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Old 04-07-2006, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts on homebrewing vs commercial brewing

As is discussed from time to time here, you can't help but be impressed with the quality control standards of commercial breweries, regardless of what you think of their products. As homebrewers we know how much the same beer can vary from batch to batch (to say nothing of how much fun we have tweaking it a little differently each time) due to a whole host of variables that may be very difficult for us to control. This goes double for standard American Macro lagers, which have so little color and flavor that even the slightest deviation would be noticable.

Which leads me to this thought...

Homebrewers all probably fantacize at least a little about going pro, but I bet it's not nearly so much fun as we imagine it might be. How stimulating do you think it is for the New Belgium guys to brew their 100 Bajilionth batch of Fat Tire according to the same recipe? Good thing there are always test batches to work on.

It's no wonder seasonals have become so common, even with some macrobrewers: there's room to try new things and room to tweak the recipe in a little different way than last year's version.

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Old 04-07-2006, 06:56 PM   #2
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when the GRABASS club (no offense, Kaiser) toured the Carolina Brewing Company, I asked the guy if he still homebrewed, and he answered with an emphatic, "No. We just brew here now."

I asked about test batches, thinking maybe they use homebrew-scale equipment for experiments, but.... again... "No. Out experimental batches are full batches." (I don't recall how big their fermenters were exactly, but that's irrelevant.)

That's a LOT of beer for an experiment, especially if it turns out badly.

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Old 04-07-2006, 07:06 PM   #3
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Ya, you'd think that commercial brewers would have a six gallon carboy sitting in their nice office with some new recipe they are trying to tweak. On another note, I bet Jim Koch still kicks it old school with homebrewing, the man is too cool not to.

I couldn't agree with you more, Walker,on your thoughts about Hydrometers.

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Old 04-07-2006, 07:24 PM   #4
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Yeah i think it would suck to brew professionaly. When i was at Anchor brewery i asked if theyll ever make a new beer, and they emphaticaly said 'NO'. (Although they do make whiskey now). How boring would that be? Make the same 6 or 7 beers, day in, day out, for years and years and years....Unless your 'Stone' or DFH, or a hand full of others that experiment, i dont think id like it.

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Old 04-07-2006, 08:35 PM   #5
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I just toured the Highland brewery on Monday, and they had a homebrew setup right in their mashing room. The guy (Kevin) who showed us around said that they encourage all of their employees to brew a batch anytime they like, because it gives them a sense of how crucial it is to do every step of the process the right way in order to make good beer.

If you find yourself near Asheville, NC, I highly recommend paying them a visit.

[first post!]

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Old 04-07-2006, 08:51 PM   #6
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My advice is that if you ever are foolish enough to go pro do so in a pub where you can make variety. I made the same @#*& brew for three years before adding a second style. And the last thing I wanted to do was homebrew. Actually, that is when I REALLY GOT INTO DRINKING WINE AND DISTLLING!

Quality control isn't that hard and batches do vary, but if you watch it they are real close. Of course there are all those factors you 5have no control of once the beer leave your brewery! Distributors, retailers, customers...

Homebrewing is the way to go, if your friends don't like your beer let them go buy something they do like!

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Old 04-07-2006, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roblogic
I just toured the Highland brewery on Monday, and they had a homebrew setup right in their mashing room. The guy (Kevin) who showed us around said that they encourage all of their employees to brew a batch anytime they like, because it gives them a sense of how crucial it is to do every step of the process the right way in order to make good beer.

If you find yourself near Asheville, NC, I highly recommend paying them a visit.

[first post!]
Welcome! I love Highland, and most of the other WNC breweries. I can't believe how many micros there are per capita in the western part of the state compared to the rest.

I find it really hard to believe that any microbrewer in business wouldn't have a pilot brewery, but my knowledge of the industry is pretty slim.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
I can't believe how many micros there are per capita in the western part of the state compared to the rest.
I can't believe how many raleigh area people are here on HBT.com!

Welcome, rob!

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Old 04-07-2006, 09:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imperial Walker
I can't believe how many raleigh area people are here on HBT.com!
Cheers, Rob! I'm chronically unobservant.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:36 PM   #10
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Thanks guys!

I amazed by how many homebrewers there are in the area. Every time I tell someone I've started brewing, they rattle off a list of other people in town they know who do.

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