Author Topic: The AHA in the NYT  (Read 2304 times)

Offline mrbowenz

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2011, 06:06:49 PM »
I think the focus here, as evidenced by the fact that almost no "machinery " was used in any pictures ( I see no brewing systems or Sabco's in the article, other than a single fermenter)  , was to highlight the ill-guided perception some people still  have with home brewing. I believe that most folks think of the making beer at home involves a "bath tub " and unsanitary conditions to create a hit or miss product , let's face it, we have all met the person who says, "yeah my brother-in-law used to make his own beer back in college" and the bottles sometimes exploded and it was just awful stuff .

Moreover, the article demonstrates the fact that some homebrewers are quite passionate about their craft and pursue a level of silliness that is beyond what most people would ever consider as normal ( I often fall into these articles : ) ). Extremes in any subject makes for  good headlines and articles in publications, it's what sells news, keeps people interested and makes careers for writers. John did a great job with this piece, and very well researched, gathering several experienced brewer's,retailers and writer's from the field.

I see no purpose to an argument amongst us hobbyists who clearly can make world class beers on every thing from a simple cooler and a few hoses to a 2 bbl shinny home mirco-brewery. In fact, most of us who have these types of systems, have hand-built them and know every detail and design aspect, yet have learned and deeply admired the Denny Conn's of the homebrew world without a doubt, some like to keep it cheap and easy  and some ...well not so much, but that's not relevant to making beer ...is it ?  

The small niche market that Sabco sells to , is the "rich guy" with little practical commonsense and more money to burn than hours in the day, this small segment of the population , doesn't compete or really have the passion to be at this hobby for a long time, he is one who is a collector of stuff to be cool, not all, but I suspect most who buy a 6k dollar brewery may also drive a large SUV or fast sports car, Sabco knows their market and so should you.

Overall , it's just another article in a major newspaper about making beer at home ( our passion) , and not about politics ,murder or another financial crisis.
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Offline denny

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2011, 06:11:34 PM »
Overall , it's just another article in a major newspaper about making beer at home ( our passion) , and not about politics ,murder or another financial crisis.

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2011, 06:47:55 PM »
I mostly agree, although if for some reason I became physically unable to use my system as is I would be eying a sabco or other pricey automated system rather than quit brewing.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2011, 01:09:57 AM »
The only reason I want to buy a Sabco is that I don't have the time or experience to safely build something with that level of automation myself.

That being said, I think the beers I make on my frankensystem (no bathtub needed! Except for sanitation...) are just as good as what can be made on a Sabco. It's the reproducability and control that I'm envious of.

And the stainless steel. SHINY.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2011, 01:20:23 AM »
Phil, for what you are talking about with the potential business I think a Sabco is probably a good decision, especially with the limited ability to get parts and find fabricators in your neck of the woods.  I'm not dissing them at all really, I just prefer my hands-on brewing and many people do.  But some automation would be nice when customers depend on your beer.

And seriously I have no problem with anyone brewing any way that they like to.  It just doesn't make you more of an "advanced" brewer (and I don't think you believe it does).  It's pretty much just that one quote from Sabco that irks me.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2011, 02:17:42 AM »
Phil, for what you are talking about with the potential business I think a Sabco is probably a good decision, especially with the limited ability to get parts and find fabricators in your neck of the woods.  I'm not dissing them at all really, I just prefer my hands-on brewing and many people do.  But some automation would be nice when customers depend on your beer.

And seriously I have no problem with anyone brewing any way that they like to.  It just doesn't make you more of an "advanced" brewer (and I don't think you believe it does).  It's pretty much just that one quote from Sabco that irks me.

I agree with you - however, I think the Sabco guy was just trying to push his product. Anybody worth their salt will understand that 'high-end' does not equal quality. I've seen plenty of assholes driving Ferraris, if you know what I mean.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2011, 09:56:23 AM »
I liked the article and think it's cool the author is willing to join in the banter.  Not everyone is willing to defend their work, so good on him.

I've seen a trend in higher-end dedicated brewhouses in home settings over the past few years. Nothing wrong with that. If you have the resources, it will likely result in a satisfying brewing experience once you learn how to properly use it. If I were building a system from scratch today, who knows what I'd pick? There are plenty aspects of my setup that bother me, but not enough to pitch everything and start over.

I guess the issue is that some people expect to buy a lot of high-end gear and magically create great beer.  Not gonna happen.  It's still a system that you have to learn to control.  All a new system might mean is that you might more efficiently create crappy beer. Hand a duffer Tiger Woods' clubs and he'll still be a duffer.

People can make great beer on Frankenstein or McGyver systems, as long as they know how they respond.  High-end systems might be easier to control, more automated, produce more consistent results, etc., but they won't do that on auto-pilot.  That's probably what has kept me from making big changes, is that I don't want to go through that whole system learning curve again.

A system is a means to an end.  Judge the final product.  If you have a high-end system and make great beer, that's great (and it makes a nice picture).  If you have a low-end system and make great beer, that's great too. No need for anyone to hate or feel envy.  Now, if you're not making great beer, I don't really care what kind of system you have.  It just means you've got some work to do.
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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2011, 11:21:33 AM »
Now, if you're not making great beer, I don't really care what kind of system you have.  It just means you've got some work to do.

Well said, Gordon. Is there a resource you'd recommend for someone who's interested in Brewing Better Beer? ;)
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2011, 11:33:46 AM »
I think Gordon would recommend this book - The Everything Homebrewing Book.  Lord knows I do!  ;D
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2011, 12:16:07 PM »
I'm a little late this party but I have to say that I didn't read the comments about some Advanced Home Brewers being anything derogatory.  It doesn't seem to be any worse than a golf club article that mentions the name of a certain manufacturer of clubs.  Sure the implication might be that you can only play good golf using "brand name" clubs but that's the vendor's statement.  He speaks for his business.

I don't recall hearing our systems called "Frankenstein" systems before but it's not too far off the mark.  We do spend a fairly large amount of time in hardware stores cobbling together parts of other products to brew beer with. 

Of the people who read the article. most will just "say oh that's nice" and move on.  A few will look into the hobby more deeply and learn what they need to.  I don't see why anyone would write an article for the NYT about a '72 Vega when they can write about a TT or Z3.

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2011, 12:20:46 PM »
Here's the book I'd recommend and you can review an early edition online for free:

http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

Offline thirsty

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Re: The AHA in the NYT
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2011, 05:56:23 PM »
I liked it. It's great to see any mainstream media do a positive story about homebrewing.