Author Topic: How careful are you?  (Read 4476 times)

Offline gmac

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How careful are you?
« on: February 01, 2012, 03:26:11 PM »
So, I'm wondering if anyone else is like me.  I'm finding that for beers I brew fairly regularly, I'm starting to skip a lot of measurements.  For example.  I know my 2L pitcher holds pretty much 3.3 lbs of malt.  Can vary a bit depending on the malt but it's pretty close.  So, 3 scoops is pretty much 10 lbs.  For a 5 gal batch of APA I'm just doing 3 scoops plus specialty malt.  I'm not weighing the base malt.  Likewise, I was obsessive about OG and FG for the first year or so but now I'm taking pre-boil OG (most of the time) and usually forgetting all about my post boil and FG.  I leave my beer for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to kegging and I don't bottle so bottle bombs aren't as big a worry.  Same for pH.  For my APA recipe, I add 4 ml phosphoric acid and don't worry about the pH meter because it's always been the same and I end up doing the same thing each time.  I even forgot to take mash temp last time (although I took the temp of the water in).  I probably shouldn't forget that one though.

For a new recipe, I still take as many readings as I can but for the mainstay brews, I'm starting to wing it a bit more.  Anyone else have recipes that they just know?


Offline euge

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 03:46:03 PM »
You can get by with that and be relaxed about it. I am. Regardless if you run into a problem or the like you might want to tighten it up till it is solved.

After all it is homebrewing.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline dean

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 04:07:04 PM »
RDWHAHB... if you're wound too tight then its more like a job and less like fun or a hobby.  If I were brewing to be a "Pro" then yeh I'd probably be more of a stickler but hey... I brew for myself and I'm my own worst critic.  I've been told by a few people my brews are as good as X and Y in the stores but being honest I have a hard time "repeating" a brew exactly... but then I don't worry about it too much either.   ;)

Offline tubercle

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 04:44:50 PM »
Every time I get a new 50 lb bag of grain I weigh a 2 cup measuring cup 5 times on my digital scale and average and write this on the side of the bag. Its scoops from there on out.

 My mash time is 3 beers and a cigar.
 
 I shoot for 5.5 gallons in the fermenter and will take a gravity reading and that's what I got.

 Keg in 4 weeks.

 I try not to make the same beer twice. If I want repeatability I will buy it.

Edit: I weigh hops on a digital scale, adjust mash temps within ~2 degrees, ferment in a controlled enviroment within ~3 degrees
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 04:14:51 PM by tubercle »
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Offline tygo

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 05:17:11 PM »
I take a fair number of measurements for every brew although it's getting to the point where my system is dialed in so well that some of them are kind of redundant as I know what they'll be before I take them.  But sooner or later I'll do something to upgrade or change what I'm doing and having the measurements will help me figure out the impact it's having.
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Offline sparkleberry

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 05:53:33 PM »
I'm pretty easy going on brew day. i do take pretty good notes i can look back on. however, I am also refining my process a little for the jump to all grain in the spring. I like trying something different just about every time, mostly because I read about a new hop I want to play with. if I like the beer, I give to my friends. if I'm not crazy about I keep it to myself. half the fun for me is just putting stuff together in the kettle and seeing what comes out of the bottle.
cheers.

rpl
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Offline bluesman

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012, 07:49:14 PM »
I weigh out my grain and measure my volumes fairly accurately. This enables me to accurately calculate my efficiency. I use beersmith and keep pretty good notes. I measure my pH and build my water up from Distilled. It's my type "A" or "leftbrain" personality hard at work.  ;D  I use a triple beam scale to weigh my hops. Most importantly, I enjoy all of the aspects of homebrewing....well...except cleaning the mash tun and BK. Other than that I still RDWHAHB.  ;)  :)
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 09:22:43 AM »
I have a scoop that holds 2 pounds of malted barley, and about 2.2 pounds of wheat.   That's close enough for me.  I do weigh my hops on a digital scale, but I add 10-20% more to account for their age.  Again that's close enough.
I'm a lot more careful with fermentation temps than I am with mash temp-154-156 is close enough for most of my ales, and 147-150 is good enough for the rest of my beers but fermentation temps are closely monitored.
Water volumes are approximate, I've brewed hundreds of batches with my equipment and recipes so I eyeball the strike volume and sparge until I either see 1.010 on the runoff or reach my pre boil approximate volume.  Efficiency isn't important to me as a homebrewer, if I went commercial obviously it would matter more.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline johnf

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 09:36:49 AM »
I have gotten less particular about some things and more about others over time. These days I don't stress about any deviance in OG from planned over half a degree Plato. If I am within a degree and a half at the beginning of boil I can get within my target range by making a slight boil adjustment. So while I do weigh grain on a postal scale (it's easy and I have the scale) I would be fine with a volume based measurement.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 09:41:00 AM »
The red plastic Folgers coffee containers hold right at 3lb of malt, filled right to the top.
Lennie
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Offline denny

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 10:19:34 AM »
Like Ron, I'm pretty meticulous (or OCD!) about taking reading, weighing and measuring, and taking notes.  But that's because I enjoy tracking those things.  You certainly don't have to.  The AHA used to have a saying that went "It isn't rocket science unless you want it to be!".
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 10:26:40 AM »
If you're happy with the beer...
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 12:19:53 PM »
I'm usually fairly meticulous in the morning.  By the end of a day of drinking - less so.
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

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Offline denny

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 12:29:17 PM »
I'm usually fairly meticulous in the morning.  By the end of a day of drinking - less so.

Which is why I (almost) never drink when I brew.  I start brewing early so I can get to the drinking sooner!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Online gmwren

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2012, 03:48:36 PM »
I like planning everything out to two decimal places. But... when it comes down to brew day, sometimes it just "gets cut with an axe."