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Old 11-29-2012, 02:51 PM   #21
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Home-brewing is, in a sense, a relatively new scientific community that is constantly growing. With the internet we've been able to share knowledge like never before. I have no doubt that many of the things we now take to be true and good will eventually be disproven or improved upon, like any good discipline. That's the benefit of coming to a forum like Homebrewtalk, where you have the advantage of a huge pool of knowledge, as opposed to just reading "How to Brew."

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Old 11-29-2012, 04:13 PM   #22
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I think Rev hit it on the head with his last post.

Recently there was a thread regarding reading materials and mainly aimed at magazines. Having worked for a few different magazines (as a photographer) I have seen it from the inside and am disgusted by them in general. Back about 20 or so years ago they were basicallly the equivelent of the internet putting forth new ideas faster than boooks could be printed. The down side to this is they are also profit driven companies and have become horribly flooded with product placement both in articles as well as consisting on average of 65-70% advertising. So the actual progress of a hobby or sport is stunted by what a manufacturer can build and sell.

With the advent of the internet magazines have become useless fire materials. I would go out and shoot an event, edit the images and send them to the publisher. Then I would go log into my favorite forum and see write ups and coverage of the very same events the day of or the day after it happened with images included, the magazine wass still 10 dys from print and 20 days from shipping, by the time it hit the mailbox or shelves it wass old news and people were already either adapting or moving beyond that. This hobby is no different, new techniques, experiments, low buck alternatives, etc. all get posted and shared freely and styles morph from there fasster than even the BCJP can keep up in many cases.

The gist of all this is don't be afraid to experiment and try new things, then share your successes and failures because you never know who may just try the same thing with a minor tweak that moves it to the next level.

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Old 11-29-2012, 04:38 PM   #23
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This hobby is no different, new techniques, experiments, low buck alternatives, etc. all get posted and shared freely and styles morph from there fasster than even the BCJP can keep up in many cases.

The gist of all this is don't be afraid to experiment and try new things, then share your successes and failures because you never know who may just try the same thing with a minor tweak that moves it to the next level.
I don't think I'd compare the (home) brewing industry to something like the sports or technology industries. There's always a new game, new injury, new prediction every day with sports, and there's always a gadget or technology being revealed every day. Brewing takes months at a time to test any kind of theory or get results. The internet certainly does have an edge, but at least a slower process like brewing can still survive in print form in the digital age.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:44 PM   #24
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I don't think I'd compare the (home) brewing industry to something like the sports or technology industries. There's always a new game, new injury, new prediction every day with sports, and there's always a gadget or technology being revealed every day. Brewing takes months at a time to test any kind of theory or get results. The internet certainly does have an edge, but at least a slower process like brewing can still survive in print form in the digital age.
I disagree, if we wait for tests and technology then you may as well just brew exactly as they did 100 or more years ago. I can brew 20 batches in the time it takes them to run a months worth of tests and depending on if I am brewing an ale or a lager I can have multiple verifications of whether the style, taste, gravity or fermentation shows improvement from meticulous note taking. This is not to even begin mentioning others results from trying the same and sharing results across a forum.

Science will prove it as conclusive or not, but if it works in my kitchen and it works in ten other kitchens then that is conclusive proof and how the art of brewing used to progress for thousands of years before the internet or even science.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:57 PM   #25
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I guess the short of it is that what we do is use scientific method without the fancy degrees and lab coats.

I create a theory on paper of what grains will make a good tasting brew, what strike temps, sparge times, hop additions, boil times and fermentation process are all part of this.

Then I put it into action to test the theory.

End result is either good bad or indifferent.

Every brew is scientific process in a brewroom.

I brew with an average of 200lbs of grain every time I brew and I am neither afraid nor concerned if a theory fails to meet what I think the end result was even though I am taking a calculated risk and my boss also realizes this when I create a new recipe. Why wouldn't I do the same with 15lbs of grain on my own dime? It is a very minimal risk of loss but a big chance to improve the direction of brewing even on a smaller scale.

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #26
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Just recalled another one - hotside aeration. I've read in some brewing books to avoid this but most current day opinions are that it's not a threat at all. I seem to recall even Dr. Charles Bamforth doesn't think it's a problem either but I'd have to look it up. Anyhow, I hope there can be a little more discussion about this.... I hope I didn't spend the time typing up the first post for nothing I'd specifically like to hear back from those of us that have tried different techniques and found/not found any difference from recommendations either past or present.


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Yes, this is a good one. I have heard the same thing about hsa. If I recall correctly, what I heard was that the major breweries have to worry about it because of the tremendous volume of liquid and the waterfall-like movement of said liquid. At the homebrew level the movement is so slight that hsa is not a real threat. I also seem to recall it was Bamforth that said it.
Since hearing that, I have dropped my concern level from slightly worried/paranoid straight into rdwhahb and have had zero issues. My process' haven't really changed since hearing this, but I spend a whole lot less time thinking about it. I chill in my keggle with a home made immersion chiller, so it takes a while to bring it down under 140 (which is what I have heard is the "safe" zone).

As for the old vs. new theory in general. I've read books, listened to podcasts, read these forums, and you can drive yourself nuts trying to figure out which is best. Do what fits your system and makes your life easier and go with it. After you've had a few of the fine brews you have created, you're not going to give a #$@% anyway.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:06 PM   #27
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Consensus and methods in the brewing world take years, if not decades, to become popular or even known. Technology is outdated within weeks, a sports game is irrelevant a week later after another's been played. I find it hard to argue that a year old brewing magazine is more or just as outdated as a year old sports magazine.

I plan on using Jamil's article in BYO last year as a basis for a Hefe next week; is there anything else that has come out in the last year to radically change the knowledge he shared then? I'll tell you that the New Orleans Saints are quite a different team than a year ago!

Whatever you do is great for you, but that has so very little impact on industry as a whole. It's important as a tiny piece of the puzzle in the long run, but it won't radically change things in the brewing world from month to month.

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:12 PM   #28
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Consensus and methods in the brewing world take years, if not decades, to become popular or even known. Technology is outdated within weeks, a sports game is irrelevant a week later after another's been played. I find it hard to argue that a year old brewing magazine is more or just as outdated as a year old sports magazine.

I plan on using Jamil's article in BYO last year as a basis for a Hefe next week; is there anything else that has come out in the last year to radically change the knowledge he shared then? I'll tell you that the New Orleans Saints are quite a different team than a year ago!

Whatever you do is great for you, but that has so very little impact on industry as a whole. It's important as a tiny piece of the puzzle in the long run, but it won't radically change things in the brewing world from month to month.
I take issue with the highlighted portion, because what homebrewers do very much has an influence over the craft industry. BMC will always do as it has done but the craft industry is much quicker to pick up and run with new processes much faster (well some are at least) and many of these come from the homebrew world.

edit* and I could care less about football, I was in the offroad industry where I saw firsthand how what happens in some guys garage directly impacts the sport and manufacturers would scramble to profit from it with a refined product that would end up at market easily 20 months after everyone had adopted it and even taken it to the next step up.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:16 PM   #29
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With the advent of the internet magazines have become useless fire materials. I would go out and shoot an event, edit the images and send them to the publisher. Then I would go log into my favorite forum and see write ups and coverage of the very same events the day of or the day after it happened with images included, the magazine wass still 10 dys from print and 20 days from shipping, by the time it hit the mailbox or shelves it wass old news and people were already either adapting or moving beyond that. This hobby is no different, new techniques, experiments, low buck alternatives, etc. all get posted and shared freely and styles morph from there fasster than even the BCJP can keep up in many cases.
I agree with everything you said in this post BUT. We still (psychologically?) consider books, and even magazines to be the "authority" and many still view "collaboratively created" (internet) information, or information from non published people suspect.

The whole "no secondary" thing is a prime example. We were doing it on here, and discussing it on here (and getting attacked on here by die-hards, Palmer worshipers, and "old dogs") for years before BYO magazine and Basic Brewing decided to do their first experiment. And although I don't think the methodology of those experiments were perfect. It wasn't until then and later when Palmer redacted his statements, that a lot of the nay sayers quieted down...and some even tried it for themselves, and became converts, or at least apologized for the vicious attacks against those of us who posted contrary.

People still believe that people who get published, or are in magazines are "experts" more so than someone who might post only on forums. But the truth is, usually a person who gets published is just LUCKY. Plenty of folks books, or ideas may be just a valid, and totally contradictory, but they didn't make it through the cut of the thousands of manuscripts and articles submitted at any given time.

Papazian and Palmer are no better brewers necessarily or more expert than many folks on here. They just managed to put words down on paper AND get their books through the system. Papazian is a better self promoter than he even is as a brewer, thank god, or else the hobby probably wouldn't be what it is, and maybe still illegal in the US. Palmer is a metalurgist by trade, not a pro-brewer. But he is/was an excellent HOBBY BREWER, like many folks on here, who just managed to write an excellent beginner book on the subject, that by being FREE ONLINE, became our bible, no matter how flawed a work it might be....He even admitted that his original explanation of IBUs in the book was wrong, after he went to some symposium and it blew his mind, and he reported it in the amazing Basic Brewing podcast "What is an IBU, really?" Which I've posted on here.

But just because someone writes books, or magazine articles doesn't make him any more right or perfect on knowledgeable about subject than any one who doesn't.....it just maybe means they were more disciplined to actually sit down and write a book, and more persistent to patiently push it through the publication process.

I don't know how many times someone who contradicts someone like Palmer on here (and not just me) get's attacked with arguments like "You don't have a book, what do YOU know." or "You think you know more than him?" Or "You think you're a better brewers than him?" or whatever.

And just because you haven't published a book doesn't mean you're any less knowlegable. Heck I've turned down three offers to write a basic brewing type book because of my stuff on here. I've had publisher say that whenever they google something on homebrewing HBT usually comes up as the first few links, and it's usually something I've posted.

But I've turned them down for several reasons. 1) I think there's already plenty of good books out there on brewing. 2) I think places like this have more value, because a books is usually 3 or more years out of date by the time it's published, and like Nightshade said about the magazine and the forums the info's going to be out long before the book is. 3)I'm NOT that disciplined as an author. I tend to lose interest in what I'm writing pretty quick (I have a couple unfinished novels and non fiction books to prove it.) 4)Basically as a guy with a day job, and working as a co pastor of a church, I already have a lot on my plate. [/sidetrack, sorry]


The thing is, the internet has now given us the opportunity to share an amazing amount of info FASTER than even a magazine can. And it's also brought a lot more folks with different insights together to share knowledge in a way that is better than the old ways of books, and magazines. Like I said earlier, it's instant peer review for one thing.

But I think it's dimished the role of "experts" when you find out that everyone is actually an expert.

And having a different opinion, or different experience than someone doesn't make that person's ideas any more or less valid...they're just different.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:19 PM   #30
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Everyone knows that you mash for at least an hour. Except some brewers have noticed that the conversion seems done much quicker and the speed of conversion is dependent on the quality of the crush. I BIAB and always have mashed for an hour but it appears that my mash has completed in about 15 minutes. Some day I will try the iodine test to see just how long it really does take for full conversion. I do know of another brewer who has shortened his mash to 30 minutes and he seems to think it is done then.

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