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Old 12-01-2012, 12:47 PM   #11
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Def some kind of temp control. But water quality also makes a noticeable improvement. Also,when I started leaving the beer in promary till it cleans up & settles out clear or slightly misty makes for better beers going into my bottles. Those are the biggest changes that improved my quality over time.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
Number one, as stated, is fermentation temperature control. The next for me is the lack of urgency. Allowing your brews to stay in the primary for almost a month and then in the keg for another month or two before being tapped....works wonders.
Absolutely. I find when I have several cases of various beers in the closet I'm less anxious about rushing the two batches still in fermenters.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:54 PM   #13
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Single most changing experience is experimenting with other strains of yeast in starters AND in watching how yeast physically works (I moved my fermentation into my office). A lot makes more sense after reading "YEAST" and doing these fun, and rewarding experiments!

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Old 12-01-2012, 02:18 PM   #14
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over 13 years: fermentation temp control, yeast pitch rates, late extract additions, utilizing specialty grains in place of amber/dark extracts, different mashing techniques. and I started focusing on single styles until I found what I liked. I keep on experimenting though. all part of the growing process.

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Old 12-01-2012, 02:20 PM   #15
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1. Fermentation temperature control
2. Pitching the proper amount of yeast
3. Water chemistry

That's about it, in the right order, for me.

I have other things that have made my brewing easier- electric indoor brewery, pumps, sight glass, etc- but those make it easier, not better. Yeast health (#1 and #2 on my list) makes the biggest improvement, probably for everyone.

In my area, we have strongly alkaline water with lots of bicarb. Learning to deal with it took my beers to the next level.

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Old 12-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #16
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Not really a technique but simplifying my process and recipes has made all the difference,

I was able to start over as I sold all my gear at one point - when I got back into it I promised myself to simplify everything.

Now I'm making the best beer I've ever made.

I have a cooler to mash in and a bayou classic setup - a few kegs with cobra taps, 2 buckets and that's it.

I don't really weigh out hops anymore - go with really simple grain bills & use about 3 different yeasts. 2 weeks in primary and never bottle anything.

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Old 12-01-2012, 02:29 PM   #17
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Forgot to mention that late extract additions were another step toward better beer. Lighter color & no twang. Hop flavors were better in lighter wort so far as partial boils are concerned.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #18
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It's funny that so many of you mentioned having the control or patience to let your batches sit in primary/secondary for longer periods of time. I've been doing this from the get-go, but I guess one man's "patience" is another man's "Oh, I'll get around to it eventually"

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Old 12-01-2012, 02:39 PM   #19
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and full boils. forgot to mention that.

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Old 12-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
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It's funny that so many of you mentioned having the control or patience to let your batches sit in primary/secondary for longer periods of time. I've been doing this from the get-go, but I guess one man's "patience" is another man's "Oh, I'll get around to it eventually"
Ha,lolz. This is def one of those hobbies where being lazy can turn into an advantage. Natural version of patience.
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