Author Topic: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)  (Read 3077 times)

Online Slowbrew

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2011, 11:37:23 AM »
I don't know about you guys, but just think of how much you have learned from this forum (and others).  When I started brewing on my stove in the mid-90's, I couldn't just post a question or read a topic and become instantly educated.  I had to find the answer or experiment until I learned it from experience.  We have it so good now and the info is everywhere.

I still remember first trying to make a MT from the directions in the first Joy of Homebrewing book.  Drilling a million 1/8" holes in to the bottom of a plastic fermenter...........I gave up.

Now I'm all over YouTube taking notes on how I'm going to make my RIMS or HERMS (haven't decided yet) system! 

So, +1 to good sanitation, having a good process and being patient.

+1000 to have someone you know to pass on their knowledge........ ;)

So very true!

I started this hobby with the photocopied directions that came with my "Advanced Homebrewing Kit" from Wally Von Klop's Wine and Cheese Mart.  The directions were actually very good but they only got you started.  I really began to learn when I started reading books and found the old rec.brewing chat board.  I have learned a lot from BYO and  Zymurgy but when it comes to practical and usable advice, nothing beats a good forum.

Paul

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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2011, 11:59:16 AM »
I forgot to add that "The Sun Has Left Us On Time" Steam Beer is still one of my favorite recipes and beers of all time, even though it's been several years since my last extract brew.  My buddies still remember it almost 20 years later......
Dave Zach

Offline thirsty

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2011, 12:12:47 PM »

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying you shouldn't buy fancy equipment (lord knows I have more then I need).  What I am saying is that the reason should be because it adds to your enjoyment of the hobby, not because you think you need it in order to make good beer.


It's like trying anything new. There is no way you are going to be great at it the first time you do it.

Offline skyler

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2011, 12:49:11 PM »
It really is a pity that HBT is the forum google usually sends brewers to... 90% of the bad advice I got early on in brewing came from googling advice and ending up (usually) at that forum. Some examples:

1. "Ambient temperature needs to be at least 65 degrees F to brew ales." (I left my heater running all day long for a week to keep ambient at 68F one winter in Portland).

2. "The value of yeast starters is a myth. Why would Wyeast give you too little yeast? Look at my experiment that PROVES yeast starters ruin beer!"

3. "You need "fresh" yeast. If you reuse your yeast, your beer will taste bad and your mother will get cancer."

4. "All grain takes twice as long and the resulting beer is worse unless you spend $$$ on equipment."

5. "All grains can be steeped."

I could go on... suffice it to say, this forum, despite its having a limited history and pretty slow turnaround, is by far the best one on the net, IMO, when it comes to getting good advice from experienced brewers.

Offline weithman5

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2011, 12:52:41 PM »

3. "You need "fresh" yeast. If you reuse your yeast, your beer will taste bad and your mother will get cancer."



It is all fun and games until someone loses a nose.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2011, 01:35:35 PM »
I don't know about you guys, but just think of how much you have learned from this forum (and others).  When I started brewing on my stove in the mid-90's, I couldn't just post a question or read a topic and become instantly educated.  I had to find the answer or experiment until I learned it from experience.  We have it so good now and the info is everywhere.

I still remember first trying to make a MT from the directions in the first Joy of Homebrewing book.  Drilling a million 1/8" holes in to the bottom of a plastic fermenter...........I gave up.

Now I'm all over YouTube taking notes on how I'm going to make my RIMS or HERMS (haven't decided yet) system! 

So, +1 to good sanitation, having a good process and being patient.

+1000 to have someone you know to pass on their knowledge........ ;)

Man, I feel exactly what you are saying. Especially building the papzap mash tun. OTOH that thing worked for many, many great batches.
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.

Offline euge

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2011, 03:17:13 PM »
Fermentation temp control is the most important step after sanitation...

I'd say it is every bit as important as sanitation.

I put it above sanitation. I've had too many shoddy batches resulting from temp swings in fermenters that were thoroughly sanitized.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline bo

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2011, 03:19:50 PM »
Fermentation temp control is the most important step after sanitation...

I'd say it is every bit as important as sanitation.

I put it above sanitation. I've had too many shoddy batches resulting from temp swings in fermenters that were thoroughly sanitized.

Before I got my temperature under control, I had some beer that I didn't prefer, but they were drinkable. Poor sanitation almost always results in a dumper. Sanitation has to be on top.

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2011, 03:26:54 PM »
Before I got my temperature under control, I had some beer that I didn't prefer, but they were drinkable. Poor sanitation almost always results in a dumper. Sanitation has to be on top.

This all depends on your ambient temp, around here I'd say that sanitation is a distant second to temp control.  cheers, j

Offline euge

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2011, 03:37:25 PM »
I think one could clean their plastic buckets really well with hot water and oxyclean and get by with not worrying about infection especially if they keep their fermentation below 70F. Not a best practice obviously. :D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2011, 03:51:15 PM »
one could do very little about sanitation and if one were lucky one could still get good beer. If one does nothing about temp control at all and the ambient temp does not cooperate one will never get good beer. so in that case the first choke point is temp control.
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2011, 04:00:37 PM »
Unfortunately, many people like to throw money at their problems. It's easier than learning.

Nice thoughts mr lorden.  Impatience is a killer too, there are no shortcuts in homebrewing and one must spend a chunk of time reading and brewing.
+1   Patience is key... read everything you can, ask as many questions as you can think of.
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Offline bo

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2011, 05:11:37 PM »
Everything in moderation. A hundred degree fermentation will obviously result in crappy beer, just like only rinsing a fermenter will likely result in an infection. I'd rather take a chance with slightly higher temps than risk anything with sub par sanitation.

Offline kgs

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2011, 08:32:34 PM »
All-grain brewing for *small batches* isn't an expensive investment. A 5-gallon cooler, a plumbing supply line, and some spare parts, and you're in business. You will make it up in the savings over extract very quickly, and you have the fun (if you think it's fun) of mashing, plus the ability to make any recipe.

What I wish I had a do-over on was thinking that I really needed the propane burner and the 8-gallon pot. I've used them to make good beer in the 4-gallon range, but for a variety of reasons I've found myself moving back to the kitchen to make 3-gallon all-grain batches (thereabouts, a little more, a little less).  Dealing with more than 3 gallons is physically uncomfortable for me, and in the kitchen I don't have to deal with weather variables. I went back to extract for a couple of batches and it really didn't save me much time--it took longer, but it didn't add that much labor effort. The last all-grain batch I brewed, I mashed the night before, went to sleep, and had the wort boiling before 7 a.m.

Instead of that burner and pot, I could have invested the same money (and space!) in a small fridge and the parts for temp control. I live in a part of the country (San Francisco) where most of the year you can ferment pretty decent ale by putting your carboy in a garage on a cement floor, but I'd like to dial it in more precisely than that. So that's my next stop.

The books have been a great investment. I did a lot of business travel for a couple of years and was constantly pulling a brewing book out on the airplane or in the hotel room to re-read a chapter and puzzle my way through a concept.
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Offline dzlater

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Re: Point Proven? (and a message for new brewers)
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2011, 04:50:40 AM »
My first brews were using directions that came with my kit from the local shop. Sanitized with bleach.
Brewed some pretty good extract batches. For temp control I would just put the carboy on the floor near the house thermostat, set it to 68°f and let it ride.
Dan S. from NJ