From the HBD Archive
From: (John DeCarlo)
Subject: Lupulophobia in Milwaukee
Date: 1992-06-18 13:08:09 GMT

>From: (Al Marshall)
>Subject: Lupulophobia in Milwaukee

>George Fix writes:

>>Jack Schmidling's generic ale was indeed clean as a whistle. I
>>did, however, have some stylistic quibbles with it. Jack,
>>those high alpha Chinooks need a generous malt charge to
>>balance them off. I hope you had a chance to taste Bob Jones'
>>Brown Ale. It clearly showed how really delicious a clean well
>>balanced beer can be.

>Nevertheless, this brings up a pet peeve of mine:
>the seeming obsession with "balance" by certain figures in the

Let me add my own perspective here. When I go to a meeting of my
local homebrewers club and taste a homebrew, my remarks will be
tailored to the skill and experience of the brewer. If it is
someone more skilled or at least more experienced than I, I might
say "Hmmm, how did you get it so hoppy? Ten pounds of high alpha
acid hops?" and go on from there. If I am talking to someone who
has only had Budmillob, maybe Guiness, and is now brewing a pale
ale or bitter, I will very often suggest that they taste several
other beers (commercial or fellow homebrew examples) and see if
there is something there they would prefer. Then I can make
suggestions on possible changes to recipes or processes, if they

In Jack's case, I would have also recommended he try other beers
that I thought were good, because he has only recently been
exposed to good homebrew.

Finally, whenever the issue of "stylistic quibbles" comes up, you
can expect that ten people will have at least a dozen opinions on
it. As a general rule, balance is a good thing, though it can
certainly be overdone. Luckily, the local homebrew club has
plenty of people who know nothing of balance and brew that way,
just to keep the rest of us in line.

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