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Old 02-08-2008, 04:56 PM   #1
DSean
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Default Taking Notes

I have a confession: I am a bad note-taker. I routinely leave off important information (gravity readings, mash temps, measures of hop additions, etc - not all at once, but over many brewings).

I want to fix that though. I saw that Kaiser had a great note-paper set up.
See here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost...&postcount=126

Does anyone else out there have a document like that that they want to share?

Any other tips or techniques for keeping good notes?

Clearly my methods have failed me, so I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks.

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Old 02-08-2008, 05:10 PM   #2
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I am also horrible at this. I saw these a while back detailing the extensive documentation that Kaiser had on his brews and it made me realize what a slacker I am.

I've been able to reproduce good recipes so far, but proper documentation is a good practice that I need to be more diligent about.

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Old 02-08-2008, 05:47 PM   #3
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I have a leather bound journal and pen in all my notes. I like to keep it old school where I can. For me it is a relaxing activity during brewing. I just journal the day in general. Not always the most accurate way of doing things but I like how all the entries are different and everytime I look up an old recipe I need to read about the whole brew day to piece together my recipe and schedule.

I am not producing beer for the public and don't feel the need to brew exactly the same way every time. I think it is more of an art form if you immerse yourself in the overall process and don't get tied down to exact duplication.

Just my two cents. Why do you want better records? Just so you know?

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Old 02-08-2008, 05:55 PM   #4
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I was really good about taking notes in the beginning. Now I've found that I never go back to them so I have pretty much stopped taking them. I still try to take gravity readings and put them into my promash session log, but I'm not always good about remembering to do it (plus it's more equipment to sanitize).

I'd say new brewers should try to take notes since it will help them focus on the important things and pay attention, whereas I think experienced brewers can maybe get away with being a little more lax.

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij Kabouter
Just my two cents. Why do you want better records? Just so you know?
Pretty much. Also, so I can track my progress - you know, document becoming a better brewer & producing better beers. Hopefully anyhow.

I'm using a similar system now - spiral bound notebook - and it's failing me. I guess what I'm looking for is a standardized way of doing it so that I stop forgetting to include important information.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:03 PM   #6
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My first couple brews, I was like the note master. I scribbled everything down. Then when i went to make another batch of one of those brews I only realy needed a couple pieces of data. So now I jot down my OG and the amount of hops. Like was said above, I brew for me and friends and the love of doing it. I don't need to make photo copies of each brew.

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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I tend to keep session notes with pen and paper. I often have my laptop handy while I'm brewing, but I don't want to screw around with it when I can just jot something down.

I keep notes so that I repeat the things I did right and avoid the things I did wrong. I rarely know one from the other until we're weeks down the road, and I've forgotten what I did at all by then.


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Old 02-08-2008, 06:06 PM   #8
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Wow, Kaiser's notes are pretty cool. I couldn't tell but I assume he's tracking the temperature and times of his mash, right?

As for my note-taking, I print out the recipe for every batch I do and take notes on that. It's a scribbled mess at the end though.

After thinking about it, I'll create a more standardized sheet so I can at least have the vital information in a legible, obvious place.

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:08 PM   #9
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I need something as well, and have been looking for an already created document in ms word that I could download...

I do stupid things like take a sample, drop my hydrometer in the theif, realize I need my "cheaters" to read the damn thing...Carry the hydrometer into the bedroom to find my glasses. Take the damn reading, pour the sample off into a glass. Put hydrometer/theif in sink to clean. Remember I still have my glasses on and take beer glass and go into the bedroom to replace them by my bed. Drink beer. Go into kitchen to clean theif and hydrometer....and realize a couple hours/days later that I never wrote the hydrometer reading down.

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
I need something as well, and have been looking for an already created document in ms word that I could download...

I do stupid things like take a sample, drop my hydrometer in the theif, realize I need my "cheaters" to read the damn thing...Carry the hydrometer into the bedroom to find my glasses. Take the damn reading, pour the sample off into a glass. Put hydrometer/theif in sink to clean. Remember I still have my glasses on and take beer glass and go into the bedroom to replace them by my bed. Drink beer. Go into kitchen to clean theif and hydrometer....and realize a couple hours/days later that I never wrote the hydrometer reading down.

Yeah, that's the exact type of stupid sh*t that I do all the time. Drinking the product tends to magnify my errors, but that's half the fun, right?
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