Author Topic: How careful are you?  (Read 4151 times)

Offline beersk

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2012, 03:50:24 PM »
I don't usually get too involved in readings and stuff.  I do try to measure weight of hops and grains pretty much right on.  I take an OG reading before I pitch the yeast and one a day or two before I keg. 
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Offline Kit B

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2012, 08:10:47 AM »
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!

I like to start the brew day at about 7 am & drink coffee throughout most of the process.
This allows me to spend more quality family time, in the afternoon.
I'm pretty meticulous about measuring.
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Offline kmccaf

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2012, 11:54:07 AM »
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!

I like to start the brew day at about 7 am & drink coffee throughout most of the process.
This allows me to spend more quality family time, in the afternoon.
I'm pretty meticulous about measuring.

+1 on all accounts. I find the smell of grains and coffee are quite lovely on a Saturday morning, when I usually brew.
So it goes.

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2012, 10:36:36 AM »
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.

+1

I also take a lot of notes on a custom spreadsheet I designed on Excel.  Maybe it's my German blood, but I'm sort of a perfectionist when it comes to brewing.  That said, I love the hobby and don't feel at all like it's work.  Brewday is something I look forward to all week!
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Offline sharg54

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2012, 09:14:39 PM »
OCD would be an improvement for me lol. I take readings on everything. Use a digital grams scale for my hops and my grain. It's all down to a gnats back side for me but I'm just that way when it comes to cooking and brewing. Pre boil gravity Post boil gravity readings , before bottling gravity, mash temps and lots of notes. I like to know exactly what went down just in case I need to figure out what went wrong. Also that way if I am experimenting with a grain or hops combination and like the outcome I know exactly what I did and can reproduce it.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2012, 07:33:37 AM »
I always write down everything I do.  Dates, amounts, time, temperature, etc...  I'm a stickler on OG and FG, because I like to know, and tell others what kind of ABV beer they're drinking.

While I don't normally brew the same thing twice, I like being able to look back at the recipe in case I want to brew it again and tweak it.

I brewed an IPA last year that was not so great.  I'm glad I took notes, turns out it was the Glacier hops I added, to me these things taste like cough medicine.  Yuck!

To each their own, a guy in our brew club doesn't take hardly any notes and his beers are awesome!
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Offline brewsumore

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2012, 01:21:31 PM »
Put me in the "meticulous, but love it" category of brewing.  In that respect it's very much like cooking to me, in that I want to be able to repeat the beer or meal that really gave me a lot of pleasure when I first enjoyed it.  Some beers I make I wouldn't think of making again.  Others get repeated.  Or sometimes it's the challenge to try to closely clone a commercial beer I like.  IMHO, paying attention to the details at all steps of the brewing process, beginning with recipe formulation, really are likely to make the difference between a good beer and a great beer.  At the same time, I'm making different beers most of the time, whether it's my own recipe, or an adaptation of another brewer's recipe which intrigued me.

Still, I understand completely working with reliable shortcuts or approximating processes you know will still get you the beer you want to make, especially when you brew a lot so already know what will, or won't work for you.

Offline Pinski

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2012, 01:44:20 PM »
I really like tracking things with BeerSmith. Sometimes I miss reviewing handwritten notes, but using the software has definitely helped me be more consistent and less likely to forget noting things that could be helpful with future batches. 
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Offline tygo

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2012, 07:46:56 PM »
I take pretty extensive handwritten notes on brewday and then transcribe them into the notes section of the recipe in Beersmith afterwards.  It's a slight pain but it's been very useful for tracking things down after the fact on a number of occasions.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2012, 08:00:04 PM »
I take pretty extensive handwritten notes on brewday and then transcribe them into the notes section of the recipe in Beersmith afterwards.

I started that way but have now migrated to almost the exact opposite.  I use Beersmith to play around with recipes and to keep track of the calendar but I cut'n'paste the vital statistics from Beersmith into a plain old text file and flesh things out from there for each brew.
Joe

Offline oscarvan

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2012, 08:02:33 AM »
I measure weights and volumes, temperatures, OG and FG. I use a clock. I take notes. That said, I have the right tools. Large tub on a scale which will hold any 10G grain bill. Small digital scale for hops. Thermometers in ever tub and barrel. Clock on the wall. I've made it easy, and it's become a steady routine, which allows a beer or two without creating chaos.

The results vary. I'm training my "intuition" as to how the beer will come out. So far, so good. And really, I can't taste the difference between 5.4% and 5.8%.......
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I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline euge

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2012, 11:39:59 AM »
If brewing with extract the only gravity reading is post ferment. The proper ingredients are weighed and a recipe plan is followed. Rarely is there any note taking.

With grain I'm a bit more stringent. Base grain bought by the 55# sack is divided up into 5# dated bags (which is what a gallon freezer bag holds). Usually two of them makes up the base for a batch. Specialty grains get weighed out to the gram if less than a pound.

Also a bit relaxed with the Ph readings. Refractometer to measure brix post boil. Notes are taken first three attempts to replicate a recipe/style. If I've brewed it a bunch of times usually will only take a post ferment reading.

Ultimately, all I want is for the beer to be drinkable and taste good. I'm not really into the minutiae like some are. If there is a problem I chalk it up to Brewer's education and move on, while trying not to repeat. And, waiting to drink towards the end of the session keeps most mistakes at bay. Most. :D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline el_capitan

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2012, 05:48:24 PM »
I'm kind of hopelessly meticulous about brewing, but I think it has paid off for me.  I have a split personality - really creative and easygoing, but also a big analytical/logical streak.  So my life tends to be a battle for balance  :)

After several years of making good beer, I'm working on refining my practices to consistently (and easily) make great beer.  At the same time, I'm trying to really dial in my system where I know what efficiency to expect on a regular basis.  I'm also brewing a whole slew of new beer styles, and doing my best to brew them to style the first time.  Finally, working with water chemistry has added a whole ton of other "complications."

I live about 90 min from Minneapolis/St. Paul so I get down to the brew shop only 2-3 times per year.  I plan my brewing schedule anywhere from 6 months to a year in advance, so I spend a lot of time studying and tweaking recipes to fit my efficiency, making lists, etc.  Once I get all my ingredients and have the recipes planned, I enjoy making up the kits in advance so on brewday I can just grab the bag and go.  I'm even thinking about packaging up brewing salts for each kit to really streamline my brewday. 

I've done a few off the cuff brewdays and it was a nice change, but I've found that planning things in advance is kind of a fun lead-up to brewing.  And having it all ready to go makes for an easy brewday. 

That said, my ultimate goal is to have a set of solid recipes and repeatable brews nailed down to the point where things become predictable and automatic, and where I don't have to calculate things out every time. 
All for Brew...

Offline bluesman

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2012, 07:49:37 PM »
I take pretty extensive handwritten notes on brewday and then transcribe them into the notes section of the recipe in Beersmith afterwards.

I started that way but have now migrated to almost the exact opposite.  I use Beersmith to play around with recipes and to keep track of the calendar but I cut'n'paste the vital statistics from Beersmith into a plain old text file and flesh things out from there for each brew.

I do a lot of cut and pasting when possible. Why recreate the wheel.  :)
Ron Price

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: How careful are you?
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2012, 07:55:25 PM »
I use Promash to create my recipes, because I do want to know what I'm shooting for, and if my potential recipe will get me there.  I also have a brewer's log that I fill out as I brew so I can reproduce a good beer to a certain extent.  But as we all know recipes are a small part of brewing a great beer and the process I've come to know and love works well for me.  I have to be exact at work, brewing is my stress relief valve.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico