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Old 03-05-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default Well, they say that, but . . .

We have a running gag in our family that goes, ". . . Well, they say that, but . . ." It started with a trip we took to Thailand with our son. Before we left I asked sonny-boy whether he contacted his credit card company to let them know he'd be using his credit card out of the country. His response: "Well, they say that you need to do that but I've never had my credit card declined over there." His credit card was declined the first time he tried to use it. And things went on like that from there.

I used to brew many years ago but I've forgotten a lot of what I learned, and didn't really know that much in any event. So my question as a re-newbie is this: What are some examples of things that you must, must, must do, and what are some things that "well, they say that" you must do but you can get away with not doing?

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:12 PM   #2
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Welcome to HBT and back to brewing!

Must do: clean and sanitize well, in that order

Can get away without doing: take gravity readings

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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Totally off topic but what kind of dog is that? We have one that's part beagle and part we-don't-know-what that looks very similar. Especially the red & white coloring.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #4
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I'm probably going to catch hell from other members for this, but I'd say making a yeast starter. I've never used one on my bigger beers (doppelbocks, strong ales, etc.) and they've all fermented quickly and fully.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
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I'm probably going to catch hell from other members for this, but I'd say making a yeast starter. I've never used one on my bigger beers (doppelbocks, strong ales, etc.) and they've all fermented quickly and fully.
Yes, I'll disagree with that. On my "must do" list is yeast/fermentation management. Nothing (except cleaning and sanitizing) matters as much in making good beer. This includes:

1) pitching happy and healthy yeast in sufficient quantity - that can be done by pitching multiple vials, making yeast starters or using dry yeast; this is one of the very best reasons to use dry yeast, in my opinion

2) making sure the wort is oxygenated, by pouring through a screen, or rocking back and forth, adding pure O2

3) manage fermentation temps - low 60s for clean yeast profiles for many ales
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
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Yes, I'll disagree with that. On my "must do" list is yeast/fermentation management. Nothing (except cleaning and sanitizing) matters as much in making good beer. This includes:

1) pitching happy and healthy yeast in sufficient quantity - that can be done by pitching multiple vials, making yeast starters or using dry yeast; this is one of the very best reasons to use dry yeast, in my opinion

2) making sure the wort is oxygenated, by pouring through a screen, or rocking back and forth, adding pure O2

3) manage fermentation temps - low 60s for clean yeast profiles for many ales
Don't get me wrong, I don't want it to be mistaken as saying, "yeah whatever, just throw the yeast in there and everything will be fine." I do #1 to the extent of making sure my yeast is properly rehydrated, pitching at the proper temps, and using extra yeast for high OG readings, and I follow #2 & 3 every time. But as far as making a starter ahead of time, some people do it religiously for every batch. I never have and don't think I've suffered for it. Could just be that my stuff tastes like crap and no-one's been polite enough to tell me though.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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Never ever ever ferment in your wifes closet. While it might be perfect temp to ferment in one little beer explosion and the bed gets a whole lot colder

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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Totally off topic but what kind of dog is that? We have one that's part beagle and part we-don't-know-what that looks very similar. Especially the red & white coloring.
We don't know with 100% certainty, but we *think* he's a beagle-jack russell mix. We got him at the pound about five years ago; animal control had picked him up as a stray, so they didn't know anything about him. We think he's part jack russell because we have a friend who has a full jack russell that looks almost identical except with shorter ears, more white than red, and none of the hound ticking that our dog has on his forelegs (and is a little smaller). Our dog also has a lot of the personality traits of a jack russell. He's the best dog in the history of the universe.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:13 PM   #9
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What are some examples of things that you must, must, must do, and what are some things that "well, they say that" you must do but you can get away with not doing?
Must, must, must do: Clean, clean, clean (cold side).
"Well, they say that": Clean, clean, clean (hot side).
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #10
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Since you brewed a long time ago and now you're just getting back into it, you probably don't know that you don't need to rack to secondary anymore. Beer yeasts have greatly improved and there is little risk of autolysis in the volumes that homebrewers produce.

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