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Simplifying older recipes


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#1 HVB

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 07:51 AM

You ever go back and look at some of your old recipes and wonder if you should simplify them?  Right now I am looking at my Smoked Brown ale recipe and it has 7 malts.  Today I would never write the recipe this way but now I wonder if I change it up does the beer change dramatically .. Decisions .. decisions!


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#2 MakeMeHoppy

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 08:21 AM

give it a go if nothing else simplier is easier to replicate.

I think new homebrewers seem to think the more complicated the recipe the better the beer.


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#3 HVB

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 08:23 AM

give it a go if nothing else simplier is easier to replicate.

I think new homebrewers seem to think the more complicated the recipe the better the beer.

I think you are right on that one.  This recipe has .25#'s of flaked oats.  C'mon, that is doing nothing.  I think I just wanted to use some so I threw them in.  Time to adjust it!


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#4 SchwanzBrewer

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 09:08 AM

Complicated recipes are sexy for new homebrewers. 


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#5 neddles

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 10:24 AM

Having had that beer, IMO, unless you are noticing something specifically wrong with that beer I would not feck with it. Good beer can be made with simple or complex recipies. I agree with the general rule that leans toward simplicity but Ive had plenty of beers with more complex malt bills that were quite remarkable.
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#6 denny

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 12:32 PM

Complicated is relative...use whatever you want in whatever quantity you want, but know why every ingredient is there and what it adds.  Simpler recipes are not necessarily better, but neither are complex ones.


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#7 ER Pemberton

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:49 PM

Generally, I will simplify recipes where I thought I had gone crazy with complexity.  I had heard from many, many brewers (mostly lager brewers who were into German, Austrian and Czech beers) that simple recipes are better.  But I do agree with Denny that you can make various recipes with smaller amounts of specialties and they all play their part.  The focus should be on recipes where ingredients looked like they were added "just because" and they don't really need to be in there.  Good topic.  



#8 Poptop

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 06:43 AM

This post really had me thinking, so I went and looked at some past recipes.  I've realized that most have maybe 3 malts tops.  The old recipes where I've seen more than that, I can assume I used what was on hand or needed something I didn't have so I subbed.  Many recipes call for varied amounts of several grains that NEED to be there to get the flavor, BVIP comes to mind.  That's an aggressively malt varied recipe imho but they all really play well together.  All of my lagers of late have 2 or 3 malts only....

 

Same with hops, 2 to 3 but mostly 2......


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#9 HVB

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 06:49 AM

Having had that beer, IMO, unless you are noticing something specifically wrong with that beer I would not feck with it. Good beer can be made with simple or complex recipies. I agree with the general rule that leans toward simplicity but Ive had plenty of beers with more complex malt bills that were quite remarkable.

Thanks for the kind words.  This post made me go back and read the threads that started that beer and the comments from others that brewed it.  Maybe it should be left alone.  Also hard to believe the recipe/beer goes back to 2012.  Time flies!!

 

I know my thought process has changed a lot on recipe development but I did have a reason for what I did with that one.


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#10 Zsasz

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 06:57 AM

I don't she away from using two or three base malts but I generally limit my specialty malts to 1-3 kinds.
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#11 ER Pemberton

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 08:01 AM

It should come down to style too.  A helles shouldn't be complicated.  An Amber Ale that I made earlier this year may have had 4-5 different malts in it... not necessarily because I envisioned it that way but because it was a "use all these leftovers" and 2 ounces of "this" and 3 ounces of "that" went into it... also because it's an Amber Ale and the rules are a little more loose.  




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