Have you heard about “Experimental Brewing?” One of the most fascinating aspects of being a craft brewer is that you can experiment with your recipes. Yes, you heard that right! Unlike commercial brewers who use the same old recipes for years, craft brewers can create their recipes from scratch. Doesn’t that sound great?!!
However, with that said, you should take experimental brewing with a pinch of salt. After all, no one wants to end up mouthing a gallon of failed “experiments.”
This guide will help you get started with your Adventures in Experimental Brewing.
The broad Spectrum of Experimental Brewing
As you move from pre-packaged brewing kits or classic recipes, you have two options before you.
Begin with simple experimentation: You can start small by changing the variety of hop you use in a pale ale or by altering the aroma.
Go Crazy: This is the route for more adventurous brewers. You can add any ingredient that strikes your fancy. Who knows you may end up creating the next, new sensation in the world of beers? 😉
A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO EXPERIMENTATION
Some brewers, who are more inclined to a scientific approach, begin by manipulating a single variable at a time. They then make a note of the changes, the impacts of the ingredient in altering the final product and so on.
Once you have done quite a few experiments, you’ll be able to find the perfect new recipe. While we believe that the fun of being a craft brewer is designing your own recipes, we also advocate having some strategy or method in your experiments. This way you’ll be able to recreate your brews anytime you want.
MOVING ON TO THE ADVANCED STAGES
Once you have mastered the basics of experimentation, you can move onto the next levels. This is where you perfect your techniques and refine your recipes to create tasty beers consistently. If your results are highly variable, then it can add complexity and end up stressing you. So, make sure to perfect the initial stages of experimentation, before you move on to the advanced levels.
Here, in this article, we provide you with valuable insights for conducting your brewing experiments successfully. This way you can create interesting brews on your first attempt and achieve the target flavour you wish to accomplish.
Any experiment begins with a lot of underground research. Make yourself aware of all that you need to know about the variables in a recipe. Read about techniques and ingredients. The internet is your ally in this step.
Begin with a simple Google search and check out blogs of craft brewers. Get your hands on expert written books if possible.
Remember that, the more you Research, lower are the chances of ending up with a mediocre, barely consumable beer.
Here are a few things to get you started:
- What are the types of processing?
- What seasonal ingredients can you add to your brews?
- What is the impact of adding non-conventional ingredients like cocoa, coffee, coconut flakes, fresh fruit, herbal teas, juices in your brews?
- What is the influence of temperatures and timings on your final product?
- What affects the quality the most?
SOURCING AND EVALUATION OF INGREDIENTS
While you can purchase your ingredients online, we recommend you buy them at physical brick and mortar stores where you can smell, feel and taste the ingredients. Spice shops, local farmers markets, organic groceries, are superb locations for buying brewing requirements.
Once you have bought all that you need, the next step is to evaluate all the ingredients. Look at each element and find out its smell, taste, and texture. Steep it in hot water and check if its properties change. This evaluation process will help you get a clear idea of the impact of different ingredients in the final product.
A WORD OF ADVICE: AVOID GIMMICKS
While we are ready to sample exotic flavours and unique brews, we feel that there is a limit to the weirdness.
Don’t fall into the trap of experimenting just for creating something out of the box.
While gimmicky beers sound fun to read on a menu, that doesn’t improve the taste in any way. We are speaking about wacky ingredients like wood chips in a beer, and those brews that are created just for the sake of records like “The Sourest beer in the Whole World.”
While craft beers are all about experiments, the ultimate goal should be creating a brew that is pleasurable to drink and not for just boasting about how and why you brewed it.
With that said, no rule says you shouldn’t go crazy with your experiments. After all, most of the favourite, wacky but fun beers like the Pizza beer or the Beard Beer, wouldn’t have been possible if not for crazy experimentation.
Looking to venture into the wide world of Craft Beers? All you have to do is give us a ring @ +91-9811233358. We at Rohit Jafa Brewing Solutions are the largest and best supplier of high-quality microbrewery equipment in the country. From site planning to help you sell your brews, we’ve got you covered.