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Treatise Against Balance Of Flavours

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kdaust

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(Ok, so maybe more post-it note length than a treatise).

All the talk I read of balance in flavours, anyone would think there are malt and hop police cruising around taking measurements. I don't drink beer for balance. It is not even a desirable characteristic in every beer for me.

A balanced beer can be nice, but balance is also boring. Think of a blended whisky vs a single malt. Or a coffee 'house blend' espresso vs a single origin espresso.

Balance for me is enjoying multiple styles of beer. Hop flavours, malt flavours, yeasty phenolic flavours, dry mouth puckering sour flavours, etc.

- - - -

Anyone else think this way?
 

Rob S

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Balance for me is making sure I have enough brew to last me until the next one is ready to drink.

Unfortunately I'm not very good at balancing.
 

bconnery

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I think you are confusing balance with uniformity.

Balance to me doesn't mean no one element dominates, it means they are all working together, even if one flavour may be the strongest.
An imperial IPA may have so many hops it numbs your tongue and makes you smell nothing but citrus for a week, but the best examples have sufficient supporting malt to balance the hops. You may not really taste it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
Then you have the finish of the beer coming into play.

The great beers have all these elements working together, even if one flavour is the most apparent.
 

chunckious

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I pretty much think the opposite at the moment kdaust.
While I'm still in my 1st year of brewing, I've found that it dosn't matter how flavoursome your grain bill is, it wont shine unless its balanced well.
Anyone can hop the bejesus out a beer and end up with friit salad.
 

bum

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I think you are confusing balance with uniformity.
Very much so but I'm not certain it is entirely his fault. They way people talk about balance is often more aligned OP's viewpoint than the more correct one you put forward.

I've lost count of the number of times I've read knowledgeable brewers (and often comp judges) here who discount entire styles as being "unbalanced". No, you just don't like or understand them.
 

Bribie G

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When I looked at the "Latest Threads" box I thought this thread was referring to VB

bum_balance_of_flavours.JPG
 

Mike L'Itorus

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analogy;

I have a see-saw. I put 2 fat kids on one end, and 3 normal kids on the other. The see saw ends up horizontal. This is balanced assuming that I wanted it to be horizontal. This is also uniformity.

I have a see-saw. I want the see saw to be at 10 degrees off the horizontal, with the fat kids on the low end. I put 2 fat kids on one end, and 2 skinny kids on the other; the fat kids are sitting lower, and the see saw is at 10 degrees from the horizontal. This is not uniform. It is, however, balanced, based on my original intention.

Understand, no?

To say that beer shouldn't be balanced is ridiculous. Balance is relative to intent.
 

Bribie G

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Two fat kids, three normal kids, two skinny kids ... As Bilbo Baggins would say, my.. you have been productive haven't you :p
 

Mike L'Itorus

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Two fat kids, three normal kids, two skinny kids ... As Bilbo Baggins would say, my.. you have been productive haven't you :p
My loins are a river to my people.

If you'd prefer....

2 Geordies on one end, 3 Bristol chavs on the other.... :unsure:
 

Malted

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[quote name='Mike L'Itorus' post='927853' date='Jun 25 2012, 11:36 AM']2 Geordies on one end, 3 Bristol chavs on the other.... :unsure:[/quote]

+ 1 brawl in the middle?

What is the load rating of this suppossed see-saw?
 

Mike L'Itorus

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What is the load rating of this suppossed see-saw?
No idea. That would be for an engineer to work out. And all engineers are thick, anyway, so even if an engineer did work it out, it would have no practical application in the real world.

edit: @ LRG.....it woluldn't matter if the chavs are loaded, as Geordies are constantly loaded, anyway. Anyone that has ever been to Newcastle and has been dissapointed at the lack of a red light district could tell you that. :rolleyes:
 

neonmeate

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i come at it from a musical background.
balance is different to blend.

balance in a musical texture means each part can be heard distinctly without being overshadowed by the others, and that the one you want to come out (eg the tune) is more prominent. but you can have a balanced texture without blend: the volume levels are the same, but the pitch or sound (timbre) of each instrument or voice might be completely different to every other one. think of a distorted detuned electric guitar, a piccolo, a kazoo and a set of windchimes, all at the same volume, but wildly varying pitches and sounds. they could be balanced (made equal in strength) but not blended (made to work together).

on the other hand you might want something to stand out, to make a feature of an oboe against a backdrop of muted trombones, for example. think of a deep malty flanders oud bruin with a zip of sourness.

you can balance flavours easily: they just have to be the same strength. to make them blend is different. that's why a lot of brewers of IPAs don't get the fact that huge amounts of crystal malt and slimy dextrins from silly amounts of carapils can "balance" huge amounts of citric or piney hops (as in you taste both equally) but they sure as hell don't blend with it. you want a synthesis of flavours - something more than the sum of its parts - not just balance.
 

Malted

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relative [/u]to intent.
analogy;

I have a pet store. I put two cats in a box at one end, and 3 dogs in a box at the other end. The pet store becomes very noisy. This is balanced assumming that I wanted wailing and woofing to be equal. This is uniformity (because I wear a shirt that says Malted's Pet Store). It is not quite stereo because that would imply equal sounds from both directions. Wailing and woofing are dissimilar but in a pet store are what you would expect to hear. That is the style of a pet store and what you would expect from it.

I want the cats to be louder so I stick a big tom in with them. Pretty soon the box is torn to shreds and there are pieces of cat fur about the shop. The dogs stop woofing and burst through the box to engage with the cats. This is not uniform because I would not normally have cat fur and blood on my store shirt. It is howewever balanced, based on my intent of the cats being louder than the dogs.

Then a fat kid tries to enter the pet store but gets stuck in the doorway but because he is a Geordie, I skitch the dogs onto him. Poor kid must of thought it was a lolly shop.

Understand no?

To say that cats should be in your airlock is ridiculous, their fighting will upset the yeast.
 

neonmeate

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analogy;

I have a pet store. I put two cats in a box at one end, and 3 dogs in a box at the other end. The pet store becomes very noisy. This is balanced assumming that I wanted wailing and woofing to be equal. This is uniformity (because I wear a shirt that says Malted's Pet Store). It is not quite stereo because that would imply equal sounds from both directions. Wailing and woofing are dissimilar but in a pet store are what you would expect to hear. That is the style of a pet store and what you would expect from it.

I want the cats to be louder so I stick a big tom in with them. Pretty soon the box is torn to shreds and there are pieces of cat fur about the shop. The dogs stop woofing and burst through the box to engage with the cats. This is not uniform because I would not normally have cat fur and blood on my store shirt. It is howewever balanced, based on my intent of the cats being louder than the dogs.

Then a fat kid tries to enter the pet store but gets stuck in the doorway but because he is a Geordie, I skitch the dogs onto him. Poor kid must of thought it was a lolly shop.

Understand no?

To say that cats should be in your airlock is ridiculous, their fighting will upset the yeast.
ive had beers that taste like that analogy, mainly with NZ hops in them.

minor point, if the sounds were equal it wouldn't be stereo
 

bum

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Two sound sources is still two sound sources.
 

Spork

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The wealth of knowledge on AHB never ceases to amaze me.
OT, but I'm shopping for a new(ish) (used, or perhaps demo model) car.
Which ones are the police least likely to pull over for a RBT?
 

Bada Bing Brewery

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The wealth of knowledge on AHB never ceases to amaze me.
OT, but I'm shopping for a new(ish) (used, or perhaps demo model) car.
Which ones are the police least likely to pull over for a RBT?
A police car, ambulance or fire truck - all have cool horns, colour choice is limited though.
 

neonmeate

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Two sound sources is still two sound sources.
assuming the woofing or wailing is happening at different times.

but if two dogs woofed at the same time at the same frequency at the same volume you would hear it as one big dog in the middle (this is how a choir (of dogs) works)
unless they woof at very very slightly different times and they phase each other out, in which case you wouldn't hear it at all. not even dogs would hear it.

balance gets tricky after a few beers, especially with all these cats and dogs on seesaws in stereo.
 

Bribie G

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SWMBO's uncle who was a farmer at Elimbah, a bit North of Caboolture, taught the magpies to sing an annoying tune which they propogated around the area. This has inspired me.

I feed wild birds with some cheap mince etc and have both pied and grey butcher birds who visit me every day.

I am trying to teach them to sing "La cucaracha" and when this happens I will YouTube it and it will become viral.
 

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