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The Importance Of Keeping Notes

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How To Use This Site

Equipment You Will Need

DIY Corner

Materials You Will Need

Water Treatment

A Walk Through A Brew

A Few Recipes

Creating Your Own Recipes:

How Is It Done?

The Importance of Keeping Notes





A Walk Through Creating An Original Recipe

Danger - Quicksand!

Frequently Asked Questions

Links and Further Reading

What Is Sensible Mole?

Contact The Head Brewer


It’s vitally important that, for each and every brew you do, you write down exactly what you did to produce the beer and write down what it tastes like, both in your opinion and in the opinion of trusted friends (for example, in this instance a trusted friend would not be someone who talks bull about real ale, but someone who goes with you to beer festivals and real ale pubs and makes intelligent and discerning comments about the ale is definitely someone to use as a Test Pilot!) Keep all of your notes as they are useful reference material. Sod’s Law dictates that the most delicious beer you ever brewed will be the one you didn’t bother making notes about! Your tasting notes need only be quite basic, simply taste your beer and write down what you think is good in it, and what you think is bad. Keep these notes together with your recipe notes relating to the brew.

Hmmm... it tastes halfway between nectar and old bacon fat... but how best to describe it???


At first glance you might shy away from this idea, after all, ’tasting notes’ conjures up images of wine snobs swirling, sniffing, and spitting into a bucket - but they are useful for future reference. For example, consider a tasting note saying the beer was "too bitter, but not too bitter by a great amount, to my taste anyway, although Bill said it was much much too bitter for him". Having this note is useful should you wish to brew this particular recipe again, because you know you have to tone down the amount of hops used, but not by much, if you‘re going to be the one drinking most or all of the resultant brew. But if you’re doing a freebie brew for Bill’s birthday, you know you have to tone down the amounts of hops much more if the Birthday Boy stands any chance of enjoying your ale.

Writing down what actually happens on Brew Day is very useful too. One example from my notes is, "The intention was to go for a 90 minute long mash but She Who Must Be Obeyed dragged me off to Asda on pain of death, then a few other shops, so the mash inadvertently lasted for 4 hours and 10 minutes." When you actually come to taste this beer you’ll then be able to identify that the tannins in the beer were put there by the prolonged mash. You may even decide your beer tastes so great with these tannins in it that 4 hour 10 minute mashes become compulsory in all of your brewing! As I keep intimating - there are no rules except those you decide upon!

Now, should I bother to mention the squirrel that drowned in the wort???



Over the next few pages we look at how to put together the different components, and we start with the malt...

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