Here's my pat answer to this, which if you HAD searched for it, I'm sure you would have found.
Considering that every new brewer question is answered about 10 times a day every day, usually by me because people won't look at stickys or use the search...Why shouldn't we suggest they do a bit of work on occasion?
Seriously, I bet you there is no beginner question that hasn't already been answered really effectively on here already. Not just by me, but by a lot of people......
So why should we re-invent the wheel because you are too lazy to look around a bit. I mean we're not mean about it, like some other places, we just want you to know that it's already been covererd repeatedly.
The thing to me about searching is two fold, and I really hate coming off as a search nazi, BUT
1) There is a huuuge amount of state of the art brewing info on here...info that is even more current than palmer (only becasue it takes 2-3 years to get a book out.) Some of us have spent hours writing stuff up, like blogs or long answers to basic questions, including searching for links like audio and video casts to answer those basic questions...And we want you to know it exists, and we want you to utilize it to be the best damn brewer's you can be.
SO when I say it's been covered before, I'm not saying "hey a$$hat, use the search."
I'm saying "Hey, there's some kick ass info on that very topic, put together from some amazing brewers, and it's free, right here, you don't need to buy a book....all you need to do is click "search" and maybe play with the words a couple times...
2) A lot of the "kick ass brewers" who are here, and were here before I got here have stopped answering the same noob questions over and over. Most of those people get tired of it after a couple months, and just ignore these threads...From what people tell me, for doing it constantly for a year, I'm an anomoly....maybe because of my 'calling" (yes I am a minister for the 10,000th time ) I have an almost pathological need to help people...whether it's in a church or in a brewery.
Which means that the people who might be best able to answer your basic question are NOT going to because they did it 6 months ago, and feel that that's enough. Or they are no longer here...but their info is still here and still valuable...
So that really means that if you just start a thread, especially if you are asking about "Stainless vs Aluminum" or Plastic waterbottles or "is my beer ruined," or "what;s your opinion on...?" You may not GET THE BEST INFORMATION YOU COULD BE GETTING You could be getting the same outdated "party line" out of Palmer or Papazian, (which are actually several years of in the case of Charlie over a decade old) when there was some new discovery a few weeks back that we all talked to death and learned from...and we want you to know about it too...
I also have found, as someone that answers a lot of questions everyday, that if a person reads a thread on their "basic question" first and maybe bumps that thread up, that their question has a lot more depth than it might have been...because maybe they zeroed in on an issue from one or more of the posts in a thread...and then rather than,
"What's that fuzzy stuff on top of my beer?" To "Oh I thought my beer was infected, now I know it's a krauzen, it's normal, and it has proteins and other things in it, so what kinda proteins are there, do they come from the yeasts, the wort or both, and should I skim it or not?"
Which is more fun for me to answer because it may lead me to search, or to google or to recall some fuzzy bit of info I heard on a podcast and go search for it for you...and for me...
So get over it. If people keep asking the same question, we ARE going to suggest they search for the answers that are already here. And about 99% of the time we are going to be nice about.
Heck most of the time I do the searching for the person and post the links.
But I can't do it 100% of the time, since I often am now answering from my smart phone, and it's not easy to post links from there. And if I can't I usually provide the search words that I use in the post, like give them the paramters that I use.
But again, whether you like it or not, the times we do suggest someone search it is on the questions that get asked over and over and over and over, where the answer is going to be exactly the same, which was more than likely given over and over and over. And hasn't changed in the 10,000 times we've answered it before. So why do we need to re-invent the wheel or beat a dead horse to the ground on the same answers that are already there?