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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > What level are you?
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Calvinfan1 View Post
So I was doing an inventory of equipment in my garage and noticed how I've advanced my craft over the past two years. It got me thinking....what qualifies someone as a novice brewer, an intermediate brewer, and an advanced brewer? Is it all-grain brewing? Constructing your own brewing sculpture? Going from bottling to kegging?

I doubt there's a right answer...but what do you think makes someone a beginner, intermediate, or advanced brewer?
My thoughts, as a complete novice.

A beginner is someone like me, who can follow brew instructions but doesn't know everything about the mechanics (chemistry and microbiology) behind what's being done.

An intermediate person understands all of the instructions and why they're followed, including pitfalls and solutions.

An advanced brewer is someone who can take brewing to an additional level, just by understanding the theory and mechanics behind brewing and adapting to their own desires. An advanced brewer would be capable of creating a new brew, not found in recipies and perhaps not conceived of by anyone else.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:02 AM   #12
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That's a good question, and my first instinct is to say strictly that extract brewers = beginner, but then I thought about it for a minute. There are many aspects of brewing, and though it may sound more complicated that what you implied originally, I think someone could be on many different levels, and it could be tough to just classify them as beginner or intermediate. Take for example, someone who is extract brewing, but yet makes a yeast starter on a stirplate, or uses Beersmith to calculate the exact IBU's and hop utilization. Or someone who does all grain and controls fermentation temperature with a fermentation chiller, but does not calculate yeast pitching amounts and still bottles his homebrew. I would consider myself to be intermediate as far as all grain equipment and mashing, but I'm still a beginner when it comes to recipe formulation, flavor characteristics of hops and grains, and beginner for yeast pitching and flavors associated with different strains of yeast.

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Old 10-18-2009, 04:21 AM   #13
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I'm definitely beginner. That's a tough question though. I think just having the brewing experience in general, a mix of # of batches, # of threads on HBT you've read(and understood), success of your brews.

I don't think consistency should be a goal, since it seems like we're all changing/upgrading equipment every chance we get.

I think of advanced as, you walk into the LHBS, and just start picking up ingredients, knowing exactly what each will add to the brew, and why. And then brewing to get exactly what you thought you would get.

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Old 10-18-2009, 04:37 AM   #14
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I've been brewing for about four months and have made a batch once every couple of weeks or so. In this time I went from extract to AG and from bottling to keggging. I read everything I can get my hands on whenever I have time and I try to learn something new about this addiction every day. I like to think of it as the overly ambitious drunken noob level.

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Old 10-18-2009, 05:06 AM   #15
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To me, an advanced brewer possesses an understanding of the process, ingredients and tools that allows him/her to achieve the results he/she sets out to achieve. It has nothing to do with number of batches brewed, other than as you brew more your understanding increases. You could brew 10 batches have that understanding or you could brew 500 batches and still be clueless.

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Old 10-18-2009, 05:08 AM   #16
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I don't think consistency should be a goal, since it seems like we're all changing/upgrading equipment every chance we get.
I'd disagree with you. To me, consistency is the hallmark of a great brewer. If you really want to see how good you are, brew the same recipe over and over until you can nail it every time.
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:13 AM   #17
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I agree with Denny...

Anyone can shoot in the dark and miss thier OG... anyone can. A good brewer knows the process and his system well enough to plan a brew and hit his/her target OG and FG. If you cannot do that, well then you are just making random attempts at trying to hit the OG and FG etc.

Over the past year I have gotten 82% and 83% on all of my brews. The thing is I know my system, much of it is automated, everything happens the same way each time. I am not a great brewer, but the tools that I have at my disposal make me repeatable.

Making the SAME recipe over and over and making it the same is good... but try making different recipes and KNOWING what your OG will be and your FG. If you can do that, you are a great brewer, because you are controlling the outcome, you arent simply accepting what you get.

I am a novice as far as I am concerend, there is much to learn and I am just starting to feel like I can manipulate each step to do what I want it to do.

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Old 10-18-2009, 05:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvinfan1 View Post
So I was doing an inventory of equipment in my garage and noticed how I've advanced my craft over the past two years. It got me thinking....what qualifies someone as a novice brewer, an intermediate brewer, and an advanced brewer? Is it all-grain brewing? Constructing your own brewing sculpture? Going from bottling to kegging?

I doubt there's a right answer...but what do you think makes someone a beginner, intermediate, or advanced brewer?
As far as i am conserned, there are no levels to home brewing. I've been at this stuff from the mid 70's, but that doen't mean squat. The noobie with the first pale of LME is just as much a homebrewer as anyone else. Aside from a few swellheaded sh*tbirds who think they are "gods gift to homebrew", I think everyone feels the same. nuff said.....
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:04 AM   #19
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I shall consider myself a novice until I brew a beer that does well at a respectable competition.


At this point I shall reach intermediate-dom. From there I'm sure it's only a few steps to swellheaded shvtbird.

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Old 10-18-2009, 01:08 PM   #20
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high-functioning novice?
Barely functioning obsessive?
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