Author Topic: What is the Purpose of this Forum?  (Read 6675 times)

Offline Phil_M

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2017, 12:26:50 AM »
This was in no way meant as a "thanks for all the fish, I'm out since I can't get anything from here" moment.

This was a combination of many factors, ranging from personal reasons to how I feel topics that go against the norm have been handled.

And to again reiterate, I'll definitely still be around, and will help when I can. If I manage to pull of my plan, I'll definitely share the info.
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Offline yso191

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2017, 01:09:05 AM »
Some thoughts of my own...

1. I am in favor of thicker skin.
2.  I do think some here have the attitude that unless you do it their way you must like crappy beer.  This is irritating, but see point 1.
3. I think the content is sufficiently dense and sufficiently accessible.  People can drill down pretty deep, and newbs can ask what wort is.

This is the only forum I participate in and I will stay, both to help and to learn, because both are very possible.
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Big Monk

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What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2017, 03:33:21 AM »
I've deleted two accounts from this forum.

The first time was self inflicted. I couldn't justify the time I was spending posting here and as a measure of will power I deleted my account. (Derek)

The second was deleted after more than 6 months of heated exchanges with Low Oxygen/Lager-centric brewers. I was burned out and starting to have a change of heart towards the concepts. (RPIScotty)

I came back a third time and tried my best to get Bryan to commit time back to this place because people seemed like they were ready and receptive to these ideas. It seems this place is at a bit of a crossroads. There are some people who used to post here frequently that don't anymore: Amanda K, Wort-H.O.G.,Klickitat Jim, etc. Maybe the back and forth around the time I deleted my RPIScotty account drove them away.

What's the point? Forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject. I won't claim any regret about anything I've said or advocated for as Big Monk. Just because I want to help myself and others make better beer doesn't mean that everyone has to agree, but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?

What's the purpose of this forum? Damned if I know anymore. I post words when I think they may be useful. Beyond that? Well....


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« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 03:35:44 AM by Big Monk »

Offline Stevie

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2017, 04:04:08 AM »
All I know is my foam has never been better since Bryan and Derek returned to spread their knowledge.

Offline narvin

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2017, 04:10:21 AM »
I know what you're feeling Phil, and yet I'm having a hard time putting it into words.  You probably felt the same way  :D

I'm not cancelling my membership but honestly I really don't look at the magazine anymore.  This is more about me than the content, though.  I think the AHA does good and I go to the conference every year, so I couldn't quit if I wanted to.

I do think that the categories in the forum could be rethought.  Most people don't really know where to put their posts.  General Brewing is a catch-all, and unless it's yeast related or some stainless steel welding porn there's no reason to put it anywhere else.  It doesn't really makes sense to me to have a General, All Grain, AND Extract forum.

I also don't think there should be a dedicated forum for any specific topics or theories (shaken not stirred, LODO, etc).  But... we might be lacking a "Tech Talk" forum.  I think there was more openness to formulae and crap like that on the email distro, but that was just the audience at the time.  If what we're aiming for is a place for all levels, it might work to keep the hardcore math and brewing text references in a separate place.  That doesn't mean that topics like that can't be introduced or referenced elsewhere, but the details could be posted there (and linked in other forums for the adventurous).

Just a thought.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 04:15:24 AM by narvin »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2017, 10:56:56 AM »
but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?


There's a lot of innuendo and accusation pointing toward both sides, and finger pointing I feel directed at me in particular, and I am going to give my side.

I have almost never come in and directly questioned Bryan's or your findings. The ONLY time I ever questioned ya'lls methods was one time when I questioned why Bittburger would spend so much money on LODO methods when the sixpack I picked up suffered from diacetyl (which I believed was oxidation problem). I honestly can't remember another instance.

The entire derailment of the locked thread was because of Bryan's tirade against Denny. It was completely disrespectful. Categorizing LODO proponents as "LODO Nazis" was poor judgment on my part, especially in this age of political correctness, and "LODO zealots" would have been a better choice.  I have been around for a very long time and it was once acceptable to call people "Style Nazi" and honestly, I didn't mean anything insulting by the term. I do regret using that terminology now. However, I do feel it stopped short of "name calling", as another has mentioned. It is simply not the same as calling someone a "dick", etc.

But, whatever the case, it brought everything crashing down (although, it was going down in flames from the start.) During which I was accused of "being against Bryan's methods from the beginning" ... what??? I have never, not once tried to stop him from bringing his information. If anyone feels this is so, please go and show me!

You say "forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject" and herein lies the problem. "Forcefulness of delivery". That has all I have ever said has been the problem.

When constant bickering starts to drive members away I feel like it is my job as a mod to try to correct the situation. Unfortunately it appears I have not gone about it the proper way. However, I will point out that I have NOT been involved with the constant bickering. Rather I have tried to STOP the bickering by barking down whom I have thought the problem was and only once it started to swing totally out of control!

There have only EVER been two people on this forum I have had strong words with: Bryan Rabe and BrewBoy. So for anyone to insinuate that I have been disrespectful to the forum members as a whole, I find that simply outrageous. In both times I grew forceful with my handling of the users because they were both causing rifts in the forum.

I will say, finally, that there isn't an issue with people bringing advanced topics to this forum. There is a problem with people coming onto this forum and acting disrespectful to other's opinions and views.

Rule #3. Be respectful of the questions and comments of others. It is OK to disagree with someone, but do so with respect. Keep the AHA forum friendly and encouraging of everyone's participation. We will not tolerate rudeness, insults, personal attacks, inflammatory remarks, threats, racial/ethnic slurs, trolling, flame baiting or similarly disruptive postings.

By trying to enforce this rule I can see where I accidentally "flame bated" Bryan and Big Monk with the "Nazi" comment, but the problem is Bryan skates or literally breaks the "be respectful" on a regular basis.

If we have rules and we have mods, then what are the mods here for if not to enforce the rules???

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What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2017, 11:37:07 AM »
but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?


There's a lot of innuendo and accusation pointing toward both sides, and finger pointing I feel directed at me in particular, and I am going to give my side.

I have almost never come in and directly questioned Bryan's or your findings. The ONLY time I ever questioned ya'lls methods was one time when I questioned why Bittburger would spend so much money on LODO methods when the sixpack I picked up suffered from diacetyl (which I believed was oxidation problem). I honestly can't remember another instance.

The entire derailment of the locked thread was because of Bryan's tirade against Denny. It was completely disrespectful. Categorizing LODO proponents as "LODO Nazis" was poor judgment on my part, especially in this age of political correctness, and "LODO zealots" would have been a better choice.  I have been around for a very long time and it was once acceptable to call people "Style Nazi" and honestly, I didn't mean anything insulting by the term. I do regret using that terminology now. However, I do feel it stopped short of "name calling", as another has mentioned. It is simply not the same as calling someone a "dick", etc.

But, whatever the case, it brought everything crashing down (although, it was going down in flames from the start.) During which I was accused of "being against Bryan's methods from the beginning" ... what??? I have never, not once tried to stop him from bringing his information. If anyone feels this is so, please go and show me!

You say "forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject" and herein lies the problem. "Forcefulness of delivery". That has all I have ever said has been the problem.

When constant bickering starts to drive members away I feel like it is my job as a mod to try to correct the situation. Unfortunately it appears I have not gone about it the proper way. However, I will point out that I have NOT been involved with the constant bickering. Rather I have tried to STOP the bickering by barking down whom I have thought the problem was and only once it started to swing totally out of control!

There have only EVER been two people on this forum I have had strong words with: Bryan Rabe and BrewBoy. So for anyone to insinuate that I have been disrespectful to the forum members as a whole, I find that simply outrageous. In both times I grew forceful with my handling of the users because they were both causing rifts in the forum.

I will say, finally, that there isn't an issue with people bringing advanced topics to this forum. There is a problem with people coming onto this forum and acting disrespectful to other's opinions and views.

Rule #3. Be respectful of the questions and comments of others. It is OK to disagree with someone, but do so with respect. Keep the AHA forum friendly and encouraging of everyone's participation. We will not tolerate rudeness, insults, personal attacks, inflammatory remarks, threats, racial/ethnic slurs, trolling, flame baiting or similarly disruptive postings.

By trying to enforce this rule I can see where I accidentally "flame bated" Bryan and Big Monk with the "Nazi" comment, but the problem is Bryan skates or literally breaks the "be respectful" on a regular basis.

If we have rules and we have mods, then what are the mods here for if not to enforce the rules???

How is any of your response relevant to this thread in particular? No one is making accusations here. I don't think you need to defend yourself here. This thread seems like it was intended (please correct me if I'm wrong Phil) to be more of a thought experiment, a musing on the state of technical affairs at the forum.

Maybe a more appropriate place for your response is (I'm not being sarcastic or snarky here at all) back in the locked thread from the other day.

Offline pete b

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2017, 11:56:59 AM »
Hey Keith, thanks for posting that. I said "name calling" and maybe the phrase wasn't accurate. All I can say as a fairly neutral observer is that you and Denny, two very passionate and experienced brewers volunteering God knows how many hours to help this forum, sometimes escalate rather than de-escalate ongoing derailed uncivil threads. When Bryan and Derek came back they were obviously making a sincere effort to be contributers here but, as I remember it, one person attacked and derailed the thread almost everytime they posted and made a mess of things. That person was given the occasional mild reprimand when really IMO more serious action was required because they were almost exclusively trolling. Honestly Bryan and Derek do still on occasion rub me the wrong way with certain attitudes but I respect the fact that they patiently continued to contribute despite being consistently trolled.
I like and respect all the mods here, this is just some honest feedback about one aspect of all you guys do for the forum. The reason I bother is that I find this forum a less pleasant place to be lately and think you care.
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Offline pete b

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2017, 12:02:48 PM »
but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?

[/quot

There's a lot of innuendo and accusation pointing toward both sides, and finger pointing I feel directed at me in particular, and I am going to give my side.

I have almost never come in and directly questioned Bryan's or your findings. The ONLY time I ever questioned ya'lls methods was one time when I questioned why Bittburger would spend so much money on LODO methods when the sixpack I picked up suffered from diacetyl (which I believed was oxidation problem). I honestly can't remember another instance.

The entire derailment of the locked thread was because of Bryan's tirade against Denny. It was completely disrespectful. Categorizing LODO proponents as "LODO Nazis" was poor judgment on my part, especially in this age of political correctness, and "LODO zealots" would have been a better choice.  I have been around for a very long time and it was once acceptable to call people "Style Nazi" and honestly, I didn't mean anything insulting by the term. I do regret using that terminology now. However, I do feel it stopped short of "name calling", as another has mentioned. It is simply not the same as calling someone a "dick", etc.

But, whatever the case, it brought everything crashing down (although, it was going down in flames from the start.) During which I was accused of "being against Bryan's methods from the beginning" ... what??? I have never, not once tried to stop him from bringing his information. If anyone feels this is so, please go and show me!

You say "forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject" and herein lies the problem. "Forcefulness of delivery". That has all I have ever said has been the problem.

When constant bickering starts to drive members away I feel like it is my job as a mod to try to correct the situation. Unfortunately it appears I have not gone about it the proper way. However, I will point out that I have NOT been involved with the constant bickering. Rather I have tried to STOP the bickering by barking down whom I have thought the problem was and only once it started to swing totally out of control!

There have only EVER been two people on this forum I have had strong words with: Bryan Rabe and BrewBoy. So for anyone to insinuate that I have been disrespectful to the forum members as a whole, I find that simply outrageous. In both times I grew forceful with my handling of the users because they were both causing rifts in the forum.

I will say, finally, that there isn't an issue with people bringing advanced topics to this forum. There is a problem with people coming onto this forum and acting disrespectful to other's opinions and views.

Rule #3. Be respectful of the questions and comments of others. It is OK to disagree with someone, but do so with respect. Keep the AHA forum friendly and encouraging of everyone's participation. We will not tolerate rudeness, insults, personal attacks, inflammatory remarks, threats, racial/ethnic slurs, trolling, flame baiting or similarly disruptive postings.

By trying to enforce this rule I can see where I accidentally "flame bated" Bryan and Big Monk with the "Nazi" comment, but the problem is Bryan skates or literally breaks the "be respectful" on a regular basis.

If we have rules and we have mods, then what are the mods here for if not to enforce the rules???

How is any of your response relevant to this thread in particular? No one is making accusations here. I don't think you need to defend yourself here. This thread seems like it was intended (please correct me if I'm wrong Phil) to be more of a thought experiment, a musing on the state of technical affairs at the forum.

Maybe a more appropriate place for your response is (I'm not being sarcastic or snarky here at all) back in the locked thread from the other day.
Derek, I think it's relevant because the decline of civility here is intimately linked to people being uncomfortable posting technical stuff here.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2017, 12:06:19 PM »
but it also doesn't mean you can discount the facts about brewing science. Those things hold true regardless. Doesn't mean you are making bad beer but it also doesn't mean that your beer couldn't be better. Why else would we devote so much time, energy and passion into this if not to help people?

[/quot

There's a lot of innuendo and accusation pointing toward both sides, and finger pointing I feel directed at me in particular, and I am going to give my side.

I have almost never come in and directly questioned Bryan's or your findings. The ONLY time I ever questioned ya'lls methods was one time when I questioned why Bittburger would spend so much money on LODO methods when the sixpack I picked up suffered from diacetyl (which I believed was oxidation problem). I honestly can't remember another instance.

The entire derailment of the locked thread was because of Bryan's tirade against Denny. It was completely disrespectful. Categorizing LODO proponents as "LODO Nazis" was poor judgment on my part, especially in this age of political correctness, and "LODO zealots" would have been a better choice.  I have been around for a very long time and it was once acceptable to call people "Style Nazi" and honestly, I didn't mean anything insulting by the term. I do regret using that terminology now. However, I do feel it stopped short of "name calling", as another has mentioned. It is simply not the same as calling someone a "dick", etc.

But, whatever the case, it brought everything crashing down (although, it was going down in flames from the start.) During which I was accused of "being against Bryan's methods from the beginning" ... what??? I have never, not once tried to stop him from bringing his information. If anyone feels this is so, please go and show me!

You say "forcefulness in delivery can go hand in hand with passion about a subject" and herein lies the problem. "Forcefulness of delivery". That has all I have ever said has been the problem.

When constant bickering starts to drive members away I feel like it is my job as a mod to try to correct the situation. Unfortunately it appears I have not gone about it the proper way. However, I will point out that I have NOT been involved with the constant bickering. Rather I have tried to STOP the bickering by barking down whom I have thought the problem was and only once it started to swing totally out of control!

There have only EVER been two people on this forum I have had strong words with: Bryan Rabe and BrewBoy. So for anyone to insinuate that I have been disrespectful to the forum members as a whole, I find that simply outrageous. In both times I grew forceful with my handling of the users because they were both causing rifts in the forum.

I will say, finally, that there isn't an issue with people bringing advanced topics to this forum. There is a problem with people coming onto this forum and acting disrespectful to other's opinions and views.

Rule #3. Be respectful of the questions and comments of others. It is OK to disagree with someone, but do so with respect. Keep the AHA forum friendly and encouraging of everyone's participation. We will not tolerate rudeness, insults, personal attacks, inflammatory remarks, threats, racial/ethnic slurs, trolling, flame baiting or similarly disruptive postings.

By trying to enforce this rule I can see where I accidentally "flame bated" Bryan and Big Monk with the "Nazi" comment, but the problem is Bryan skates or literally breaks the "be respectful" on a regular basis.

If we have rules and we have mods, then what are the mods here for if not to enforce the rules???

How is any of your response relevant to this thread in particular? No one is making accusations here. I don't think you need to defend yourself here. This thread seems like it was intended (please correct me if I'm wrong Phil) to be more of a thought experiment, a musing on the state of technical affairs at the forum.

Maybe a more appropriate place for your response is (I'm not being sarcastic or snarky here at all) back in the locked thread from the other day.
Derek, I think it's relevant because the decline of civility here is intimately linked to people being uncomfortable posting technical stuff here.

Understood. That's a fair assessment.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2017, 01:20:40 PM »
When Bryan and Derek came back they were obviously making a sincere effort to be contributers here but, as I remember it, one person attacked and derailed the thread almost everytime they posted and made a mess of things. That person was given the occasional mild reprimand when really IMO more serious action was required because they were almost exclusively trolling. Honestly Bryan and Derek do still on occasion rub me the wrong way with certain attitudes but I respect the fact that they patiently continued to contribute despite being consistently trolled.


I have to agree that the person you mention has very often been the x-factor in things escalating unnecessarily. As to the forum in general, I see no reason that we can't be welcoming and helpful to new and intermediate brewers while also being welcoming to technical info offered to advanced brewers, whether we choose to implement any of it or not.
The suggestion made to proofread all comments before posting and ask ourselves if it offers anything constructive to the thread (and forum) is excellent and should be practiced by every single one of us, every time.
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2017, 01:34:43 PM »
lack of civility has been discussed, no need for me to reiterate other than to say I agree.

Lack of technical content - yeah the internet loves to disagree.  The tiring requests for "link??" with anything I say that people disagree with.  Or I often get asked "how would you make that with x shortcut or saving x amount of dollars/time?"  ...I wouldn't.  I'm only an expert at what *I* do; if you want shortcuts go research them yourself.  I'll tell you what I do and you take it from there.  If you don't taste a difference, by all means don't decoct.  I do and I do. 

The average level of expertise in homebrewing seems to have declined.  I assume this is due to A) the AHA casting a wider net and getting more people who aren't necessarily as "Beer Is Life" as some of us old guard, and B) many many people who are good at this have gone pro.  A) isn't a bad thing, but it does change the makeup of the hobby. Way more people are casual about this now.   B) has lead to even more great availability of commercial beer, which just reinforces the casual nature many homebrewers already have.

Along with the avg skill or experience level going down and the lack of technical content comes many many questions from newbies.  And while in general I support the ideal of helping them out, when you see the same questions repeated over and over and you know thousands of web pages already exist that answer them, well...you get tired of it.  I've taught dozens of people to brew at my home.  I've passed along knowledge online sometimes too.  And I'm over it.  I'm largely self-taught, and I yeah I guess I wish others had a little more of that mentality. 
Then there's the questions I can't answer.  I can't look at your pic or read your description of "it just tastes weird" and tell you what went wrong.  Do a full description of your process and send me a bottle and I've got a pretty good chance to help you.

anyway, as a result I don't spend much time here anymore.  Like NHC it's a place to hang out and chat with friends. *shrug*
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Offline Delo

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2017, 02:15:43 PM »
For me this forum was the best place to find information because there were a lot a regulars that were knowledgeable.  I usually sift through recent posts to find helpful info for me. I tend not to answer questions because people will answer more thoroughly than I will, plus I don’t have a ton of posts so I don’t think anyone will listen to my advice so I don’t bother.   Would I like to see more advanced info? Sure.  But this is a forum for every level and every type of brewer.  It’s a drag when there is a bickering s***show going on because the amount of irrelevant posts outnumber useful ones.  I also think the bickering that has driven away a lot of the regulars has kept people from adding valuable information, which is a shame.  I will still check this forum out almost everyday (that I am at work  ;) ) but I wish a lot of this crap will end. Has it been going on for a year now?
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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2017, 03:37:13 PM »
The average level of expertise in homebrewing seems to have declined.  I assume this is due to A) the AHA casting a wider net and getting more people who aren't necessarily as "Beer Is Life" as some of us old guard, and B) many many people who are good at this have gone pro.  A) isn't a bad thing, but it does change the makeup of the hobby. Way more people are casual about this now.   B) has lead to even more great availability of commercial beer, which just reinforces the casual nature many homebrewers already have.

Your point A is a little flipped from what seems to be in the marketing and demo data that's being pulled. It's not that the AHA is casting a wider net and getting shallower interest - it's that the general interest pool is shallower. The data all points to plenty of people enjoying the idea of making beer, but fewer, particularly younger, folks wanting to make homebrewing their "lifestyle" ala us older brewers.

But then again, this is the same war fought over a wider and more visible battle ground than before. I can troll back through club newsletters from the 1970's and 80's and see the same *grr argh* "not taking this serious enough" angst including the classic - if you're brewing extract, you're not a real brewer. Thing is, this hobby has always been a majority extract brewers even in today's high gear/information availability age.

I don't know. I have fun with this hobby even if sometimes the personalities are a bit much. I prefer to operate from a guiding principle of kindness, which is not everyone's north star as evidenced by all the hackles being raised around here.

Seriously, let's practice the Wheaton Law (link) and not be proof of John Gabriel's Greater Internet f##kwad Theory (link)

Step back, take a deep breath, blah, blah, blah... ffs
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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2017, 04:01:46 PM »
But then again, this is the same war fought over a wider and more visible battle ground than before. I can troll back through club newsletters from the 1970's and 80's and see the same *grr argh* "not taking this serious enough" angst including the classic - if you're brewing extract, you're not a real brewer. Thing is, this hobby has always been a majority extract brewers even in today's high gear/information availability age.

I don't know. I have fun with this hobby even if sometimes the personalities are a bit much. I prefer to operate from a guiding principle of kindness, which is not everyone's north star as evidenced by all the hackles being raised around here.

Seriously, let's practice the Wheaton Law (link) and not be proof of John Gabriel's Greater Internet f##kwad Theory (link)

Step back, take a deep breath, blah, blah, blah... ffs

Along these same lines, I wouldn't want any part of an intentionally exclusionary group or organization! (hence why I shy away from some brewing forums that have more obvious rampant sexism, personality cults, etc.). One thing I really admire about AHA is that it is taking intentional steps towards inclusion and helping to create a culture outside of the quite frankly somewhat obnoxious mess that is often a visible face of homebrewing and craft brewing online. I also would ask everyone to keep in mind that not every homebrewer is pulling down a mid-six-figure income or has infinite brewing space and electrical capacity or infinite time...my sense is that this little piece of demographic information is sometimes where things go off the rails. I greatly admire those who create amazing beer using inexpensive improvised systems--that takes _real_ skill!
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 04:03:29 PM by Andy Farke »
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