Author Topic: Quick tips  (Read 4611 times)

Offline denny

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Quick tips
« on: December 30, 2015, 09:17:34 PM »
Drew and I are looking for Quick Tips that we can pass along on the podcast.   A few sentences about something you do that's made a difference in your brewing.  We'll credit you for them and we'll put you on the list for some Experimental Brewing swag once we get it.  So, what simple thing would you recommend to someone to improve their beer or brewday?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline dilluh98

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 10:12:08 PM »
Mise en place. French cooking term for "putting in place,", i.e., get all the stuff prepped and in place before you begin the brewday.

I've found this makes the whole experience a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. It could be measuring out your water/salts the night before, prepping hop additions in small bowls with notes on when to add, getting all the utensils laid out in a logical fashion, etc. Whenever I do the prep work and have friends over to help brew and drink beer, they always comment on how easy/non-chalant the whole process seems. Most of that is just knowing what you need to brew, what problems might arise and what could you get ready ahead of time to take care of them.

While I still made perfectly drinkable beer the few times I slapped together a brew day on a whim, it was a lot more hectic than I'd have liked.

Offline Stevie

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Quick tips
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 10:12:59 PM »
I know many don't agree, but not drinking before flame out is one that I live by.

I like to use the hot water from the chiller to clean.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 10:49:45 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline curtism1234

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 10:40:21 PM »
I know many don't agree, but not drinking before flame out is one that I love by.

Yes

Stay focused, make firm decisions (such as hop schedule) before hand, and don't walk away from things during critical times. Replication and detailed statistics are important if you achieve your recipes. Boiling over not only creates a huge mess, but you lose ibus that leave you guessing.   

Offline denny

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 11:01:59 PM »
Great ideas, guys!  Keep 'em coming!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2015, 11:07:23 PM »
1/ Make a step by step brewing checklist - it's easy to forget a hop addition, adding the IC, or yeast nutrient. Keeps things organized for new brewers and (older ones, too).

2/ Weigh out water salts and hops the night before. I put the salts in ziploc bags labeled 'Mash', 'Sparge' and/or 'Boil', depending on what I'm doing for that beer.

3/ Keep detailed notes on beers you make, including tasting notes and recommendations for improvement next time. I brew a lot of styles so the next time I brew a style I might have forgotten something that would've helped me brew it better otherwise.
Jon H.

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 11:08:38 PM »
Relax, don't worry, have-oops that one's already taken.
But seriously don't let little things stress you out; that's how they become big things. Rolling with the punches makes lots of things go way better.
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Offline denny

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2015, 11:09:59 PM »
1/ Make a step by step brewing checklist - it's easy to forget a hop addition, adding the IC, or yeast nutrient. Keeps things organized for new brewers and (older ones, too).

2/ Weigh out water salts and hops the night before. I put the salts in ziploc bags labeled 'Mash', 'Sparge' and/or 'Boil', depending on what I'm doing for that beer.

3/ Keep detailed notes on beers you make, including tasting notes and recommendations for improvement next time. I brew a lot of styles so the next time I brew a style I might have forgotten something that would've helped me brew it better otherwise.

I don't do the checklist (probably should), but I'm right there with ya on the others.  I weigh my salts ahead and wrap them in foil.  I have a set of Ziploc bags marked FWH, 60, 45, 30, 15, 10, 5, 0 that I put the hops into ahead of time.  And I'm on my 9th spiral notebook!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2015, 11:14:59 PM »
And I'm on my 9th spiral notebook!

Yeah, I have several ! It's pretty cool (and funny sometimes) to read back to the early ones, to see where I was then.
Jon H.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2015, 11:54:25 PM »
Some of Klickitat Jim's Brewing Rules: (not in order of importance)

1- Don't knock it till you've tried it
Saying a thing doesn't make it true, nor does reading it or hearing it on a pod cast. Trying it for yourself makes it true or untrue for you. Others may still disagree, and that's OK too.

2- Don't ask for feedback you aren't willing to listen to
Every year brewers complain about things judges say, I've done it to. Try to keep in mind that most of them are just trying to contribute back to the community. Competitions are fund raisers and just for fun. If you realize that, and that some times they get it wrong, and that you really are just helping a club out rather than paying for a precise lab eval service, you might actually get more out of it. Try to learn to interpret judge comments to fit your needs rather than just getting pissy and ruining your day, or running them down in public. (By the way, they might be that CrzyBrwGy69 that you are complaining to...)

3- Dont give feedback you wouldn't want to hear
For judges, remember you are probably trying to help a club grow its fund raiser. Being obnoxious is a great way to not do that. You don't have to lie, but you're not the gate keeper of all things craft beer. If you can't be helpful at least be nice.
For Joe Blow brewers, you're not trying to grow a club but you are the face of home brewing to that person for that moment. If you dont want to help you dont have to, but being rude or condescending really has no value. Also, the whole world is not a big competition to style. Clarify whether or not the person cares about style adherence before you pull on your jack boots.

4- Brew whatever you want
Its ok to use wild and crazy ingredients. But when you get bored with that there's a lot of fun to be had brewing beer that tastes like beer.

5- Brew Gods are to be admired and learned from, not worshipped and obeyed
There's enough clique-war in the world already. We don't need it on brewing. Take what home brewing's famous people have to say and try it out. Modify it to fit your needs. Or just don't use it. But try not to put them so high on a pedistal that they can't be questioned at all. Fame seekers, keep in mind that the higher a monkey climbs the more it shows its butt. Be thick skinned.

Offline mchrispen

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2015, 12:10:20 AM »
Breath, relax and observe. Much of the process has strong visual, aromatic, and flavor indications of what is going on. Clearing sweet wort in the mash for example.


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Offline santoch

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2015, 12:41:53 AM »
Here are some for the newbies:

1) Yeast work on their own schedule, not yours.  Don't rush them.

2) Put your bucket or carboy in a low tub with a few inches of cool water, then drape a t-shirt over it.  The evaporation will help keep your fermentation temps down by up to 10 degrees F.  A fan helps even more.

3) Never top up with tap water.  Always get the chlorine out first. Half an aspirin-sized campden tablet will treat 10 gallons of water.

4) You can't sanitize it unless its clean first.

5) Relax, it's only beer.

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Offline jeffy

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2015, 01:46:36 AM »
If you brew long and hard enough you may end up with several beers that may not be perfect.  At this point it is fun to start blending.  Some of my best beers were blends of two, sometimes three different beers.  You can try blending a bit of sour with a bit of malty with a bit of hoppy and you may just end up with something better than the original parts.
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Offline lenphallock

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Quick tips
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2015, 02:02:51 AM »
Know when to be clean and when you need to sanitize. Everything should be clean to begin with and that starts with cleaning it when you're done using it. I have seen too many times in my life a new Brewer cleaning out their sticky and disgusting cooler before mash in.
I have also been helping people brew that take an exceptional amount of time to sanitize their fermentors, transfer their cooled wort and do something dumb like grab an non-sanitized spoon to mix and aerate the wort.
Understand the chain of infection. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer handy and don't flick burgers in your beer.


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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2015, 02:44:16 AM »
A bucket heater on a timer is a great time saver. Add the the water adjustments the night before. You can mash in quickly first thing in the morning. Then put the bucket heater in the sparge water, it will save some propane.

For lagers I decant off the starter. When the wort is chilled the first few liters go into the starters to get them happy. The rest goes into the conical, and after 2-3 hours the trub is dumped, and the fresh starter is added after O2 is added to the conical wort.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 12:09:58 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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