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How to Brew Amazing Beer When You're Low on Supplies

It’s the weekend. You’ve got a few hours free. But you forgot to order a recipe kit, and it’s colder than a witch’s behind outside. There’s no way you’re going to the store in this weather.

Bad timing has left you with only spare parts in your larder and nowhere to turn. So what do you do? 

1. Scavenge

Gather up your half pounds of grain and spare extract. Pull your extra hops out of the freezer. Grab your yeast, additives, and any other bits you have lying around. At the very least, this base will get you a Brown Ale, right?

But why make a Brown Ale when you could do a Nut Brown Wheat? Or an Imperial American Lager? How about a Cherry Rauchbier? Spiced Belgian India Brown Ale anyone?

Crack open those kitchen cabinets and start digging around, because it's time to get weird.

2. Experiment

How do you think Black Wheat beer became a thing? It certainly wasn’t because someone stuck to convention. In all likelihood, the brewer took a shot in the dark and accidentally discovered something wonderful. 

It might feel a little risky. But all you have to lose are a few hours and some spare ingredientsWhat you gain is the chance to become an innovative brewer. 

Key Pointers on Experimentation:

    • Take Notes: The benefits of note-taking can’t be emphasized enough. You’ll be able to tweak, scale, and compare your recipes as well as see what you might have done wrong. 
    • Choose Unexpected Ingredients: If you're committing to experimentation, truly commit. 
    • Failure is Your Friend: Don't worry if it isn't perfect. Revolution doesn't happen on the first try. Which brings us to...

3. Test, Tweak, Try Again

Time passes. The temperature rises. Suddenly, it's sunny outside and your beer is ready to drink. Crack one open and take a sip.

Maybe the beer’s a little maltier than you expected, or there’s a strange peach flavor you can’t nail down. It’s good, but it could be better. Or it’s bad, but there’s a part of it you enjoy. 

You now have a lead. An untrodden path itching to be followed.

And the best part? You've taken notes, which means you can plot out exactly what you need to order for your second iteration. Brew, sip, tweak, repeat.