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Old 01-20-2009, 03:49 PM   #1
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Default My LHBS, wow are they opinionated and snobby

I have been going to this place for years for Cigars and to get those crazy hard to find beers but I never got into the brewing side of the store much because up until recently I never thought I could do it. So, I started brewing maybe 4 months ago and recently moved (more like jumped in head first with wreckless regard) to mini-mash and AG recipes. It was a lot more fun going there and picking out an Extract kit, much easier on my end and for the employees I guess because they didn't have to walk me through THEIR process of collecting the grains and grinding them, showing me where the hops and yeast are stored. I generally found them to be kinda helpful until I moved to PM's and AG stuff. Then it was like they automatically assumed I knew where everything was, knew that Roasted barley was in fact called a different name on the packaging in their store, etc.

The other gripe I have is that they seem to follow this insane theory that you have to get that beer off the yeast the literal second that the FG is hit and get it into a clearing tank. The guy I talked to last looked at me like I had 3 heads when I told him my RIS had been on the yeast for 4 weeks. I think because he doesn't follow the same methodology I do, he immediately thought of me as an inferior brewer. Though he has never had anything I have made, nor vice versa, I find that cold shoulder move to be a put off to wanting to return to that store. I think in the future I will just go there to buy the grain, make my own mill to grind at home, and spend as little time in there as I can. The only other option is the "other" LHBS that charges an arm and a leg for all their HB'ing stuff. I noticed their extract kits were $10 more on average than the one I normally go to. That store was also a rather weird experience and a lot less selection. How much is shipping these days? Maybe I'll just give my business to online dealers where I don't have to deal with people who are having a bad day, every day.

But then again, Maybe its me??

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Old 01-20-2009, 04:04 PM   #2
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I wouldn't want to go to a place like that. I do a lot of my shopping online, I'll buy bulk grain at the LHBS (not terribly local for me) because of the price, otherwise online is better for most anything else.

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Old 01-20-2009, 04:04 PM   #3
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I had the same thing happen in regards to letting the beer sit on the yeast. My LHBS feels the same way. I told them I let it sit for 3-4 weeks and they started spouting off about autolysis. I said, "Well, if that's autolysis I'm tasting in my beers, it sure tastes good."

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Old 01-20-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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Which stores are you talking about? The only one I have been to locally is Siciliano's. But I've only bought extract kits there so far. And I kinda like going there because Shawmut Hills is across the street and its nice getting parts for my snowmobiles. I really haven't interacted much with them so I can't say I've got any complaints.

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Old 01-20-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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While I have personally experienced autolysis, I think the attitude about getting the beer out of the primary the second fermentation is done does a lot more harm than good. It causes noobies to continually check their gravity, which introduces more chances for infection and makes people nervous and worried about something that they probably don't need to. It can also lead to bottling prematurely.

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Old 01-20-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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Yah, the guy was definitely alluding to autolysis. Which we all know here doesn't happen until sometime after 2 months. I know they don't follow Palmer. I think back and remember a one of my first conversations where they said, Yeah, Palmer is good but you should pick this book up too. And I don't think it clicked, then, but I want to say they mentioned Papazian. I didn't know who he was at the time.

Point being, I don't openly or behind closed doors rip Mustang owners to shreds. They are car enthusiasts too, and I can respect a twin turbo Mustang just as I can respect a Supercharged corvette. In the end we are all at that store for the same thing, brewing, whether you're an employee or a customer. I haven't made a batch of beer yet that was terrible, I have made 3 batches of beer that are very drinkable but not "spectacular" or outstanding in any way. I attribute that to me still needing to get my technique and system nailed down. I can't wait for the first 2 PM and AG batches to be done that I have made. I will know if I need to refine or change something. But I am rambling now.

I can understand where they are coming from, I am sure that they get a lot of newbs in there wanting to do AG batches the first time around, and they have to fight "the stupid" masses to get them to not be turned off by a bad first batch. But for gods sake, they have seen me a good 8 times in the last couple of months. I come in every couple of weeks and I am constantly buying equipment and kits and grain. Give me a little recognition that I may be returning because I am not making bad beer, quite the contrary actually. I don't spend money on fruitless things, I don't have a lot of it. You wouldn't see me dumping money into ballet dancing, I know I would be no good at that. :lol: I am good at brewing beer though. My friends always ask me to throw a 6 pack in the fridge before they come over. They are not big drinkers. But they like my stuff.

jmendez, theres only 2. You have a 50% chance of being right.

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Old 01-20-2009, 05:46 PM   #7
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How much is being treated well (the customer is always right) or not having to deal with humans at all worth to you? Might be worth it to start shopping online. Just my 2 cents worth. Regards, GF.

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Old 01-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #8
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One place here in SoCal lost my bidness forever because one of their employees did not have the time to make up an order for me and was generally acting like a prick.
That one episode cost them a few of my fellow homebrewers also.
I spends my money where it is appreciated.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:08 PM   #9
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Remember, not every proprieter reads every forum or book or listens to every podcast, so the last book or info they may have learned may be in Papazian from 30 years ago.

Heck even Palmer has learned stuff since he wrote how to brew, and has said things on podcasts that he admits contradicts what he wrote (look for the Basic brewing podcast called, "What is an Ibu, Really?" it will blow your mind....

This is an ever evolving hobby...Places like this is where you find the most state of the art information/wisdom about brewing, because of the sheer number of us trying new things, hearing new things, and even breaking new ground and contributing to the body of info on the hobby...Look at some of that inventions that came out of here, and then ended up later in BYO articles by our members...

SO yeah, over the last few years there's been a shift away from the autolysis bogeyman and into letting the beer sit in primary longer, rather than a secondary...and in 5 years or 5 months the pendulum may swing to something different.

But not every person, especially one of those "you can't teach an old dog" types aren't going to be up on the latest ideas.

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Old 01-20-2009, 07:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Remember, not every proprieter reads every forum or book or listens to every podcast, so the last book or info they may have learned may be in Papazian from 30 years ago.

Heck even Palmer has learned stuff since he wrote how to brew, and has said things on podcasts that he admits contradicts what he wrote (look for the Basic brewing podcast called, "What is an Ibu, Really?" it will blow your mind....

This is an ever evolving hobby...Places like this is where you find the most state of the art information/wisdom about brewing, because of the sheer number of us trying new things, hearing new things, and even breaking new ground and contributing to the body of info on the hobby...Look at some of that inventions that came out of here, and then ended up later in BYO articles by our members...

SO yeah, over the last few years there's been a shift away from the autolysis bogeyman and into letting the beer sit in primary longer, rather than a secondary...and in 5 years or 5 months the pendulum may swing to something different.

But not every person, especially one of those "you can't teach an old dog" types aren't going to be up on the latest ideas.
One thing I forgot to mention is that I am reasonably certain that the employees I have talked to are my age, or thereabouts. (Late 20's) And again, like I said, I know that they probably are doing the method the way they learned to do it according to whoever they read about. But that doesn't change the fact that I am a paying customer and regardless of whether or not my methods differ from yours, you should happily take my money from me. (Perhaps I should take some of my own advice sometimes. haha)

I think that once I get my car fixed, I'll do an inventory check on money and then start going there and buying in bulk so I don't have to visit so often.

hey jmendez, are there any LHBS's in Holland/Zeeland? I am here 2 days a week so I could give them a visit.
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