King of Beers

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Thanks Eric

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Apr 02, 2003 2:11 pm

I'm one of those people who is always secretly afraid the beer police will haul me away if I use hallertauers or spalt or saaz or any other trad lager hops in my ales. it took a while even to work up the nerve to use perle in an APA, but finally figured if they can do it in Chico I can do it too. And I guess noone has arrested you yet so maybe it's safe after all.

Honestly, I was a much more adventurous brewer before I learned all the "rules" and just used whatever I wanted to in recipes with little regard for tradition or style guidelines. Then again, you have to know the rules before you can break them. As a prog rock musician, isn't that one of the cardinal tenets?

Thanks again.
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Style Guidlines: Either 1) "Guard Rails" or 2) Starting Poin

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Apr 03, 2003 6:56 am

As humans, we learn best by association.... it's just how we're wired. We go through life comparing all of our new experiences with ones we understand and have since internalized.

Style guidelines, other than in analyitical competition, allow us a frame of reference from which to start, sort of a "rough sketch". After that selection has been made is where the creativity begins. If your purpose is stylistic recreation, you stick within the bounds of the specifications strictly, but try to come up with a unique formulation to cut yourself apart from the competiton. Otherwise, you work the picked style into the beer you envision (or think so!).

Other than my Sweet Stout and my Imperial IPA, my other 4 beers do not meet a specific guideline head on, but rather are crafted to be pleasingly consumable to my customers, hopefully in quantity!

This does not mean I am brewing to the lowest common denominator... a mistake that many brewpubs and micros have made that are now out of business. I also focus on differentiation rather than duplication. An example is my "Red" Ale. Most brewers attempt to produce this beer in the Amber Ale Style which is an offshoot of the APA style. My clientele doesn't have a problem with maltiness and beers of color in this style, but ones that are not hop balanced. To meet my stated strategic goals I formulated this beer with an Altbier grist and but using Marris Otter Pale (English), Weyermann Vienna & Munich (German), Briess Caramel & Roasted (US). I then ferment it with an English Ale Yeast. The beer is hopped with Spalter Spalt & Mittlefruh to 21 IBUs. (Nice !@#$ child... eh!)

So here is an example where I used a guideline as a starting point, the Altbier style, but turned it into a more reddish beer (added Roasted Barley), hopped it more akin to the minimum IBU standards of an American Amber and rather than using a flavor neutral yeast like most (1056), I used a mildly fruity, malt residual yeast.

See... the adventurousness doesn't have to stop even when the setting changes. And, yes, as a prog. rock musician you have to have a deep understanding of basic music styles so that you can fuse them and break stylistic tenets. Same concept !!!

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