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Old 09-17-2012, 10:12 PM   #1
kkimmes
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Default Brewing notes example?

I always hear the statement "take good notes" about brewing. My question is would anyone be willing to share notes they take? I write down the notes I think I should take, but seeing other examples would be really helpful.
Thanks in advance for any input.

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Old 09-17-2012, 11:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkimmes View Post
I always hear the statement "take good notes" about brewing. My question is would anyone be willing to share notes they take? I write down the notes I think I should take, but seeing other examples would be really helpful.
Thanks in advance for any input.
if you go in to the recipe section there's a template for posting
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:23 AM   #3
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When I was first dialing in my system, I recorded strike, mash start & end temps, now I just note if I'm off the recipe. I still jot down first running & sparge volumes & gravities (in Plato). Beginning kettle volume & OG, final KV & gravity, plus fermenter volume. I've recently added ambient temp plus relative humidity. Hey, I like to take notes : )

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Old 09-18-2012, 04:32 AM   #4
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I'm a details and process kind of guy. That's a lot of what I enjoy about the hobby. So I've put together a rather extensive brew log that is my step-by-step guide for brew day. There are spots to fill numbers in as well as check things off as I complete them. I'd be more than happy to email you a PDF version if you'd like to see it. PM me your email address if you're interested. Keep in mind, most people are probably not as lame as I am when it comes to notes. On brew day I like to let my notebook do a lot of the thinking for me, rather than having to remember a bunch of stuff. This is supposed to be fun for me, so the checklist & fill-in-the-blank format works well for my personality.

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Old 09-18-2012, 11:37 PM   #5
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For simple extracts, I follow the recipe, and note any changes/deviation like this:

Killer wheaten ale 7-22-12
started with 3 gal instead of 2.5

OG- 1.035
Est. FG- 1.009 to 1.012

7-24-12 SG- 1.014
7-28-12 SG- 1.012
7-30-12 SG- 1.012

8-5-12 bottled with 3/4C corn sugar
Conditioned in bottles @ 65F-75F

8-18-12 chilled one case
8-19-12 taste test:
Very mild... slightly sweet. Good wheat flavor, but low hop flavor.
Low carbination... no head. Needs more carb sugar.
Really good when mixed with a hoppy beer like Hop Tzar, but needs way more hops.

For more complex recipes, I'll write out the entire recipe with additions times.
I also bag and label each addtion so I don't get confused, then check off each task, and make notes similar to above (especially any deviation like scorched the LME, etc.)

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Old 09-19-2012, 02:26 AM   #6
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I know this topic might seem simple. For instance if my OG is projected to be 1.052, and I hit 1.048, I would note that.

Other items though, such as the time it took to cool the wort, description of the wort boil, etc. Are these things people usually note?
Maybe even a description of what you feel the grains look / smell like, etc?

I am reading the book "Make Batter Beer" and the initial chapters gave me insight into an idea.

I think I am going to start to build a three page story for every beer.

What I plan to do (the recipe)
What I did (the more obvious notes from the brewing date)
What the result was(probably something like a judges form)

I think this will help me in comparing outcomes and predicting expectations.

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Old 09-19-2012, 02:48 AM   #7
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Your three page story is an excellent idea. I don't know about recording every little nuance of the brew, but if there was a problem, it certainly couldn't hurt. More is always better (I think you may have more dedication than I).
I use a three ring binder that has all my recipes. In the back I have a "notes" tablet that has pre-punched holes, and I simply make my notes and place them with that recipe.

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Old 09-20-2012, 03:43 AM   #8
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I have a small bound notebook that I keep my log in. It's a running journal type format, meaning it's kept in date order. Each time I have something to record, I add the date and make the log entry. It usually includes notes when I'm planning a recipe, calibrating boil-off volumes, tasting beers, observing fermentations, etc. There's not much of a fixed format to it. Particularly during brew days, I tend to record temperatures, volumes, etc, mixed in with comments---usually about things that went wrong or may be unusual, in case they're helpful for debugging later. I also always enter a full copy of my as-brewed recipe for each beer (I develop the recipes on the computer, but I want a hard copy for posterity, and it's already helped me figure out why one beer came out too dark since I dutifully recorded using twice the planned chocolate malt).

The journal-style organization is nice because, in addition to storing the details about beer production, it serves as a reminder of how things played out in time. I can browse back and see my techniques evolving, remember why I started doing particular things, and sometimes just remember which beers were being produced or consumed when. I can see that organizing by recipe would have some benefits, but for my purposes, I like the historical emphasis that this format provides.

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