Author Topic: What is the Purpose of this Forum?  (Read 7468 times)

Online denny

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #75 on: June 12, 2017, 02:55:26 PM »
Given your comment about how tngs keep changing, how would a person decide if their post was on an "advanced" topic?
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Offline braufessor

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #76 on: June 12, 2017, 05:54:04 PM »
Given your comment about how tngs keep changing, how would a person decide if their post was on an "advanced" topic?

I suppose it is like anything else on a forum..... there is no perfect answer.  I think 90% of it would just take care of itself and what wasn't could get moved to a more appropriate place.   Honestly, I don't know that it would automatically be "topic" specific as much as it would be depth of discussion.  For instance.... someone asking about making a yeast starter.... that is not "advanced" - However, if one is considering the scientific benefits of "Shaken not Stirred" vs. Stir Plate or methods of harvesting, storing, plating, propagating yeast.... it would fall in that area.  Or..... "What do think of my water profile?" where someone is just looking for a quick answer might be more likely to head for "General" as opposed to someone who wants to delve into the various impacts of alkalinity and methods for addressing it, merits, etc..... might want a longer discussion on the topic which would fit in an advanced forum.

Also - I think it would self select a little bit.  Those really looking for an in depth discussion and analysis on a topic would probably be more likely to post in that sub forum.  Those looking for a quick answer as to "how to" might naturally head for the "General" forum with more traffic.

In the end, I think there are sort of 3 types of posts that tend to play out.....
1.) I want an answer - quick, concise, correct - to my question
2.) I want to discuss, analyze and consider many aspects of a topic
3.) I want to argue/debate and be "right."

Ideally, I think it would be awesome to see an advanced forum that really centers around #2....... It is not a place to "argue" about a process as much it is a place to really delve deeply into particular topics.  These topics might not necessarily have single right/wrong answers.  They might not even have answers. 

Low Oxygen could be a good example...... if you want learn about it, discuss it, dig into it - join the discussion.  If you think it is not worth doing..... stay out of the discussion and join discussions that peak your interest (and vice versa). 

Maybe it is to big of an expectation that people can do that..... but, I think it could be a place to take some of the topics that turn into arguments and take them to a higher level of discussion.  Might also be a way for people to simply link and redirect questions in the the more general forums (instead of hashing things out and going on tangents in a person's post).
* I have a question?
* Here is your answer, and, by the way.... there is an interesting discussion here ______________ if you are curious about learning some of the more specific details on this topic.

Like I said, no perfect answers.  But, as others have mentioned - the depth of discussion that does happen on here is one of the best things about this forum.  Sure, there are some trivial arguments.  But, there have also been some of the best discussions and information on here as well.


Offline Wilbur

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #77 on: June 12, 2017, 07:55:47 PM »
Given your comment about how tngs keep changing, how would a person decide if their post was on an "advanced" topic?

In the end, I think there are sort of 3 types of posts that tend to play out.....
1.) I want an answer - quick, concise, correct - to my question
2.) I want to discuss, analyze and consider many aspects of a topic
3.) I want to argue/debate and be "right."

I've been kind of thinking of something along these lines as well. It seems like there are a few too many subforums. I'd like to see the breakdown go something like this:
  • Troubleshooint-Quick question/response
  • Brewing Science
  • Water
  • Ingredients
  • Packaging (Kegging & Bottling)
  • Zymurgy/Ask the Experts/Webinars
  • DIY/Equipment
  • Clubs & Competition
  • Beer Travel & Reviews
  • Other Beverages

Offline Phil_M

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #78 on: June 12, 2017, 09:27:44 PM »
Honestly the current categories are fine. Adding an "advanced topics" area isn't going to fix anything, just make the forum messier in terms of organization/finding interesting topics.

What needs to happen is for people to deal with the question at hand and be civil. If someone asks the best way to step mash, beating the "step mashing doesn't do sh!t" dead horse isn't the answer. You're of course free to express your opinion on step mashing, but at least try and still help the OP.

Likewise, if someone asks why their Weißbier doesn't taste right responding "try low oxygen methods" is a great answer-but if the poster isn't interested there's no reason to go down that road either.

Granted, sometimes things go off topic, and that's fine too. But honestly folks, the sniping and snide comments need to end. I feel only one side of the argument is stirring the pot at this point, but that doesn't mean folks are guilt free for being goaded into a flame war.
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Offline chumley

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #79 on: June 13, 2017, 10:56:38 PM »
This is a pretty good forum.  I found it pretty useful on several occasions.  And since I have been brewing since 1990, it shows that old dogs can learn new tricks.

It does amaze sometime how thin-skinned some posters on this forum can be over somewhat trivial disagreements.  As Denny and other veterans of the mid 2000s B&V can attest, you guys haven't seen anything.  You need a Tranquil Liza type poster here.  :)

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #80 on: June 14, 2017, 03:19:56 AM »
This is a pretty good forum.  I found it pretty useful on several occasions.  And since I have been brewing since 1990, it shows that old dogs can learn new tricks.

It does amaze sometime how thin-skinned some posters on this forum can be over somewhat trivial disagreements.  As Denny and other veterans of the mid 2000s B&V can attest, you guys haven't seen anything.  You need a Tranquil Liza type poster here.  :)
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Offline mainebrewer

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #81 on: June 14, 2017, 10:20:09 AM »
Honestly the current categories are fine. Adding an "advanced topics" area isn't going to fix anything, just make the forum messier in terms of organization/finding interesting topics.

What needs to happen is for people to deal with the question at hand and be civil. If someone asks the best way to step mash, beating the "step mashing doesn't do sh!t" dead horse isn't the answer. You're of course free to express your opinion on step mashing, but at least try and still help the OP.

Likewise, if someone asks why their Weißbier doesn't taste right responding "try low oxygen methods" is a great answer-but if the poster isn't interested there's no reason to go down that road either.

Granted, sometimes things go off topic, and that's fine too. But honestly folks, the sniping and snide comments need to end. I feel only one side of the argument is stirring the pot at this point, but that doesn't mean folks are guilt free for being goaded into a flame war.

This sums up my opinion nicely!
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #82 on: June 14, 2017, 04:39:31 PM »
 I think an "advanced technique" is relative to the brewer. To a new brewer doing extract on the kitchen stove making a starter is an advanced technique. Hell, maybe even using steeping grain is advanced to him.
 But, then you take a seasoned guy like Denny, it's going to take something pretty radical to be advanced. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that Major's "sea monkey aeration" debacle of 2012 could be considered an advanced technique by anyone no matter how many batches they have brewed. 
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #83 on: June 20, 2017, 01:02:09 AM »
I was on a music forum at around the same time...the flame wars there were epic, and a buffalo hide was a must.


All in all though, I'm starting to see that I'm just tired of the hobby. I'm sick to death of "citizen science". Stepping back from this forum has shown me that I'm just burnt out and need a break, though I think after a pause I'll be back. Here's a bit of my mindset.

I'm starting to think the only thing that doesn't apply to the homebrew scale is scientific research. I'm not a researcher. I'd much rather have someone else do that, learn from them via a book/class/whatever, then develop something based on how I want to apply that (and other) research.

In the car hobby, the products from just about any major aftermarket company (Holley, Edelbrock, Comp, etc.) are very well engineering. Some are engineered to be affordable and simple, others to be temperamental-and powerful. While there's certainly tons of "citizen science", such data is usually put into perspective by the (available) hard engineering data. However, and here's the big difference, folks are encouraged to apply the (true) principles towards whatever result they want. There's a wealth of good, hard engineering data out there from which you can select whatever best meets your goal.

Here in brew world, we don't have that truth data. Instead, we have some very passionate folks who are making their best stab at science, but simply don't have the resources and history of the brewing industry to draw from. Then any data they collect is treated badly and blown out of proportion by folks who want things to be easier than they are...and it's like the folks who think you can do heads/cam/exhaust on any car and run 10's reliably. Seems most research is based on "is it worth the trouble" instead of "well did it work?" Biasing a study towards those wanting a reliable street motor (batch sparging) leaves out any possible discovered benefits for the guy who wants a street/strip motor (step mashing).


I'm not quitting on brewing, but I will be taking a break. Hopefully things sort themselves out. The science of the hobby is really what drew me in, and now it's also what's pushing me away.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #84 on: June 20, 2017, 01:32:48 AM »
I was on a music forum at around the same time...the flame wars there were epic, and a buffalo hide was a must.


All in all though, I'm starting to see that I'm just tired of the hobby. I'm sick to death of "citizen science". Stepping back from this forum has shown me that I'm just burnt out and need a break, though I think after a pause I'll be back. Here's a bit of my mindset.

I'm starting to think the only thing that doesn't apply to the homebrew scale is scientific research. I'm not a researcher. I'd much rather have someone else do that, learn from them via a book/class/whatever, then develop something based on how I want to apply that (and other) research.

In the car hobby, the products from just about any major aftermarket company (Holley, Edelbrock, Comp, etc.) are very well engineering. Some are engineered to be affordable and simple, others to be temperamental-and powerful. While there's certainly tons of "citizen science", such data is usually put into perspective by the (available) hard engineering data. However, and here's the big difference, folks are encouraged to apply the (true) principles towards whatever result they want. There's a wealth of good, hard engineering data out there from which you can select whatever best meets your goal.

Here in brew world, we don't have that truth data. Instead, we have some very passionate folks who are making their best stab at science, but simply don't have the resources and history of the brewing industry to draw from. Then any data they collect is treated badly and blown out of proportion by folks who want things to be easier than they are...and it's like the folks who think you can do heads/cam/exhaust on any car and run 10's reliably. Seems most research is based on "is it worth the trouble" instead of "well did it work?" Biasing a study towards those wanting a reliable street motor (batch sparging) leaves out any possible discovered benefits for the guy who wants a street/strip motor (step mashing).


I'm not quitting on brewing, but I will be taking a break. Hopefully things sort themselves out. The science of the hobby is really what drew me in, and now it's also what's pushing me away.

Aside from the taking a break (I'm in what seems like a boundless resurgence in my passion and interest for brewing) I have to agree with you Phil.

Everything you could possibly ever need to know, test, and evaluate is out there documented already in some way. So many things that have been described as not applying to home brewing do apply. Even the commercial stuff. Can it be applied exactly? Not always but the core principles are the same at 1 gallon or 500 gallons. Part of the reason I've tired of the forums is nothing personal at all:  I'm just finding stimulating and directly applicable information elsewhere or in my small little brewery. If you want information about brewing science, it is out there documented.

The problem with citizen science is that it doesn't bolster and complement actual science. It tends to muddy the waters, and because the audiences are so large for it, it sets in motion a mechanism which is hard to stop. The whole, "don't take our word for it, we are just one data point" rap doesn't seem to slow the creep. People take things that aren't very solid as gospel and it's hard for people to look subjectively at information posted from people they admire and poo poo it.

I'm taking a break from the forums but not brewing. "It's not you, it's me..."

Offline Phil_M

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #85 on: June 20, 2017, 11:23:11 AM »
The other thing "This is just a data point" does is cause others apply that same mentality to the known good science. Bamforth and Fix on HSA, for example. Once upon a time people believed Fix, and many recomended his "Principles of Brewing Science". I do think not everyone needs to follow his methods, but by buying into certain citizen science ideas ("doesn't matter on a homebrew scale") we've thrown the baby out with the bath water. Now some look at Fix's work and go "doesn't apply to me".


There's another good Churchill quote that applies to this situation:

"When I speak of matters on which I have authority, I expect to be believed."
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #86 on: June 20, 2017, 02:16:56 PM »
For a while the "be cool" paradigm was dominant on this forum, and then all of a sudden  the "pedantic science" group (disclaimer: I have a hard copy of Kunze in German) appeared. It claimed that large scale brewing and homebrewing do obey the same laws of chemistry and physics, and that to radically improve beer on a homebrewing scale, techniques developed and verified by pedantic science have to be applied. They basically deny the "do as you wish, this is just one datapoint" methodology,  replace it by "try it like this, science has shown that this is the best method", and are willing to back up their statements by hard facts from that same pedantic science, without denying that science and people can be wrong, research is necessary, and progress can always be made. The question then is: is this "respectful"? If the rule is, you have to "respect" people, but you don't have to "respect" their ideas, then the simple answer is yes, and these people have a place on this forum, and everybody should grow a thicker skin.  And, TBH, I have seen few, if any, personal attacks from the pedantic group, with the exception of some heated discussions with the mods, but I don’t count those. If the rule is "no, you also have to respect ideas" (whatever that means), then, Houston, we have a problem.

“The worst pedants are those who are always right.” (anon.)

[edit: added parenthesis]
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 02:25:30 PM by homoeccentricus »
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Offline narvin

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #87 on: June 21, 2017, 02:01:24 AM »
Well, imagine a car forum where everyone built their own 1/100 model from found parts.  It's not so much that "science doesn't apply" (whatever that would even mean) but that there are too many variables changing.

Even so, people can work on homebrew best practices, which is why my beer is way better than it was 10 years ago.
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Offline narvin

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #88 on: June 21, 2017, 02:06:01 AM »
Given your comment about how tngs keep changing, how would a person decide if their post was on an "advanced" topic?

Math.  People hate math  :)
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Offline erockrph

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Re: What is the Purpose of this Forum?
« Reply #89 on: June 21, 2017, 03:16:22 PM »
Well, imagine a car forum where everyone built their own 1/100 model from found parts.  It's not so much that "science doesn't apply" (whatever that would even mean) but that there are too many variables changing.

Even so, people can work on homebrew best practices, which is why my beer is way better than it was 10 years ago.
I like your car forum analogy. For my purposes, I like to hear what everyone else is doing and what results they're getting. If it's something I'm interested for my own purposes, then I may decide to try to roll that into my practice.

Regarding "best practices", I agree a bit, but with the caveat that it is a slippery slope. We all have different goals with this hobby. I'm fine with "procedure A gets me result B", but I'm less cool with "everybody really needs to follow this procedure because it is proven to make better beer". "Result B" can certainly be "the freshest-tasting malt character I've ever experienced" or something else fantastic, but I'll make the decision regarding what a "better beer" really is for me, thank you very much.
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