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Old 02-13-2013, 02:41 AM   #1
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Default Brew swapping Etiquette.

Dear Doctor Phil

So I'm fairly new to brewing myself, but not Home Brew, I have several friends who are brewer's and have been for years.

Occasionally we swap Brew's between ourselves, sometimes for comparison other times just for the hell of it or to return the favor. I always enjoyed tasting my mate's home brews ( something I can now reciprocate ) its awesome to see their take on certain beers.

A couple of the guys are AG brewers one just does extract. The extract brewer is always giving me new beer to try, I have recently been able to repay his generosity by giving him a few of my own

So that's the story, here's the punchline, Every Beer he give's my tastes the same all I get from it is soap. The last Bottle he gave me was a Coopers Kit Stout, the body was thin the colour was very light and again all I could taste was Soap !

I have had this kit before from another mate, and I really enjoyed it, it had a full body plenty of stout pazazz and no soap.

My question is, should I let my mate know this is what im getting from his beer's ? he always seems very pleased with them so I'm a little apprehensive to tell him I dont really enjoy them.

Have anyone come up against this ?

Cheers Mark

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Old 02-13-2013, 02:59 AM   #2
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Tough decision.

I would give him an honest critique of his brew. the idea of having others taste your brew is to give you good feedback. If it is good you want to know. If there are problems, with good honest critique, you can help him improve his brews. The thing with crits is to be honest and not get personel, but just make the point that it is just about the brew.

I say this as an art profesor that gives crits all the time. Most people have a hard time seperating a negative about their work, from a negative about them. Make sure they understand that is is just about the beer and not an attack against him.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:12 AM   #3
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What do your other buddies think? Do their opinions mirror yours? I would think that if everyone is in agreement that there some off favors, then you guys should tell him.

He'll never get better without some constructive criticism.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:17 AM   #4
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I had a friend who started brewing Mr. Beer kits. I shared some of my brews with him and he brought over one of his beers on day while i was brewing. I think that it was supposed to be an American wheat but it was so cloyingly sweet that I even to this day, I am really not sure. I opted not to say anything because it was a kit and he was brand new to brewing. I didn't want to discourage him.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markd27 View Post
What do your other buddies think? Do their opinions mirror yours? I would think that if everyone is in agreement that there some off favors, then you guys should tell him.

He'll never get better without some constructive criticism.
Yes we all have picked up the same soapy taste in his beer, one guy did try to approach it with a little humor mentioning that it did taste soapy, but he didn't take well to that.

I'm not sure he can pick it up, he has had several of the other guys beer's I'm assuming that he may be chalking the taste diff up to the diff between extract and AG.

Mine are all extract at the moment, so maybe now he may notice the diff between mine and his.

Cheers Mark
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
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I had a friend who started brewing Mr. Beer kits. I shared some of my brews with him and he brought over one of his beers on day while i was brewing. I think that it was supposed to be an American wheat but it was so cloyingly sweet that I even to this day, I am really not sure. I opted not to say anything because it was a kit and he was brand new to brewing. I didn't want to discourage him.
That's my fear also, he has been at it about a year or so now.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:33 AM   #7
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I'd offer to sit in on a brew day with him to see what he's doing. Maybe he's not rinsing something properly, or there's an issue with his water.

I was helping a friend get back into brewing and sat in on a brew day of his. I found out he was using bleach to sanitize, but he didn't rinse it after. No wonder his beers tasted awful.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:36 AM   #8
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I'd offer to sit in on a brew day with him to see what he's doing. Maybe he's not rinsing something properly, or there's an issue with his water.

I was helping a friend get back into brewing and sat in on a brew day of his. I found out he was using bleach to sanitize, but he didn't rinse it after. No wonder his beers tasted awful.
That's a great idea ! I will def make an offer to do that cheers.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:41 AM   #9
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IMO, don't say anything except "thanks for the beer" unless he directly asks you for criticism.

While you're waiting for that to happen, work on a way to put it gently without saying anything untrue. If there's anything positive you can say, I'd lead with that, and then pick the biggest problem and point that out. I would also stick to no more than a couple points of criticism, and if at all possible, try to say a roughly equal number of honest positive comments.

My logic is this. He clearly enjoys making the beer, and likes to share it. That's cool and generous, even if it's not great quality. If he is happy with what he's making, there's no reason to start telling him it's bad (and spontaneously criticizing it will very likely be interpreted that way even if you are very careful). If he does ask for your opinion, you ought to be truthful, but you don't need to unload with a detailed critique. It sounds like he has a lot of room to improve his methods, so I think it would be most effective (and also most tactful) to point him toward resolving the biggest problem first.

Since your friend broached the soapiness and met with negative results, I would be doubly inclined to hold off.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:50 AM   #10
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I have been told over and over about my "brutal honesty". 99% of the time it is good, but that 1% can be tough. People that know me love/hate my honesty, but they respect it none-the-less. I haven't associated with many HBers, but I ALWAYS make sure that when someone tries my HBs that they be brutally honest with me as well. I WAAANT IT! Especially if it's bad. I feel that if every beer that I make is liked by EVERY person that tries it then someone has to be lying to me. Not everyone that gets some of my HBs likes all the styles that I make. To date I've had only 2 friends say anything negative about my brews. What that did to me is respect their responses more than the others.

That's just me though. I work differently than most. I LOVE constructive criticism. Kiss-asses need not apply. haha

GL




P.S. You and your Political Correctness crap can kiss my glass!

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