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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 12:48:17 AM

Title: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 12:48:17 AM
Given a beer brewed by an experienced brewer that meticulously measures, weighs and calculates every detail (a perfect process, hitting all numbers) and a beer brewed by an experienced brewer that is "casual" in measuring, weighing and calculating, perhaps skips things they deem unnecessary - what differences would be experienced in tasting the final product?
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 29, 2016, 12:54:02 AM
I guess it would depend on how 'casual' the brewing is. Too casual and things like sanitation, fermentation control, pH control, etc. could cause a multitude of issues. If you're 'conscientiously casual' you could certainly brew good beer.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: klickitat jim on February 29, 2016, 01:00:15 AM
Couple thoughts
1. There are very few agreed upon "perfect" processes.
2. Things they deem unnecessary... if that means what I think it means, then no meaningful difference between the two.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 01:05:57 AM
No difference.  Kind-of what I suspected but doesn't hurt to ask.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: klickitat jim on February 29, 2016, 01:16:30 AM
Good question actually. Could fuel a great discussion. I'm of the mind that folks that want to seek meticulous perfection should do so. But it's also ok to just slap it together. And everything in between. I'm still searching out which details are important and which are not. As they say, Not all who wander are lost.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: euge on February 29, 2016, 01:32:35 AM
I don't think it is that difficult to brew decent beer.

Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: yso191 on February 29, 2016, 01:37:09 AM
I don't think it is that difficult to brew decent beer.

I agree.  It is harder to brew genuinely good beer, and really hard to brew great beer.  I think attention to details and being a little OCD is the only *consistent* path to great beer.  It can happen once by serendipity, but it takes a great deal of effort & thought to make lightening strike more than once in the same spot.

It is the way life works - beer is no exception.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 01:38:39 AM
Some things that I've seen omitted (or not done due to lack of ingredient/equipment/knowledge but still made drinkable beer):

1.) Whirlfloc/Irish Moss
2.) Hydrometer readings (OG and FG!)
3.) Fermentation Temperature measurements (still fermented in an area that's at an acceptable temp)
4.) Yeast Nutrient
5.) Pitching Temperature measurement
6.) pH
7.) Water Adjustments

There's probably more but I guess beer is versatile like that.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: pete b on February 29, 2016, 01:43:13 AM
I'm the casual one. I have been brewing a little more like my cooking lately, a little bit more seat of my pants and not measuring everything. I still measure grain, hops, water volumes etc. but for instance this weekend I brewed two beers and didn't measure gravity until it was ready for the fermenter (it tasted like the right gravity during the boil) and didn't bother with brun water because I know what needs to go in the beers I made. I estimate strike water volume in my head. I eyed out the gypsum and baking soda in the palm of my hand and only checked mash ph of the stout I made.
that is fun to me, others probably would hate it. I, and others, like my beer. I didn't do that when I was new, I had to learn what things worked and what things looked like, tasted like, and smelled like.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 29, 2016, 01:50:14 AM
I think attention to details and being a little OCD is the only *consistent* path to great beer.  It can happen once by serendipity, but it takes a great deal of effort & thought to make lightening strike more than once in the same spot.


For sure. I use my touch of OCD to my advantage ;D. I do agree that it's not hard to make good beer. Consistently really good, another story. Every time I make a beer I ask myself "Would I pay $ for this?". If the answer is no, I'm pissed. There's room for lots of approaches.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: pete b on February 29, 2016, 02:02:18 AM
I think attention to details and being a little OCD is the only *consistent* path to great beer.  It can happen once by serendipity, but it takes a great deal of effort & thought to make lightening strike more than once in the same spot.


For sure. I use my touch of OCD to my advantage ;D. I do agree that it's not hard to make good beer. Consistently really good, another story. Every time I make a beer I ask myself "Would I pay $ for this?". If the answer is no, I'm pissed. There's room for lots of approaches.
+1 to Jon's llast sentence. Everyone should find their own way and brew true to themselves. It should be that everyone does it different. Know thyself.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: duboman on February 29, 2016, 02:22:08 AM
I tend to be a lot more meticulous the first few times I try a new style or first shot at a new recipe. Once I've gotten something where I want it, brewed it consistently I will get a bit more lacadazical and everyone still likes seeing an old friend back on tap:)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 02:41:24 AM
So if the same beer were brewed both ways could they be distinguished in a triangle test?
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: pete b on February 29, 2016, 02:48:25 AM
So if the same beer were brewed both ways could they be distinguished in a triangle test?
I suppose I wouldn't be the one to ask...
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on February 29, 2016, 02:57:05 AM
I don't think it is that difficult to brew decent beer.

Exactly. this isn't brain science or rocket surgery. It is like cooking. You either get it or you don't. You pay attention to the details to make the best beer you can make. If you care you'll make good beer. If you don't you won't.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 02:59:17 AM
I don't think it is that difficult to brew decent beer.

Exactly. this isn't brain science or rocket surgery. It is like cooking. You either get it or you don't. You pay attention to the details to make the best beer you can make. If you care you'll make good beer. If you don't you won't.

Yup.  But can you taste the difference?!
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on February 29, 2016, 03:03:28 AM
I don't think it is that difficult to brew decent beer.

Exactly. this isn't brain science or rocket surgery. It is like cooking. You either get it or you don't. You pay attention to the details to make the best beer you can make. If you care you'll make good beer. If you don't you won't.

Yup.  But can you taste the difference?!

Obviously. There are no dumb questions. Except this one. ;)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 03:16:38 AM
Two beers, from the same ingredients that taste noticeably different due to eliminating "unnecessary steps" during the process. Hrm... not so sure, but I'm sure that experiment's been done before... or not.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on February 29, 2016, 03:19:16 AM
Two beers, from the same ingredients that taste noticeably different due to eliminating "unnecessary steps" during the process. Hrm... not so sure, but I'm sure that experiment's been done before... or not.

If you make an omelette and cook it two different ways you make two different omelettes.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 03:23:08 AM
Two beers, from the same ingredients that taste noticeably different due to eliminating "unnecessary steps" during the process. Hrm... not so sure, but I'm sure that experiment's been done before... or not.

If you make an omelette and cook it two different ways you make two different omelettes.

Yea, but beer's perhaps a different animal.  Leave out a whirlfloc tablet can you taste a difference?  I suppose if you keep leaving things out the difference might become noticeable but I'm not overly convinced.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: pete b on February 29, 2016, 03:23:36 AM
Two beers, from the same ingredients that taste noticeably different due to eliminating "unnecessary steps" during the process. Hrm... not so sure, but I'm sure that experiment's been done before... or not.

If you make an omelette and cook it two different ways you make two different omelettes.
That's so deep man.  8)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on February 29, 2016, 03:25:11 AM
Two beers, from the same ingredients that taste noticeably different due to eliminating "unnecessary steps" during the process. Hrm... not so sure, but I'm sure that experiment's been done before... or not.

If you make an omelette and cook it two different ways you make two different omelettes.

Yea, but beer's perhaps a different animal.  Leave out a whirlfloc tablet can you taste a difference?  I suppose if you keep leaving things out the difference might become noticeable but I'm not overly convinced.

If you are hung up on whirlflock as final say on beer quality you really are missing the point.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: klickitat jim on February 29, 2016, 03:30:04 AM
I build my recipes on software but prefer to round things off to the nearest 1/4 pound, except for color grains then they are rounded off to nearest ounce. I weigh on a dial scale that is probably accurate to +/- 2 ounces. I mill it as tight as I can without stopping the rollers. I build my water using salts weighed to the nearest gram, and acids to the nearest 1/2 ml. I heat my strike water to nearest whole degree. If my mash temp drops four degrees I'll heat it back up. I time my boils. I usually take an OG reading. I don't count yeast cells. I pitch active starters, rather than measure cell counts. I chill to at or below pitching temp. I ferment in dual stage temp controlled chest freezer, normally within a degree or two of target temp, measured off actual beer temp. I force carb based on temp and pressure, but I dont measure actual volumes of co2. I usually measure ph with a meter thats only good +/- .2 ph. I measure ph all the way through on new recipes, but only final ph on repeats.

To me, my method is not meticulously OCD, and not sloppy. Somewhere in the middle.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: AmandaK on February 29, 2016, 03:30:43 AM
Yes, you (read: "I" in this case) can taste a difference. That is why I am anal about my own brewing. If I didn't think it was worth it, I wouldn't be so particular about it. Logic checks, right guys? Ha.

And no, I haven't done a blind triangle. ;)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: pete b on February 29, 2016, 03:52:59 AM
I don't doubt the anal approach (what did I just say there?) but I am kind of playing devil's advocate and defending my own approach at the same time. I think that people were making consistently good beer well before a hydrometer or the ph scale existed. Once familiar with the measurements and procedures one can do it your own way.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: euge on February 29, 2016, 04:29:41 AM
I don't doubt the anal approach (what did I just say there?) but I am kind of playing devil's advocate and defending my own approach at the same time. I think that people were making consistently good beer well before a hydrometer or the ph scale existed. Once familiar with the measurements and procedures one can do it your own way.

The thermometer is probably the greatest equalizer in brewing. Revolutionary.

Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: yso191 on February 29, 2016, 04:36:10 AM
For sure. I use my touch of OCD to my advantage ;D. I do agree that it's not hard to make good beer. Consistently really good, another story. Every time I make a beer I ask myself "Would I pay $ for this?". If the answer is no, I'm pissed. There's room for lots of approaches.

I brew for my taste, but the test I have, known only to myself and my wife, is this:  When family and friends come over I show them the taps I have brewed and a well stocked beer fridge.  I am successful when they choose my beer over the commercial stuff.  Only recently have I been successful in this regard.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: a10t2 on February 29, 2016, 05:12:58 AM
So if the same beer were brewed both ways could they be distinguished in a triangle test?

If they could be, they wouldn't be the same beer.
Title: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: Stevie on February 29, 2016, 05:17:13 AM
Some things that I've seen omitted (or not done due to lack of ingredient/equipment/knowledge but still made drinkable beer):

1.) Whirlfloc/Irish Moss
2.) Hydrometer readings (OG and FG!)
3.) Fermentation Temperature measurements (still fermented in an area that's at an acceptable temp)
4.) Yeast Nutrient
5.) Pitching Temperature measurement
6.) pH
7.) Water Adjustments

There's probably more but I guess beer is versatile like that.
I do all this stuff and consider myself pretty casual. As Keith says, making beer ain't hard.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: 69franx on February 29, 2016, 05:22:43 AM
Some things that I've seen omitted (or not done due to lack of ingredient/equipment/knowledge but still made drinkable beer):

1.) Whirlfloc/Irish Moss
2.) Hydrometer readings (OG and FG!)
3.) Fermentation Temperature measurements (still fermented in an area that's at an acceptable temp)
4.) Yeast Nutrient
5.) Pitching Temperature measurement
6.) pH
7.) Water Adjustments

There's probably more but I guess beer is versatile like that.
I do all this stuff and consider myself pretty casual. As Keith says, making beer ain't hard.
right there with you Steve
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: martinj on February 29, 2016, 05:28:54 AM
Two beers, from the same ingredients that taste noticeably different due to eliminating "unnecessary steps" during the process. Hrm... not so sure, but I'm sure that experiment's been done before... or not.

If you make an omelette and cook it two different ways you make two different omelettes.

Yea, but beer's perhaps a different animal.  Leave out a whirlfloc tablet can you taste a difference?  I suppose if you keep leaving things out the difference might become noticeable but I'm not overly convinced.

Leave out a whirlfloc tablet? Not a big deal. fermenting a lager at 75°F? Maybe a little bigger deal.... As are a number of other things that were mentioned previously. pH, mash temps, water profiles, etc.. Ignore these and, as said previously, you can still make ok beer. Pay proper attention to them, and I guarantee you will taste the difference.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 01:28:21 PM
It's not that one totally ignores all things, some things for sure, but it's that they're not done to the same level of detail.

An easy test is give two different brewers one recipe (say Denny Conns Wrye Smile IPA).

When all is said and done can other people identity both end products as Denny Conns Wrye Smile IPA (of course all tasters would need one from the man himself first and then asked if the others closely resemble the first, i.e. are they the same beer)?

An interesting juxtaposition.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 29, 2016, 02:29:59 PM
It's not that one totally ignores all things, some things for sure, but it's that they're not done to the same level of detail.

An easy test is give two different brewers one recipe (say Denny Conns Wrye Smile IPA).

Too much emphasis is given to ingredients, and not enough is given to process.

My club has done a couple of activities where a recipe was decided on, and ingredients were purchased and then split in to "kits". So everyone got the same malts and hops weighed out, and used the same yeast. Variables were water, equipment and process. The results were judged using a panel and BJCP score sheets.

The results were from the low 20s to the low 40s. Roughly a 20 point spread, I don't remember the exact numbers.

If anyone wants to try this it is a fun activity, and a learning experience for club members.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 02:50:40 PM
An interesting exercise Hops and Malts.

Well sure, everyone knew the ingredients were the same, but if the tasters are blind (not told that it's suppose to be the same, then asked if it is...)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 29, 2016, 03:22:25 PM
An interesting exercise Hops and Malts.

Well sure, everyone knew the ingredients were the same, but if the tasters are blind (not told that it's suppose to be the same, then asked if it is...)
Try it.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: euge on February 29, 2016, 03:31:45 PM
So what I got from Jeff's answer based on the "activity", is an implied No to the original question?

But if the only variable were the brewer(s) and all other factors somehow remained the same the replication would be closer IMO. In the club study the recipe is the only variable that didn't change. Everything else did so it is to be expected the beers would vary in such a wide degree.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 29, 2016, 04:06:23 PM
So what I got from Jeff's answer based on the "activity", is an implied No to the original question?

But if the only variable were the brewer(s) and all other factors somehow remained the same the replication would be closer IMO. In the club study the recipe is the only variable that didn't change. Everything else did so it is to be expected the beers would vary in such a wide degree.
The ingredients didn't change, except for the water.

The recipe changed, as each Brewer used their equipment and process.

rec·i·pe
ˈresəˌpē/
noun
noun: recipe; plural noun: recipes
a set of instructions for preparing a particular dish, including a list of the ingredients required.
"a traditional Indonesian recipe"
synonyms:   cooking instructions/directions; archaicreceipt
"a tasty recipe"


Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: denny on February 29, 2016, 04:29:42 PM
Given a beer brewed by an experienced brewer that meticulously measures, weighs and calculates every detail (a perfect process, hitting all numbers) and a beer brewed by an experienced brewer that is "casual" in measuring, weighing and calculating, perhaps skips things they deem unnecessary - what differences would be experienced in tasting the final product?

Either none, almost none, or a lot.  I am extremely accurate in weights and measures, but I still skip a lot of other stuff I find unnecessary.  Your questions is way too braod.  You assume that those minor differences will make a difference to the beer, and I don't think they necessarily will.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 29, 2016, 04:34:08 PM
So what I got from Jeff's answer based on the "activity", is an implied No to the original question?

But if the only variable were the brewer(s) and all other factors somehow remained the same the replication would be closer IMO. In the club study the recipe is the only variable that didn't change. Everything else did so it is to be expected the beers would vary in such a wide degree.

In that experiment the only significant variable should be the brewer and particularly the brewer's meticulousness with their process. The basic brewing equipment should not produce that different of beer across different five gallon systems especially if those systems are dialed in well by the brewer, which goes to the brewer's meticulousness. Minor equipment may vary more (e.g. measurement equipment) but again that really goes to the brewer's meticulousness and significance put on the details. Even the brewer's choice in water is a factor closely related to the brewer's own meticulousness and skill.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: euge on February 29, 2016, 04:50:51 PM
Well if a "recipe" was "decided upon" then the brewers needed to brew (process) within set parameters. But if the process was left up to the brewer then they just received "ingredients" not a recipe at all- and decided on their own how it was to be prepared.

In regards to the OP I proposed the theoretical scenario where only the brewer changes and the playing field is level. They use the same familiar equipment, water, ingredients and method and provided instructions with a defined goal. One cuts corners- the other doesn't. My opinion is the resulting beer will pretty close. On different systems all bets are off.

Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 29, 2016, 05:02:15 PM
Well if a "recipe" was "decided upon" then the brewers needed to brew (process) within set parameters. But if the process was left up to the brewer then they just received "ingredients" not a recipe at all- and decided on their own how it was to be prepared.

In regards to the OP I proposed the theoretical scenario where only the brewer changes and the playing field is level. They use the same familiar equipment, water, ingredients and method and provided instructions with a defined goal. One cuts corners- the other doesn't. My opinion is the resulting beer will pretty close. On different systems all bets are off.
Yeah, my bad there. A kit was decided on, and I called it a "recipe". The club members brewed their way. Different beers resulted.

Pros like Vinnie Culrizo give out Pliny the Elder "recipes" even with some process details, and say at best we will make something like their beer, as we don't have their equipment or procedures.

When breweries put in new bigger brew houses, they need to make adjustments to replicate the beer, everything else being identical.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 05:15:19 PM
Alle meine Bier geht runter wie Öl.  Also ich bin sicher!

Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on February 29, 2016, 05:38:22 PM
In regards to the OP I proposed the theoretical scenario where only the brewer changes and the playing field is level. They use the same familiar equipment, water, ingredients and method and provided instructions with a defined goal. One cuts corners- the other doesn't. My opinion is the resulting beer will pretty close.

Seems like that would be a valid experiment.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: brewinhard on March 01, 2016, 12:08:16 AM
I think attention to details and being a little OCD is the only *consistent* path to great beer.  It can happen once by serendipity, but it takes a great deal of effort & thought to make lightening strike more than once in the same spot.


 I do agree that it's not hard to make good beer. Consistently really good, another story. Every time I make a beer I ask myself "Would I pay $ for this?". If the answer is no, I'm pissed. There's room for lots of approaches.

I am most definitely in the same boat here.  If my beer is not up to my standards, I have no problem dumping it down the drain. It is only beer after all, and frees me up to brew another, hopefully better batch I am proud to call my own.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: brewinhard on March 01, 2016, 12:09:09 AM
I don't doubt the anal approach (what did I just say there?).

Or do you?  That gave me a huge laugh.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: PORTERHAUS on March 01, 2016, 10:35:10 AM
Some things that I've seen omitted (or not done due to lack of ingredient/equipment/knowledge but still made drinkable beer):

1.) Whirlfloc/Irish Moss
2.) Hydrometer readings (OG and FG!)
3.) Fermentation Temperature measurements (still fermented in an area that's at an acceptable temp)
4.) Yeast Nutrient
5.) Pitching Temperature measurement
6.) pH
7.) Water Adjustments

There's probably more but I guess beer is versatile like that.

I understand where you are going with your original question, but when you add this^ to the idea I think you are asking two different things.

1) Can you brew good beer with a simplified process, omitting some of the things you list? Sure, skipping Whirlfloc in the boil, not taking OG/FG readings and even limited temp control...yes you can still make decent beer.

BUT...if you try to make the same beer with differences in mash ph, water adjustments, yeast quality/pitching rates, fermentation temps...etc hell yeah you will have two different beers.  Which one will be better or what differences there will be...it depends on all those factors.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on March 01, 2016, 01:11:56 PM
Let's go through your list one by one

1.) Whirlfloc/Irish Moss

Not needed (and not allowed by reinheitsghebot, not that I'm a stickler for that) but it will help seperate the hot break out of kettle and may help improve clarity and head retention of final product especially if your pH is off.

2) Hydrometer readings (OG and FG!)

So, if you aren't taking the reading but you have hit your numbers anyway then, yeah, this isn't needed. It's just something for YOU to keep up with consistency. But let's say you accidentally omitted a pound or two of maltt? Wouldn't you at least like to know? Or if there is a problem with your efficiency and your gravity is extremely low you will not have any idea about it or what you could do to fix it. Also, when you bottle underattenuated beer you will realize how critical taking FG readings really is.

3) Fermentation Temp Measurements

Fermentation temp is critical to a beer. If you have an idea that a beer is at 64 or 66 because it is in a 60 degree room that should be fine. As long as you know the ambient temp you can have a reasonable idea what the fermentation temp is. But fermentation is exothermic and will be warmer than the ambient room so you will need a very cool room indeed. If your living room is at 72 degrees and you are doing nothing to control temp you are not making the best beer possible.

5.) Pitching Temperature measurement

If you pitch at 80 degrees and don't have a way to get the temp down quickly you are going to have problems. As I have tried to make clear: temperature is extremely critical and if you are giving it a "ho-hum" attitude then I highly suspect you aren't making the best beer possible. Some yeast strains are more forgiving than others, especially if you start them out cool. But temperature is definitely something that you need to be paying close attention to detail on.

6) pH:

When you taste the difference between a beer whose pH was off compared to one that is in the correct range side by side you will understand. Generally, for many folks, the pH will check out in the correct range or with very small calcium or acid adjustments.

7) water adjustments

No argument here: As long as your water is chlorine/chloramine free and it tastes good you can make very good beer. But if you are trying to make a pilsner with very hard water or a stout with very soft water you are going to have problems (especially if you don't know your pH!) If you have water with low to medium hardness like mine you can make any style you want though you will most likely find your darker beers will taste better with some calcium carbonate additions and you kolsch will taste better with some lactic acid and calcium chloride additions and pH check on both to make sure your additions got you in the range. Though I would argue that for pale beers such as pils and kolsch the beer is better when the water is built from scratch.

Now let's say your water is super hard and you are making a pilsner and you don't add any whirlflock to help aid in break clarification (and your pH was off so you have really murky wort that will cast a long term haze) and you use a lager yeast but pitch at 77 degrees and put in a 72 degrees room with no other temp control and you didn't take an OG reading but added 2 extra pounds of malt by accident then didn't take a FG reading and bottled your beer at 1.030 (unbeknownst to you) then, hell yeah you are going to have some problems. But even if that is the worst case scenario and you just fly by night and don't pay any attention to detail, but you at least "accidentally" hit all your numbers and your pH just happens to fall close enough in the range, you could be making very good beer, but that isn't the same as making the very best beer you can make and, at the very least, you will start to have problems with consistency especially if you are trying to brew the same batch over and over again.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: leejoreilly on March 01, 2016, 02:00:41 PM
A couple of thoughts:

- Careful attention to measurement and process probably affects consistency more than quality. If you are meticulous about brewing a beer that would score 30 points, you'll always end up with a (roughly) 30 point beer (absent judging subjectivity). If you are more cavalier, you could end up with a 20 pointer this time and a 40 pointer next.

- Precise measurement alone doesn't bring much to the party; it's what you do about those measurements that matter. Just measuring pH or gravity doesn't make your beer any different than not measuring it; making any resulting water or grist adjustments will make some difference.

- You should pursue what you enjoy about brewing. You can be a brewing engineer (glorious precision, little deviation) or a brewing artist (glorious deviation, little precision). Or a little of both. It's YOUR BEER, after all.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 01, 2016, 03:23:27 PM
Let's go through your list one by one

1.) Whirlfloc/Irish Moss

Not needed (and not allowed by reinheitsghebot, not that I'm a stickler for that) but it will help seperate the hot break out of kettle and may help improve clarity and head retention of final product especially if your pH is off.

2) Hydrometer readings (OG and FG!)

So, if you aren't taking the reading but you have hit your numbers anyway then, yeah, this isn't needed. It's just something for YOU to keep up with consistency. But let's say you accidentally omitted a pound or two of maltt? Wouldn't you at least like to know? Or if there is a problem with your efficiency and your gravity is extremely low you will not have any idea about it or what you could do to fix it. Also, when you bottle underattenuated beer you will realize how critical taking FG readings really is.

3) Fermentation Temp Measurements

Fermentation temp is critical to a beer. If you have an idea that a beer is at 64 or 66 because it is in a 60 degree room that should be fine. As long as you know the ambient temp you can have a reasonable idea what the fermentation temp is. But fermentation is exothermic and will be warmer than the ambient room so you will need a very cool room indeed. If your living room is at 72 degrees and you are doing nothing to control temp you are not making the best beer possible.

5.) Pitching Temperature measurement

If you pitch at 80 degrees and don't have a way to get the temp down quickly you are going to have problems. As I have tried to make clear: temperature is extremely critical and if you are giving it a "ho-hum" attitude then I highly suspect you aren't making the best beer possible. Some yeast strains are more forgiving than others, especially if you start them out cool. But temperature is definitely something that you need to be paying close attention to detail on.

6) pH:

When you taste the difference between a beer whose pH was off compared to one that is in the correct range side by side you will understand. Generally, for many folks, the pH will check out in the correct range or with very small calcium or acid adjustments.

7) water adjustments

No argument here: As long as your water is chlorine/chloramine free and it tastes good you can make very good beer. But if you are trying to make a pilsner with very hard water or a stout with very soft water you are going to have problems (especially if you don't know your pH!) If you have water with low to medium hardness like mine you can make any style you want though you will most likely find your darker beers will taste better with some calcium carbonate additions and you kolsch will taste better with some lactic acid and calcium chloride additions and pH check on both to make sure your additions got you in the range. Though I would argue that for pale beers such as pils and kolsch the beer is better when the water is built from scratch.

Now let's say your water is super hard and you are making a pilsner and you don't add any whirlflock to help aid in break clarification (and your pH was off so you have really murky wort that will cast a long term haze) and you use a lager yeast but pitch at 77 degrees and put in a 72 degrees room with no other temp control and you didn't take an OG reading but added 2 extra pounds of malt by accident then didn't take a FG reading and bottled your beer at 1.030 (unbeknownst to you) then, hell yeah you are going to have some problems. But even if that is the worst case scenario and you just fly by night and don't pay any attention to detail, but you at least "accidentally" hit all your numbers and your pH just happens to fall close enough in the range, you could be making very good beer, but that isn't the same as making the very best beer you can make and, at the very least, you will start to have problems with consistency especially if you are trying to brew the same batch over and over again.
Spoken like a Pro!
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 04:26:26 PM
TLDR;

The list is simply what I've seen omitted or simplified.  Each item could be applied to a related experiment in a reasonable way.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: Stevie on March 01, 2016, 04:30:29 PM

TLDR;

The list is simply what I've seen omitted or simplified.  Each item could be applied to a related experiment in a reasonable way.
Are you kidding me?
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on March 01, 2016, 04:36:47 PM
TLDR;

The list is simply what I've seen omitted or simplified.  Each item could be applied to a related experiment in a reasonable way.

Then you should read my post or at least the very last paragraph. You may actually learn something. But seems like you are more interested in posting than learning. Your thread has been an exercise in futility. You haven't made a point, you've only asked questions and then didn't learn anything from the responses. Way to go!
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 05:00:21 PM
Aren't we all advanced brewers here?  I'm sure the empirical knowledge you've expressed is the same empirical knowledge I would express, however, looking at it from a tasters perspective could the real "Pliny the Elder" please step forward?  Or all they all "Pliny the Elder"?
Title: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: RPIScotty on March 01, 2016, 05:09:39 PM
Aren't we all advanced brewers here?  I'm sure the empirical knowledge you've expressed is the same empirical knowledge I would express, however, looking at it from a tasters perspective could the real "Pliny the Elder" please step forward?  Or all they all "Pliny the Elder"?

I'm so confused. What is your point? Do you have one?

If so, you have not done a very god job at expressing it.

This reminds me of that "Does a high specialty malt count beer demand a higher price" thread.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 05:22:50 PM
Just to reiterate the experiment posts,

Take one recipe and one brewer and make the same beer but on one beer "simplify" the process, now have several people taste test the beers, are they distinguishable?

Empirical knowledge listings are nice but reality is one step above that IMHO.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: Stevie on March 01, 2016, 05:25:56 PM
What are you simplifying?

Were you this philosophical stoner type in college? "If I could smell from my butt, would everything smell like crap?"
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 05:29:58 PM
What are you simplifying?

Were you this philosophical stoner type in college? "If I could smell from my butt, would everything smell like crap?"

That's a very rude post.  I haven't been rude to anyone.

Each step in the list represents something that can be simplified or not done during the experiment.

I guess the thread is basically over unless you're interested in doing the experiment.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: RPIScotty on March 01, 2016, 05:33:14 PM
I love reading stuff by Marshall, Drew and Denny but this experiment business is getting crazy.

Sometimes I just like to make and drink beer.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: Stevie on March 01, 2016, 05:48:15 PM
I didn't mean to be rude. Just trying to be funny. If you didn't get high in college, I'm sure you know a few people that were of the type I am describing.

But still, what are we simplifying? How about I secondary one batch and not another? How about I mashout one and not another? Your premise is too vague.

Have you done these experiments? Also, what does simplifying have to do with attention to detail? Attention to detail does not = more complicated.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: euge on March 01, 2016, 05:53:51 PM
The thought experiment has devolved and run its course; there is a lot of opinion on the matter.

To the OP: if you are looking for an excuse to brew either way I'd choose the more stringent course instead of the lazy one. 8)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: denny on March 01, 2016, 05:55:36 PM
But still, what are we simplifying? How about I secondary one batch and not another? How about I mashout one and not another? Your premise is too vague.

Have you done these experiments? Also, what does simplifying have to do with attention to detail? Attention to detail does not = more complicated.


ALL OF THIS^^^^^
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on March 01, 2016, 06:16:36 PM
What are you simplifying?

Were you this philosophical stoner type in college? "If I could smell from my butt, would everything smell like crap?"

That's a very rude post.  I haven't been rude to anyone.


I personally feel you were rude to me. I took 15-20 minutes trying to reply to your post in a thoughtful manor and you couldn't take 60 seconds to be bothered to read it. The irony is that you don't have 60 seconds to read my thoughts, yet you don't mind wasting every one else's time with this pointless thread.

By the way you imply you are "advanced" but if you think that none of the stuff you posted that I replied to is important or think we need to experiment on 'whether we need to take OF or FG readings" then you don't seem very advanced to me.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: martinj on March 01, 2016, 07:03:41 PM
What are you simplifying?

Were you this philosophical stoner type in college? "If I could smell from my butt, would everything smell like crap?"

That's a very rude post.  I haven't been rude to anyone.


I personally feel you were rude to me. I took 15-20 minutes trying to reply to your post in a thoughtful manor and you couldn't take 60 seconds to be bothered to read it. The irony is that you don't have 60 seconds to read my thoughts, yet you don't mind wasting every one else's time with this pointless thread.

By the way you imply you are "advanced" but if you think that none of the stuff you posted that I replied to is important or think we need to experiment on 'whether we need to take OF or FG readings" then you don't seem very advanced to me.

I think the OP was rude to a number of folks here. Anytime someone tries to respond in a thoughtful, meaningful manner and is either ignored totally or their answer is passed over with little thought or regard, that is being rude in my book.
I don't mean to imply that I think that every post on a thread requires a response, but it's pretty obvious that some pretty darned knowledgeable and experienced folks are not being given their due here.....
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 07:20:13 PM
Excuse me sir, but you took those points out of a post and turned them into questions, taking each out of the context of the original post, which is simply a list of things that could be omitted or simplified during brewing (in contrast to not omitting the step or the more complex solution).  You then posited your knowledge in an attempt to make yourself look knowledgeable about the end result and get an 'atta boy out of it.

The empirical knowledge you posted is nothing new.

Adding to, modifying or clarifying the list would be contributing to the thread.  Constant counter pointing with opinion, "you" oriented posts and "this^^^" type posts doesn't contribute anything.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: erockrph on March 01, 2016, 07:29:43 PM
Excuse me sir, but you took those points out of a post and turned them into questions, taking each out of the context of the original post, which is simply a list of things that could be omitted or simplified during brewing (in contrast to not omitting the step or the more complex solution).  You then posited your knowledge in an attempt to make yourself look knowledgeable about the end result and get an 'atta boy out of it.

The empirical knowledge you posted is nothing new.

Adding to, modifying or clarifying the list would be contributing to the thread.  Constant counter pointing with opinion, "you" oriented posts and "this^^^" type posts doesn't contribute anything.
Actually, your original post specifically asks what differences one would expect in the final product, to which you received many thoughtful responses. Keep track of your trolling, buddy:

Given a beer brewed by an experienced brewer that meticulously measures, weighs and calculates every detail (a perfect process, hitting all numbers) and a beer brewed by an experienced brewer that is "casual" in measuring, weighing and calculating, perhaps skips things they deem unnecessary - what differences would be experienced in tasting the final product?

I think from this point on, I for one will choose TL;DR your posts. Good day, sir.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on March 01, 2016, 07:37:00 PM
Excuse me sir, but you took those points out of a post and turned them into questions, taking each out of the context of the original post, which is simply a list of things that could be omitted or simplified during brewing (in contrast to not omitting the step or the more complex solution).  You then posited your knowledge in an attempt to make yourself look knowledgeable about the end result and get an 'atta boy out of it.

The empirical knowledge you posted is nothing new.

Adding to, modifying or clarifying the list would be contributing to the thread.  Constant counter pointing with opinion, "you" oriented posts and "this^^^" type posts doesn't contribute anything.

wow. If you think I need "atta boys" from this forum you are really confused. And you may want to improve your tone, friend. You are very close to crossing forum rule #3

Quote
3. Be respectful of the questions and comments of others. It is OK to disagree with someone, but do so with respect. Keep the AHA forum friendly and encouraging of everyone's participation. We will not tolerate rudeness, insults, personal attacks, inflammatory remarks, threats, racial/ethnic slurs, trolling, flame baiting or similarly disruptive postings.

I was only trying to help, I thought your "list" was you finally clarifying WTF you meant.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 07:39:57 PM
His/mine/your empirical knowledge doesn't do justice to the "tasting" of the final product.  It needs an experiment to be conducted which is where the conversation was going until it devolved into opinion, meta discussion, etc..
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: Stevie on March 01, 2016, 07:43:36 PM

His/mine/your empirical knowledge doesn't do justice to the "tasting" of the final product.  It needs an experiment to be conducted which is where the conversation was going until it devolved into opinion, meta discussion, etc..
Do it a report back.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: erockrph on March 01, 2016, 07:44:20 PM
His/mine/your empirical knowledge doesn't do justice to the "tasting" of the final product.  It needs an experiment to be conducted which is where the conversation was going until it devolved into opinion, meta discussion, etc..

A) This is a public forum. Whether you've started the thread or not, you do not own it.

B) "Meta discussion" is the norm here. If that isn't your thing, maybe this isn't the best place for your threads. Perhaps start a blog or something...
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on March 01, 2016, 07:44:43 PM
His/mine/your empirical knowledge doesn't do justice to the "tasting" of the final product.  It needs an experiment to be conducted which is where the conversation was going until it devolved into opinion, meta discussion, etc..

What makes you think in my 20+ years of brewing both home and pro that I haven't experimented or experienced these differences? If you didn't read my response how do you know I didn't include the repsonses to each one of the data points in your list? I'm done with this thread and if it keeps on going into the toilette or gets rude again I am locking it.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 07:53:55 PM
I've given you much credit, in fact calling your response empirical, meaning based on observation and experience but I don't believe it's a replacement for an experiment.  You haven't accepted that and are instead railing against me for whatever reason.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: majorvices on March 01, 2016, 07:57:54 PM
I've given you much credit, in fact calling your response empirical, meaning based on observation and experience but I don't believe it's a replacement for an experiment.  You haven't accepted that and are instead railing against me for whatever reason.

I guess I'll bite one more time. Let's just say, from empirical evidence, I do know what not taking a FG reading can result in. I've had to recall exploding bottles from the market place. Every single item in the list you posted I have experienced either home or pro. It's not fair to assume that I either haven't experimented or experienced consequences from all the points on the list you have made.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 08:16:56 PM
Relax buddy, I'm not demeaning you, I'm giving you credit for your experience and knowledge.

Now if one wanted to construct an experiment to document the differences in taste of the end product and/or are the end products distinguishable from each other - what items in the brewing process could be dumbed down, relaxed, simplified or omitted?

Voila we have an initial list.

1.) Whirlfloc/Irish Moss
  Precise: Use it
  Simplify: Don't use it
2.) Hydrometer readings (OG and FG!)
  Precise: Measure Both
  Simplify: Take one or the other or neither
3.) Fermentation Temperature measurements (still fermented in an area that's at an acceptable temp)
 Precise: Temperature controlled freezer
 Simplify: Ferment in an area that's an acceptable temp
4.) Yeast Nutrient
 Precise: Use it
 Simplify: Don't Use it
5.) Pitching Temperature measurement
 Precise: Measure with thermometer using wort chiller
 Simplify: Don't measure just chill until the wort feels cool or the pot feels cool
6.) pH
 Precise: Measure and adjust both the mash ph and the boil ph
 Simplify: Either don't measure or use test strips
7.) Water Adjustments
 Precise: Measure using gram scale and water calculator
 Simplify: Don't adjust or just use volume measurements

That's the general gist of an experiment and others have suggested different approaches in the thread.  Your knowledge and my knowledge tells us that the end user will be able to distinguish the precise from the simplified but in a real life taste testing is that what happens?

Have you ever had your customers come back and say "Hey this beer's not what it used to be?"... Well what changed?  To what extent did your process changed for that to happened? 

(All just hypothetical questions to demonstrate where the thread was going - no need to answer.)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: Stevie on March 01, 2016, 08:21:30 PM
(https://media4.giphy.com/media/WoekdLnXVbnHy/200w.gif)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: hawkeye on March 01, 2016, 08:32:53 PM
Stevie, please remove that post and either participate in a reasonable fashion or just go away.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: Stevie on March 01, 2016, 08:43:55 PM
(https://m.popkey.co/c19b73/RQXwd_f-maxage-0.gif?c=popkey-web&p=popkey&i=deal-with-it-reactions&l=direct&f=.gif)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: pete b on March 01, 2016, 09:25:09 PM
(https://media4.giphy.com/media/WoekdLnXVbnHy/200w.gif)
+1
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: denny on March 01, 2016, 09:55:40 PM
Stevie, please remove that post and either participate in a reasonable fashion or just go away.

You seem to have a misunderstanding of how things work here.  You don't get to make those decisions....I do.  In addition, you seem to have no idea of how to set up an experiment.  Please adjust your attitude.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: klickitat jim on March 01, 2016, 10:12:41 PM
Hawkeye, try to understand that many of us actually know each other, have met, and have shared each other's beer. Some of us, not me though, are well established pro brewers, or authors, etc. Some of us, like me, are still learning and have learned most of our bag of tricks right here. This is a different forum than most. We tend to be a little protective of the atmosphere. We like it mellow, though there are occasional heated debates but usually between folks that understand its not meant as an attack.

Kind of like an old English pub from the movies. When someone new walks in, we all look over our shoulder to see who it is. Sometimes that's off putting. Sometimes the new guy says something that ruffles feathers. Its not that we're over sensitive, maybe it just sounds too familiar to a past visitor... If you relax and hang around you'll see whats going on and might get a lot out of it.
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: Rhoobarb on March 01, 2016, 10:13:55 PM
Wow.  Just... wow. For a moment I thought I had accidentally stumbled onto Homebrewtalk.com! ;)
Title: Re: Attention To Detail - Differences in Final Product
Post by: dilluh98 on March 01, 2016, 10:34:56 PM
^^ Eeek