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Old 11-29-2012, 02:40 AM   #11
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Amen, Rev... a-the-f*ck-men

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Old 11-29-2012, 02:50 AM   #12
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The reason is quite simple, the internet.

Back before we had the internet, we got our knowledge mostly through the opinions of authors telling us what they believe, and handing down what they heard. It was pretty much one way....we were told how it was from someone in "authority" so therefore we believed it was "the only way." And usually we never knew the original source said author's info.

We also didn't know if the info was scientific "fact," something the author experienced for himself, was just something he "heard" and regurgitated, something he read somewhere, or something some other brewer told him. Or if it was just those "chestnuts" that you brought up...things you've all heard, and folks often regurgitate purely by rote, whether we/they experienced them or not.

Whether they understand them or not.

John Palmer admitted he just regurgitated what he "heard" about not leaving beer in primary too long. Not something he actually experienced, or bothered to questions....he just passed it on and an entire new generation bought it hook line and sinker.....Until folks on a certain forum starting reporting that they left their beer in primary a LOT longer that he said they could, on purpose or by accident, and their beer turned out fine...AND OFTEN tasted and looked even better than if they rushed the beer off the yeast......so that no longer became "gospel" except to the noobs who haven't read the forums, or listened to the podcasts, or read the articles discussing it....just a free book online...which in later versions he changed....

We also didn't know, nor often did the "author" if there were any other ways that were just as valid. We really had a one way channel of info handed down to us....And really so did the author.

Or we were told something from older, more experienced brewers...how they did it...again usually not knowing if there were any alternatives that were just as valid.

When you're a student and don't know anything, whatever a teacher tells us, whether in a book or a taught to us, it is thought to be gospel, and unchallengeable. Especially if we know little about it ourselves.

But then along came the internet and forums like this, where you, at any given moment have thousands of people on at the same time, reading the same things, discussing things, and you start to see that there are more than one way folks are doing things, and they're also working. Then folks start to notice that one group believes something, while another group believes something completely different, but if you overlap them you notice some curious things....For example the squeeze the grain bag thing....extract brewers are told NO, yet BIAB brewers do it...so what's that mean? Well Maybe what extract people heard or read, might be wrong....especially since the BIAB'ers were influenced by the way they were diing it in Australia, and where they discovered and started writing on the internet and in THEIR BOOKS about the role of temp and PH and how it relates to releasing tannins, NOT simply squeezing the bag.

So you have people around the world, some who never had the hobby have to go underground like we in the US had to during Prohibition...sort of the homebrewing dark ages in the states, while people in other parts of the world were learning other things.

Now we can communicate instantly with other folks and see different ways of doing things. Plus with advances in science folks apply more of it to this hobby, as well as the field of brewing in general.

We also find out that not everything that we know about how it's done commercially, and what we might have read in the trades, actually might NOT be the same on the homebrew level.

And when more and more people start to see that there's different ways of doing things, they start to experiment on their own, (like how it happened with the shift in long primary beliefs....people learned about it, tried it, experiemented, came to their own conclusions and the ideas about autolysis being inevitable started to fade away.

This is happening all over the place, in other hobbys and in science as well...People at home are pushing the evenlope of science all the time now....people are doing gene splicing in labs in their basements made of things cobbled together from ebay...People are doing molecular gastronomy in their own kitchens.....homebrewers are building sous vide cookers with their homebrew knowledge and their coolers, then writing about it on foody blogs, and chefs who never did that before, rather than buying a 4,000 commercial sous-vide machine, and building an ebay temp controller, and doing it on a small scale, then they are pushing the envelope in the field.

(for example I was reading a food blog by a chef, who said it was really difficult to do sous-vide on a small scale, you needed a way to move the water around, and you needed a temp controller.....I sent him a link to my sous-vide thread on here, and he was blown away by the simple idea of an aquarium pump and stone, and a 40 dollar ebay temp controller.)

It's a democratization of knowledge and wisdom......And different disciplins coming together.

And suddenly WE push the knowlege base in the hobby. We argue stuff here, then people like the Basic brewing guys and the byo guys start experimenting, and the knowledge base changes...whether some folks want it to or not...or are willing to accept it or not. Some old dogs, will always be old dogs....

And with places like this we know INSTANTLY when something happens in the hobby, or the field...when the whitehouse brews a beer, we know immediately what happend. When an author changes his mind on a podcast, we know instantly, and the knowledge base shifts....

That's why I find it funny when folks say there's nothing but junk and bad info on the internet...actually the best info is on the internet, on forums like this, BECAUSE SOONER OR LATER IT GETS PEER REVIEWED....actually it nearly gets autmatically peer reviewed when folks back it up or reject it. And the info becomes state or the art....because we're doing it.

Even if it won't appear in a book for 3 or 4 years....We've written the new books already.

The point is because it's no longer knowledge handed down one way, it's now knowledge gained and shared collectively, and collaboratively we find out that quite simple there's more than one way to do things...and they all work.

And just maybe some of those things we took as gospel might just have been 100% wrong.....but more than likely what we believed as Gospel...was just one of many gospels on the same topic...all of them valid.

That's why I say, that there is rarely a "better" or "Best" or even a Right way of doing things....only what's RIGHT FOR US.

You find out really quick, that if you ask 10 different homebrewers the same thing, you'll get 12 different answers, and they'll all be CORRECT.

And you just have to figure out what works for you.

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Old 11-29-2012, 02:50 AM   #13
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How about HAVING to age beers in glass, or something other than PETE vessels?? While you won't find any PETE vessels used to ferment, or age, in, you also won't find any glass vessels here.

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Old 11-29-2012, 03:08 AM   #14
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You forgot:

(Original recommendation) If the beer turns out gross, a nearby woman is responsible and is justiced to death without trial. Her death may cause the beer to recover to a tasty malt beverage within 4 weeks according to the famous Vienna 1658 Christobäumebraumeisteren study.

(Modern day recommendation) various reasons.

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Old 11-29-2012, 03:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
How about HAVING to age beers in glass, or something other than PETE vessels?? While you won't find any PETE vessels used to ferment, or age, in, you also won't find any glass vessels here.
I use plastic Cooper's fermenters, the original style ones. One of the other homebrewers I've talked to that worked at the Heartland brewery in NYC (as a manager not a brewer or anything) asked me if I've ever had odd tastes carried over from the plastic. I told him not at all not once, and I never got the whole idea behind it. I'll state a few things first:

I've been an AG brewer for a year now and stuck with my Cooper's fermenters because they have so many positives. They are plastic (no risk of stitches from carboys breaking), they had tons of headspace (have never needed a blow off tube, not even once with the craziest fermentations), and they have a built in bottling spigot (no need to rack to a bucket, I simply pour in and gently stir my priming sugar solution in).

That said, I clean my fermenters well and not abrasively with Oxyclean (another thing that is super easy to do with these fermenters). But what intrigues me is how anyone could think any possible slight odor or taste that might be trapped in the plastic could have any noticeable effect whatsoever on 5 gallons of beer!!! I mean really, I would have to not clean the thing for flavors and odors to come through.

@Revvy - excellent post bro


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Old 11-29-2012, 05:21 AM   #16
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And the clergy continue to speak wisdom.

Thanks, Rev2010 and Revvy for some great posts.

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Old 11-29-2012, 11:37 AM   #17
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I think the main fallacy in this thinking is that there is a "proper" way to do things.

A second note is more inline with what Revy said...the passage of knowledge and opinion seems to merge within the community. Whether we read it in a book or hear it from another brewer, there seems to be something lost in translation. An inexperienced brewer asks a veteran if they do x or y. Often times the veteran says that he likes do do it one way. But soon the inexperienced brewer is saying it MUST be done that way instead of just an option or a common method used. There is a lot of parroting in the homebrew community, I see it a lot on this site too.

In the final analysis...try it. This is how opinions and common practices are changing. Instead of assuming it must be done this or that way, try both and see what you like. My system and method of brewing have changed so much over the past years, mainly because I may have read something, but I still tried it out myself. I've done the longer primary, no secondary/use a secondary, and I stick with my system because (1) one method worked better than the other, or (2) I saw no real difference so I do what I prefer.

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Old 11-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
The reason is quite simple, the internet.

Back before we had the internet, we got out knowlege mostly through the opinions of authors telling us what they believe, and handing down what they heard. It was pretty much one way....we were told how it was from someone in "authority" so therefore we believed it was "the only way." And usually we never knew the original source said author's info.

We also didn't know if the info was scientific "fact," something the author experienced for himself, was just something he "heard" and regurgitated, something he read somewhere, or something some other brewer told him. Or if it was just those "chestnuts" that you brought up...things you've all heard, and folks often regurgitate purely by rote, whether we/they experienced them or not.

Whether they understand them or not.

John Palmer admittied he just regurgitated what he "heard" about not leaving beer in primary too long. Not something he actually experienced, or bothered to questions....he just passed it on and an entire new genration bought it hook line and sinker.....Until folks on a certain forum starting reporting that they left their beer in primary a LOT longer that he said they could, on purpose or by accident, and their beer turned out fine...AND OFTEN tasted and looked even better than if they rushed the beer off the yeast......so that no longer became "gospel" except to the noobs who haven't read the forums, or listened to the podcasts, or read the articles discussing it....just a free book online...which in later versions he changed....

We also didn't know, nor often did the "author" if there were any other ways that were just as valid. We really had a one way channel of info handed down to us.

Or we were told something from older, more experienced brewers...how they did it...again usually not knowing if there were any alternatives that were just as valid.

When you're a student and don't know anything, whatever a teacher tells us, whether in a book or a taught to us, it is thought to be gospel, and unchallengable. Especially if we know little about it ourselves.

But then along came the internet and forums like this, were you, at any given moment have thousands of people on at the same time, reading the same things, discussing things, and you start to see that there are more than one way folks are doing things, and they're also working. Then folks start to notice that one group believes something, while another group believes something completely different, but if you overlap them you notice some curious things....For example the squeeze the grain bag thing....extract brewers are told NO, yet BIAB brewers do it...so what's that mean? Well Maybe what extract people heard or read, might be wrong....especially since the BIAB'ers were influenced by the way they were diing it in Australia, and where they discovered and started writing on the internet and in THEIR BOOKS about the role of temp and PH and how it relates to releasing tannins, NOT simply squeezing the bag.

So you have people around the world, some who never had the hobby have to go underground like we in the US had to during Prohibition...sort of the homebrewing dark ages in the states, while people in other parts of the world were learning other things.

Now we can communicate instantly with other folks and see different ways of doing things. Plus with advances in science folks apply more of it to this hobby, as well as the field of brewing in general.

We also find out that not everything that we know about how it's done commercially, and what we might have read in the trades, actually might NOT be the same on the homebrew level.

And when more and more people start to see that there's different ways of doing things, they start to experiment on their own, (like how it happened with the shift in long primary beliefs....people learned about it, tried it, experiemented, came to their own conclusions and the ideas about autolysis being inevitable started to fade away.

This is happening all over the place, in other hobbys and in science as well...People at home are pushing the evenlope of science all the time now....people are doing gene splicing in labs in their basements made of things cobbled together from ebay...People are doing molecular gastronomy in their own kitchens.....homebrewers are building sous vide cookers with their homebrew knowledge and their coolers, then writing about it on foody blogs, and chefs who never did that before, rather than buying a 4,000 commercial sous-vide machine, and building an ebay temp controller, and doing it on a small scale, then they are pushing the envelope in the field.

(for example I was reading a food blog by a chef, who said it was really difficult to do sous-vide on a small scale, you needed a way to move the water around, and you needed a temp controller.....I sent him a link to my sous-vide thread on here, and he was blown away by the simple idea of an aquarium pump and stone, and a 40 dollar ebay temp controller.)

It's a democratization of knowledge and wisdom......And different disciplins coming together.

And suddenly WE push the knowlege base in the hobby. We argue stuff here, then people like the Basic brewing guys and the byo guys start experimenting, and the knowledge base changes...whether some folks want it to or not...or are willing to accept it or not. Some old dogs, will always be old dogs....

And with places like this we know INSTANTLY when something happens in the hobby, or the field...when the whitehouse brews a beer, we know immediately what happend. When an author changes his mind on a podcast, we know instantly, and the knowledge base shifts....

That's why I find it funny when folks say there's nothing but junk and bad info on the internet...actually the best info is on the internet, on forums like this, BECAUSE SOONER OR LATER IT GETS PEER REVIEWED....actually it nearly gets autmatically peer reviewed when folks back it up or reject it. And the info becomes state or the art....because we're doing it.

Even if it won't appear in a book for 3 or 4 years....We've written the new books already.

The point is because it's no longer knowledge handed down one way, it's now knowledge gained and shared collectively, and collaboratively we find out that quite simple there's more than one way to do things...and they all work.

And just maybe some of those things we took as gospel might just have been 100% wrong.....but more than likely what we believed as Gospel...was just one of many gospels on the same topic...all of them valid.

That's why I say, that there is rarely a "better" or "Best" or even a Right way of doing things....only what's RIGHT FOR US.

You find out really quick, that if you ask 10 different homebrewers the same thing, you'll get 12 different answers, and they'll all be CORRECT.

And you just have to figure out what works for you.
As a newbie I want to thank you for this insightful post. I'm not the sharpest tack in the toolbox and all the conflicting information sometimes made my head spin. Finally I figured out for myself take the advise, use it but in the end of you got beer - success! I try to get as much info as I can, figure out what makes sense to me or applies best to my situation and go from there. I tape an index card to the fermenter and write down little notes about what I did, conditions at the time etc. so I'll have a database of what worked and more importantly what didn't.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
That's why I say, that there is rarely a "better" or "Best" or even a Right way of doing things....only what's RIGHT FOR US.

You find out really quick, that if you ask 10 different homebrewers the same thing, you'll get 12 different answers, and they'll all be CORRECT.
I think the difficulty most people face with this is that this is the way we are taught in 99% of our experiences, both in school and real life. As a kid when you were learning math and science there was a clear answer on the test. you may have even been given partial credit for your answer, which reinforces that there is one right answer.

From a new brewer perspective, it is easy to follow the chain Revvy mentioned about listening to one person give a piece of advice and then take it as gospel. You did what someone said and your beer came out pretty good, so that MUST be the right way to do it! Since I got the answer in the end that must be the chain that gets me there! (Yes this is simplified since sometimes there is more than one way to compute something.)

Now compare that to an essay. There are certain structures of an essay that have to be there to make it good like punctuation, spelling, etc. After that you are free to experiment and come out with different things, all of them generally correct. I think once I applied this to brewing everything became a little easier and I stopped freaking out about stuff.

Anyway, to avoid a threadjack:
Original: Add LME or DME at the beginning of the boil (extract). Modern: You can add it different times in the boil or at flame out. Also helpful with partial boils to keep the color light.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
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And just maybe some of those things we took as gospel might just have been 100% wrong.....but more than likely what we believed as Gospel...was just one of many gospels on the same topic...all of them valid.
This. What a great analogy using the Gospels- all of the Gospels focus around the same subject of Jesus' life and the same end result, but take four different routes doing so. Brewers all have their different little nuisances that center around making great beer; some of them are important, some less important (just like differences in the Gospels), but they are all part of what allows that brewer to make what we all love and cherish: beer.

As for Rev2010, you should actively keep this thread under moderation; gather any other original advice/modern advice brought up by members and amend your first post with those points. Looks like some people here have already grown as brewers by reading though these points; I know I have, especially about whirlfloc which I used for the first time yesterday (a whole tablet in 5 gallons... d'oh!). Like it's been said already, much of the old advice is debatable and can still produce great beer, so it'd be awesome for newer brewers to understand where certain wisdom comes from and how they can apply it to their own individual process(es).

This would be a great sticky if it grows to encompass much "conventional wisdom."
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