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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: BrewBama on November 18, 2014, 06:34:29 PM

Title: Reminiscing
Post by: BrewBama on November 18, 2014, 06:34:29 PM
Near the end of the year I start thinking about things that happened over the past year. I've had a lot of growth in my brew knowledge which I owe to many of you.

This year I have brewed 110 gal (so far) and many were firsts for me. For instance my first all grain was an Alt Bier back in Apr. My first AHA Big Brew was the Regal Pale Ale which I will brew again this weekend I liked it so much. My first keg beer was an Aletoberfest in Aug and my first lager, a California Common, is still in the secondary.

How about you? Any reminiscing memories?
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: pete b on November 18, 2014, 07:27:35 PM
Near the end of the year I start thinking about things that happened over the past year. I've had a lot of growth in my brew knowledge which I owe to many of you.

This year I have brewed 110 gal (so far) and many were firsts for me. For instance my first all grain was an Alt Bier back in Apr. My first AHA Big Brew was the Regal Pale Ale which I will brew again this weekend I liked it so much. My first keg beer was an Aletoberfest in Aug and my first lager, a California Common, is still in the secondary.

How about you? Any reminiscing memories?
I joined the AHA and started reading this forum in February of this year. Here's what I'm doing differently or more of because of the advice or ideas from this forum. Most of it I've heard before but the repetition and reading about things in different contexts makes a difference:
1. generally fermenting at lower temperatures and raising temperature some when primary is almost finished. I think fermenting at lower temps was mentioned once before on this forum  8)
2. Not putting any ingredient in my beer without a reason.
3. brewing small batches once a week instead of trying to pull off a brew day now and then.
4. Trying to pitch the proper amount of yeast
5. Re-using yeast
6. I got my water tested and adjust the profile to the beer.
7. Adjusting priming sugar additions to the style of beer
8. Laughing at my mistakes and past misconceptions: being a better brewer through humility.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: Alewyfe on November 18, 2014, 08:24:43 PM
I brew today because of this and other forums and people who were kind enough to take the time to mentor me through the early not so stellar results. Helping me to make good extract batches and then on to all grain. Taking the time to help me fabricate keggles, kettles, coolers and fermentation aids.

This year I have been able to spend brew days with at least 10 or more different folks who were new to the hobby and coach them through the process. Many of them have gone on to continue brewing on their own and have given me samples to taste of what they've been making.

What I think back on was how long it took me to master what I consider really exceptional beer. The folks I've had the pleasure of mentoring are producing extraordinary results on their 2nd and 3rd tries. This is NO testimonial to me, it's evidence of the exponential growth of the brewing knowledge base and the ease of accessing it .

Even for us old pharts, it's a splendid time to be a homebrewer. I don't think a day goes by when I don't learn something new about beer and brewing.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: denny on November 18, 2014, 08:35:35 PM
I'm brewing batch #469 today...a Munich dunkel.  Looking back over almost 17 years of homebrewing, the first thing I think of is all the homebrewers who have offered me help and advice.  To me, that's the best part of the hobby.  Every year I think back over all the wonderful things I've been privileged to enjoy, and think it just couldn't be any better.  Then, the next year, somehow it IS better!  This year I saw the release of my first book, due in no small part to Drew Beechum (see, there's that homebrewers helping homebrewers thing).  We watched it become the #1 beer book on Amazon and exceed our dreams.  I had the honor of being invited to speak at the Music City Brew Off in Nashville.  I worked with Brewcraft on a line of signature beer kits.  And to top it off, I've been invited to be one of the guest speakers at the Brazilian Natl. Homebrew Conference in May.  I hope all that doesn't sound like bragging...I'm truly floored by ll of it.  What will next year do to top that?  Maybe another book....but what I want the takeaway to be is that without all of you and others who have gone before, none of it would have happened.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: redbeerman on November 18, 2014, 08:36:42 PM

Even for us old pharts, it's a splendid time to be a homebrewer. I don't think a day goes by when I don't learn something new about beer and brewing.

Indeed.   This has been an interesting beer year.  Some guy I know in Delaware is opening a brewery, so a group of us threw in.  Here's to success!   8)
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 18, 2014, 08:38:57 PM
I brew today because of this and other forums and people who were kind enough to take the time to mentor me through the early not so stellar results. Helping me to make good extract batches and then on to all grain. Taking the time to help me fabricate keggles, kettles, coolers and fermentation aids.

This year I have been able to spend brew days with at least 10 or more different folks who were new to the hobby and coach them through the process. Many of them have gone on to continue brewing on their own and have given me samples to taste of what they've been making.

What I think back on was how long it took me to master what I consider really exceptional beer. The folks I've had the pleasure of mentoring are producing extraordinary results on their 2nd and 3rd tries. This is NO testimonial to me, it's evidence of the exponential growth of the brewing knowledge base and the ease of accessing it .

Even for us old pharts, it's a splendid time to be a homebrewer. I don't think a day goes by when I don't learn something new about beer and brewing.

^^^^^^^^Great post. I totally agree. I've gotten so much help from great brewers over the years, in person and in great forums like this one, that it feels great to pass a little help along to new brewers. But like I've said here, I've learned more in the last five years than I did in the first fifteen, thanks to the availability of top notch info. There's always something new to learn.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: pete b on November 18, 2014, 08:45:19 PM
I'm brewing batch #469 today...a Munich dunkel.  Looking back over almost 17 years of homebrewing, the first thing I think of is all the homebrewers who have offered me help and advice.  To me, that's the best part of the hobby.  Every year I think back over all the wonderful things I've been privileged to enjoy, and think it just couldn't be any better.  Then, the next year, somehow it IS better!  This year I saw the release of my first book, due in no small part to Drew Beechum (see, there's that homebrewers helping homebrewers thing).  We watched it become the #1 beer book on Amazon and exceed our dreams.  I had the honor of being invited to speak at the Music City Brew Off in Nashville.  I worked with Brewcraft on a line of signature beer kits.  And to top it off, I've been invited to be one of the guest speakers at the Brazilian Natl. Homebrew Conference in May.  I hope all that doesn't sound like bragging...I'm truly floored by ll of it.  What will next year do to top that?  Maybe another book....but what I want the takeaway to be is that without all of you and others who have gone before, none of it would have happened.
Denny, the only way to top that is to get them to move the Brazilian Homebrew Conference you are speaking at to January.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 18, 2014, 11:04:09 PM
If I look back, I see all the things I didn't do.  I didn't drill my new pot for the weldless valve.  As a matter of fact, I haven't used that new pot yet.  Or the burner.  I didn't finish my mash tun (and it's a cheap and easy approach) and I didn't brew that 10 gallon batch outside in the yard.

But I do have a saison and a dubbel fermenting in the basement.

And there's always next year.  I'll  be starting it off with a decent list.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: klickitat jim on November 19, 2014, 11:52:46 AM
I went from not knowing anything about beer judgement to just not knowing my exam score. Oh, and I learned how to brew sours, so sometime next year I'll find out how they taste. Oh, and because of those two things I learned about being patient when it comes to beer.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: 69franx on November 19, 2014, 12:05:54 PM
I started all grain, better ferm temp management with chest freezer and Johnson controller, water treatment, got a bigger boil kettle, then realized I really can't go to much larger batches without some pumps, or a gravity stand, that BruGear 15g is heavy on its own, let alone filled with7-10 gallons of wort. Now I am looking at building a brew stand. It's been a great year
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: reverseapachemaster on November 19, 2014, 05:19:32 PM
I learned that hot dog water is not a viable brewing ingredient.

I also learned that I can pull off a really good pilsner, which always terrified me.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: majorvices on November 20, 2014, 10:25:28 AM
I had a very good and very busy year. Hoping to be able to spend a little more time with my family this upcoming year and to be able to do more backpacking and canoeing and maybe travel a little with my wife.

denny, congrats on having #1 beer book on Amazon! That's great!
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: klickitat jim on November 20, 2014, 01:07:23 PM
I learned that hot dog water is not a viable brewing ingredient.

I also learned that I can pull off a really good pilsner, which always terrified me.
Yes, but Denny says you should always try things for yourself. Dont take my word for it.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: mchrispen on November 20, 2014, 03:57:48 PM
I have discovered that the brewery can be good therapy. This year has been full of problems, close friends and family with serious health problems, like cancer or heart attacks. Our oldest and dearest pet passed away. A terrible transition at work... ugh...


I work from home which let's me tinker in brewery in down times, and when I am brewing - entirely focus on something that has a direct positive result for the time, planning, attention to detail (generally my whole type A thing), etc. I have also been writing a fair bit on the blog - and making some new friends and deepening relationships with old friends. Not sure if the job will last this way - but taking it as it comes.


Earned my first gold and BoS medals this year, with a beer crafted in honor of our pet; A spicy saison colored to her golden and red hued coat. Scores keep getting much better as well.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: denny on November 20, 2014, 04:45:53 PM
denny, congrats on having #1 beer book on Amazon! That's great!

Thanks, Keith!  We turned in a proposal for another book yesterday...keeping my fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: chumley on November 20, 2014, 06:21:23 PM
Hmmm......reminiscing over the past year.....I guess I miss the 10 gallons of tripel I brewed this spring.  Those two kegs disappeared way too fast.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: dannyjed on November 21, 2014, 10:50:12 PM
Over the past year, I went to my first NHC and made my first sour beers. I've also gotten into making more lagers.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 22, 2014, 02:07:45 AM
Over the past year, I went to my first NHC and made my first sour beers. I've also gotten into making more lagers.

Looking back, I'd like to get better at sour beers.  2 -3 years ago, I thought I mostly preferred to buy them and let someone else make them. But I've made a few good basic sours, and used my experience with fruit beers to make a few pretty tasty fruited ones. Wanna get better. 
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: dannyjed on November 22, 2014, 04:27:35 AM
Over the past year, I went to my first NHC and made my first sour beers. I've also gotten into making more lagers.

Looking back, I'd like to get better at sour beers.  2 -3 years ago, I thought I mostly preferred to buy them and let someone else make them. But I've made a few good basic sours, and used my experience with fruit beers to make a few pretty tasty fruited ones. Wanna get better.
My first one (Flanders red) is at the 1 year mark and my wife and I just tasted it and agreed that it is ready and tastes great, so I just put it in the keg. I plan on bottling about half of it after it is carbonated. The other two sours have a ways to go yet. I need to brew another one soon to keep the pipeline going.
Title: Re: Reminiscing
Post by: klickitat jim on November 22, 2014, 08:18:09 AM
Over the past year, I went to my first NHC and made my first sour beers. I've also gotten into making more lagers.

Looking back, I'd like to get better at sour beers.  2 -3 years ago, I thought I mostly preferred to buy them and let someone else make them. But I've made a few good basic sours, and used my experience with fruit beers to make a few pretty tasty fruited ones. Wanna get better.
My first one (Flanders red) is at the 1 year mark and my wife and I just tasted it and agreed that it is ready and tastes great, so I just put it in the keg. I plan on bottling about half of it after it is carbonated. The other two sours have a ways to go yet. I need to brew another one soon to keep the pipeline going.
When warmer weather comes, I'll be building mine up too