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Old 05-01-2012, 11:26 PM   #21
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How do they achieve consistency?

Simple!

Unlike us, they are not allowed to drink on the job.

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramitt View Post
I am not so sure it is what they know, but a result of the scale and mass amount of funds to afford the highest tech equipment and experts.
My question is...

What is Samual Adams' excuse for not being as consistent as BMC? What equipment could BMC have that Sam Adams doesn't.

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plus one

Everything that we do as home brewers is all automated at the big breweries, everything from water quality, amounts of grains, water content in the grains, different temps, different times of temps, amount of yeast, etc. etc. etc.. Things we never think about they monitor with computers.
I'm not even talking about homebrewers.

I'm talking about Sam Adams. What is preventing Sam Adams from brewing a beer that tastes the same in 2 bottles. I have bought hundreds of bottles of Sam Adams and they ALL taste different.

I noticed that Budweiser changed shortly after InBev bought Anheuser-Busch, and that's the only diference I've noticed in a decade or so of drinking. Consistent before, and consistent after.... but there was one change they made visible to all their buyers -- the "Flavor-lock crown" caps. I still think their brewing process has something to do with the consistency. Budweiser is FRESHER now, but it's still not GOOD! It *is* consistent, tho.

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Originally Posted by amandabab View Post
homebrewers tend to do everything they can to NOT get consistancy.

They jump from recipe to recipe, they try every new idea as it comes along, they constantly upgrade equipment. we lie to yourselve that every batch and fermentation is different, rather than work for consistency.
The longer a batch takes the less often they brew it and spend a lot of time focusing on the whole process instead of repeating each step. They also have horrible records.

how many have an awesome RIS or barleywine in the works?
how many have 4-5 batches of the same awesome RIS or barleywine in the works at week 1, week 3, month 1, month 2 , month 4?

even with simple beers consistency requires brewing the same recipe a lot, and that rarely gets done.

"I'm a new brewer what should my next brew be?"
two more of the last batch.
Again... what's Sam Adam's excuse, considering they ARE using the same recipe over and over again?
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:09 AM   #23
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if Bud tasters detect any flavor they dilute the beer some more. no flavor and no off flavors = good to go. it's harder than it seems.

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Old 05-02-2012, 12:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grndslm View Post
My question is...

What is Samual Adams' excuse for not being as consistent as BMC? What equipment could BMC have that Sam Adams doesn't.
one major difference is that the big guys like AB will dump and entire batch if it's slightly off. It may already be in the fermenter for days and if something off develops the batch will get dumped.

Sam Adams, despite being big, still is not big enough to dump batch after batch and will do what they can to salvage it. AB quality control is insane and the batch must be dead nuts on in very tight specs to go off to bottling. AB, like just about any batch operation has what one calls the Golden Batch which is the specs and conditions used to create considered the perfect batch actually made. Like others have stated, the level of automation in a big brewery is so advanced that it gives them the ability to achieve the close to the golden batch over-and-over.

It's also the other processes you don't think about such as the CIP system, the Preventative Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance Programs and the Standard Operating Procedures practiced in all the breweries. These are the things that make a Budweiser in St. Louis taste exactly the same as a Budweiser brewed in Asia.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:30 AM   #25
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Also Sam Adams utilizes a lot of contract brewing so they have less tight control over there final product.

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Old 05-02-2012, 12:32 AM   #26
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Is this for real?
Yes...I want to say it was on one of those "how its made" shows but I don't know if that was the exact name. It was only 1 of three parts of the show but they go over a few of the techniques...it was interesting but for the most part a beginners crash course in brewing
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:38 AM   #27
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I toured 4 breweries here in Portland a couple weeks ago, one of them being Widmer. While not on the scale of BMC, their system is almost completely automated, and 4-6 batches go into a single fermenter (1250 barrels). They test at every stage of brewing to ensure the batch is going right, and if something shows up as being wrong they either correct it immediately or dump it.

Also, they brew 5 days a week, 24 hours a day - so cool!

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Old 05-02-2012, 02:46 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grndslm View Post
Again... what's Sam Adam's excuse, considering they ARE using the same recipe over and over again?
Chill a Sam Adams down to American Light Pilsner drinking temps and see how much of a flavor difference you can detect.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:02 PM   #29
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i heard it comes from the exact same penis of the exact same horse... everytime

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Old 05-02-2012, 03:53 PM   #30
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Also Sam Adams utilizes a lot of contract brewing so they have less tight control over there final product.
This is absolutely correct. If you tour their brewery in Boston, you'll realize that it's probably not even big enough to supply their Northeast demands, let along the East Coast demands. Also, having such a distributed system of production means they can't blend batches to try to even out one that may have some minor anomalies. I think it's all about consistent procedures. Having a team of microbiologist to care for your yeast also doesn't hurt. I would think that this would be the area of most concern. You can easily control water, mash, boil and hops. I feel the parameters are known enough in these areas to get a consistent wort into the fermenter. But yeast, man, that's a living mutating thing from generation to generation. From what I understand, they ship out their yeast from a central lab to each brewery and have found the appropriate number of generations it can be used before the mutations throw the flavor off. With large chemical plants, it's set procedures that develop consistent products.

A coworker put it to me this way. Consider all the microbiological processes involved in creating certain prescription drugs. It's a miracle that pharma companies aren't killing people left and right. That sort of makes BMC producing consistent beer look like child's play IMHO.
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