Collaborative brew and bottle swap

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Alastair70

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I’ve done a couple of like-for-like bottle swaps recently. Whilst it was great to sample the efforts and receive critique from other brewers, I’d always finished my own stock when their beer came in. So the idea is:

We select a style a number of people wanted to try out.
Participating brewers research and plan their own recipe.
Brew days happen around the same time, so bottles are ready to distribute around the same time too.
Everyone gets to try their own efforts against a couple of the other brewers taking part.

The hope is to reduce the number of iterations brewed before settling on a recipe, and seeing how your beer and brewing method measures up against others. It would also be a route to trying a style you may otherwise not have thought of brewing.

So, the proposal is an early January brew with a view to a late February bottle swap. My suggestions for style are either American Cream Ale or Belgian Blonde, but if anyone is interested and has another style in mind post below. (That is one of the points of the exercise after all).

Does anyone fancy giving it a go?
 

Dads_Ale

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I'd be up for this.
Don't mind what style.
Is the intention to use our own recipe, but to style, or will there be a set recipe for us all to brew?
 

Alastair70

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I'd be up for this.
Don't mind what style.
Is the intention to use our own recipe, but to style, or will there be a set recipe for us all to brew?
Use your own recipe but stick to style. We then get to see what other people came up with, why they made those choices and check out the impact of different yeast, malt or hop choices.
 
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Excellent idea - definitely be up for this (but I’ll have to wait until I’ve got a fermenter free…)
I’d like to try the cream ale because I’ve never heard of it; however I’ve never brewed a Belgian Blonde so I’d be up for either 👍🏻
 
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I’m up for this. I have a Belgian blonde(ish)on at the min but it won’t last long so don’t mind doing another.
Would like to propose a stout as well ?? It is the season and all that
 

Alastair70

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Looks like the idea is getting traction. Why don’t we all post our top two styles we wanted to brew, and how many times you’d want to participate in a year.
I‘m sticking with Cream Ale and Belgian Blonde for starters, and I’d happily do it 3 or 4 times a year. And I’d love to see what others are looking at brewing next and how they approach it.
Its something that you could dip in and out of when the notion suits. The more people getting involved. and beer styles suggested, the more successful it will be.
 

samale

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I was just doing a bit of research on a cream Ale. I have zero experience on this style.
Hybrid type lager
 
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I'd definitely go for a couple of times to see how it works - probably more.
I'm happy to go with whatever style you like so long as it doesn't require equipment I haven't got (e.g. pressure fermentation) and may choose to dip out on styles that don't suit my tastebuds (e.g. sours, fruit cocktails...)
However If I could add one to the list then it would be a Best Bitter, not because they're hard to brew but because I'd love to compare a lot of different ones athumb..
And a big thanks for suggesting this @Alastair70 I think it's a great idea.
 

Oneflewover

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I'd be tempted, but my issue is that I tend to plan several (probably 5 typically) brews ahead and get a bulk order of ingredients in. How far ahead do you intend to plan - e.g. if doing quarterly you could publish a schedule such as Jan cream ale, Apr Belgian blonde, Jul best bitter, Oct stout?
 
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Just one thought from a practical perspective: might need to keep the ‘rounds’ to a certain size so as to keep the postage costs within reason.
I can see myself posting out maybe five bottles (£15) but probably not ten… (well not several times a year anyhow)
Maybe by having some sort of regional aspect to the groupings if a lot of people want to participate?
 
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