Author Topic: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality  (Read 676 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2020, 05:19:46 PM »
I agree with having fun as Denny says.  But I think most of us want to brew good beer, so it takes a while to get to the point where fun becomes most important to a Brew day, because you typically stress about the final outcome, until you can ride the bike no-handed.

I think the Anvil Foundry is still very much a manual approach for an all-in-one, but I like the switchable 120/240 volt aspect - I use 240 in the garage and 120 in the kitchen in the winter.  I can recirc, but rarely do anymore....easier And less cleaning equals more fun.

You gotta love what this hobby offers to its participants!

I certainly didn't mean to imply I don't care about beer quality.   But it's a secondary goal.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline denny

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2020, 05:21:02 PM »
If I was starting over I would get one of the all-in-one coffee urn-style systems. Electric is definitely the way to go.

However, each of these all-in-one systems rely on a computer to operate.  There is something to be said about the ability to brew without a computer.

The ability to heat water, add it to grain, hold a mash temp, vorlauf, lauter, sparge, repeat even when the computer (or in my case the PID) fails, is a plus for me.


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The GF doesn't need a computer to operate unless you consider the heat controller a computer.
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Offline denny

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2020, 05:23:47 PM »
Minor side comments
I don't subscribe to the RDWHAHB ethos. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not me; I prefer continuous improvement (six sigma and others). It's a personality trait.
 I do subscribe to the KISS ethos though .
Did Denny invent the batch-sparge method? I wasn't aware.

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He didn't "invent it" but made it popular (the first article i saw was in BYO many years ago) and gave the step by step application on how to use tools we have at our disposal (stainless steel braid, for intance).

I agree with your strive for constant improvement, it wouldn't be fun otherwise. I think the RDW mantra is for beginners who need to not stress about making mistakes.

I've gotta disagree with that last sentence Keith. For the first 20 years I brewed, I stringently strove for continual improvement.  Eventually I realised that stressing over homebrewjngwas a waste of my time and mental energy.  I finally came to the realization that it's only beer and that stressing over beer was stupid.  Beet coesnt want to be taken seriously...it wants to be shared, enjoyed, laughed over and about.  That changed my homebrewing life. Now, enjoyment is my goal and the beer is secondary to that.

For some, me included, sweating the details, tweaking the processes and incorporating best brewing practices (within the constraints of whatever brewing system we use) is what makes the hobby fun. If you're having fun, there's no stress.  :)

Agreed, and we each get to decide what's fun for us.  And we no need to keep that in mind when we give advice.  What's right for one is not necessarily right for all.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2020, 05:24:19 PM »
I've been doing overnight mashes and I love it.  Before bed, I get the mash going and in the morning I decide when I will finish. 
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

Offline majorvices

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2020, 07:29:56 PM »
Minor side comments
I don't subscribe to the RDWHAHB ethos. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not me; I prefer continuous improvement (six sigma and others). It's a personality trait.
 I do subscribe to the KISS ethos though .
Did Denny invent the batch-sparge method? I wasn't aware.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

He didn't "invent it" but made it popular (the first article i saw was in BYO many years ago) and gave the step by step application on how to use tools we have at our disposal (stainless steel braid, for intance).

I agree with your strive for constant improvement, it wouldn't be fun otherwise. I think the RDW mantra is for beginners who need to not stress about making mistakes.

I've gotta disagree with that last sentence Keith. For the first 20 years I brewed, I stringently strove for continual improvement.  Eventually I realised that stressing over homebrewjngwas a waste of my time and mental energy.  I finally came to the realization that it's only beer and that stressing over beer was stupid.  Beet coesnt want to be taken seriously...it wants to be shared, enjoyed, laughed over and about.  That changed my homebrewing life. Now, enjoyment is my goal and the beer is secondary to that.

Maybe you could start stressing over typos then!  ;) ;D

Being a probrewer has changed some of my perspective on that. Homebrewing I am no where near as concerned. But commercial brewing really boils down to QC, repeatability, consistency and QC. Also QC. Right before I left Yellowhammer (forced out by a greedy partner is more apt) I was having fun with qPCR system and deeply involved with sensory panels and building the best lab I could. I don't have anything like that at home but it's fun to know what the science says.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 07:31:48 PM by majorvices »

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2020, 07:41:04 PM »
Minor side comments
I don't subscribe to the RDWHAHB ethos. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not me; I prefer continuous improvement (six sigma and others). It's a personality trait.

I have been working in engineering for four decades and I do not subscribe to six sigma.  I subscribe to the philosophy of hiring the best and doing what one has to do to keep talent on board because the difference in productivity is often more than ten-to-one.  No process will ever replace talent when it comes to producing anything other than also-ran products. 

Continuous improvement is bounded by the law of diminishing returns, especially in a company that focuses more on the management of engineering than actual engineering. No revolutionary product was ever created by a process.  It was created by talented people with interpersonal chemistry. 

Finally, I have seen guys sweat every detail of wort production and then pitch dry yeast.  To me, that is a WTF situation. Brewers do not make beer. Brewers make wort. Yeast makes beer.  To me, pitching dry yeast after all of that work is pure lunacy. However, that is just me.

In the end, RDWHAHB is about not taking oneself too seriously and not sweating things over which one does not have full control. Brewing at the amateur level should be fun.

Offline denny

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2020, 09:14:26 PM »
Minor side comments
I don't subscribe to the RDWHAHB ethos. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not me; I prefer continuous improvement (six sigma and others). It's a personality trait.
 I do subscribe to the KISS ethos though .
Did Denny invent the batch-sparge method? I wasn't aware.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

He didn't "invent it" but made it popular (the first article i saw was in BYO many years ago) and gave the step by step application on how to use tools we have at our disposal (stainless steel braid, for intance).

I agree with your strive for constant improvement, it wouldn't be fun otherwise. I think the RDW mantra is for beginners who need to not stress about making mistakes.

I've gotta disagree with that last sentence Keith. For the first 20 years I brewed, I stringently strove for continual improvement.  Eventually I realised that stressing over homebrewjngwas a waste of my time and mental energy.  I finally came to the realization that it's only beer and that stressing over beer was stupid.  Beet coesnt want to be taken seriously...it wants to be shared, enjoyed, laughed over and about.  That changed my homebrewing life. Now, enjoyment is my goal and the beer is secondary to that.

Maybe you could start stressing over typos then!  ;) ;D

Being a probrewer has changed some of my perspective on that. Homebrewing I am no where near as concerned. But commercial brewing really boils down to QC, repeatability, consistency and QC. Also QC. Right before I left Yellowhammer (forced out by a greedy partner is more apt) I was having fun with qPCR system and deeply involved with sensory panels and building the best lab I could. I don't have anything like that at home but it's fun to know what the science says.

And that's difference between homebrewing and commercial brewing
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 Cliffs

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2020, 11:17:14 PM »
electric brew in a basket no sparge. I am fond of the clawhammer systems. So simple, non proprietary, and cleaning involves pumping cleaner through the system. As far as cold side goes, I use a brew jacket with ss brewbucket and fixed a gas in valve to the top so I can move beer with co2 instead of gravity. I also spund most of my beers. its a simple system that isnt alot of work

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2020, 12:29:07 AM »
Mark,

After having gone electric 7 or 8 years ago, I can say that I'd never consider going back to gas.  Far easier and it provides better control.  It does mean that electronic control modules are needed for the mashing and boiling units, but they can be simple.

I understand your disdain with dry yeast, but I've found that some types can make pretty good brews. Some styles demand that I use a proper liquid strain, but many do not. I appreciate the simplicity of dry yeast brewing in most cases.
Martin B
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2020, 12:35:58 AM »
When I make a best bitter it is a relaxed and easy brew day. When I'm doing a Helles or Pils, the German engineer in me comes to the front.
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Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2020, 04:58:40 AM »
Continuous improvement is bounded by the law of diminishing returns, especially in a company that focuses more on the management of engineering than actual engineering. No revolutionary product was ever created by a process.  It was created by talented people with interpersonal chemistry. 
As a fellow engineer and manager of people, I really respect that statement. I think I need to post it above my desk. Thank you - some good wisdom there!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 09:45:09 PM by dbeechum »

Offline Kevin

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2020, 02:59:25 AM »
Minor side comments
I don't subscribe to the RDWHAHB ethos. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not me; I prefer continuous improvement (six sigma and others). It's a personality trait.

I have been working in engineering for four decades and I do not subscribe to six sigma.  I subscribe to the philosophy of hiring the best and doing what one has to do to keep talent on board because the difference in productivity is often more than ten-to-one.  No process will ever replace talent when it comes to producing anything other than also-ran products. 

Continuous improvement is bounded by the law of diminishing returns, especially in a company that focuses more on the management of engineering than actual engineering. No revolutionary product was ever created by a process.  It was created by talented people with interpersonal chemistry. 

Finally, I have seen guys sweat every detail of wort production and then pitch dry yeast.  To me, that is a WTF situation. Brewers do not make beer. Brewers make wort. Yeast makes beer.  To me, pitching dry yeast after all of that work is pure lunacy. However, that is just me.

In the end, RDWHAHB is about not taking oneself too seriously and not sweating things over which one does not have full control. Brewing at the amateur level should be fun.

Here! Here! RDWHAHB in no way means that there is no improvement to be had. If that's what someone thinks then they either didn't read the book ...or if they did they didn't get it.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2020, 08:37:17 PM »
After having gone electric 7 or 8 years ago, I can say that I'd never consider going back to gas.  Far easier and it provides better control.  It does mean that electronic control modules are needed for the mashing and boiling units, but they can be simple.

I remember seeing photos of your electric brewery.  It is one of the nicer ones I have seen.  I guess the best way to brew is to have a backup, regardless of heating source.  I was primarily brewing with induction at the end of my last pass through the hobby.  I was brewing 3-gallon batches with an 1800W 120V portable induction range until I learned that my double oven circuit was 30A when it should have been 40A.  I had the electrician re-route the old 4-wire 30A circuit to my garage and had him replace the 240V 30A breaker with 240V 30A GFCI breaker when he installed the new 40A oven circuit.  I fabricated a 14-30R plug to 6-20R receptacle and switched 5-15R receptacle in a waterproof metal receptacle box cord.  I plugged a 3500W induction portable induction range into the 6-20R receptacle and my March pump into the 5-15R receptacle (the other half of the duplex was a switch that I used to turn the pump on and off).  The 3500W portable induction range could bring 7 gallons of wort up to boiling from 150F in less than 20 minutes.  I may go back to the method because it is quiet, very portable, and I can still use and immersion chiller.   MoreBeer has an interesting set of curved heating elements that they call "SlingBlades."  That design eliminates not being able to use an immersion chiller argument when brewing with an immersed heating element, but it is single source.

Quote
I understand your disdain with dry yeast, but I've found that some types can make pretty good brews. Some styles demand that I use a proper liquid strain, but many do not. I appreciate the simplicity of dry yeast brewing in most cases.

It is not disdain for dry yeast.  It is the going through extreme machinations with wort production and then pitching dry yeast, which, even with the advances in dry brewers yeast that we have seen in the last twenty years, is still a compromise made for convenience.

Offline denny

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2020, 09:01:49 PM »
It is not disdain for dry yeast.  It is the going through extreme machinations with wort production and then pitching dry yeast, which, even with the advances in dry brewers yeast that we have seen in the last twenty years, is still a compromise made for convenience.

Convenience, yes.  Compromise, I'm not so certain it always is.
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 Richard

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Re: Techniques for simplifying brewing without sacrificing quality
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2020, 10:12:56 PM »
...
 MoreBeer has an interesting set of curved heating elements that they call "SlingBlades."  That design eliminates not being able to use an immersion chiller argument when brewing with an immersed heating element, but it is single source.
...
Look at the Blichmann Boil Coils. They are very low watt density circular coils. My immersion chiller fits inside the coil and the low watt density means that it doesn't scorch my BIAB bag.
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