Read this last night.
Been brewing since 99, started with a Mr. Beer kit. Tasted terrible, tried another. ditto. luckily at that time had a LHBS in Minneola? I forget now. Bought TNCJOHB and read it, then made some great homebrews with advice from LHBS owner. From there I migrated to a 5 gal extract setup, and dabbled with a min mash, then took the leap to all grain.
So, in reading this article, I did read a few things that struck me as possibly wrong. Wanted to get some feedback to see if I am alone.
For starters, the time-frame that you should be using your ingredients seems to be concerning to me. It says un-milled malt starts to turn stale in 8 months, and milled grains should be used ASAP. This seems to strange to me.
I would think unmilled grains should last far longer. I don't know if storage conditions greatly affect the "stale-ing" process or not (I suspect not greatly), but I have brewed great beers with un-milled base malts over a year old.
Also the article briefly discusses sparging and pH and SG measurements. To me, this also seems to be unnecessary with my equipment, as I generally only sparge with the same volume of water as my mash to collect no more than 12 gallons ( for batch of 11 gallons of beer which ususally is close to 10 gallons of drinkable packaged beer discounting the trub and measurement losses etc that occur prior to this). I do not want to obtain an excessively large amount of wort so as to necessitate an extended boil to hit my target volume.
Lastly, there is discussion of affordable dissolved oxygen measuring equipment. also seems unnecessary to me.
Overall, I thought the article was well written, approachable and easy to understand with several tidbits and pearls that would be helpful to many homebrewers. There were a few things I learned as well, and thought might be a nice read for most of us.
Again though, just wanted to see if there are others in strong agreement with the lifespan of malt before it goes stale. Also to inquire how many of us are trying to maximize efficiency and are measuring the sparge runoff? I might occasionally taste it toward the end to see if starting to turn astringent, but have never tasted any of this. And is anyone really using DO meters as briefly discussed, other than professional brewers?