As a beer drinker I try to make it a point to circle back to some of my favorite beers that got me into craft beer in the first place or just inspired me along the way. As a brewer I have always been quite promiscuous. With around 150 batches under my belt, there might be ten that I have brewed more than once. With few exceptions I have never been the type of brewer that has sought to perfect one recipe or one style. Instead I have brewed a wide array of styles as a way to learn more about them.
I brewed beers for our first party at our home, an event that was not necessarily a “craft beer” event. I wanted to brew something for everyone. I didn’t want to have six different IPAs on tap. As I was deciding what beers I should brew for our housewarming cookout a strange thing happened, I found myself revisiting some of my old recipes.
Many of these recipes I loved and was waiting for the right occasion to brew again. It is always interesting to look at what I was thinking three, four, and five years ago when I developed these recipes. Some of them still made sense while others made me scratch my head. If there is one thing I have done as I revisited my older recipes it is simplifying them.
The other changes I made were to adjust these recipes to use ingredients I have in bulk; in particular the Muntons malts I keep in bulk. The majority of my recent recipes use 100% Muntons malts, and all of them at least use a portion. I do believe in the quality of the products I sell. An added bonus is that it brings down my cost per batch.
In addition to having malt in bulk, I have also been buying more of my hops in bulk. I found some great deals especially on some of the less sought after hops that aren’t commonly used in IPAs. Another way I have been saving money has been reusing my yeast and rebuilding my yeast bank. My cost per-batch is ranging at $15-$20 per batch.
My yeast bank didn’t survive the move to our new house. To build it back up again I have gotten back into the habit of over-building yeast starters or saving yeast slurry to re-pitch in a new batch. As backup I always keep a few sachets of dry yeast. Keeping a selection of ingredients in bulk gives me the flexibility to brew what I want without having to buy more ingredients. Although I made adjustments to my old recipes to utilize the ingredients I have, my goal was to always maintain the character of those beers.
After brewing for as long as I have, I have brewed most of the styles I have wanted to brew. My recent re-brews are beers that I always wanted to revisit at the right time. After bringing back a couple of older recipes for our party, I am reviewing more recipes in my log to find inspiration for upcoming brews.
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