From the HBD Archive
From: (Jack Schmidling)
Date: 1992-06-22 18:04:00 GMT

To: Homebrew Digest
Fm: Jack Schmidling

From: (Jeff Frane)

>Having not only tasted WGB, but.....

Now that my beer has not only been publicly proclaimed to be NOT the World's
Worst, in addition to being "clean", I will leave the "World's Greatest" fun
behind and return to what I originally was trying to produce and indeed
called it, i.e. Generic Ale.

I will use Jeff's comments to illustrate my discussion......

>Jack's beer wasn't contaminated (which is good, but I would expect that of
any brewer who had made more than a couple of batches)

In actual fact, I made many batches over many years and most of them were or
became contaminated. Without access to a forum such as this, I would never
have known that Red Star had problems nor would I have had a clue that most
of the experiments with different yeast were simply with re-packaged Red
Star. So your comment is misleading to say the least.

> but it also wasn't tasty.

Now we get to Generic Ale.

>More to the point, I think you are wrong in general: I think bitterness
is great but...

I discussed the reason for the excess bitterness yesterday....

> when it exists in a (sorry, Jack) thin and otherwise flavorless beer, you
don't get good beer.

>I think it could have been improved considerably--not necessarily by
adding a lot of malt--but simply by bringing in some other flavor

As a born-again brewer, with a scientific bent and perhaps a wooden tongue, I
decided that the best way to learn brewing was to start with the most basic
recipe and process and find out just what basic beer, i.e. Generic Ale should
taste like. Once I had that firmly established, I could then venture into
other "flavor elements" using Generic Ale as a standard.

Generic Ale was defined as:

American Pale Malt

More specifically, it is now for a 5 gal batch:

9 lbs 2 row Harrington
Edme yeast (pure cultured)
1 oz Chinook Hops
Chicago/Lake Michigan water, pre-boiled
OG 1.040

If that recipe produces a "not tasty, thin, flavorless" beer on the tongue of
an expert, I certainly will not argue nor try to defend it other than to say
that, that is what one gets when one uses those ingredients. That IS Generic
Ale and it is my starting point for new adventures. Everytime I try
something new, I have some GA as a standard to compare it with.

I might also add that I am glad that I am not expert enough to find it boring
and tasteless.

> With all that bitterness, a profundity of hop _flavor_ would
have made for a better beer.

Just as a point of interest, I always add 1/4 of the hops after the boil so a
nominal attempt at aroma is SOP.


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