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Old 08-20-2012, 02:51 AM   #1
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Default What have you learned this year?

So, we're never too old or too experienced to learn something new.

What have you learned so far this year that has improved you homebrew?

I have learned a lot of things. It's amazing how far you can advance in as little as 6 months. If I had to choose the most important thing I've learned it would be the impact of proper fermentation temperature control.

Folks, listen to me.... when the experienced brewers on HBT tell you that fermentation temperature control is one of the most important things for quality... they mean it! I've never learned a more true lesson than this. I've been trying to control fermentation temps for quite a while, and I've finally gotten to where I have the swamp cooler process down. I can keep my temp within +-1 degree now. The day I switched to an ice chest vs. Rubbermaid containers I no longer had to fight with keeping a stable temp. My beer has improved dramatically thanks to this consistancy.

The second most important thing I've learned... I'm sick of swamp coolers!! A fermentation chamber is in the works, and should be up and running in due time...

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Old 08-20-2012, 02:58 AM   #2
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HAHA so true.. I learned this year that I'm sick of swamp coolers also. Temp controlled freez in my near future.

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:20 AM   #3
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I learned that upgrading equipment doesn't automatically make better beer. You have to know how to use the better equipment before it will make better beer.

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:24 AM   #4
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I learned that upgrading equipment doesn't automatically make better beer. You have to know how to use the better equipment before it will make better beer.
Very true. One man's ghetto brewery can easily brew better beer than another man's fancy, stainless steel, automated brewery!
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:30 AM   #5
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I've learned that a water report is useless when the city you live in randomly changes wells on you throughout the year. I've also learned that chlorophenols suck and that spending a few bucks on RO water might just be worth it.

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:31 AM   #6
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i learned no matter what you brew, people LOVE it, if its free. I've heard "this is the best beer I've ever had" from at least 5 people in the last month. its nice to hear, but i think the free price tag places a pretty big role in it...

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:34 AM   #7
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Very true. One man's ghetto brewery can easily brew better beer than another man's fancy, stainless steel, automated brewery!
As I found out the hard way trying to dial in my process for using my new grain mill and false bottom. Stuck sparges don't make for very good beer.
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:35 AM   #8
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I learned that it has nothing to do with space aliens or special ingredients.

Oh yeah, and that space aliens lie a lot, like mostly.

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Old 08-20-2012, 04:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stauffbier View Post
If I had to choose the most important thing I've learned it would be the impact of proper fermentation temperature control.
This is such an important lesson and it's really hard to understand just how much impact a few degrees has when you're starting out. My switch to using a temp controlled fridge as a ferm chamber is the single most important upgrade I have made. The difference in beers I've made before and after is extremely noticeable. Now I just wish I had two so I could lager and ferment at the same time.

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i learned no matter what you brew, people LOVE it, if its free. I've heard "this is the best beer I've ever had" from at least 5 people in the last month. its nice to hear, but i think the free price tag places a pretty big role in it...
I have a few people that I can't get an honest response from. Every beer I make that they try is "great" because they think if they say anything otherwise I'll stop giving them free beer. I've tried to drill it into them that I want honest critiques, but I keep getting nothing but positives. There are two people who I can trust to tell me they don't like one and why they don't like it, but that's it.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:35 AM   #10
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I have learned, or still learning to close valves after I turn off my pump. It sucks to lose 3 gallons of finished brew because my kettle valve was left open and siphoned into my cleaning solution bucket.

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