Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: Phil_M on June 06, 2017, 02:12:19 PM

Title: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Phil_M on June 06, 2017, 02:12:19 PM
I have recently allowed my membership to lapse, and will likely be spending less time on here. (The way I see it, I'm not paying for the forum, so I don't want to "take advantage" of the AHA's graces.) Why did I not renew? Because I feel the AHA, and this forum, are doing home brewers a disservice by not furthering a technical understanding of brewing.

When I first got into homebrewing, this forum was a fantastic resource. Between books I had read/bought, and the AHA webpage, I had the basics down pat pretty quickly. My first extract batch tasted like bananas, and the second was ruined by a rusty dip tube, but by the third batch I was making good beer. (I believe I joined this forum looking for help with that dip tube.) Seeing this as a sign of being capable of successfully brewing all grain, I purchased and electric BIAB system and went to town. I was brewing once or twice a month, and quickly reached the limits of my knowledge.

This is the point where this forum became vital. I'd managed the nuts and bolts of AG brewing, but I was running into issues beyond the basics. Some of my beers had a bad mineral water quality that really detracted from the beers. I learned about managing pH through this forum, got a copy of Bru'n Water, and was able to fix this problem as well. All the while, I was also being schooled on yeast by a member on here. At this point, I felt my brewing was improving at an exponential rate, and I was at least brewing beer that I was truly proud of. Without this forum I'd likely have just continued using 5.2 pH buffer in my mash, and would have probably quit out of frustration.

Now I'm at a point where my brewing has plateaued. I have no desire to start a brewery, but I do want to move on to that level. Before anyone claims I'm moving towards the modern German techniques, I'm not. However, the Germans don't have the market cornered in brewery engineering/science/understanding. The Brits also have done a ton of research, though perhaps less focused on the affects of HSA. This is the sort of information I'm now looking for, yeast management and fermentation systems in particular.

My point in all this is that the main strength of this forum has been the advanced technical help available to members. Recently, many of the members who provided this advanced knowledge have moved on to other forums. An attempt to leveage AHA membership to get access to technical brewing papers was met with disinterest by the AHA. (Though I'll admit, that faced significant hurdles.) The AHA seems happy to just keep evangelizing new brewers, and not really working to provide help for advanced brewing methods.

I've allowed my AHA membership to lapse because I don't see a benefit from it. I have no local AHA member deals. Homebrewcon was a blast last year, but I'm not in a financial situation where access to that on a yearly basis is a perk. Zymurgy is a nice publication, but again in general I feel like it doesn't provide enough advanced technical information. Yes, it could be said that my money helps bring new people into the hobby, but I can also help do that on my own. I will still encourage new brewers to get a membership, the AHA will more than provide the information needed to get to the big leagues in terms of quality. However, if a brewer desires to move on from being a "Brewing Technician" to being more of a "Brewing Engineer", the AHA isn't worth the expense. This saddens me greatly, as this forum was once a place that could provide that function to the few who would want it.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on June 06, 2017, 03:15:21 PM
I don't think your position is unreasonable. It's good feedback to the AHA that homebrewing is reaching an increasing degree of technical knowledge and the AHA is falling behind the curve.

The only thing I might counter with is that AHA dues contribute towards lobbying efforts to keep the hobby open which benefits all of us, even if individual components of other AHA functions are less valuable to you.

I don't think your general position is that unusual. Most homebrewers who take their brewing semi-seriously will inevitably outgrow most of the resources out there within the hobby. There are few highly technical homebrewing groups/forums out there and even among those groups you have a swell of basic and intermediate brewers looking for help. You may be at a point where your time is better spent researching into academic and industry resources.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: denny on June 06, 2017, 03:35:22 PM
The AHA is its members.  That's where content comes from.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: pete b on June 06, 2017, 03:56:55 PM
I think this forum could be both a resource for beginners and those digging deeper into more technical aspects. I agree with Denny that the AHA IS its members. Its up to us to ask and answer questions here and see what happens. I think when it comes down to it the decline in civility here is driving away those capable of engaging in these conversations. Its too bad because a small handful of people have caused this. IMO people who cannot disagree civilly should be on a very short leash and a mod should never engage in back and forth name calling, making the matter worse, rather than enforcing forum rules.
I think we should always think before we post, and be thick skinned when someone says something we don't like.
As to problems with the AHA I don't think talking about it here should be the end of the line. I think its healthy to bring up issues and possibly galvanize support for positions here but direct and sustained communication directly with the AHA board is necessary to changes.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: denny on June 06, 2017, 04:05:22 PM
I think this forum could be both a resource for beginners and those digging deeper into more technical aspects. I agree with Denny that the AHA IS its members. Its up to us to ask and answer questions here and see what happens. I think when it comes down to it the decline in civility here is driving away those capable of engaging in these conversations. Its too bad because a small handful of people have caused this. IMO people who cannot disagree civilly should be on a very short leash and a mod should never engage in back and forth name calling, making the matter worse, rather than enforcing forum rules.
I think we should always think before we post, and be thick skinned when someone says something we don't like.
As to problems with the AHA I don't think talking about it here should be the end of the line. I think its healthy to bring up issues and possibly galvanize support for positions here but direct and sustained communication directly with the AHA board is necessary to changes.

The AHA "board" is the Governing Committee and several GC members post here on the forum.  If there's something you want, you can express it to us, either through a forum post, a PM, or an email.  The email addys of all GC members are on the AHA website.

As to content, Zymurgy is always looking for writers and content.  If there's something you want to know about, let them know (or tall those of us on the GC).  You can write the article yourself if it's something you're up on, or maybe find someone you respect and ask them to write.  In addition to disseminating the info, you can also make a few $$ for your effort.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: wmbolling on June 06, 2017, 05:21:19 PM
Hi Phil -

This is all great feedback for us, and I appreciate the time you put in to offer it. We're constantly working to develop new ways to bring you homebrewing knowledge, while also working to promote the hobby to new members.

I'd like to point to the new webinar program as an example of one of the ways that the AHA is providing more technical homebrewing information. We had a Dr. Matthew Bochman, a professor from Indiana University present last week on his experiments while mapping the sour beer microbiome in the mash. If you know of a topic that interests you, I'd be happy to line up a presenter who can shed some light on the subject. Send me an email: Matt@BrewersAssociation.org.

I would also be interested in finding out where you live, so that we can work to grow the member deals program in your area. We've added well over 600 new locations in the last 2 years, and have been focusing on getting business participating in areas that don't yet offer the discounts.

I hope that you will reconsider renewing your AHA membership!

Thanks,

Matt Bolling
AHA Events & Membership Coordinator
Matt@BrewersAssociation.org
720-473-7696
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: duncan on June 06, 2017, 05:31:58 PM
This is great feedback, Phil. You brought up some great points concerning more technical resources/content that I will absolutely be bringing to our web content planning meetings.

One thing I would like to emphasize is we hope that people continue using the AHA Forum even if that person decides to let their membership lapse (or never become a member in the first place). We've purposely made the forum public in order to build and maintain the excellent community that has developed here. So please don't feel like you have to depart just because you aren't a current member!

Cheers,
Duncan
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Dave Carpenter on June 06, 2017, 06:48:24 PM
Hey Phil, thanks for your comments. Just to add to what has already been said, I'll emphasize that I'm always open to pitches for Zymurgy. If you or someone you know has an idea for an article, send it my way (zymurgy@brewersassociation.org)! All levels of technical detail are welcome.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: BrodyR on June 06, 2017, 09:17:46 PM
I've had similar feelings. Overall, I think our brewing culture in general including many American craft brewers, the AHA, and LHBS seem to have settled into a good-enough mentality.

Initially this forum was a HUGE driver in my jump from a beginning brewer to consistently brewing beers I enjoy (which I am quite grateful for and plan to stick around) but the recent personality clashes seem to have doubled down on a resistance to some of the more advanced techniques brought up from folks who read Kunze & Narziss.

Of course people brew for different reasons and that's perfectly fine - this forum seems dominated by the keep brewing fun and achieve good-enough results camp while the recently emerged GBF is dominated by people obsessed with the technical, as evidenced by members owning DO meters and copies of sturdy German texts.

You guys are right tho that the forum IS it's members. So it's a shame the personality clashes have resulted in some of the technically minded people primarily operating on other sites. I'd rather click on one site instead of 3 + facebook messenger when I'm thinking something thru.

That being said I feel much stronger about the lack of service LHBS provide to brewers past the beginner stage. I've yet to speak to a LHBS clerk who even understands mash pH as evidenced by last experience crushing grain there "Why do you want acid malt in your pilsner grist, going for some sort of twang?". I would love a shop that had an advanced section that sold RO water, pH Meters, calibration solution, DO meters, and provided assistance with building a water profile. But financially I imagine it makes sense to cater to beginning and intermediate levels.

And even stronger than that about some of the garbage upstart "craft" brewers put out now a day like terribly brewed beer with no head and some strange ingredients served in a shaker glass.

But at the end of the day there are still a lot of people on here with plenty of experience making the AHA a solid resource who I trust is looking out for the best interest of brewers. Even if the forum turns into a soap opera at times.


Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: RC on June 06, 2017, 10:06:42 PM
I think the purpose of this forum is to let both newbie homebrewers and experienced homebrewers share ideas about how to brew the best beer possible at home. "At home" is the key phrase here. When you brew beer in your garage, or on your back deck, or in your kitchen, and it turns out great, it's a magical thing! As I type this, I'm sipping a homebrew that, literally and objectively, is really, really, good. And this forum is partly why, no doubt. Totally understand if you've outgrown this forum, but that just means that you know so much, and are brewing such great beer, that you're in a great position to spread the gospel!
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: dmtaylor on June 06, 2017, 10:46:06 PM
I think the purpose of this forum is to let both newbie homebrewers and experienced homebrewers share ideas about how to brew the best beer possible at home. "At home" is the key phrase here. When you brew beer in your garage, or on your back deck, or in your kitchen, and it turns out great, it's a magical thing! As I type this, I'm sipping a homebrew that, literally and objectively, is really, really, good. And this forum is partly why, no doubt. Totally understand if you've outgrown this forum, but that just means that you know so much, and are brewing such great beer, that you're in a great position to spread the gospel!

This is my favorite response so far.

My own thoughts: We are all human, and we are all different.  We are not robots.  We do not all have a quest or desire to seek the Nth degree of every bit of minutia.  Some do, and that's fine.  Some care even less, and that's fine.  We need to keep this forum a useful resource for ALL types of non-robots.  If you need help, we'll help.  If you're the smartest guy on a topic, then please stick around and teach those who want to know.  We're all in this together.  But if this forum isn't fun anymore, then I can understand why people would leave.

Personally I'm here more to waste time and procrastinate than anything else!  I'm such a slacker.  I try to help where I can, and I also seek to entertain and to be entertained where appropriate.  Cuz in the end, of course, it's just friggin BEER we're talking about anyway!  We're such geeks in a lot of ways, especially those who hang out in forums.  My participation has been waning, but I can't help but continue to lurk and contribute occasionally anyway, because for the most part, it's kind of fun for me, and even a little bit educational.  If it weren't either of those, I'd leave.  But it is both, so I stay.

Cheers all.   :)
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: majorvices on June 06, 2017, 10:57:15 PM
At the risk of kicking the hornets nest again I would like to reply: I don't feel in any way that this forum is against "advanced techniques". It is more about a balance in delivery towards brewers in a practical sense. Look at it this way: What if, in the Extract section of the forum, we had a few members whom, every time a question is asked about extract brewing, come and and tell them they can't really brew good beer with extract! They need to be brewing All Grain!

Obviously, extreme illustration. And for that matter, I do feel like AG brewing is far superior to Extract brewing so I very, very rarely post in the Extract forum. I'm not the guy that needs to be answering those questions.

There has to be a balance of content that provides information to all those who seek it, and that information needs to be at the skill level of those who are looking.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Phil_M on June 06, 2017, 11:04:41 PM
I'm not disappearing, I'll still be on here. I just won't be checking in nearly as often as I used to.

Its up to us to ask and answer questions here and see what happens. I think when it comes down to it the decline in civility here is driving away those capable of engaging in these conversations. Its too bad because a small handful of people have caused this. IMO people who cannot disagree civilly should be on a very short leash and a mod should never engage in back and forth name calling, making the matter worse, rather than enforcing forum rules.
I think we should always think before we post, and be thick skinned when someone says something we don't like.

Pete, I agree completely agree with everything you've said, and especially this selection.

The AHA is its members.  That's where content comes from.

Denny, I'm under no illusions of the AHA is capable of being able to be everything for everybody. But the way things are being run, the in-depth knowledge is leaving, or has left. This isn't just because of recent clashes on brewing methods, some folks have honestly got other things going on. (Our resident yeast expert being a notable example.)

The webinars as a great step in the right direction. However, for the most part they've simply followed trendy topics specifically in craft brewing, as opposed to historical or brewing modern "big beer" techniques. But this is an area where I think it's OK that such things aren't covered, as it just isn't feasible for the AHA to cater to every niche.

But that's why we have this forum. That's why this needs to be a place for all brewers: from a newbie brewing extract, all the way to someone who could be a brewing engineer but would rather homebrew than turn his hobby into a business. Because this is the part of the AHA best suited to being a catch-all for any niche brewing technique/ingredient/whatever.

I think the purpose of this forum is to let both newbie homebrewers and experienced homebrewers share ideas about how to brew the best beer possible at home. "At home" is the key phrase here. When you brew beer in your garage, or on your back deck, or in your kitchen, and it turns out great, it's a magical thing! As I type this, I'm sipping a homebrew that, literally and objectively, is really, really, good. And this forum is partly why, no doubt. Totally understand if you've outgrown this forum, but that just means that you know so much, and are brewing such great beer, that you're in a great position to spread the gospel!

Spreading the hobby is definitely one of the best parts. The only thing more fun than a knowledgeable friend raving about your beer is getting another friend into brewing and to a point that they make awesome beer. The brewery closest to me, The Ruddy Duck, had an event geared to teach folks how to brew. Demoing my system that day was still the most homebrewing fun I've had, easily topping even Homebrewcon.

Personally I'm here more to waste time and procrastinate than anything else!  I'm such a slacker.  I try to help where I can, and I also seek to entertain and to be entertained where appropriate.  Cuz in the end, of course, it's just friggin BEER we're talking about anyway!  We're such geeks in a lot of ways, especially those who hang out in forums.  My participation has been waning, but I can't help but continue to lurk and contribute occasionally anyway, because for the most part, it's kind of fun for me, and even a little bit educational.  If it weren't either of those, I'd leave.  But it is both, so I stay.

The amount of time I spend on here vs. how much I learn/have fun is why I'm going to be spending less time here as much as my membership lapsing. I waste too much time on here that could be spent actually working on brewing. Or other hobbies, auto racing has been calling my name again...
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: jeffy on June 06, 2017, 11:35:16 PM
The thing about this or any forum is that it changes constantly.  There have been times when we have had doctors of biology commenting as well as yeast historians and honey bee farmers.  Right now we don't seem to have that same level of expertise, but it may come back around.
The nice thing I have always enjoyed about this forum has been the courtesy.  Let's not lose that.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Bob357 on June 06, 2017, 11:46:07 PM
There comes a time when you have reaped the benefits of an organization and archived a level of knowledge that is above that of most members. This is the time to become a major contributor and help the average and those below. How well would you have fared if those who helped you had decided to drop out before generously allowing you the benefit of their knowledge.

Not trying to belittle you in any way but, please, remember where you were when you became a member of this great organization.

Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Phil_M on June 07, 2017, 12:26:50 AM
This was in no way meant as a "thanks for all the fish, I'm out since I can't get anything from here" moment.

This was a combination of many factors, ranging from personal reasons to how I feel topics that go against the norm have been handled.

And to again reiterate, I'll definitely still be around, and will help when I can. If I manage to pull of my plan, I'll definitely share the info.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: yso191 on June 07, 2017, 01:09:05 AM
Some thoughts of my own...

1. I am in favor of thicker skin.
2.  I do think some here have the attitude that unless you do it their way you must like crappy beer.  This is irritating, but see point 1.
3. I think the content is sufficiently dense and sufficiently accessible.  People can drill down pretty deep, and newbs can ask what wort is.

This is the only forum I participate in and I will stay, both to help and to learn, because both are very possible.
Title: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Big Monk on June 07, 2017, 03:33:21 AM
I've deleted two accounts from this forum.

The first time was self inflicted. I couldn't justify the time I was spending posting here and as a measure of will power I deleted my account. (Derek)

The second was deleted after more than 6 months of heated exchanges with Low Oxygen/Lager-centric brewers. I was burned out and starting to have a change of heart towards the concepts. (RPIScotty)

I came back a third time and tried my best to get Bryan to commit time back to this place because people seemed like they were ready and receptive to these ideas. It seems this place is at a bit of a crossroads. There are some people who used to post here frequently that don't anymore: Amanda K, Wort-H.O.G.,Klickitat Jim, etc. Maybe the back and forth around the time I deleted my RPIScotty account drove them away.

What's the point? Forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject. I won't claim any regret about anything I've said or advocated for as Big Monk. Just because I want to help myself and others make better beer doesn't mean that everyone has to agree, but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?

What's the purpose of this forum? Damned if I know anymore. I post words when I think they may be useful. Beyond that? Well....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Stevie on June 07, 2017, 04:04:08 AM
All I know is my foam has never been better since Bryan and Derek returned to spread their knowledge.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: narvin on June 07, 2017, 04:10:21 AM
I know what you're feeling Phil, and yet I'm having a hard time putting it into words.  You probably felt the same way  :D

I'm not cancelling my membership but honestly I really don't look at the magazine anymore.  This is more about me than the content, though.  I think the AHA does good and I go to the conference every year, so I couldn't quit if I wanted to.

I do think that the categories in the forum could be rethought.  Most people don't really know where to put their posts.  General Brewing is a catch-all, and unless it's yeast related or some stainless steel welding porn there's no reason to put it anywhere else.  It doesn't really makes sense to me to have a General, All Grain, AND Extract forum.

I also don't think there should be a dedicated forum for any specific topics or theories (shaken not stirred, LODO, etc).  But... we might be lacking a "Tech Talk" forum.  I think there was more openness to formulae and crap like that on the email distro, but that was just the audience at the time.  If what we're aiming for is a place for all levels, it might work to keep the hardcore math and brewing text references in a separate place.  That doesn't mean that topics like that can't be introduced or referenced elsewhere, but the details could be posted there (and linked in other forums for the adventurous).

Just a thought.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: majorvices on June 07, 2017, 10:56:56 AM
but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?


There's a lot of innuendo and accusation pointing toward both sides, and finger pointing I feel directed at me in particular, and I am going to give my side.

I have almost never come in and directly questioned Bryan's or your findings. The ONLY time I ever questioned ya'lls methods was one time when I questioned why Bittburger would spend so much money on LODO methods when the sixpack I picked up suffered from diacetyl (which I believed was oxidation problem). I honestly can't remember another instance.

The entire derailment of the locked thread was because of Bryan's tirade against Denny. It was completely disrespectful. Categorizing LODO proponents as "LODO Nazis" was poor judgment on my part, especially in this age of political correctness, and "LODO zealots" would have been a better choice.  I have been around for a very long time and it was once acceptable to call people "Style Nazi" and honestly, I didn't mean anything insulting by the term. I do regret using that terminology now. However, I do feel it stopped short of "name calling", as another has mentioned. It is simply not the same as calling someone a "dick", etc.

But, whatever the case, it brought everything crashing down (although, it was going down in flames from the start.) During which I was accused of "being against Bryan's methods from the beginning" ... what??? I have never, not once tried to stop him from bringing his information. If anyone feels this is so, please go and show me!

You say "forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject" and herein lies the problem. "Forcefulness of delivery". That has all I have ever said has been the problem.

When constant bickering starts to drive members away I feel like it is my job as a mod to try to correct the situation. Unfortunately it appears I have not gone about it the proper way. However, I will point out that I have NOT been involved with the constant bickering. Rather I have tried to STOP the bickering by barking down whom I have thought the problem was and only once it started to swing totally out of control!

There have only EVER been two people on this forum I have had strong words with: Bryan Rabe and BrewBoy. So for anyone to insinuate that I have been disrespectful to the forum members as a whole, I find that simply outrageous. In both times I grew forceful with my handling of the users because they were both causing rifts in the forum.

I will say, finally, that there isn't an issue with people bringing advanced topics to this forum. There is a problem with people coming onto this forum and acting disrespectful to other's opinions and views.

Rule #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.

By trying to enforce this rule I can see where I accidentally "flame bated" Bryan and Big Monk with the "Nazi" comment, but the problem is Bryan skates or literally breaks the "be respectful" on a regular basis.

If we have rules and we have mods, then what are the mods here for if not to enforce the rules???
Title: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Big Monk on June 07, 2017, 11:37:07 AM
but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?


There's a lot of innuendo and accusation pointing toward both sides, and finger pointing I feel directed at me in particular, and I am going to give my side.

I have almost never come in and directly questioned Bryan's or your findings. The ONLY time I ever questioned ya'lls methods was one time when I questioned why Bittburger would spend so much money on LODO methods when the sixpack I picked up suffered from diacetyl (which I believed was oxidation problem). I honestly can't remember another instance.

The entire derailment of the locked thread was because of Bryan's tirade against Denny. It was completely disrespectful. Categorizing LODO proponents as "LODO Nazis" was poor judgment on my part, especially in this age of political correctness, and "LODO zealots" would have been a better choice.  I have been around for a very long time and it was once acceptable to call people "Style Nazi" and honestly, I didn't mean anything insulting by the term. I do regret using that terminology now. However, I do feel it stopped short of "name calling", as another has mentioned. It is simply not the same as calling someone a "dick", etc.

But, whatever the case, it brought everything crashing down (although, it was going down in flames from the start.) During which I was accused of "being against Bryan's methods from the beginning" ... what??? I have never, not once tried to stop him from bringing his information. If anyone feels this is so, please go and show me!

You say "forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject" and herein lies the problem. "Forcefulness of delivery". That has all I have ever said has been the problem.

When constant bickering starts to drive members away I feel like it is my job as a mod to try to correct the situation. Unfortunately it appears I have not gone about it the proper way. However, I will point out that I have NOT been involved with the constant bickering. Rather I have tried to STOP the bickering by barking down whom I have thought the problem was and only once it started to swing totally out of control!

There have only EVER been two people on this forum I have had strong words with: Bryan Rabe and BrewBoy. So for anyone to insinuate that I have been disrespectful to the forum members as a whole, I find that simply outrageous. In both times I grew forceful with my handling of the users because they were both causing rifts in the forum.

I will say, finally, that there isn't an issue with people bringing advanced topics to this forum. There is a problem with people coming onto this forum and acting disrespectful to other's opinions and views.

Rule #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.

By trying to enforce this rule I can see where I accidentally "flame bated" Bryan and Big Monk with the "Nazi" comment, but the problem is Bryan skates or literally breaks the "be respectful" on a regular basis.

If we have rules and we have mods, then what are the mods here for if not to enforce the rules???

How is any of your response relevant to this thread in particular? No one is making accusations here. I don't think you need to defend yourself here. This thread seems like it was intended (please correct me if I'm wrong Phil) to be more of a thought experiment, a musing on the state of technical affairs at the forum.

Maybe a more appropriate place for your response is (I'm not being sarcastic or snarky here at all) back in the locked thread from the other day.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: pete b on June 07, 2017, 11:56:59 AM
Hey Keith, thanks for posting that. I said "name calling" and maybe the phrase wasn't accurate. All I can say as a fairly neutral observer is that you and Denny, two very passionate and experienced brewers volunteering God knows how many hours to help this forum, sometimes escalate rather than de-escalate ongoing derailed uncivil threads. When Bryan and Derek came back they were obviously making a sincere effort to be contributers here but, as I remember it, one person attacked and derailed the thread almost everytime they posted and made a mess of things. That person was given the occasional mild reprimand when really IMO more serious action was required because they were almost exclusively trolling. Honestly Bryan and Derek do still on occasion rub me the wrong way with certain attitudes but I respect the fact that they patiently continued to contribute despite being consistently trolled.
I like and respect all the mods here, this is just some honest feedback about one aspect of all you guys do for the forum. The reason I bother is that I find this forum a less pleasant place to be lately and think you care.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: pete b on June 07, 2017, 12:02:48 PM
but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?

[/quot

There's a lot of innuendo and accusation pointing toward both sides, and finger pointing I feel directed at me in particular, and I am going to give my side.

I have almost never come in and directly questioned Bryan's or your findings. The ONLY time I ever questioned ya'lls methods was one time when I questioned why Bittburger would spend so much money on LODO methods when the sixpack I picked up suffered from diacetyl (which I believed was oxidation problem). I honestly can't remember another instance.

The entire derailment of the locked thread was because of Bryan's tirade against Denny. It was completely disrespectful. Categorizing LODO proponents as "LODO Nazis" was poor judgment on my part, especially in this age of political correctness, and "LODO zealots" would have been a better choice.  I have been around for a very long time and it was once acceptable to call people "Style Nazi" and honestly, I didn't mean anything insulting by the term. I do regret using that terminology now. However, I do feel it stopped short of "name calling", as another has mentioned. It is simply not the same as calling someone a "dick", etc.

But, whatever the case, it brought everything crashing down (although, it was going down in flames from the start.) During which I was accused of "being against Bryan's methods from the beginning" ... what??? I have never, not once tried to stop him from bringing his information. If anyone feels this is so, please go and show me!

You say "forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject" and herein lies the problem. "Forcefulness of delivery". That has all I have ever said has been the problem.

When constant bickering starts to drive members away I feel like it is my job as a mod to try to correct the situation. Unfortunately it appears I have not gone about it the proper way. However, I will point out that I have NOT been involved with the constant bickering. Rather I have tried to STOP the bickering by barking down whom I have thought the problem was and only once it started to swing totally out of control!

There have only EVER been two people on this forum I have had strong words with: Bryan Rabe and BrewBoy. So for anyone to insinuate that I have been disrespectful to the forum members as a whole, I find that simply outrageous. In both times I grew forceful with my handling of the users because they were both causing rifts in the forum.

I will say, finally, that there isn't an issue with people bringing advanced topics to this forum. There is a problem with people coming onto this forum and acting disrespectful to other's opinions and views.

Rule #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.

By trying to enforce this rule I can see where I accidentally "flame bated" Bryan and Big Monk with the "Nazi" comment, but the problem is Bryan skates or literally breaks the "be respectful" on a regular basis.

If we have rules and we have mods, then what are the mods here for if not to enforce the rules???

How is any of your response relevant to this thread in particular? No one is making accusations here. I don't think you need to defend yourself here. This thread seems like it was intended (please correct me if I'm wrong Phil) to be more of a thought experiment, a musing on the state of technical affairs at the forum.

Maybe a more appropriate place for your response is (I'm not being sarcastic or snarky here at all) back in the locked thread from the other day.
Derek, I think it's relevant because the decline of civility here is intimately linked to people being uncomfortable posting technical stuff here.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Big Monk on June 07, 2017, 12:06:19 PM
but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?

[/quot

There's a lot of innuendo and accusation pointing toward both sides, and finger pointing I feel directed at me in particular, and I am going to give my side.

I have almost never come in and directly questioned Bryan's or your findings. The ONLY time I ever questioned ya'lls methods was one time when I questioned why Bittburger would spend so much money on LODO methods when the sixpack I picked up suffered from diacetyl (which I believed was oxidation problem). I honestly can't remember another instance.

The entire derailment of the locked thread was because of Bryan's tirade against Denny. It was completely disrespectful. Categorizing LODO proponents as "LODO Nazis" was poor judgment on my part, especially in this age of political correctness, and "LODO zealots" would have been a better choice.  I have been around for a very long time and it was once acceptable to call people "Style Nazi" and honestly, I didn't mean anything insulting by the term. I do regret using that terminology now. However, I do feel it stopped short of "name calling", as another has mentioned. It is simply not the same as calling someone a "dick", etc.

But, whatever the case, it brought everything crashing down (although, it was going down in flames from the start.) During which I was accused of "being against Bryan's methods from the beginning" ... what??? I have never, not once tried to stop him from bringing his information. If anyone feels this is so, please go and show me!

You say "forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject" and herein lies the problem. "Forcefulness of delivery". That has all I have ever said has been the problem.

When constant bickering starts to drive members away I feel like it is my job as a mod to try to correct the situation. Unfortunately it appears I have not gone about it the proper way. However, I will point out that I have NOT been involved with the constant bickering. Rather I have tried to STOP the bickering by barking down whom I have thought the problem was and only once it started to swing totally out of control!

There have only EVER been two people on this forum I have had strong words with: Bryan Rabe and BrewBoy. So for anyone to insinuate that I have been disrespectful to the forum members as a whole, I find that simply outrageous. In both times I grew forceful with my handling of the users because they were both causing rifts in the forum.

I will say, finally, that there isn't an issue with people bringing advanced topics to this forum. There is a problem with people coming onto this forum and acting disrespectful to other's opinions and views.

Rule #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.

By trying to enforce this rule I can see where I accidentally "flame bated" Bryan and Big Monk with the "Nazi" comment, but the problem is Bryan skates or literally breaks the "be respectful" on a regular basis.

If we have rules and we have mods, then what are the mods here for if not to enforce the rules???

How is any of your response relevant to this thread in particular? No one is making accusations here. I don't think you need to defend yourself here. This thread seems like it was intended (please correct me if I'm wrong Phil) to be more of a thought experiment, a musing on the state of technical affairs at the forum.

Maybe a more appropriate place for your response is (I'm not being sarcastic or snarky here at all) back in the locked thread from the other day.
Derek, I think it's relevant because the decline of civility here is intimately linked to people being uncomfortable posting technical stuff here.

Understood. That's a fair assessment.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 07, 2017, 01:20:40 PM
When Bryan and Derek came back they were obviously making a sincere effort to be contributers here but, as I remember it, one person attacked and derailed the thread almost everytime they posted and made a mess of things. That person was given the occasional mild reprimand when really IMO more serious action was required because they were almost exclusively trolling. Honestly Bryan and Derek do still on occasion rub me the wrong way with certain attitudes but I respect the fact that they patiently continued to contribute despite being consistently trolled.


I have to agree that the person you mention has very often been the x-factor in things escalating unnecessarily. As to the forum in general, I see no reason that we can't be welcoming and helpful to new and intermediate brewers while also being welcoming to technical info offered to advanced brewers, whether we choose to implement any of it or not.
The suggestion made to proofread all comments before posting and ask ourselves if it offers anything constructive to the thread (and forum) is excellent and should be practiced by every single one of us, every time.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: udubdawg on June 07, 2017, 01:34:43 PM
lack of civility has been discussed, no need for me to reiterate other than to say I agree.

Lack of technical content - yeah the internet loves to disagree.  The tiring requests for "link??" with anything I say that people disagree with.  Or I often get asked "how would you make that with x shortcut or saving x amount of dollars/time?"  ...I wouldn't.  I'm only an expert at what *I* do; if you want shortcuts go research them yourself.  I'll tell you what I do and you take it from there.  If you don't taste a difference, by all means don't decoct.  I do and I do. 

The average level of expertise in homebrewing seems to have declined.  I assume this is due to A) the AHA casting a wider net and getting more people who aren't necessarily as "Beer Is Life" as some of us old guard, and B) many many people who are good at this have gone pro.  A) isn't a bad thing, but it does change the makeup of the hobby. Way more people are casual about this now.   B) has lead to even more great availability of commercial beer, which just reinforces the casual nature many homebrewers already have.

Along with the avg skill or experience level going down and the lack of technical content comes many many questions from newbies.  And while in general I support the ideal of helping them out, when you see the same questions repeated over and over and you know thousands of web pages already exist that answer them, well...you get tired of it.  I've taught dozens of people to brew at my home.  I've passed along knowledge online sometimes too.  And I'm over it.  I'm largely self-taught, and I yeah I guess I wish others had a little more of that mentality. 
Then there's the questions I can't answer.  I can't look at your pic or read your description of "it just tastes weird" and tell you what went wrong.  Do a full description of your process and send me a bottle and I've got a pretty good chance to help you.

anyway, as a result I don't spend much time here anymore.  Like NHC it's a place to hang out and chat with friends. *shrug*
--Michael

Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Delo on June 07, 2017, 02:15:43 PM
For me this forum was the best place to find information because there were a lot a regulars that were knowledgeable.  I usually sift through recent posts to find helpful info for me. I tend not to answer questions because people will answer more thoroughly than I will, plus I don’t have a ton of posts so I don’t think anyone will listen to my advice so I don’t bother.   Would I like to see more advanced info? Sure.  But this is a forum for every level and every type of brewer.  It’s a drag when there is a bickering s***show going on because the amount of irrelevant posts outnumber useful ones.  I also think the bickering that has driven away a lot of the regulars has kept people from adding valuable information, which is a shame.  I will still check this forum out almost everyday (that I am at work  ;) ) but I wish a lot of this crap will end. Has it been going on for a year now?
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: dbeechum on June 07, 2017, 03:37:13 PM
The average level of expertise in homebrewing seems to have declined.  I assume this is due to A) the AHA casting a wider net and getting more people who aren't necessarily as "Beer Is Life" as some of us old guard, and B) many many people who are good at this have gone pro.  A) isn't a bad thing, but it does change the makeup of the hobby. Way more people are casual about this now.   B) has lead to even more great availability of commercial beer, which just reinforces the casual nature many homebrewers already have.

Your point A is a little flipped from what seems to be in the marketing and demo data that's being pulled. It's not that the AHA is casting a wider net and getting shallower interest - it's that the general interest pool is shallower. The data all points to plenty of people enjoying the idea of making beer, but fewer, particularly younger, folks wanting to make homebrewing their "lifestyle" ala us older brewers.

But then again, this is the same war fought over a wider and more visible battle ground than before. I can troll back through club newsletters from the 1970's and 80's and see the same *grr argh* "not taking this serious enough" angst including the classic - if you're brewing extract, you're not a real brewer. Thing is, this hobby has always been a majority extract brewers even in today's high gear/information availability age.

I don't know. I have fun with this hobby even if sometimes the personalities are a bit much. I prefer to operate from a guiding principle of kindness, which is not everyone's north star as evidenced by all the hackles being raised around here.

Seriously, let's practice the Wheaton Law (link (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Wheaton%27s%20Law)) and not be proof of John Gabriel's Greater Internet f##kwad Theory (link (https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19))

Step back, take a deep breath, blah, blah, blah... ffs
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Andy Farke on June 07, 2017, 04:01:46 PM
But then again, this is the same war fought over a wider and more visible battle ground than before. I can troll back through club newsletters from the 1970's and 80's and see the same *grr argh* "not taking this serious enough" angst including the classic - if you're brewing extract, you're not a real brewer. Thing is, this hobby has always been a majority extract brewers even in today's high gear/information availability age.

I don't know. I have fun with this hobby even if sometimes the personalities are a bit much. I prefer to operate from a guiding principle of kindness, which is not everyone's north star as evidenced by all the hackles being raised around here.

Seriously, let's practice the Wheaton Law (link (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Wheaton%27s%20Law)) and not be proof of John Gabriel's Greater Internet f##kwad Theory (link (https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19))

Step back, take a deep breath, blah, blah, blah... ffs

Along these same lines, I wouldn't want any part of an intentionally exclusionary group or organization! (hence why I shy away from some brewing forums that have more obvious rampant sexism, personality cults, etc.). One thing I really admire about AHA is that it is taking intentional steps towards inclusion and helping to create a culture outside of the quite frankly somewhat obnoxious mess that is often a visible face of homebrewing and craft brewing online. I also would ask everyone to keep in mind that not every homebrewer is pulling down a mid-six-figure income or has infinite brewing space and electrical capacity or infinite time...my sense is that this little piece of demographic information is sometimes where things go off the rails. I greatly admire those who create amazing beer using inexpensive improvised systems--that takes _real_ skill!
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Stevie on June 07, 2017, 04:03:00 PM
Apparently the purpose is to sell me women's swim ware and $29 watches.  If the ads stay, I will leave and will not renew my wife's and my memberships.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: dbeechum on June 07, 2017, 04:07:40 PM
Apparently the purpose is to sell me women's swim ware and $29 watches.  If the ads stay, I will leave and will not renew my wife's and my memberships.

Hmm, if you're seeing those sorts of ads, then those need to be reported to Duncan (duncan@brewersassociation.org). I usually see things like whiskey barrels and brew guru offers.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Stevie on June 07, 2017, 04:11:04 PM
This is within Tapatalk. They are way less "targeted."

Want to see pics of singles?
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: weazletoe on June 07, 2017, 04:16:19 PM
I think we all just need to take a step back, take a few deep breaths, and lovigly gaze into our carboys eyes whilst listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQY2z6aALD4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQY2z6aALD4)

We can all reconvene when calmer heads and hearts prevail.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: dbeechum on June 07, 2017, 04:18:58 PM
Want to see pics of singles?

I'm fairly certain my wife wouldn't approve. :)

Yeah, let me reach out and check, cause that's uncool.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: dbeechum on June 07, 2017, 04:24:06 PM
Duncan just let me know the web team is aware of the ad issue. They think Tapatalk changed some settings and so they're finding a fix for it.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: udubdawg on June 07, 2017, 04:54:08 PM
The average level of expertise in homebrewing seems to have declined.  I assume this is due to A) the AHA casting a wider net and getting more people who aren't necessarily as "Beer Is Life" as some of us old guard, and B) many many people who are good at this have gone pro.  A) isn't a bad thing, but it does change the makeup of the hobby. Way more people are casual about this now.   B) has lead to even more great availability of commercial beer, which just reinforces the casual nature many homebrewers already have.

Your point A is a little flipped from what seems to be in the marketing and demo data that's being pulled. It's not that the AHA is casting a wider net and getting shallower interest - it's that the general interest pool is shallower. The data all points to plenty of people enjoying the idea of making beer, but fewer, particularly younger, folks wanting to make homebrewing their "lifestyle" ala us older brewers.

But then again, this is the same war fought over a wider and more visible battle ground than before. I can troll back through club newsletters from the 1970's and 80's and see the same *grr argh* "not taking this serious enough" angst including the classic - if you're brewing extract, you're not a real brewer. Thing is, this hobby has always been a majority extract brewers even in today's high gear/information availability age.

I don't know. I have fun with this hobby even if sometimes the personalities are a bit much. I prefer to operate from a guiding principle of kindness, which is not everyone's north star as evidenced by all the hackles being raised around here.

Seriously, let's practice the Wheaton Law (link (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Wheaton%27s%20Law)) and not be proof of John Gabriel's Greater Internet f##kwad Theory (link (https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19))

Step back, take a deep breath, blah, blah, blah... ffs

I'm not sure how to take the last part, but I'm not going to spend any more time worrying about it.

A little more clarification on how point A) is "flipped" would probably help too.  We are getting people that weren't interested in homebrewing before, right?  More women, more young people, more non-engineers?  That's good, unless you're refuting that.  But people aren't spending as much on "stuff" at the stores, and not spending as long in the hobby, correct?  Meanwhile a whole lot of people have gone pro. Also good (for them at least). I've never tried to make people less enthusiastic than myself unwelcome in this hobby and in fact as stated have actively done the opposite.  But I still prefer to spend my time with my own peeps - people I can relate to, have things in common with, have known for years.  My brewing family, basically.

...and a great many have disappeared.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: case thrower on June 07, 2017, 05:09:09 PM
Back in January I made the suggestion that what is needed is MULTIPLE FORUMS!  Look on the AHA main page under Let's Brew.  There are tabs for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.  Structure the forum the same way.  A couple of general categories under each heading.

Will it work?  I don't know, but given that the levels of animosity seem to be growing and have been for quite a while (at least they are from where I'm sitting), I don't think it would hurt to look at the options.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: AmandaK on June 07, 2017, 05:57:45 PM
Phil, I couldn't agree more with you.

Right now we don't seem to have that same level of expertise, but it may come back around. The nice thing I have always enjoyed about this forum has been the courtesy.  Let's not lose that.

The thing is, every time I've thought - "hey, I should go check and see what's going on with the AHA Forum" the top few threads are mostly bickering for no productive reason or threads simply discussing the lack of civility. :-\

The AHA Forum used to be a place were I could learn something. It used to be a place where we all respected each other. Where I wouldn't get PMs telling me that I was doing things wrong. From my stop ins over the past year or so, it hasn't changed much from when I left. Which is a shame.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: dmtaylor on June 07, 2017, 06:28:42 PM
Ugh..... I think I've finally got to just say it, in as few words as possible............

Keith, Denny, I love you guys, but you know, you ain't perfect.

Derek, Bryan, I love you guys, but you know, you ain't perfect.

Me, I love myself, but I know I ain't perfect.

The rest of ya's, you're all alright, I love you all, too.

Those of us who are still left here have had to deal with a lot of crap.  We need to put an end to the crap.  I'll do my part if you'll all do yours.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to never ever talk about crap ever again.  Let's friggin talk about beer, dammit.

*group hug*

:'(
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 07, 2017, 07:09:29 PM
Maybe an advanced brewing techniques forum would be beneficial (hey that was petty much unintentional, old timers will get it).

I'm glad to see some valued members checking in now and then.

Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: dbeechum on June 07, 2017, 08:40:45 PM
I'm not sure how to take the last part, but I'm not going to spend any more time worrying about it.

A little more clarification on how point A) is "flipped" would probably help too.  We are getting people that weren't interested in homebrewing before, right?  More women, more young people, more non-engineers?  That's good, unless you're refuting that.  But people aren't spending as much on "stuff" at the stores, and not spending as long in the hobby, correct?  Meanwhile a whole lot of people have gone pro. Also good (for them at least). I've never tried to make people less enthusiastic than myself unwelcome in this hobby and in fact as stated have actively done the opposite.  But I still prefer to spend my time with my own peeps - people I can relate to, have things in common with, have known for years.  My brewing family, basically.

...and a great many have disappeared.

The last part was meant as a general message to everyone - peace, love, hoppiness. No specific targets.

It's seems more that the newer generation of homebrewers is interested in general "maker" culture and not as much "I make beer" or "I make cabinets". Naturally that's a shallower engagement level by the sheer volume of different things to make. It does affect the discussions we have and the content that gets produced.

And I absolutely think a good number of those who would be the obsessive crazy pants brewers of yore are jumping to the pro side.


Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: narvin on June 07, 2017, 09:52:10 PM
Phil, I couldn't agree more with you.

The thing is, every time I've thought - "hey, I should go check and see what's going on with the AHA Forum" the top few threads are mostly bickering for no productive reason or threads simply discussing the lack of civility. :-\

The AHA Forum used to be a place were I could learn something. It used to be a place where we all respected each other. Where I wouldn't get PMs telling me that I was doing things wrong. From my stop ins over the past year or so, it hasn't changed much from when I left. Which is a shame.

I guess I have to ask, respectfully, what you were learning 2 years ago that is so much better than what you could learn here now?  There are only so many times that you can be told how to maker a starter (and then after that, only so many you can be told that your yeast are suffering from shear stress).  I feel like I've learned more here in the past year than the year or two before.  I'm not saying that there hasn't always been good information on here, because there has.  The content changes, though, and it has to, or you're just repeating yourself.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Phil_M on June 08, 2017, 12:27:49 AM
It's seems more that the newer generation of homebrewers is interested in general "maker" culture and not as much "I make beer" or "I make cabinets". Naturally that's a shallower engagement level by the sheer volume of different things to make. It does affect the discussions we have and the content that gets produced.

Personal pet peeve moment mostly unrelated to brewing-I'm very ticked off with the current "maker culture" because of this shallower engagement level. I've seen folks with a passion for a specific craft scratch the surface of the art/science of their craft, then get pissed off when they don't get hired or turn a profit. Frankly, it's insulting to those who devote their lives to perfecting their art/trade. It's like the whole technician/engineer thing. Sure, you can make great money as a technician, I certainly do. But the closer I get to my degree the more I realize how little I've scratched the surface of my field as a tech.

But this is brewing, a hobby for most on here. Not all want to devote that level of involvement/learning to a hobby, and that's fine. Hobbies aren't supposed to be stressful. I tend to go all in or nothing on hobbies, hence the devotion to brewing science and technical errata. I'm the same way with cars, my obsession has resulted in a nicely equipped garage and can do all the maintenance/repairs on my vehicles. By this time next year I may be working on turning that into a small business tuning (and eventually building) LS and small block Chevy engines. (Not having to pay a mechanic frees up money for tools AND beer!)

Ugh..... I think I've finally got to just say it, in as few words as possible............

Keith, Denny, I love you guys, but you know, you ain't perfect.

Derek, Bryan, I love you guys, but you know, you ain't perfect.

Me, I love myself, but I know I ain't perfect.

The rest of ya's, you're all alright, I love you all, too.

Those of us who are still left here have had to deal with a lot of crap.  We need to put an end to the crap.  I'll do my part if you'll all do yours.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to never ever talk about crap ever again.  Let's friggin talk about beer, dammit.

*group hug*

:'(

This. Let's just look past each other's flaws and just try and move on when someone rubs us the wrong way.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 08, 2017, 02:53:34 AM
It's seems more that the newer generation of homebrewers is interested in general "maker" culture and not as much "I make beer" or "I make cabinets". Naturally that's a shallower engagement level by the sheer volume of different things to make. It does affect the discussions we have and the content that gets produced.

Personal pet peeve moment mostly unrelated to brewing-I'm very ticked off with the current "maker culture" because of this shallower engagement level. I've seen folks with a passion for a specific craft scratch the surface of the art/science of their craft, then get pissed off when they don't get hired or turn a profit. Frankly, it's insulting to those who devote their lives to perfecting their art/trade. It's like the whole technician/engineer thing. Sure, you can make great money as a technician, I certainly do. But the closer I get to my degree the more I realize how little I've scratched the surface of my field as a tech.

But this is brewing, a hobby for most on here. Not all want to devote that level of involvement/learning to a hobby, and that's fine. Hobbies aren't supposed to be stressful. I tend to go all in or nothing on hobbies, hence the devotion to brewing science and technical errata. I'm the same way with cars, my obsession has resulted in a nicely equipped garage and can do all the maintenance/repairs on my vehicles. By this time next year I may be working on turning that into a small business tuning (and eventually building) LS and small block Chevy engines. (Not having to pay a mechanic frees up money for tools AND beer!)

Ugh..... I think I've finally got to just say it, in as few words as possible............

Keith, Denny, I love you guys, but you know, you ain't perfect.

Derek, Bryan, I love you guys, but you know, you ain't perfect.

Me, I love myself, but I know I ain't perfect.

The rest of ya's, you're all alright, I love you all, too.

Those of us who are still left here have had to deal with a lot of crap.  We need to put an end to the crap.  I'll do my part if you'll all do yours.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to never ever talk about crap ever again.  Let's friggin talk about beer, dammit.

*group hug*

:'(

This. Let's just look past each other's flaws and just try and move on when someone rubs us the wrong way.

my passion for cars was ruined after a career in the auto industry. Be careful with what you wish for!
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: jeffy on June 08, 2017, 11:55:59 PM
It's seems more that the newer generation of homebrewers is interested in general "maker" culture and not as much "I make beer" or "I make cabinets". Naturally that's a shallower engagement level by the sheer volume of different things to make. It does affect the discussions we have and the content that gets produced.

Personal pet peeve moment mostly unrelated to brewing-I'm very ticked off with the current "maker culture" because of this shallower engagement level. I've seen folks with a passion for a specific craft scratch the surface of the art/science of their craft, then get pissed off when they don't get hired or turn a profit. Frankly, it's insulting to those who devote their lives to perfecting their art/trade. It's like the whole technician/engineer thing. Sure, you can make great money as a technician, I certainly do. But the closer I get to my degree the more I realize how little I've scratched the surface of my field as a tech.

But this is brewing, a hobby for most on here. Not all want to devote that level of involvement/learning to a hobby, and that's fine. Hobbies aren't supposed to be stressful. I tend to go all in or nothing on hobbies, hence the devotion to brewing science and technical errata. I'm the same way with cars, my obsession has resulted in a nicely equipped garage and can do all the maintenance/repairs on my vehicles. By this time next year I may be working on turning that into a small business tuning (and eventually building) LS and small block Chevy engines. (Not having to pay a mechanic frees up money for tools AND beer!)

Ugh..... I think I've finally got to just say it, in as few words as possible............

Keith, Denny, I love you guys, but you know, you ain't perfect.

Derek, Bryan, I love you guys, but you know, you ain't perfect.

Me, I love myself, but I know I ain't perfect.

The rest of ya's, you're all alright, I love you all, too.

Those of us who are still left here have had to deal with a lot of crap.  We need to put an end to the crap.  I'll do my part if you'll all do yours.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to never ever talk about crap ever again.  Let's friggin talk about beer, dammit.

*group hug*

:'(

This. Let's just look past each other's flaws and just try and move on when someone rubs us the wrong way.

my passion for cars was ruined after a career in the auto industry. Be careful with what you wish for!
I hear that.  This is also the main reason I don't want to turn my perfectly good brewing hobby into work.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: santoch on June 09, 2017, 04:25:17 AM
Don't forget, sometimes folks just burn out.  I know I did.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: majorvices on June 09, 2017, 11:47:11 AM


my passion for cars was ruined after a career in the auto industry. Be careful with what you wish for!

Thankfully I only grow more passionate about brewing every day! I love my job. I am one lucky SOB!

As far as the original poster and others decrying the lack of "Advanced Brewing Methods" or "Lack of Brewing Science", I'm left scratching my head. We have a 20 page thread alone on Introduction to LODO brewing. We have very interesting information coming from Bryan, Big Monk, Experimental brewing podcast, Brulosophy, and pages of information you wouldn't have found here a year ago. It seems like many of you feel that there is a resistance to "advanced methods" and, as I have hammered home to ya'll over and over again - not the case. I have explained it thoroughly and won't delve into it again. History is well documented here.

I have advocated for a "Brewing Science" section or "Advanced All Grain" and I will go to the powers that be and request it again. I will reiterate that obviously the only real problem with this forum is the bickering AND lack of respect given to the mods and other members. I am not saying mods should be above other users but when members obviously stalk mods posts to create friction, it's a problem. And when other member stalk other members posts to question or berate (and I'm speaking from both sides of the spectrum) that is a problem too. And when members can't disagree with other members without the disagreement becoming unnecessarily heated. Those are the problems with this forum, not the lack of advanced topics or information.

Obviously I am not above the fray here but I am trying to swing the hammer to quell the division. Unfortunately my tactics where poorly executed and I will rethink them for the next time. And I really won't say anything else about it from here on out I really do promise. Dead horse officially beaten.

Comments are welcome here, and even disagreements are welcome. But we must keep them respectful from now on.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: weazletoe on June 09, 2017, 01:30:30 PM
re.

I also would ask everyone to keep in mind that not every homebrewer is pulling down a mid-six-figure income or has infinite brewing space and electrical capacity or infinite time...my sense is that this little piece of demographic information is sometimes where things go off the rails. I greatly admire those who create amazing beer using inexpensive improvised systems--that takes _real_ skill!

A big plus one from! This is exactly how I feel. I'm not a rich man and cant afford the best of everything. I don't have 4k lying around to drop on a shiny new electric HERMS. But, I built a very nice electric system for a couple hundred bucks. Did I use cheap Chinese PID's? Yes. But they work just fine and I paid $15 for them. I didn't have $160 to spend on a March pump. But my little $15 Chinese one works just fine for what I need it to do. So go ahead and be down on a brewer because he doesn't have an infinite money tree. But I can tell you one thing, by building it yourself and having to source parts on a budget, you know your rig inside and out. If it breaks, you know exactly how to fix it.  And, there's so much more satisfaction in drinkning a great beer that you made with your own equipment.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Big Monk on June 09, 2017, 01:34:26 PM
re.

I also would ask everyone to keep in mind that not every homebrewer is pulling down a mid-six-figure income or has infinite brewing space and electrical capacity or infinite time...my sense is that this little piece of demographic information is sometimes where things go off the rails. I greatly admire those who create amazing beer using inexpensive improvised systems--that takes _real_ skill!

A big plus one from! This is exactly how I feel. I'm not a rich man and cant afford the best of everything. I don't have 4k lying around to drop on a shiny new electric HERMS. But, I built a very nice electric system for a couple hundred bucks. Did I use cheap Chinese PID's? Yes. But they work just fine and I paid $15 for them. I didn't have $160 to spend on a March pump. But my little $15 Chinese one works just fine for what I need it to do. So go ahead and be down on a brewer because he doesn't have an infinite money tree. But I can tell you one thing, by building it yourself and having to source parts on a budget, you know your rig inside and out. If it breaks, you know exactly how to fix it.  And, there's so much more satisfaction in drinkning a great beer that you made with your own equipment.

Threads going off the rails has ZERO to do with equipment.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: udubdawg on June 09, 2017, 01:59:35 PM
re.

I also would ask everyone to keep in mind that not every homebrewer is pulling down a mid-six-figure income or has infinite brewing space and electrical capacity or infinite time...my sense is that this little piece of demographic information is sometimes where things go off the rails. I greatly admire those who create amazing beer using inexpensive improvised systems--that takes _real_ skill!

A big plus one from! This is exactly how I feel. I'm not a rich man and cant afford the best of everything. I don't have 4k lying around to drop on a shiny new electric HERMS. But, I built a very nice electric system for a couple hundred bucks. Did I use cheap Chinese PID's? Yes. But they work just fine and I paid $15 for them. I didn't have $160 to spend on a March pump. But my little $15 Chinese one works just fine for what I need it to do. So go ahead and be down on a brewer because he doesn't have an infinite money tree. But I can tell you one thing, by building it yourself and having to source parts on a budget, you know your rig inside and out. If it breaks, you know exactly how to fix it.  And, there's so much more satisfaction in drinkning a great beer that you made with your own equipment.

Threads going off the rails has ZERO to do with equipment.

yeah I didn't understand that one.  Surely someone is not saying that pictures of someone's fancy brew rig makes people without such equipment feel unwelcome? 

And the whole insinuation that the equipment takes the place of skill was uncalled for.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: narvin on June 09, 2017, 04:14:01 PM
re.

I also would ask everyone to keep in mind that not every homebrewer is pulling down a mid-six-figure income or has infinite brewing space and electrical capacity or infinite time...my sense is that this little piece of demographic information is sometimes where things go off the rails. I greatly admire those who create amazing beer using inexpensive improvised systems--that takes _real_ skill!

A big plus one from! This is exactly how I feel. I'm not a rich man and cant afford the best of everything. I don't have 4k lying around to drop on a shiny new electric HERMS. But, I built a very nice electric system for a couple hundred bucks. Did I use cheap Chinese PID's? Yes. But they work just fine and I paid $15 for them. I didn't have $160 to spend on a March pump. But my little $15 Chinese one works just fine for what I need it to do. So go ahead and be down on a brewer because he doesn't have an infinite money tree. But I can tell you one thing, by building it yourself and having to source parts on a budget, you know your rig inside and out. If it breaks, you know exactly how to fix it.  And, there's so much more satisfaction in drinkning a great beer that you made with your own equipment.

We don't look down on you because of your equipment, man.  There are plenty of other reasons to choose from!  ;D
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Stevie on June 09, 2017, 04:17:17 PM
I don't think I've seen what Andy is referring to. I've actually seen the opposite where I recommend something cheap and the OP replies with a photo of their new Sabco.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 09, 2017, 04:27:03 PM
I don't think I've seen what Andy is referring to. I've actually seen the opposite where I recommend something cheap and the OP replies with a photo of their new Sabco.


Same here. Though I've accumulated a fair amount of brewing equipment and gadgets over the years, it is fairly basic. Knowledge and basic equipment trumps (God I hate using that word) lack of knowledge and shiny objects. If pricey equipment was the barrier to better beer, the majority of craft beer wouldn't suck.


Edit - Moment of weakness. Should've kept the thought in parentheses to myself. Mea culpa.

Also, there's nothing against guys with fancy equipment whatsoever. I just don't see it being sold here as necessary for making good beer.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Andy Farke on June 09, 2017, 05:57:52 PM
re.

I also would ask everyone to keep in mind that not every homebrewer is pulling down a mid-six-figure income or has infinite brewing space and electrical capacity or infinite time...my sense is that this little piece of demographic information is sometimes where things go off the rails. I greatly admire those who create amazing beer using inexpensive improvised systems--that takes _real_ skill!

A big plus one from! This is exactly how I feel. I'm not a rich man and cant afford the best of everything. I don't have 4k lying around to drop on a shiny new electric HERMS. But, I built a very nice electric system for a couple hundred bucks. Did I use cheap Chinese PID's? Yes. But they work just fine and I paid $15 for them. I didn't have $160 to spend on a March pump. But my little $15 Chinese one works just fine for what I need it to do. So go ahead and be down on a brewer because he doesn't have an infinite money tree. But I can tell you one thing, by building it yourself and having to source parts on a budget, you know your rig inside and out. If it breaks, you know exactly how to fix it.  And, there's so much more satisfaction in drinkning a great beer that you made with your own equipment.

Threads going off the rails has ZERO to do with equipment.

yeah I didn't understand that one.  Surely someone is not saying that pictures of someone's fancy brew rig makes people without such equipment feel unwelcome? 

And the whole insinuation that the equipment takes the place of skill was uncalled for.

I apologize if my comment came across that way--that was not my intent, although reading again I absolutely see how it could be seen as such. Mea culpa. It absolutely takes skill to use even the most advanced brewing equipment at its most full potential (and sometimes more skill, or different kinds of skill--I've seen friends brew on that stuff, and I _know_ it ain't easy), and my words cheapened the efforts of some of my fellow homebrewers.

On further reflection, my comments were projections from a bit of my own experience, too...I held off on doing anything with all-grain brewing for years because the top search hits every time I searched for it showed what (to me at the time) looked like huge, expensive, and complicated setups. And then I'd delve into a brewing forum and focus on the threads with pictures of huge brew rigs (it always seemed like nobody posted pics of their one-cooler batch sparge system). Some of that is on me and my own sensitivities, of course! I discovered batch sparging and fermentation temperature control, and the rest is history.

I now thankfully know there are many ways to brew, and that what I used to think was insanely complicated (like a semi-automated two-tier burner system) is actually on the relatively simple end of things by some standards. Nonetheless, it makes me very aware of how I present the hobby to others...I absolutely _love_ the techy, geeky side of brewing (right down to my homemade stir plate and supply of Ehrlenmeyer flasks), but I'll admit that I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone else has the interest or is in a position to pursue this hobby at that level.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: udubdawg on June 09, 2017, 06:15:31 PM


thanks for the clarification, and, we're cool.

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: weazletoe on June 09, 2017, 06:44:45 PM
I think what I said was taken wrong. I just get the feel on some threads, and I'm not even talking about anything that's been directed at me. An example would be perhaps someone asking about a corona mil. They are on a budget and it's what they can afford. Seems like they'll get bashed for not buying a Barley Crusher, Monster Mill, etc....get bashed because they bought a two roller and not a three. My point is we don't all have the coin to buy top dollar. We would love to if we could, but we do the best with what we can afford. So, next time a guys posts about his $25 refractometer, instead of telling him what garbage it is, it's nice to hear a "way to go, you're gonna make beer no matter what you paid for it."  That's all my point is.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 09, 2017, 06:59:25 PM
I rarely see bashing.  I do see that people have left.  I post less and visit less.  A lot of times, I visit a thread and the same few people are going at it back and forth.  It's tiring.  Go argue by PM.

I don't have enough time to brew as often as I like, much less read zymurgy.  But I think the value of the membership is more than the magazine, etc.  Someone else mentioned the lobbying.

Plus, if you've learned a lot here stick around and pay it back.  Not everything has to be super technical and new.

If we can filter out the bickering, there's a lot of good points made on both sides in the technical threads.  I've learned a lot.  I'm glad Derek (and Bryan) came back and I think anyone who was here at the time knows how skeptical Derek was.  That alone tells me there's something to low-oxygen brewing. Not to mention that I'm getting better foam.  It ain't hard, but it also ain't the only way to brew.

I'd like people to stick around, but as Santoch said sometimes people burn out.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: denny on June 09, 2017, 07:19:48 PM
I rarely see bashing.  I do see that people have left.  I post less and visit less.  A lot of times, I visit a thread and the same few people are going at it back and forth.  It's tiring.  Go argue by PM.

I don't have enough time to brew as often as I like, much less read zymurgy.  But I think the value of the membership is more than the magazine, etc.  Someone else mentioned the lobbying.

Plus, if you've learned a lot here stick around and pay it back.  Not everything has to be super technical and new.

If we can filter out the bickering, there's a lot of good points made on both sides in the technical threads.  I've learned a lot.  I'm glad Derek (and Bryan) came back and I think anyone who was here at the time knows how skeptical Derek was.  That alone tells me there's something to low-oxygen brewing. Not to mention that I'm getting better foam.  It ain't hard, but it also ain't the only way to brew.

I'd like people to stick around, but as Santoch said sometimes people burn out.

I agree with all of that....
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: mchrispen on June 10, 2017, 12:14:27 AM
Quote
Plus, if you've learned a lot here stick around and pay it back.  Not everything has to be super technical and new.


Agreed. See some of you next week... unless you run away when you see me coming. I don't run too good.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 10, 2017, 03:00:33 AM
Quote
Plus, if you've learned a lot here stick around and pay it back.  Not everything has to be super technical and new.


Agreed. See some of you next week... unless you run away when you see me coming. I don't run too good.
So you there!
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: 69franx on June 10, 2017, 05:41:37 AM
Been out of the loop and out of town on vacation, but here's my $0.02: when I came here, I had already started all grain. I thought that was the mountain top. In my 3+ years on this forum, I have mainly asked questions, and responded when I thought I could add to the conversation. I'm not a creative person by nature, or an engineer, but I love brewing and I love the education this forum has given me. I'm usually here daily, and follow up with almost any new posts. I don't brew nearly as often as I would like, or have stock on hand for. But every brew day is special to me. Thanks to the great members here, I recently received a second place for a doppelbock, thanks Denny, and honorable mention for a dry stout, thanks Martin. The point of this goes back to me not being overly creative; in almost 4 years of brewing, I really have not formulated an original recipe. I have tweaked what I learned here to produce some great brews. Without this forum, I'd still be over paying for kits from the LHBS. I may be hard to find during hockey season (read as October through June) but I feel great when I learn something new here and even more so when I can pass on the knowledge I have gained here. I'm in for the Long haul, but also have gotten tired of the bickering, but have found a way to look/pick through it when I feel there is a benefit. Glad to know you'll still be around Phil, and I'm not here to get you to re-enroll, you have to do what fits in with your needs. Good brewing to you and all here. And thanks to all who have helped me on my adventure

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
Edit to fix my typos, I really need to follow the advice about "read before posting" damn fat fingers
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: 69franx on June 10, 2017, 05:50:07 AM
Also need to add: Tapatalk is definitely now add bombing me/all users. It's been a free service and they now want you to pay for it. There is an ad at the bottom of every page in each thread for me as well as ads on my list of unread threads, listed as "suggested' most seem to have nothing to do with brewing and I'm not sure what the arrangement is supposed to be between AHA and Tapatalk. It's a bit annoying, but easy enough to skip over. Have not played close enough of attention to notice anything inappropriate, but I'm sure there are some. Just my experience

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Stevie on June 10, 2017, 01:10:18 PM
Also need to add: Tapatalk is definitely now add bombing me/all users. It's been a free service and they now want you to pay for it. There is an ad at the bottom of every page in each thread for me as well as ads on my list of unread threads, listed as "suggested' most seem to have nothing to do with brewing and I'm not sure what the arrangement is supposed to be between AHA and Tapatalk. It's a bit annoying, but easy enough to skip over. Have not played close enough of attention to notice anything inappropriate, but I'm sure there are some. Just my experience

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
Ads are gone on my iPhone.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Big Monk on June 10, 2017, 01:21:31 PM
Also need to add: Tapatalk is definitely now add bombing me/all users. It's been a free service and they now want you to pay for it. There is an ad at the bottom of every page in each thread for me as well as ads on my list of unread threads, listed as "suggested' most seem to have nothing to do with brewing and I'm not sure what the arrangement is supposed to be between AHA and Tapatalk. It's a bit annoying, but easy enough to skip over. Have not played close enough of attention to notice anything inappropriate, but I'm sure there are some. Just my experience

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
Ads are gone on my iPhone.

I'm using the Pro version just so I don't have to clear ads from my feed anymore. Works great and is only $2.99
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: mabrungard on June 10, 2017, 08:02:09 PM
I've never used Tapatalk. I just use the regular web connection...even on my phone.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 10, 2017, 10:20:22 PM
I've never used Tapatalk. I just use the regular web connection...even on my phone.


Same here, Martin.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: yso191 on June 10, 2017, 11:59:41 PM
I've never used Tapatalk. I just use the regular web connection...even on my phone.


Same here, Martin.

Me too.  I tried it once and hated it.  Delete.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Big Monk on June 11, 2017, 12:25:52 AM
I've never used Tapatalk. I just use the regular web connection...even on my phone.


Same here, Martin.

Me too.  I tried it once and hated it.  Delete.

Very surprised by this. Logging into the web is like torture for me. I sprung for Tapatalk pro.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: pete b on June 11, 2017, 01:13:49 AM
iMO Tapatalk is the best way to post pictures but sucks for everything else.
The web version of the forum is way better.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Big Monk on June 11, 2017, 01:19:27 AM
iMO Tapatalk is the best way to post pictures but sucks for everything else.
The web version of the forum is way better.

I'll concede that searching or strolling through subforums is a chore in Tapatalk.

I only have new posts on my screen I'm Tapatalk so it works out well for me.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 11, 2017, 01:27:09 AM
iMO Tapatalk is the best way to post pictures but sucks for everything else.
The web version of the forum is way better.


Yep. I've debated the merits of both. For me, I deleted tapatalk and use Photobucket for pics. A little more work for pics but everything else is smoother IMO. Each his own.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: pete b on June 11, 2017, 11:42:26 AM
iMO Tapatalk is the best way to post pictures but sucks for everything else.
The web version of the forum is way better.


Yep. I've debated the merits of both. For me, I deleted tapatalk and use Photobucket for pics. A little more work for pics but everything else is smoother IMO. Each his own.
I kept Tapatalk and use it almost exclusively for uploading photos from my phone. I find Photobucket cumbersome to use here and the free version is pretty slow and add filled. Does anyone know why the process for posting pictures here (without Tapatalk) is so unweildy? I assume it's a technical challenge. A lot of new users have trouble posting their pictures of normal fermentation that they think is not fermenting or infected😀
Edit: btw I like the irony of a potentially controversial topic getting derailed into an innocuous conversation about Tapatalk. Kind of opposite of the norm.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: dzlater on June 11, 2017, 12:24:59 PM
  I thought the purpose of the forum was pretty simple, a way to let home brewers communicate whether asking questions or sharing new brewing techniques. It seems to do that well in my opinion. New ideas are debated and that's a good thing.
  I don't contribute much except to ask questions. And I post my questions here because I trust the answers I get. Much of the highly technical stuff I have a general understanding of but I haven't fully delved into or applied.
However I know if I ever want to get into low oxy brewing, decoctions, or other "advanced" topics I have a place to do research and ask questions. I check the forum regularly and once in a while I learn something useful,(ie shaken starters").
   You can take what you want and leave the rest.

Dan
 
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: braufessor on June 11, 2017, 01:37:53 PM
+1 (or +100 by now) on all of the "everyone do their best to walk the line of civility and respectful debate."  I have to admit it is not a good sign when I am scrolling through threads on this forum and I think to myself......."I am going to go back over to Homebrewtalk where there is less unnecessary bickering."

I really like the idea of a subforum for "Advanced Techniques and Brewing Science"........ I think there is a lot of great info on here.  Obviously some super experienced and dedicated brewers.  I love reading various takes on process.  Some are things I want to pursue, some I don't, some lend themselves to my current system.... some might not.

I think one thing I have noticed over 20+ years of home brewing is simply this - what we consider "basic information" vs. "advanced" has changed a lot.  To me, topics .....like water for instance.... have just become "basic" brewing practice, as have yeast starters, temp. control, etc..... that stuff was "advanced" when I started. 
So, I don't know that there is a lack of "advanced" discussion - as much as the fact that "basic information" now encompasses so much more than it used to.  The whole RDWHAHB mantra ain't what it used to be. 

I feel it is all of our duty to help beginners, even when it gets old answering the same simple question that could be googled easily.  I know for sure that people have been kind enough to answer my stupid, easily googled question along the way too.  But, as an experienced brewer, I also want to advance in my knowledge and brewing practices. 

That is why  I think the "Advanced Techniques and Brewing Science" Sub forum is a great idea for those who are looking for more....  I hope those in charge or with influence consider it.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: denny on June 12, 2017, 02:55:26 PM
Given your comment about how tngs keep changing, how would a person decide if their post was on an "advanced" topic?
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: braufessor on June 12, 2017, 05:54:04 PM
Given your comment about how tngs keep changing, how would a person decide if their post was on an "advanced" topic?

I suppose it is like anything else on a forum..... there is no perfect answer.  I think 90% of it would just take care of itself and what wasn't could get moved to a more appropriate place.   Honestly, I don't know that it would automatically be "topic" specific as much as it would be depth of discussion.  For instance.... someone asking about making a yeast starter.... that is not "advanced" - However, if one is considering the scientific benefits of "Shaken not Stirred" vs. Stir Plate or methods of harvesting, storing, plating, propagating yeast.... it would fall in that area.  Or..... "What do think of my water profile?" where someone is just looking for a quick answer might be more likely to head for "General" as opposed to someone who wants to delve into the various impacts of alkalinity and methods for addressing it, merits, etc..... might want a longer discussion on the topic which would fit in an advanced forum.

Also - I think it would self select a little bit.  Those really looking for an in depth discussion and analysis on a topic would probably be more likely to post in that sub forum.  Those looking for a quick answer as to "how to" might naturally head for the "General" forum with more traffic.

In the end, I think there are sort of 3 types of posts that tend to play out.....
1.) I want an answer - quick, concise, correct - to my question
2.) I want to discuss, analyze and consider many aspects of a topic
3.) I want to argue/debate and be "right."

Ideally, I think it would be awesome to see an advanced forum that really centers around #2....... It is not a place to "argue" about a process as much it is a place to really delve deeply into particular topics.  These topics might not necessarily have single right/wrong answers.  They might not even have answers. 

Low Oxygen could be a good example...... if you want learn about it, discuss it, dig into it - join the discussion.  If you think it is not worth doing..... stay out of the discussion and join discussions that peak your interest (and vice versa). 

Maybe it is to big of an expectation that people can do that..... but, I think it could be a place to take some of the topics that turn into arguments and take them to a higher level of discussion.  Might also be a way for people to simply link and redirect questions in the the more general forums (instead of hashing things out and going on tangents in a person's post).
* I have a question?
* Here is your answer, and, by the way.... there is an interesting discussion here ______________ if you are curious about learning some of the more specific details on this topic.

Like I said, no perfect answers.  But, as others have mentioned - the depth of discussion that does happen on here is one of the best things about this forum.  Sure, there are some trivial arguments.  But, there have also been some of the best discussions and information on here as well.

Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Wilbur on June 12, 2017, 07:55:47 PM
Given your comment about how tngs keep changing, how would a person decide if their post was on an "advanced" topic?

In the end, I think there are sort of 3 types of posts that tend to play out.....
1.) I want an answer - quick, concise, correct - to my question
2.) I want to discuss, analyze and consider many aspects of a topic
3.) I want to argue/debate and be "right."

I've been kind of thinking of something along these lines as well. It seems like there are a few too many subforums. I'd like to see the breakdown go something like this:
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Phil_M on June 12, 2017, 09:27:44 PM
Honestly the current categories are fine. Adding an "advanced topics" area isn't going to fix anything, just make the forum messier in terms of organization/finding interesting topics.

What needs to happen is for people to deal with the question at hand and be civil. If someone asks the best way to step mash, beating the "step mashing doesn't do sh!t" dead horse isn't the answer. You're of course free to express your opinion on step mashing, but at least try and still help the OP.

Likewise, if someone asks why their Weißbier doesn't taste right responding "try low oxygen methods" is a great answer-but if the poster isn't interested there's no reason to go down that road either.

Granted, sometimes things go off topic, and that's fine too. But honestly folks, the sniping and snide comments need to end. I feel only one side of the argument is stirring the pot at this point, but that doesn't mean folks are guilt free for being goaded into a flame war.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: chumley on June 13, 2017, 10:56:38 PM
This is a pretty good forum.  I found it pretty useful on several occasions.  And since I have been brewing since 1990, it shows that old dogs can learn new tricks.

It does amaze sometime how thin-skinned some posters on this forum can be over somewhat trivial disagreements.  As Denny and other veterans of the mid 2000s B&V can attest, you guys haven't seen anything.  You need a Tranquil Liza type poster here.  :)
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 14, 2017, 03:19:56 AM
This is a pretty good forum.  I found it pretty useful on several occasions.  And since I have been brewing since 1990, it shows that old dogs can learn new tricks.

It does amaze sometime how thin-skinned some posters on this forum can be over somewhat trivial disagreements.  As Denny and other veterans of the mid 2000s B&V can attest, you guys haven't seen anything.  You need a Tranquil Liza type poster here.  :)
Man, forgot about that!
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: mainebrewer on June 14, 2017, 10:20:09 AM
Honestly the current categories are fine. Adding an "advanced topics" area isn't going to fix anything, just make the forum messier in terms of organization/finding interesting topics.

What needs to happen is for people to deal with the question at hand and be civil. If someone asks the best way to step mash, beating the "step mashing doesn't do sh!t" dead horse isn't the answer. You're of course free to express your opinion on step mashing, but at least try and still help the OP.

Likewise, if someone asks why their Weißbier doesn't taste right responding "try low oxygen methods" is a great answer-but if the poster isn't interested there's no reason to go down that road either.

Granted, sometimes things go off topic, and that's fine too. But honestly folks, the sniping and snide comments need to end. I feel only one side of the argument is stirring the pot at this point, but that doesn't mean folks are guilt free for being goaded into a flame war.

This sums up my opinion nicely!
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: weazletoe on June 14, 2017, 04:39:31 PM
 I think an "advanced technique" is relative to the brewer. To a new brewer doing extract on the kitchen stove making a starter is an advanced technique. Hell, maybe even using steeping grain is advanced to him.
 But, then you take a seasoned guy like Denny, it's going to take something pretty radical to be advanced. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that Major's "sea monkey aeration" debacle of 2012 could be considered an advanced technique by anyone no matter how many batches they have brewed. 
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Phil_M on June 20, 2017, 01:02:09 AM
I was on a music forum at around the same time...the flame wars there were epic, and a buffalo hide was a must.


All in all though, I'm starting to see that I'm just tired of the hobby. I'm sick to death of "citizen science". Stepping back from this forum has shown me that I'm just burnt out and need a break, though I think after a pause I'll be back. Here's a bit of my mindset.

I'm starting to think the only thing that doesn't apply to the homebrew scale is scientific research. I'm not a researcher. I'd much rather have someone else do that, learn from them via a book/class/whatever, then develop something based on how I want to apply that (and other) research.

In the car hobby, the products from just about any major aftermarket company (Holley, Edelbrock, Comp, etc.) are very well engineering. Some are engineered to be affordable and simple, others to be temperamental-and powerful. While there's certainly tons of "citizen science", such data is usually put into perspective by the (available) hard engineering data. However, and here's the big difference, folks are encouraged to apply the (true) principles towards whatever result they want. There's a wealth of good, hard engineering data out there from which you can select whatever best meets your goal.

Here in brew world, we don't have that truth data. Instead, we have some very passionate folks who are making their best stab at science, but simply don't have the resources and history of the brewing industry to draw from. Then any data they collect is treated badly and blown out of proportion by folks who want things to be easier than they are...and it's like the folks who think you can do heads/cam/exhaust on any car and run 10's reliably. Seems most research is based on "is it worth the trouble" instead of "well did it work?" Biasing a study towards those wanting a reliable street motor (batch sparging) leaves out any possible discovered benefits for the guy who wants a street/strip motor (step mashing).


I'm not quitting on brewing, but I will be taking a break. Hopefully things sort themselves out. The science of the hobby is really what drew me in, and now it's also what's pushing me away.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Big Monk on June 20, 2017, 01:32:48 AM
I was on a music forum at around the same time...the flame wars there were epic, and a buffalo hide was a must.


All in all though, I'm starting to see that I'm just tired of the hobby. I'm sick to death of "citizen science". Stepping back from this forum has shown me that I'm just burnt out and need a break, though I think after a pause I'll be back. Here's a bit of my mindset.

I'm starting to think the only thing that doesn't apply to the homebrew scale is scientific research. I'm not a researcher. I'd much rather have someone else do that, learn from them via a book/class/whatever, then develop something based on how I want to apply that (and other) research.

In the car hobby, the products from just about any major aftermarket company (Holley, Edelbrock, Comp, etc.) are very well engineering. Some are engineered to be affordable and simple, others to be temperamental-and powerful. While there's certainly tons of "citizen science", such data is usually put into perspective by the (available) hard engineering data. However, and here's the big difference, folks are encouraged to apply the (true) principles towards whatever result they want. There's a wealth of good, hard engineering data out there from which you can select whatever best meets your goal.

Here in brew world, we don't have that truth data. Instead, we have some very passionate folks who are making their best stab at science, but simply don't have the resources and history of the brewing industry to draw from. Then any data they collect is treated badly and blown out of proportion by folks who want things to be easier than they are...and it's like the folks who think you can do heads/cam/exhaust on any car and run 10's reliably. Seems most research is based on "is it worth the trouble" instead of "well did it work?" Biasing a study towards those wanting a reliable street motor (batch sparging) leaves out any possible discovered benefits for the guy who wants a street/strip motor (step mashing).


I'm not quitting on brewing, but I will be taking a break. Hopefully things sort themselves out. The science of the hobby is really what drew me in, and now it's also what's pushing me away.

Aside from the taking a break (I'm in what seems like a boundless resurgence in my passion and interest for brewing) I have to agree with you Phil.

Everything you could possibly ever need to know, test, and evaluate is out there documented already in some way. So many things that have been described as not applying to home brewing do apply. Even the commercial stuff. Can it be applied exactly? Not always but the core principles are the same at 1 gallon or 500 gallons. Part of the reason I've tired of the forums is nothing personal at all:  I'm just finding stimulating and directly applicable information elsewhere or in my small little brewery. If you want information about brewing science, it is out there documented.

The problem with citizen science is that it doesn't bolster and complement actual science. It tends to muddy the waters, and because the audiences are so large for it, it sets in motion a mechanism which is hard to stop. The whole, "don't take our word for it, we are just one data point" rap doesn't seem to slow the creep. People take things that aren't very solid as gospel and it's hard for people to look subjectively at information posted from people they admire and poo poo it.

I'm taking a break from the forums but not brewing. "It's not you, it's me..."
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Phil_M on June 20, 2017, 11:23:11 AM
The other thing "This is just a data point" does is cause others apply that same mentality to the known good science. Bamforth and Fix on HSA, for example. Once upon a time people believed Fix, and many recomended his "Principles of Brewing Science". I do think not everyone needs to follow his methods, but by buying into certain citizen science ideas ("doesn't matter on a homebrew scale") we've thrown the baby out with the bath water. Now some look at Fix's work and go "doesn't apply to me".


There's another good Churchill quote that applies to this situation:

"When I speak of matters on which I have authority, I expect to be believed."
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: homoeccentricus on June 20, 2017, 02:16:56 PM
For a while the "be cool" paradigm was dominant on this forum, and then all of a sudden  the "pedantic science" group (disclaimer: I have a hard copy of Kunze in German) appeared. It claimed that large scale brewing and homebrewing do obey the same laws of chemistry and physics, and that to radically improve beer on a homebrewing scale, techniques developed and verified by pedantic science have to be applied. They basically deny the "do as you wish, this is just one datapoint" methodology,  replace it by "try it like this, science has shown that this is the best method", and are willing to back up their statements by hard facts from that same pedantic science, without denying that science and people can be wrong, research is necessary, and progress can always be made. The question then is: is this "respectful"? If the rule is, you have to "respect" people, but you don't have to "respect" their ideas, then the simple answer is yes, and these people have a place on this forum, and everybody should grow a thicker skin.  And, TBH, I have seen few, if any, personal attacks from the pedantic group, with the exception of some heated discussions with the mods, but I don’t count those. If the rule is "no, you also have to respect ideas" (whatever that means), then, Houston, we have a problem.

“The worst pedants are those who are always right.” (anon.)

[edit: added parenthesis]
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: narvin on June 21, 2017, 02:01:24 AM
Well, imagine a car forum where everyone built their own 1/100 model from found parts.  It's not so much that "science doesn't apply" (whatever that would even mean) but that there are too many variables changing.

Even so, people can work on homebrew best practices, which is why my beer is way better than it was 10 years ago.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: narvin on June 21, 2017, 02:06:01 AM
Given your comment about how tngs keep changing, how would a person decide if their post was on an "advanced" topic?

Math.  People hate math  :)
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: erockrph on June 21, 2017, 03:16:22 PM
Well, imagine a car forum where everyone built their own 1/100 model from found parts.  It's not so much that "science doesn't apply" (whatever that would even mean) but that there are too many variables changing.

Even so, people can work on homebrew best practices, which is why my beer is way better than it was 10 years ago.
I like your car forum analogy. For my purposes, I like to hear what everyone else is doing and what results they're getting. If it's something I'm interested for my own purposes, then I may decide to try to roll that into my practice.

Regarding "best practices", I agree a bit, but with the caveat that it is a slippery slope. We all have different goals with this hobby. I'm fine with "procedure A gets me result B", but I'm less cool with "everybody really needs to follow this procedure because it is proven to make better beer". "Result B" can certainly be "the freshest-tasting malt character I've ever experienced" or something else fantastic, but I'll make the decision regarding what a "better beer" really is for me, thank you very much.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: narvin on June 21, 2017, 04:08:31 PM

Regarding "best practices", I agree a bit, but with the caveat that it is a slippery slope. We all have different goals with this hobby. I'm fine with "procedure A gets me result B", but I'm less cool with "everybody really needs to follow this procedure because it is proven to make better beer". "Result B" can certainly be "the freshest-tasting malt character I've ever experienced" or something else fantastic, but I'll make the decision regarding what a "better beer" really is for me, thank you very much.

That's definitely true.  Even in business, a best practice (in my opinion) really just means "this works, usually".  It's not the only way to do something, nor will it necessarily stand the test of time, but it's often good advice to try.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on June 21, 2017, 04:34:15 PM
I like your car forum analogy. For my purposes, I like to hear what everyone else is doing and what results they're getting. If it's something I'm interested for my own purposes, then I may decide to try to roll that into my practice.

Regarding "best practices", I agree a bit, but with the caveat that it is a slippery slope. We all have different goals with this hobby. I'm fine with "procedure A gets me result B", but I'm less cool with "everybody really needs to follow this procedure because it is proven to make better beer". "Result B" can certainly be "the freshest-tasting malt character I've ever experienced" or something else fantastic, but I'll make the decision regarding what a "better beer" really is for me, thank you very much.

Agreed. The science behind brewing is objective but the outcome of brewing is completely subjective. You can time a car's speed and objectively determine if something made the car faster. There's nothing subjective about it. You can objectively measure the amount of hop oils in a beer or carbonation levels. That's not subjective; but you don't taste objective measurements. Whether the amount of hop oils or carbonation produces a beer you want to drink is 100% subjective.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: Phil_M on June 21, 2017, 04:43:00 PM

Regarding "best practices", I agree a bit, but with the caveat that it is a slippery slope. We all have different goals with this hobby. I'm fine with "procedure A gets me result B", but I'm less cool with "everybody really needs to follow this procedure because it is proven to make better beer". "Result B" can certainly be "the freshest-tasting malt character I've ever experienced" or something else fantastic, but I'll make the decision regarding what a "better beer" really is for me, thank you very much.

That's definitely true.  Even in business, a best practice (in my opinion) really just means "this works, usually".  It's not the only way to do something, nor will it necessarily stand the test of time, but it's often good advice to try.

Ah, but best practices doesn't directly make for best product. Sometimes in my workplace a reliable "best practice" must be discarded to get the most out of the system.

IOW, it may be good advice on operating the system "in general", but it is a piss-poor excuse to not know and understand the principles behind the system operation.

"Best practice" is to swap out the dead card. Better practice is to understand the power supply of the old card died because too many peripherals were attached, rectify that issue, and then swap out the card.

Agreed. The science behind brewing is objective but the outcome of brewing is completely subjective. You can time a car's speed and objectively determine if something made the car faster. There's nothing subjective about it. You can objectively measure the amount of hop oils in a beer or carbonation levels. That's not subjective; but you don't taste objective measurements. Whether the amount of hop oils or carbonation produces a beer you want to drink is 100% subjective.

Actually, it's the same. Goals are subjective, "I want a car that's mild mannered on the street, but still runs 11's." There are several ways to achieve that goal, and the best route is a manner for much debate. The information from runs/skidpads/other means of quantifying data help get you to that goal, but in and of themselves don't define the goal.

Just as DO, hop oils, proteins etc. aren't a measure of how drinkable a beer is.

I think the issue is a matter of perspective, two different approaches to the same basic issue, but only one perspective is getting the short end of the stick around here of late...
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: homoeccentricus on June 21, 2017, 05:30:46 PM
 He says "I use method x and my beer is good so method x is good"
I don't say anything.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on June 21, 2017, 06:39:31 PM
Actually, it's the same. Goals are subjective, "I want a car that's mild mannered on the street, but still runs 11's." There are several ways to achieve that goal, and the best route is a manner for much debate. The information from runs/skidpads/other means of quantifying data help get you to that goal, but in and of themselves don't define the goal.

Just as DO, hop oils, proteins etc. aren't a measure of how drinkable a beer is.

I see your point and perhaps I should refine mine. Within a subjective goal, like your car example, you can point out factors that meet the goal and objectively test them. We could take that same objective test data and disagree whether it produces a car that is mild mannered for our preferences but the objective test data equally applies to both of us. We have a shared set of meaningful data we can agree upon, even if we use it to draw different conclusions.

OTOH, if you wanted to brew a hefeweizen with a big clove note and we obtained objective test data on the volume of 4VG that data has very little value because our individual sensory perception intervenes. You could taste a lot of clove while I taste very little. It doesn't matter what the tested volume says. We each have a subjective experience that the other person cannot validate or dispute. I guess somebody could say, "I want to brew a hefe with X amount of 4VG" but have you ever seen that? I can't say I have.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: JJeffers09 on June 21, 2017, 06:57:18 PM
I would like to propose, because I have not seen it mentioned, a Brewing Science Category.  A category people know exactly where to post and discuss brewing theory.  That way we as a community can contribute and learn.  Spreading the wealth of knowledge and experimental home brewing techniques.

Everyone should be able to shake off the shenanigans of the past.  Almost everyone at some point was to blame.  Given the right category to discuss the technical brewing science would have alleviated many of the ups and downs this forum has gone through.

The point in which we start to judge peoples methods of brewing is where we start to break down as a community and become a bunch of fussy individuals falling into one category or another.  The individuals who want to figure out how to make their beer better will seek out the information on advance brewing science if they know where to look. New products that come to market should be discussed in those threads.  Not the general black hole category.

I for one have had my ups and downs with this forum.  I miss some of the people who have left, or stopped contributing here.  However sharing the love of beer trends, homebrewing, and wanting to go pro that is finally getting close to reality. I just want to regurgitate some of the best information I had received that took my homebrew to the next level.  That is what this forum is about to me, and that's what keeps me coming back.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: tommymorris on June 21, 2017, 06:59:39 PM
I don't know if it will stick, but, the forum has been pretty civil for the lasts couple of weeks.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: erockrph on June 21, 2017, 07:24:35 PM
He says "I use method x and my beer is good so method x is good"
I don't say anything.

And neither of those stances are particularly helpful to me, or to most brewers for that matter. But "I'm using method X and I've noticed ABC versus when I was using method Y" is a conversation I'd love to tune into.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: homoeccentricus on June 21, 2017, 07:44:32 PM
In my experience most homebrewers wouldn't know what good is if it hit them in the face. Not referring to the type of person that frequents this forum. (I hope).  Beer is good because the neighbor gets it for free, and he says it's pretty good.
Title: Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 21, 2017, 08:19:39 PM
I like your car forum analogy. For my purposes, I like to hear what everyone else is doing and what results they're getting. If it's something I'm interested for my own purposes, then I may decide to try to roll that into my practice.

Regarding "best practices", I agree a bit, but with the caveat that it is a slippery slope. We all have different goals with this hobby. I'm fine with "procedure A gets me result B", but I'm less cool with "everybody really needs to follow this procedure because it is proven to make better beer". "Result B" can certainly be "the freshest-tasting malt character I've ever experienced" or something else fantastic, but I'll make the decision regarding what a "better beer" really is for me, thank you very much.

Agreed. The science behind brewing is objective but the outcome of brewing is completely subjective. You can time a car's speed and objectively determine if something made the car faster. There's nothing subjective about it. You can objectively measure the amount of hop oils in a beer or carbonation levels. That's not subjective; but you don't taste objective measurements. Whether the amount of hop oils or carbonation produces a beer you want to drink is 100% subjective.
A crew chief told me don't trust the driver, trust the stop watch. He proceeded to tell of the driver complaining on the radio that the car was a POS during the qualifying run. At the end of the run the crew chief keyed the mike and said "you are on Pole".

So there you go the driver thought the car was a slug. The time said otherwise.

I may like a beer, and something else is off but due to my subjective perceptions (medium high Diacetyl threshold for example) it doesn't bother me.