aging of a job well done.

Jim Keaveney
07/12/06 10:10 AM  
Re: Is your favorite beer one of your own?
Better? maybe. As good as? probably. Same ballpark? definitely.

The joy of homebrewing for me is in the process itself (absent the incessant but necessary cleaning) and the sharing aspects. People love to try diferrent things and your homebrew is always unique. Even if you follow the same recipe to the letter (not sure I have ever exactly done this) there is some variation. It is just plain fun to make beer and even more fun to drink with friends. As far as hobbies go, I can't imagine any better than this.

TedJ
07/19/06 06:43 PM  
Re: Is your favorite beer one of your own?
I have concluded that I don't have a favorite beer because a favorite beer is the one that you drink most of the time. I no longer do that because I am a homebrewer and beer lover.

I am constantly brewing or find great commercial beers to drink, but one never becomes routine. The homebrewed keg of English Bitter may be hit hard for a week or two at home because it is at its peak of freshness, but during that time I will also have a couple of pints of what ever else is on tap downstairs or I'll break open some commercial bottles, depending on what's for dinner, the weather or who's in the house. Going out means a whole other selection of beers, some that I have had before and love to drink again and again, or maybe something that I have never had before.

Homebrewing can be a challenge if you want it to be but it is very enjoyable and expands your beer horizons. When I started out, I would brew a great beer (not all of them but enough) and would think that this is my favorite beer and must brew it again, which I sometimes do. But I always had other recipes to try or tasted another sytle and had to try brewing it. I don't have the time to brew every beer style that I like or I want to try, so there has been a growing amount of supplement tasting/drinking of commercial beers to try to explore the beer universe, which is constantly expanding.

Homebrewing will give you a good solid education in beer and will help you understand and appreciate the wide range of commercial beers, but don't go in thinking that you will find one favorite, whether it is yours or someone elses, just learn to love them all (or most). This will not be a monogomous relationship (you and one beer). So try homebrewing, the worst thing that can happen is that you will make great beer and not be able to stop.

 
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