I am looking for my next brew recipe (first time into 5 gallon all grain!).
I have been eyeing a specific recipe on Northern Brewer… Grandma’s Secret Stash. One of my favorite beers of the past few years, a local brewery made an oatmeal cookie stout for a beer summit I was at. I loved it a lot, but for some reason I have been unable to locate it commercially. I have tried a few others recently, all yummy but not as good. This has really led me to want to brew the recipe here on NB.
However, if I look at the reviews for Grandma’s Secret Stash, the all-grain only has 8 reviews (all 4 or 5 stars). The sheer lack of high-quantity reviews and the lack of critical reviews makes me skeptical. The extract version has 21 reviews, some pretty harsh… bringing the overall rating to 3 stars. Lots of those reviews say it turned out poorly and tasted somewhat sour.
So… my question is: with this much discrepancy, is brewing this beer even worth it? Can the extremely positive (and few) reviews on all grain be trusted? Why the discrepancy between extract and all grain? And if someone gives a bad review because something tasted sour or turned out much lighter in color than expected… is that even worth paying attention to? It sounds like some people made mistakes in brewing, and therefore the beer tasted bad… thus a bad review, even though it could have been their own fault. I just don’t know if I should take the risk. Thoughts?