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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Listen Up! It Ain't Hard!

Over the last several weeks, I've seen a number of posts, in several forums, by folks who would like to move beyond kits. The actual words vary, but the message is always the same. "What do I do? What do I do?"

Things are not as mysterious as you might believe. As I've said for years, you simply make the beer you want to drink. To get there, all you have to do is learn where your flavors come from. Here's a little experiment to find that out.

Make a series of 1-gallon beers, and change the specialty grain each time, to see how that affects the beer.

First, the base recipe, in both extract and all-grain versions.

Extract Version
1 lb Light Liquid Extract
.5 oz Generic Hops (3.5% AA)

All_Grain Version
1.5 lb American Two-Row
.5 oz Generic Hops (3.5% AA)

So, The first thing to do is brew up the base version, so you have something to compare the others to. Then, all you do is make a different beer, and add 1/2 pound of your desired specialty grain to see what effect it has.

In fact, I would view this as an experiment with no end point. Once you make the base beer, and have a point to compare from, you can make a quick beer to judge the effect of almost anything you find.

As an added bonus, think of all the extra beer you'll have on hand!