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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Bad & Condescending LHBS advice
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:32 PM   #1
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Default Bad & Condescending LHBS advice

Two interesting conversations at a homebrew shop I respect.

First was crushing grain. Mill is locked at 0.040”… I typically crush finer, so I asked the guy if it was possible to adjust it tighter.
Employee: No. 0.040 is an industry standard. No need to crush it finer.
Me: Last time on your mill my efficiency was 20% lower than usual, and I ran it through twice
Employee: Well, that’s the industry standard. Crushing finer won’t do much for you. Buy your own mill if you want a finer crush.

Second was selecting yeast.
Employee: Can I help you with yeast?
Me: No thanks, just brewing a simple pale ale, gonna go with S-04; we're brewing today and won't have time for a starter
Employee: <Puzzled look> Standard 5g batch at 1.055?
Me: Yes.
Employee: You can still go with a Wyeast pack. The cell count is guaranteed, unlike White Labs.
Me: Well, I like pitching 200bn cells for a 1.055 ale, so I’m gonna keep it easy with the dry yeast.
Employee: If you’re selecting dry yeast for ease, then your methodology is flawed. It’s just as easy to take scissors to a dry yeast pack as a liquid one.
Me: I know how to use scissors. I’m more concerned about cell count.
Employee: That’s not necessary unless you have a really big beer. Again, the Wyeast cell count is guaranteed. It has a nutrient pack inside.
Me: I think I’m just gonna go with S-04
Employee: Ok, brew however you want!

I know less-than-stellar advice is common in a homebrew shop, but the condescending tone and misinformation was disheartening to me at such a respected place. And no, I will not name the location; my point is not to bash, more to vent (or have someone call me out if I'm incorrect).

(Beer turned out AWESOME, btw)


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Old 08-21-2012, 09:36 PM   #2
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Was it the same employee both times? Call them later and ask for the owner and let them know that employee is misinformed and not being very friendly to their customers.


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Old 08-21-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Oh man that sucks, I don't know anything about yeast and even less about mills, but I don't know if I'd go back there while those employees are working to avoid the condescending tones, and misunderstandings on people brewing the way they want. That's a bummer
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Again, the Wyeast cell count is guaranteed. It has a nutrient pack inside.


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Old 08-21-2012, 09:41 PM   #5
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Eh, mill gap probably is standardized at .04. When a shop mills for you, it's to their advantage if your efficiency is a little lower, and to their advantage if you don't get a stuck sparge. I agree with them on this one - buy your own mill.

Yeast count is more just them wanting to sell you a $8 yeast package. Sadly, it's all about profit, and not about making customers as happy as possible.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktblunden View Post
Was it the same employee both times? Call them later and ask for the owner and let them know that employee is misinformed and not being very friendly to their customers.
No, two different employees. Good idea to call. I should do that instead of griping about it on a forum, haha. Thanks.

And in fairness, the yeast lady was trying to help, but just had a very patronizing tone. Or at least it came across that way to me.

And yes, I'm saving up to buy my own mill. I guess I was more miffed at the guy's attitude, he clearly had more important things to do than talking to me.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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A lot of times they don't like adjusting plates depending on the mill. My last LHBS didn't like to adjust because there mill was kind of oldschool and it was a pain to adjust it and get it back to their standard, but they were totally fine with running the grain through twice if you asked them to. But sounds like that employee was just being a jerk, particularly if it was the same person.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
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I cant believe the yeast woman didn't back down after you clearly demonstrated your understanding of the differences between dry and liquid yeast. Obviously there is a systemic hiring(or training) issue but lets face it, hard to find good help, especially at the wages HBS can provide.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:13 PM   #9
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That make me appreciate my LHBS even more. Great place, decent prices. always friendly, good fresh stock. And always willing to help. He even tells me that for certain things I can get them cheaper online if I want to save a few bucks. He is not out to gouge, just be a good place to frequent. He has my business.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:21 PM   #10
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That is a bummer. But this pretty much sums it up:

Quote:
but lets face it, hard to find good help, especially at the wages HBS can provide.
I have a couple of HBS' to choose from and they all have at least one employee who knows squat about brewing. Luckily the employees are still cool. They will flat out tell you they don't know, rather than try to pretend. I appreciate the honesty.


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