Author Topic: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing  (Read 2249 times)

Offline dbeechum

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Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« on: December 09, 2015, 04:52:30 PM »
Episode 3 of our podcast is now up! On this episode we are over a barrel, experimentally speaking. We talk about the potential decline of homebrewing, our first experiment - that you can do with us! - and interview Jay Goodwin of the Rare Barrel (and host of the Sour Hour).

http://www.experimentalbrew.com/podcast/episode-3-over-barrel-experimentally

Put it in your earholes and tell us what you think! We're continuing to refine the format and are looking for all of your great ideas!

Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcasting platform. And give us a rating - ratings help people find our show!

Thoughts? Comment below or send us an email at podcast@experimentalbrew.com!
if you have **questions** you want us to answer on the show (we're almost set to take callers to the air) - drop us a q at questions@experimentalbrew.com!

If you want to help us with experiments - Join the *IGOR* crew - Details here - http://www.experimentalbrew.com/igors

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/…/experimental-brewing/id1056223392
Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/experimental-brewing?refid=stpr
Podcast RSS: http://www.experimentalbrew.com/podcast.rss

Direct link to this episode:
http://www.experimentalbrew.com/sites/default/files/ExperimentalBrewing_Episode_003_Over_a_Barrel_Experimentally.mp3
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Offline muzak

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 07:33:54 PM »
Interesting topics.

I commented elsewhere on the topic of the decline of homebrewing, but thought I'd bring that here.

I think it may have to do with people being exposed to homebrewing by way of the craft beer scen's growth, and then not continuing.

How do the current numbers compare to the numbers seen pre-craft beer scene explosion? I'd take a guess that we may be coming back down near those numbers.
John L.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 05:18:12 AM »
Enjoyed the podcast fellows!  Keep the good stuff coming.
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Offline charles1968

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 08:44:23 AM »
It's interesting to learn that homebrewing sales are falling, but is that because too many new homebrew outlets opened and the market became too competitive?

Things are a bit different in the UK. Our first homebrew boom was in the mid 1980s. Homebrew fell out of favour in the 1990s and then vanished from high streets. Things didn't pick up until around the 2008 recession, but these days everything is online mail-order and very few LHBS's exist.

American style craft beer is still a big craze in British pubs, having hit the UK just a few years ago. London had only 3 breweries five years ago but now has dozens of microbreweries. Same picture in other parts of the UK, but I hear that microbreweries are starting to go under dye to competition. The craft beer craze may have peaked, but beer-drinking habits have permanently changed.

All-grain brewing is so time-consuming I think it will always be a niche hobby and could also fall out of favour a bit. Also no real financial saving if you start spending lots of money on shiny equipment.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 08:49:22 AM by charles1968 »

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 03:29:42 PM »
I generally agree with the points raised in the podcast about the homebrewing industry but would add a number of other factors into the mix.

Along with one gallon and other small batch brewing, other trends in brewing technique lower the need to purchase expensive equipment or continually want to upgrade. BIAB brewing is a good example because once you have a couple pots and a grain bag you're done with your core equipment purchases. To a lesser extent you can also add electric brewing and these all-in-one systems like the zymatic that are one purchase and you're done.

For a long time homebrew shops could get by focusing on selling startup equipment kits and recipe kits but now there's so much information online that the chasm between relying on prepackaged extract kits and piecing together all grain brewing has never been more narrow. Along with all grain brewing comes other typical cost savings measures like bulk purchases and yeast reuse. I see homebrew shops continue to offer intro classes but less in the way of intermediate or advanced classes that might get people in the shop to buy ingredients or equipment along the way. That's a huge missed opportunity. As brewing knowledge advances and more serious homebrewers go all grain many times the shops cease being a source of expertise and the local stores cease offering any competitive reason to beat out better deals online or information that can be sourced elsewhere. Few brewers want to pay $2/oz for cascade hops and get bad information.

The other problem with focusing on making money up front and the cycling away from DIY as the economy has improved is that there are so many startup equipment kits hanging around in garages and closets that if you want to get into brewing you can spend $100 at your local shop or find one for free from a coworker or for $20 on craigslist.

But above all else the growth in the craft brewing industry cannot be overlooked as a key reason for the decline in sales, which is really a decline in sales to new entrants to the hobby. When craft beer is scarce in a market lots of people want to try it but without access can turn to homebrewing. As craft beer appears in the market those people who didn't enjoy homebrewing as much as they accepted the utility were willing to give it up and go buy a $10 six pack. Even in markets where there is lots of craft beer the expansion of that market entices people to go out and try the new beers on the market and as a result there is less of a need to brew at home.
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Offline heavydeadlifts

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 05:45:06 PM »
The only thing I go to my LHBS for is grain since they let me measure out my own and they have the best prices. Actually I could essentially buy grain in bulk and never have to go there, but I just like to go every week to pick the mind of the shop owner and try his latest beer. My LHBS has their license to operate as a brewery and have a tasting room. They are really starting to make a nice profit thanks to their "tasting room" which draws in the Thursday through Saturday night crowd. They also will give out recipes for beers on tap that you can piece together in the store. Now that I think more about it, the owner had a brilliant business plan.
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Offline goschman

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 05:55:15 PM »
The only thing I go to my LHBS for is grain since they let me measure out my own and they have the best prices. Actually I could essentially buy grain in bulk and never have to go there, but I just like to go every week to pick the mind of the shop owner and try his latest beer. My LHBS has their license to operate as a brewery and have a tasting room. They are really starting to make a nice profit thanks to their "tasting room" which draws in the Thursday through Saturday night crowd. They also will give out recipes for beers on tap that you can piece together in the store. Now that I think more about it, the owner had a brilliant business plan.

I too only buy grain from my LHBS unless I am in a pinch. I will not pay $3 per oz of hops...
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 05:59:26 PM »
Regarding the 1-gallon kits, if LHBS's are really losing money because consumers who just want to try out the hobby and may not stay with it can do it more inexpensively, then they are being very short-sighted. In the long run, by lowering the barrier of entry into the hobby you will eventually start to entice and retain more brewers. The typical middle class family doesn't often have the kind of free time that a serious investment into all-grain brewing requires. Or at the very least, it's hard to justify that kind of time investment initially.

One gallon kits and Picobrew systems are what will keep this hobby growing in the future and keep it from becoming stagnant.

On another note, I really like the show format. The segment format seems to be working well, and you guys have already ironed out most of the rough edges just 3 episodes in. Keep them coming!
Eric B.

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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 06:16:51 PM »
I just like to go every week to pick the mind of the shop owner and try his latest beer.

I've never actually gotten good advice at the stores by me.  I think they're more used to talking with people who know less, not that I know all.

That said, last time I was there he was helping out a new brewer and I couldn't argue with anything he told him.

I buy my grain there, and not much else.  Sometimes in a pinch I'll grab some other stuff.  I always feel like I over-paid, though.  Even when you account for shipping charges with the on-line places.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 06:28:27 PM »
Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer

Offline denny

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 06:35:52 PM »
Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer

Everybody sing!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 06:36:47 PM »
A true ear worm.

Offline muzak

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 07:20:25 PM »
I buy my grain there, and not much else.  Sometimes in a pinch I'll grab some other stuff.  I always feel like I over-paid, though.  Even when you account for shipping charges with the on-line places.

I do the same with the closest LHBS. I love supporting them, but I often feel like I'm overpaying. Especially since I can drive 20 minutes more and hit up MoreBeer.

It's a struggle between wanting to support a local business and saving money.
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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2015, 08:01:39 PM »

Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer
Beer, beer, beer, beer

Everybody sing!

My 2 year old was playing my ukulele the other day and I started humming:

"Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm,
  Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm,
  Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm,
  Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm"

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Episode 3 - Experimental Brewing
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2015, 08:02:52 PM »
Jon H.