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Old 10-30-2012, 10:34 PM   #41
Senior Member
Hammy71's Avatar
Sep 2008
, Maryland, The Tax Me State
Posts: 5,908
Liked 535 Times on 408 Posts

1. Fermentation temperature control

2. Aeration. Rather an O2 system or a whip for a cordless drill.....no more stuck fermentations

3. All Grain

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:52 PM   #42
Apr 2011
Kittery, Maine
Posts: 2

i echo many things said on this thread, here are my three:

1) MOVED TO BREWING OUTSIDE - never forget the day Alex at the LHBS looked at me curiously when i was lamenting having to brew inside on hot summer days and said "why don't you move your brewing outdoors?" Toal gamechanger! more fun (obviously) and eventually led past the turkey fryer to the blichman. Heading into winter now and still determined to keep this an outdoors activity.

2) ALL GRAIN - for a lot of obvious reasons already stated. helped me understand ingredients, plan more effectively and craft beers to my tastes.

3) PUT YEAST AT THE CENTER OF RECIPE PLANNING - when i started out home brewing i just thought of yeast as a common ingredient, but i soon realized its impact and have learned to leverage its impact by focussing on yeast starters, pitching rate, temp control etc.

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Old 10-31-2012, 03:00 AM   #43
Krovitz's Avatar
Mar 2012
Quincy, MA
Posts: 582
Liked 123 Times on 74 Posts

I'm still new to brewing. But my beer quality has increased exponentially in my first year.

#1 Switching to Partial Mash: I can mash 8 lbs in my current system.

#2 Aerating with a Sanitized Paint Stirrer: I still can't believe the difference over just shaking the fermenter. Definitely a big difference in my FG.

#3 Joining HBT: By far the biggest impact on my beer. Thank you.

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Old 10-31-2012, 03:24 AM   #44
Apr 2011
Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Posts: 342
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts

#1 Yeast Health- making starters and using an oxygen system from Williams

#2 Swamp Cooler- at least until I can buy a new house with room for a converted freezer

#3 Brewing more- seems obvious but now that I am brewing 2x a month and taking notes I seem to really be improving as methods become more standardized and I learn my system better.

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Old 10-31-2012, 04:30 AM   #45
TrubDog's Avatar
Oct 2011
Cle Elum, WA
Posts: 392
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts

All grain.
Grain mill (BC)
Tighten it up till I started sweating during sparging.

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Old 10-31-2012, 04:46 AM   #46
Flocculation Nation
scrambledegg81's Avatar
Sep 2009
Los Osos, CA
Posts: 1,816
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-Stopped drinking so damn much during brew day
-Began doing partial mashes (AG is just too much stress for my back)
-Condition, condition, condition!
Primary: nada
Secondary: emptyness
Bottled/Fridge: Sierra Nevada Celebration
Bombers/Growlers/Aging: The Abyss, Firestone 19th Anniversary Ale
Kegerator: sanitizer!
Coming Up: something spiffy, most likely

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Old 10-31-2012, 05:25 AM   #47
Mar 2012
Rathdrum, Idaho
Posts: 992
Liked 147 Times on 111 Posts

1. Fermentation temp control. Hands down the biggest bang for my buck.

2. Experimenting! Now that I experiment I know so much more about what works and what doesn't in my beers.

3. Tasting and evaluating other beers. This doesn't seem brought up specifically yet. I know it is implied in the homebrew club answers but I feel it deserves special mention. Evaluating my own beer is easy because I know what went in it. Evaluating others challenges my palate and forces me to think of ingredients and procedures I normally don't use.

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Old 10-31-2012, 05:41 AM   #48
Sep 2012
Posts: 79
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

1) yeast love. Pitching enough at a reasonable temperature and giving it enough time to do its work.

2) iBrewmaster.

3) BIAB.

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Old 01-14-2013, 12:31 PM   #49
Dec 2009
the world
Posts: 495
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts

all grain - i started all grain early, and actually now do kind of a partial mash with DME, but to really get mastery of what you want you have to do some all grain batches.

temp control - nuff said. gotta do it

sanitation - Ive never had a sanitation problem because i was thorough about it, but looking at others whove messed up from not being thorough, majorly important if you want to make beer, not just play at making beer.

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Old 01-14-2013, 12:49 PM   #50
Nov 2010
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 397
Liked 46 Times on 29 Posts

1) All Grain - I instantly noticed that my beers tasted "cleaner" after I started brewing all grain.

2) Patience - I used to seriously lack this, and ended up drinking and serving all of my beers before many of them really came into their own. Three weeks is supposedly the minimum bottle conditioning time, but man do they get better with a few weeks of cold conditioning after that.

3) Experimented with new yeasts - I used to be just a US-05/Notty guy, but built a stirplate and now have branched out. It has really expanded my brewing. Besides, I don't care for notty much anymore and that bastard US-05 has been super peachy on me lately.

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