Author Topic: Another Starter Question  (Read 2249 times)

Offline narcout

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2014, 04:22:52 PM »
Thanks for all the info, I'll have to give top cropping a try. 


Offline narcout

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2014, 04:00:43 PM »
Commercial brewing is the bastardization of homebrewing, not the other way around.  I really feel that they are the ones in the sub-optimal position.

Prey tell?

This is just my personal opinion, but if I had to choose which of the two options below is more conducive to experimentation, more likely to advance the art (but admittedly perhaps not the science) of brewing, and generally be more enjoyable, I’d go with the first one.

     Brewing small batches without regard for mass appeal, marketability or cost of ingredients

     Brewing the same recipes over and over, thousands of gallons at a time in a profit-motivated enterprise.

Also, while I understand that this was not always the case, I think homebrewers today have access to the equipment, knowledge (just look at how many brewing texts geared towards the hobbyist have been published in the last 5 years) and ingredients necessary to produce beer that rivals (and in some instances exceeds) that being produced commercially.  I just don’t see a whole lot being done on a commercial scale that can’t be replicated, if not improved upon, by homebrewers (though there are of course exceptions).

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2014, 07:11:00 PM »
You can not compare commercial brewing and home brewing.

When you brew commercially you have to brew to meet the expectations. When you are home brewing you brew at will.

Not good or bad. Just different.


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Offline denny

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2014, 08:17:38 AM »
You can not compare commercial brewing and home brewing.

When you brew commercially you have to brew to meet the expectations. When you are home brewing you brew at will.

Not good or bad. Just different.

THIS^^^^.
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2014, 10:40:30 AM »
You can not compare commercial brewing and home brewing.

When you brew commercially you have to brew to meet the expectations. When you are home brewing you brew at will.

Not good or bad. Just different.

+10,000

It is darn near impossible for an amateur brewer working in a typical home-based brewery to reach the level of consistency that commercial brewers achieve, especially the megas.   One does not have to enjoy the product that the megas make in order to acknowledge the level of skill that it takes to produce.  American lager is a style of beer that highlights every process flaw and subpar ingredient.  Now, add in the fact that many megas ferment at high gravity and dilute to desired packaged gravity, and one cannot help but be amazed at what they are able to accomplish with a level of repeatability that no amateur brewer could hope to achieve. 

Amateur brewing, while creative, is hit or miss.  What the hobby offers in flexibility is offset by the primitive conditions under which the average amateur brewer has to work.  We do not have full service quality labs at our disposal that we can use to analyze our raw ingredients in addition to monitoring the health of our breweries.  We have to work with ingredients that we can acquire through the home brew trade (which are often ingredients that were rejected by large commercial brewers).  We also have to assume that the information given to us by our suppliers is accurate.  The fact that a small proper subset of the amateur brewing community is able to produce good beer most of the time is a testament to the level of dedication that is found in this select group. 

With that said, amateur brewers have it much better than most mom-and-pop craft breweries.  An undercapitalized startup brewery is the worst of both worlds.  A startup brewery has to produce a consistent product that sells well without the aid of a quality lab, often brewing in a less than conducive space using hand-me-down or re-purposed equipment.   I do not envy anyone who is starting up his/her own brewery.  It is truly a labor of love.
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Online klickitat jim

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2014, 10:55:36 AM »
I like to compare the two like the difference between a home studio artist and a poster printing factory. There's a lot of cheesy home paintings out there. But a few are breath taking and way more impressive than a poster you can buy at Walmart.  But even the best home artist could never reproduce them perfectly and make a living selling them for a dollar a piece.

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #51 on: April 21, 2014, 11:35:45 AM »
Home brewers also have very different goals and constraints than commercial brewers.  we don't have to worry about if the beer will sell, only if we like it.  We can brew what we want to brew without worrying about whether the market will accept it.  Many of us brew as much because we enjoy the process as the product.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #52 on: April 21, 2014, 12:42:41 PM »
Now, add in the fact that many megas ferment at high gravity and dilute to desired packaged gravity, and one cannot help but be amazed at what they are able to accomplish with a level of repeatability that no amateur brewer could hope to achieve.

The fact that Bud Light tastes the same regardless of which AB facility worldwide it was brewed in is pretty insane.  I read the execs regularly have samples shipped in from around the world to evaluate uniformity.  I wonder if they ever come across a sample that tastes slightly different.

We have to work with ingredients that we can acquire through the home brew trade (which are often ingredients that were rejected by large commercial brewers).

This is something I have not heard before, can you elaborate?

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #53 on: April 21, 2014, 02:08:20 PM »
Ive heard this too. Apparently the people who drop thousands of dollars get preference over those of us who only spend hundreds.

Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #54 on: April 21, 2014, 02:44:10 PM »
This is something I have not heard before, can you elaborate?

It's simple economics.  Due to their buying power, the megas are the customers of choice for pretty much all of the commodities used in brewing. The megas are followed by regional and large-scale craft breweries.  Small-scale craft breweries and amateur brewers at the bottom of the pecking order.   Small-scale craft breweries and amateur brewers get the commodities that the brokers could not sell or were surplus to the needs of larger breweries.  One could even go as far to say that amateur brewers get the commodities that even small-scale brewers reject.   If you want to see this dynamic in action, check out Hops Direct's website at harvest time.  They will often post a harvest date for a cultivar followed by a message stating that no hops from the harvest will be available for sale on the site.   Guess what happened?
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Offline narcout

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #55 on: April 21, 2014, 03:25:16 PM »
This is something I have not heard before, can you elaborate?

It's simple economics.  Due to their buying power, the megas are the customers of choice for pretty much all of the commodities used in brewing. The megas are followed by regional and large-scale craft breweries.  Small-scale craft breweries and amateur brewers at the bottom of the pecking order.   Small-scale craft breweries and amateur brewers get the commodities that the brokers could not sell or were surplus to the needs of larger breweries.  One could even go as far to say that amateur brewers get the commodities that even small-scale brewers reject.   If you want to see this dynamic in action, check out Hops Direct's website at harvest time.  They will often post a harvest date for a cultivar followed by a message stating that no hops from the harvest will be available for sale on the site.   Guess what happened?

That makes sense.  I assumed it was more surplus commodities and less ones that had been rejected.  I wonder if the larger homebrew supply players (like Northern Brewer) have any priority?  I really don't have any sense of how much inventory they go through or how they handle their contracting.

As long as my hops don't arrive full of maggots, I guess I won't worry about it.

It seems like even rejected commodities can make pretty excellent beer.

Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #56 on: April 21, 2014, 03:29:52 PM »
It may not be so much rejected as it is the last lots chosen.  The biggest contacts get first crack then the midsized then the little guys. 

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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #57 on: April 21, 2014, 04:15:06 PM »
Ive heard this too. Apparently the people who drop thousands of dollars get preference over those of us who only spend hundreds.
They also can reject a shipment if it does not meet specs laid out by the brewery. Large breweries run tests on the malt shipment. Where do the rejects go?

Hops? If you have read enough about the hops farmers, many of them have relationships with brewers that go to Yakima, inspect and smell the hops, and select the samples that represent the specific fields. I read once that a hop farmer said that the same brewer always selected Cascade from the same field in blind selections.

In many ways Homebrewers are the bottom feeders in the supply chain.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 04:17:15 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Another Starter Question
« Reply #58 on: April 21, 2014, 05:11:42 PM »
I do not agree that homebrewers or small brewers get inferior raw material. Quality is very good over all.

Where the large portion of not consistent batches in homebrewing come from is one homebrewers shop have Weyernmann Munich and the other one has Briess Munich.... Homebrewers are not maltster specific and buy their raw material from different shops.

There are exception but large majority just want Munich malt or pilsner malt and do not care who made it.
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Re: Another Starter Question
« Reply #59 on: April 21, 2014, 06:15:11 PM »
I do not agree that homebrewers or small brewers get inferior raw material. Quality is very good over all.

I definitely don't think it's inferior, but what undeniably does happen is that the large breweries dictate the specs for the suppliers. We small/home brewers get the diastatic power, alpha acids, etc. that the big boys want, whether we want that or not.
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