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Old 07-06-2009, 06:15 PM   #1
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Default Confessions of a lazy brewer

I have a confession to make: I am turning into a lazy brewer. I cut more and more corners while brewing, am I the only one? Here is some of the things I do not do anymore:

1. Iodine test - IMO a complete waste of time
2. Secondary fermentation - I don't do it. 3 weeks in a primary and they go straight into the cornies.
3. Mash out - I don't do it.
4. Multiple step mashing - I don't do it and I avoid brewing beers that need it.
5. Decoction mash - nein, frau Farbissina!
6. Yeast starers - I avoid making yeast starters. Why make beer before you make beer? Whenever possible, I use the old yeast cake either by pouring the new wort directly on top of the old cake or storing the cake in the fridge for a week or two. Sometimes I use two vials of yeast so I don't have to do a starter. I also use dry yeast whenever possible (I love US-05!)
7. Washing the yeast - I don't bother.
8. Reactivating dry yeast - I don't do it, I simply sprinkle dry yeast on top of the wort's foam after aeration and let it wake up this way.
9. Whenever possible I try to follow the "KISS" rule: (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)



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Old 07-06-2009, 06:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby_Brew View Post
I have a confession to make: I am turning into a lazy brewer. I cut more and more corners while brewing, am I the only one? Here is some of the things I do not do anymore:

1. Iodine test - IMO a complete waste of time (could be a time savor. You could be wasting time with a 60 minute mash))
2. Secondary fermentation - I don't do it. 3 weeks in a primary and they go straight into the cornies. (Same Here, only it's whenever I get around to it for transferring)
3. Mush out - I don't do it. (I'll do this occasionally)
4. Multiple step mushing - I don't do it and I avoid brewing beers that need it.
5. Decoction mash - nein, frau Farbissina! (Not needed in this age of Malting)
6. Yest starers - I avoid making yeast starters. Why make beer before you make beer? Whenever possible, I use the old yeast cake either by pouring the new wort directly on top of the old cake or storing the cake in the fridge for a week or two. Sometimes I use two vials of yeast so I don't have to do a starter. I also use dry yeast whenever possible (I love US-05!) (Smack Packs FTW)
7. Washing the yeast - I don't bother. (Maybe if I ever use a rare yeast.)
8. Reactivating dry yeast - I don't do it, I simply sprinkle dry yeast on top of the wort's foam after aeration and let it wake up this way.
9. Whenever possible I try to follow the "KISS" rule: (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
I have gotten more "relaxed about brewing also". Don't sweat mash temps, as long as they're withing a degree or 2, Don't cry over missed OG if it's close.


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Old 07-06-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
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I was so relaxed about it the first coupla months of this year I didn't even bother to brew it. I just went to a store and bought it.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:34 PM   #4
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I'm in complete agreement with you on all of these except the yeast washing. Besides being lazy, I'm also cheap -- If I wash one yeast cake and get at least 4 jars of yeast, I've just saved $24, at least for liquid yeast. For the little time it takes to wash yeast, that's worth it to me. Heck, with US-05 dry yeast going up to nearly $3.50 for a packet, I may have to start thinking about washing dry yeast, too.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby_Brew View Post
I have a confession to make: I am turning into a lazy brewer. I cut more and more corners while brewing, am I the only one? Here is some of the things I do not do anymore:

1. Iodine test - IMO a complete waste of time
2. Secondary fermentation - I don't do it. 3 weeks in a primary and they go straight into the cornies.
3. Mush out - I don't do it.
4. Multiple step mushing - I don't do it and I avoid brewing beers that need it.
5. Decoction mash - nein, frau Farbissina!
6. Yest starers - I avoid making yeast starters. Why make beer before you make beer? Whenever possible, I use the old yeast cake either by pouring the new wort directly on top of the old cake or storing the cake in the fridge for a week or two. Sometimes I use two vials of yeast so I don't have to do a starter. I also use dry yeast whenever possible (I love US-05!)
7. Washing the yeast - I don't bother.
8. Reactivating dry yeast - I don't do it, I simply sprinkle dry yeast on top of the wort's foam after aeration and let it wake up this way.
9. Whenever possible I try to follow the "KISS" rule: (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
I don't consider most of these lazy. The alternatives are mostly unnecessary.

I may start washing dry yeast though if the prices continue to rise.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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There's nothing wrong with an experienced brewer taking shortcuts - after all he has a good idea of what works. Its kind of like a great wood craftsman who can "freehand" a bunch of complex cuts that no beginner would be able to accomplish without a bunch of marking an measuring.

Also a lot of the techniques discussed are more advanced techniques and some of them only apply in very specific situations (eg decoction)

But, I wouldn't recommend shortcutting for the beginning brewer.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:51 PM   #7
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what do you consider 'mash out'? i agree with all of the things you say. i have never made a yeast starter in 10 years of brewing. ive never done an iodine test. i usually rehydrate dry yeast in a cup of warm water while i'm brewing, but some times i just sprikle it in. it makes no difference if you do everything else right. i also SUCK at sanitation. i drink my beer to quick to worry about it!!

i do like to decoct. i do it on my german lager and my hefe. i dont know the science behind it, but the beer tastes good and it makes me feel cool!
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:03 PM   #8
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+++
Pretty much agree with your 9 items. Quickly gave up on Iodine test after 2 brew sessions. Gave up on liquid yeast and starters after being thrilled with S05/S04 ease and performance. Wash yeast once and wound up tossing it out after deciding it was a royal pain. I enjoy the thrill of saving money but I am not cheap, which is evident by how much money I have sunk into this hobby. Step & decoction really don't fit into my IIPA needs so never bothered to learn it.

#10 - When someone invents a simple one button clean up system then I would proudly label myself a lazy brewer, until then it seems like I am still putting in a full day of work.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:18 PM   #9
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I am the same way.

I pretty much use dry yeast exclusively, and if I use a liquid yeast it's in a lower gravity beer that I can get away without making a starter.

If I make a higher OG beer, I'll just pitch multiple dry packets.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:22 PM   #10
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I am lazy too. I do wash yeast though because it's so friggin expensive. I also design my recipes for 60% efficiency and shoot for the lowest OG and highest IBU so I'm covered no matter what happens.


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