Well I’m always talking about my top five beers so far, and while that’s probably somewhat debatable, I decided to at least make an effort to qualify which beers those are, at least up till this point. But looking back, it’s impossible to narrow it down to five, so six it is! I’ve been brewing for a few years now, so I’ve got a nice little list to choose from. Here’s what I’ve decided, as of Feb 2014, in no particular order:
And what have I learned from these brews? Well, one thing that really stands out is that simple recipes tend to be better. Two of these beers used only one base malt (citra bomb and fresh hop), and that base malt was golden promise. Maybe that’s two things learned. However, Bravo-Munich SMaSH would certainly be the honorable mention for this list.
Classic American Creme Ale used only two ingredients, barley malt and corn, and that barley malt was six-row. That was by far my clearest beer ever, absolutely crystal clear, even at bottling, all the way to my filled glass. So much for the plethora of “six row sucks” cries of horror you’ll hear on the web if you admit to using six-row.
Crystal malt does not equal “bad” when it comes to IPAs. Both the APA IPA and Pliny the Elder (and my pseudo-clone of PtE, which is exactly based on Vinny’s recipe malt-wise) made the list, and the choices for that list included various hoppy beers that did not contain crystal malt. So much for that de-bunked theory.
Juniper can be an excellent addition to a beer (if you make good beer in the first place, that is). I wouldn’t over-do it tho.
BMC fans can be easily converted without making ridiculously light and flavorless beers. Classic American Creme Ale was rated “my best beer yet” by one particular BMC drinker that frequently samples my beers. And while it was quite good for the type of beer I envisioned (one without hugely strong flavor or aroma, but not a flavorless or totally bland beer, more of a refreshing, light, thirst-quenching beer with a nicely light corny, hoppy flavor). However, the Citra Bomb From Hell disappeared awfully fast considering there were only a couple BMC fans and me drinking it.
BMC drinkers, once converted to homebrew drinkers, never go back. Remember that.
So here’s to the first edition of my top six list, and to many more like it. Cheers!