« on: January 25, 2012, 10:31:08 AM »
to brewing I think you're on even shakier ground there. There's an old adage about not reinventing the wheel that I think may apply. In the ten thousand years we've been brewing we've learned a thing or two. 'Brewers' tales and rules of thumb' survive because they are valuable; they don't if they're not. Like evolution. Why on earth would you tell new brewers to 'throw them out the window?' What are you, a book burner?
And it's not just the methodology of brewing that's been formed by evolution. Our beer styles have come down to us through the ages. 10,000 years of development and tweaking, 10,000 years of test marketing. 10,000 years of learning what we like and what we don't. The styles aren't rules and regulations, they're valuable data about what works for us. There's have been a lot of changes in home brewing since I started 25 years ago, and most of them have been great. But two I consider unfortunate have been 1) the move toward ever faster brews (shorter mashes, batch sparging, etc.) and 2) the seeming disregard and often downright disdain for brewing lore. It seems somehow a uniquely American arrogance--10,000 years of testing, tweaking, refining? Screw that--I LIKE 100 IBU beer! Style guidelines? Fascism!
Now I'll get off my soapbox.
Wow I don't think I could disagree with you more. 10,000- year old recipes?? Hops have only beeen documented back to 11th century. The german purity law had no respect for yeast. When I was in school Pluto was a planet, we did the pledge of allegiance and stretching before excercise was the rule of thumb. Science has brought us evolution and science has helped us to understand how to make better beer and proven many old rules of thumb to be ridiculous.