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Joechianti

Stuck on High Gravity

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I don't know what to make of this. I keep telling myself I'm going to make some low gravity beers for friends and family that prefer light and crisp to heavy and malty. But for the love of Pete, every time I start to do it, I can't go through with it. I just have to add more malt.

It's like when I was a cook, and someone asked for a well done steak. I often had to get someone else to cook it because I couldn't force myself to "ruin" a good steak.

I know it's a matter of taste, and some folks think the heavy malty beer I love so much is crappy tasting to them. You'd think I could be objective about it and make a lighter beer to offer others to drink. But nope. I can't force myself to do it. I feel like it's a waste of time, space, equipment and effort to go to all of the steps to create a batch of beer only to end up with a watered down version of what it could really be.

Is anyone else even remotely this crazy? Or am I just sick in the head? I'm not kidding. I really have a serious mental block about making a low gravity beer. I need help.

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Nah, I'm with you Joe. It's one of the reasons I've really jumped into this hobby... I can make good tasting beer with some substance and not have to drink that mass produced ilk.

If friends want light, watered down beer... buy 'em a case o' Coors. It's not worth wasting the time, effort, ingredients, and fermenter space to make half-assed beer.

I got an idea: only pour half a glass of your homebrew, then fill the glass the rest of the way with water.

See how they like that! :evil:

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Now, now... Just because the gravity is low, it doesn't mean the beer is bland and watery. You can make a very tasty session beer (4%/abv or lower). I just had a very tasty IPA at my club meeting that had an OG of 1.040, and it was great - not watery or bland - hoppy and refreshing.

Another one that packs a huge flavor with little alcohol is an English Mild. Most of them are around 3-3.5%/abv, but have a full-bodied malty flavor.

And making low gravity beer will save you money since you'll need less malt and hops.

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Last year all I made were malted-up recipes. But since Christmas I've been following the recipes from "Brewing Classic Styles" The malt profile in these new recipes have been much lower than I was accustomed to brewing last year.

And the proof is in the tasting. These new recipes are fantastic! I always keep two bottles of each batch so I can try them out a year later on their anniversary. The batches I made last year now taste heavy and cloying.

So it's all about what you like and where you are in your brewing career.

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Joe, maybe you can trick your friends like I did. I've altered some recipes by adding more light malt to get it up in that 5.5% range. I shared some with friends who drink light beer only. They thought it was good because it looked like light beer.

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Sounds like there might be hope for me after all. I should have mentioned that by high gravity I'm certainly not chasing alcohol. My brews mostly come in around 5% to 6%, some a bit lower, some a bit higher. I'm using non fermentables to get that high gravity and keep the body and flavor heavy in the end product, through a combination of higher mash temps and adding maltodextrin and/or lactose.

In the short time I've been brewing, I have been heavy handed on malt and very shy with hops. Just recently I started to get a little more brave with the hops, and I actually like it. So I think maybe I can start shifting that balance of flavor a little bit now.

I looked up the "Brewing Classic Styles", and it sounds real good. Added that to my wish list along with "How to Brew" and "The Joy of Homebrewing".

I guess it's about that time where I become more than a "one trick pony" in my brewing style. Thanks for the good input.

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