« on: August 18, 2015, 09:28:07 AM »
1. Manually Controlled, 3 vessel, 2 pump Heat Exchanged Recirculation System.
2. I like bells and whistles! But, I don't think I will ever fully automate, and because I like to be hands on, and my brewery resembles a Rube Goldberg Device, I believe that I would never buy a 1 vessel closed system, ever.
3. Yes. You become a better brewer by actually brewing and being able to critically taste the beer. I suppose there are textbook brewers that could brew without tasting, but you wouldn't empirically know what your processes contribute to the finished product.
4. I believe that there is almost no cheating in brewing...everything is fair game. You can make excellent beer in a plastic bucket, or a fully automated system. Beer made with either can be horrible as well (if you don't pay attention to the basics).
There is no difference with even competitions....the only rule there is that you actually brewed it. And, at the end of the day, it is a hobby. Gear that adds to the enjoyment of the hobby is a personal choice. I wouldn't begrudge anyone for brewing with an automated system, a Mr. Beer Kit, or any primitive historical method like throwing heated rocks in to boil.
Likewise, there are people who use dry yeast and liquid yeast. Those that use extract only, and those that mash. Those that make yeast starters, and those that just pitch whatever they have. There are those who experiment with wild fermentations, and those that only use one yeast ever. Those that conform only to German Purity Laws and those that will try to use interesting and unusual ingredients. It is a big tent, and I don't think I would have it any other way.