At our local homebrew meeting this week one of the attendees brought in a beer where they had put in everything they had including a myriad of spices, herbs, and assorted other things. The grain bill was all-inclusive and I’m not exactly sure what they were thinking and how they ever conceived the beer would be palatable.

If you are a homebrewer or are thinking about it and are going to stray off the beaten path be sure you know what the flavor contribution will be from what you add to the recipe. It is never a good idea to add something just because you happen to have it. If you have not tried a particular ingredient before, take a recipe you have made before and add that ingredient so you know what the outcome will be and how to tweak for optimum flavor.

I think the motto should be if you are creating your own recipe When In Doubt Leave It Out if you do not have experience with that ingredient. It is perfectly fine to use up a bit of this grain or a bit of that grain, but when you start adding spices and herbs things can go downhill quickly. Do yourself and your beer a favor and know your ingredients, or at least don’t bring the beer to a homebrew meeting. Thanks in advance!