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Old 10-14-2009, 02:36 AM   #1
Pickngrin
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Default The "bad advice I got from the LBHS" thread

With the invaluable wealth of knowledge shared by wise brewers on the internet (dating years back from the original Homebrew Digest to this fine site), I find it interesting to every so often hear some downright inaccurate or bad advice from local homebrew shops.
There is a place I frequent, and I like the guys there. However, on my last visit, I was told that mashing should only be done up to 153 degrees, because 154 degrees is the critical temperature at which the alpha/beta amylase ratio changes (or something to that effect). I can't think of any area of brewing in which there is zero margin of error.

Last weekend, that shop was unexpectedly closed, and I had to go to the other shop in this area. I was looking in the yeast fridge for Wyeast 2112 - California lager. The owner was trying to explain to me that there is no "California lager" yeast, and that I was thinking of American lager. Finally, he pulled out the Wyeast brochure and lo and behold, there it was. He just doesn't carry it. I wasn't arguing with him and am not a "see-I-told-you" kind of guy, but I've heard him dispense some unusual brewing advice in the past, so I was a bit leery about going in there to begin with.

Anyone get any bad advice from a LBHS?

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:49 AM   #2
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There is plenty of bad advice both at shops as well as on the old Information Superhighway. That's why it's always a good idea to have your own sources of brewing information, like from a book or two. While for a lot of brewing questions there is no single right answer a grasp of the basic concepts will help in asking the right question and separating the wheat from the chaff among the answers.

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:54 AM   #3
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I've had constant bad advice from my brew shop. The shop is run by hippies. It's also a plant shop, but I think the guys running it are there primarily for growing. It's some sort of indoor hydroponic pot head thing.

Anyways, every time I go in there, if I have a question I'm pointed towards one guy. If he's not in, I get to listen to some amazingly complex line of BS from the kids that don't know what they're talking about. Sometimes I just ask questions to see what kind of answer I'll get...even if I know the right answer. When I went to the cash register to buy 6' of beer lines for my keg system, the guy asked me why I was buying so much. He then went on to claim that 1' lines are plenty long enough.

I've learned to not rely on my LHBS. I think I've known more about brewing than them since my 3rd batch. I did alot of reading on homebrewing before I even brewed my first batch. I still read a lot, just because you can never really know everything. I'd rather rely on myself than someone who doesn't quite seem to know what they're doing.

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:59 AM   #4
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I am lucky enough to have a great LHBS guy, but if you think about it, there's probably alot of average, avid homebrewers opening shops. There's no guarantee that any shop owner has studied brewing beyond the comfort of his/her own home/brewing set-up. I know there's probably going to be some retaliation from that statement, but it's most likely true. I know there ARE alot of advanced brewer's running shops and as I originally said, I would trade my LHBS guy for anybody. Another that comes to mind -I'm not sure exactly what Bobby M does, but I know his title says vendor and I've thought I've received very good advice from him.

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
He then went on to claim that 1' lines are plenty long enough.
That's similar to the only bad piece of advice I've gotten from my LHBS to date. I went in to look at their kegging package and it came with 2' of 1/4" ID vinyl tubing as a serving line. He said it would be plenty... maybe if you served at 2psi ha ha ha! Now I have 10' of 3/16" ID and serve at 12psi.
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:02 AM   #6
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Sometimes I just ask questions to see what kind of answer I'll get...even if I know the right answer.
When I was shopping for the SWMBO's wed ring, I received this advice from the guy I eventually bought from. It's the best test to see if (1) Someone knows what they're talking about and (2) if they're trying to screw you.
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:12 AM   #7
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The HBS that sold me my very first set up had a guy working in it that obviously doesnt even know what is going on. He sold me the wrong size bung for the carboy I got, He didnt tell me how important sanitizer was and didnt tell me i needed to buy any at all, he told me to bottle my beer by dipping a pitcher into the bucket and filling the bottle with the pitcher, and he told me the instructions in the pre hopped extract kit he sold me were accurate. They were in fact some of the worse instructions I have ever seen. He also told me the Toronto tap water would be fine to use, and while I still dont know EXACTLY how accurate that is, I doubt very much that it is

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:14 AM   #8
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I can proudly say that I've never gotten bad advice from my LHBS. He may not have the answers to all my questions but he'll never make anything up just to have an answer.

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:15 AM   #9
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haha lucky you. because of my LHBS my first two batches were completely garbage until I found this amazing site.

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
I've had constant bad advice from my brew shop. The shop is run by hippies. It's also a plant shop, but I think the guys running it are there primarily for growing. It's some sort of indoor hydroponic pot head thing.

Anyways, every time I go in there, if I have a question I'm pointed towards one guy. If he's not in, I get to listen to some amazingly complex line of BS from the kids that don't know what they're talking about. Sometimes I just ask questions to see what kind of answer I'll get...even if I know the right answer. When I went to the cash register to buy 6' of beer lines for my keg system, the guy asked me why I was buying so much. He then went on to claim that 1' lines are plenty long enough.

I've learned to not rely on my LHBS. I think I've known more about brewing than them since my 3rd batch. I did alot of reading on homebrewing before I even brewed my first batch. I still read a lot, just because you can never really know everything. I'd rather rely on myself than someone who doesn't quite seem to know what they're doing.
I know who you are talking about. Their chicago location is much better for the brew info.
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