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Old 01-14-2013, 04:45 PM   #51
unionrdr
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Well...let's see now...loooking back,I've lived & learned. But now I'm wondering...here I wait,& only guess,what this next brew will bring hahaaaahahah. Seriously though;
1) Getting pitch temps down to 66F or so for the average ale yeast.
2) Always trying to improve my aeration technique for good yeast reproduction.
3) going to partial mash which will undoubtedly inprove my extract process.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:50 PM   #52
Clonefan94
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I just started in August, but so far, these have made the most notable improvement for me.

1. Fermentation temperature control.
- Wow, took me two brews to figure out that room temp was not fermentation temp. Thermometer strips are a lifesaver.

2. Better filter for my water.
- Had built a filter set up to use from the start, read more about water filters and stepped up to a solid carbon block filter - world of difference

3. Switched to all-grain
- Although I feel I brewed some pretty decent beers with extracts, all grain has added that little something extra that I didn't notice before.

 
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:37 PM   #53
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1) Fermentation temp control -- are you starting to see a pattern with all the other replies? My guess is that anyone who didn't put this in their top 3 doesn't have fermentation temp control. (Part of this includes pitch temp too -- I always pitch a few degrees *below* target ferment temp.)

2) More efficient chilling -- Improves consistency of hop utilization, better cold break, etc.

3) Gelatin -- this isn't "beer quality", per se, but getting beer to clear more quickly allows me to drink it fresh and generally gets beer to its "mature" point more quickly. It's probably not actually in my top 3, but nobody else had mentioned it so I threw it in.

 
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:40 PM   #54
unionrdr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwarbiany View Post
1) Fermentation temp control -- are you starting to see a pattern with all the other replies? My guess is that anyone who didn't put this in their top 3 doesn't have fermentation temp control. (Part of this includes pitch temp too -- I always pitch a few degrees *below* target ferment temp.)

2) More efficient chilling -- Improves consistency of hop utilization, better cold break, etc.

3) Gelatin -- this isn't "beer quality", per se, but getting beer to clear more quickly allows me to drink it fresh and generally gets beer to its "mature" point more quickly. It's probably not actually in my top 3, but nobody else had mentioned it so I threw it in.
Wroooong! I'm just not a parrot that copies what others say because of some lacking of the imagination. At least,it's make me feel that way. Trying to add something else I've learned to the conversation.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:37 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Wroooong! I'm just not a parrot that copies what others say because of some lacking of the imagination. At least,it's make me feel that way. Trying to add something else I've learned to the conversation.
LOL... That's why I included #3, since it was new.

I just like to reinforce over and over and over the importance of temp control to new brewers... They spend time and money on all sorts of wort-production gadgets and processes when one of the biggest actual improvements come from buying an old fridge and a temp controller. (At least, I know I did).

I'd rather see new brewers add temp control first and go all-grain later, as far as it affects actual beer quality. I did it the other way around, and I regret that quite a bit today.

 
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:08 PM   #56
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I echo everyone's top 3... And that's why I will now put something different:
1. Water analysis from ward labs. I just didn't know what I was dealing with until then. I use RO from home, that I had tested. And spring water from a local spring... Also tested. Put it into a spreadsheet and by adjusting my proportions and making small additions I come close to the correct water for my style... A lot of my styles I use 1/2 RO and 1/2 spring.
2. Keg and filter. Skip the whole house cartridge water filter and just go with the Plate style filter for about $50-60. The plates are cheaper than the 10in cartridges and give a much better result. Helped my homebrews, especially Lagers make the leap to pro quality.... I only filter styles that need super clarity, most ales go unfiltered in my house. But I did need to rush a wit last spring, and filtering had it ready and mellowed out long before it would have conditioned to the right point. Darn brew fests just sneak up on you!
3. Got a 2 burner camp stove for mothers day... Lead to better boils and better quality than my weak indoor boils. 2nd burner comes in handy for decoctions. This lead to my bigger badder brew pot and a bigger wort chiller. I'll taste the difference a 10 min chill makes over a 30 min chill after I keg my next batch.

 
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:11 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwarbiany View Post
LOL... That's why I included #3, since it was new.

I just like to reinforce over and over and over the importance of temp control to new brewers... They spend time and money on all sorts of wort-production gadgets and processes when one of the biggest actual improvements come from buying an old fridge and a temp controller. (At least, I know I did).

I'd rather see new brewers add temp control first and go all-grain later, as far as it affects actual beer quality. I did it the other way around, and I regret that quite a bit today.
Yeah,temp control is def a good thing. Moreso than AG or playing mad scientist with their first batch. Gotta agree on that.
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