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Old 09-05-2009, 06:55 AM   #1
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Default At what point did your homebrew go from good to great?

It would seem that either equipment, recipe, technique, ingredients, all of these come into play when brewing a great beer. And as you progress, your technique improves, you get better equipment, you get a little better with each batch. But has anyone had an experience in their homebrewing that took their beers from tasting okay to incredible? I'm not talking just a little better, but a noticeable difference than all of the beer you made previous. Was it using all grain? Was it using a stir plate and yeast starter? Was it fermentation temperature? Was it sanitation routine? I've been brewing for a year and a half, and have made improvements, but it just seems that my beer tastes no where nearly as good as the person that got me hooked on homebrewing. Does anyone else have this experience? Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-05-2009, 07:12 AM   #2
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brew a SMASH

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Old 09-05-2009, 07:48 AM   #3
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When I went all grain it immediately produced awesome beer.

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Old 09-05-2009, 08:15 AM   #4
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Yours will never taste as good as someone else’s. Sorry, that is just the way it is!!! Just kidding..... But it does seem to ring true for most. I think that we all hit it or miss, but as soon as you know what each grain, malt, hops and yeast will do to the finish beer is when you will see the big difference. All the best equipment in the world wont cover up putting roast in an IPA and fermenting @ 80* w/ English yeast..... If you know what I mean.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:20 AM   #5
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Fermentation temp control, excellent sanitation practices, and experience.

Once I got a temp controller, and had to learn great sanitation the hard way a couple times, the rest was just learning how ingredients work together.

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Old 09-05-2009, 08:42 AM   #6
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Same for me, when I switched to all grain. Not knocking any extract people. Sure you can get great results. But when I switched to all grain I noticed a lot more depth in the grain character. And yes, I had been steeping. At the time, though, I was really reading a lot and changing technique regularly to get better beer, so chances are it wasn't JUST that. But that was the point at which I saw a huge improvement. Think that was around batch 9 or 10 back in 1998 or so....

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Old 09-05-2009, 09:51 AM   #7
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For me it was hands down the first time I did a water adjustment. For some this isn't even neccessary depending on your local water, but the Seattle tap water is extremely soft and not suited towards the IPA's I was trying to achieve.

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Old 09-05-2009, 10:24 AM   #8
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Two things for me: Full boil and all grain. I used to put more stock in liquid yeast, but I've come to understand equally great beer is made from dry yeast, but more styles are available with liquid.

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Old 09-05-2009, 12:19 PM   #9
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when i started all grain, tempurature control, and reading posts on Homebrew Talk.com my brewing went from 'good' to 'great' to 'my stinking friends and neighbors won't leave me alone!!!'

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Old 09-05-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewsmith View Post
Fermentation temp control, excellent sanitation practices, and experience.

Once I got a temp controller, and had to learn great sanitation the hard way a couple times, the rest was just learning how ingredients work together.
I think temperature control and pitching the proper amounts of yeast (instead of just pouring in a package) is what boosted my beer's quality from "ok" to "excellent".
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