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When Is A Bitter Not A Bitter

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MAH

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OK, this one comes up occasionaly but hasn't been disscussed for a while. It's a good topic for the style nazis.

If you brew a beer that meets all the style guidelines eg OG, IBU's, EBC, flavour profile etd, but use non-traditional ingredients, is it not to style. Is a Bitter brewed with German malts not a Bitter.

I always use a proportion of Weyermann CaraAroma in my Bitters. I really like the slight roasty note it adds. Traditionally you can add darker grains to a Bitter for colour adjustment, and in some beers, like Black Sheep Brewery's, you can certainly taste the addition of the roasted grains. But because my grain bill contains a percentage of nonn-traditional grains does this mean it's no longer a Bitter? What about if I wanted to add Munich for extra malt flavour? Where do we draw the line?

Cheers
MAH
 

Darren

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Who says that English breweries don't use German specialty malts. They are arguably the best at making them. I can't see any reason for them not to use them
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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Darren is spot on.

When I was in the UK I spent a day at the Blencowe Brewery.
http://www.exeterarms.com/

The brewer brewed his bog standard bitter (not bog standard tasting mind you) and the grist contained Weyermann Cara-munich 1.

Crystal malt is crystal malt so no matter what you add I think I personally think it is a bitter.
As for Munich malt in those styles I don't think it is required providing you use the best base malt available and for mine that would be Marris Otter.

C&B
TDA
 

MAH

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OK so we have a first hand account of an English brewer using non-English malts, in particular a crystal malt. But where do we draw the line. How about a percentage of rice in a German Pilsner (to keep the colour light)? Assuming it looks and tastes the same as an all malt German Pilsner, is it still a German Pilsner?


Cheers
MAH
 

Gulf Brewery

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MAH said:
If you brew a beer that meets all the style guidelines eg OG, IBU's, EBC, flavour profile etd,
MAH

I think if you meet the specs you have listed, then it has to be to style. Look at what commercial breweries do to a beer to reduce the production cost, but keep the beer to style (super mega-swill breweries excluded).

Cheers
Pedro
 

MAH

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OK everyone is obviously in a good mood this Monday morning, and there are no style nazis wanting to pounce.

Cheers
MAH
 

Darren

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Yeah, but is it a bitter or a pale ale? :D
 

RobW

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Style guides like this one for bitters: http://www.beerstyles.com/bitter.htm#ordinary
are pretty generic about grains although it does make pertinent comments about hops. To me the style describes the characteristics of the beer not what you used to make it (within reason), so if it walks like a duck & it quacks like a duck then chances are it is a duck. ;)
 

Barry cranston

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Good Day
If it meets the style guidelines then it is to style. Using traditional ingredients makes it easier to meet the guidelines. Yes I use caraAroma for all my crystal requirements because I like it.
All the best, Barry.
 

Sean

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Bugger the style guidelines. If it tastes like like a bitter and you want to call it a bitter, then it is a bitter. If it tastes like a n. german pilsner and you want to call it such, then it is (at least as far as it can be without being made in north germany). On the other hand, the style guidelines are not always very good guides to what the style actually tastes like (or how it was made).

The answer - go out and drink as much as you can of real versions of the style :chug: , get as much info as you can, decide how you want to go about reproducing the flavours you want. Then do lots of quality control :chug: to see how well you did.
 

dickTed

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neonmeate - about your duck - one leg's both the same?
 

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