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Old 02-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #1
Jul 2011
Ames, Iowa
Posts: 538
Liked 40 Times on 36 Posts

I've got a fellow homebrewing friend who basically got me into the hobby. I am more of a KISS brewer, i like to use minimal ingredients to achieve the flavor profile i'm looking for and keep it pretty balanced. He on the other hand constantly puts the kitchen sink in all his beers, and most need to be around or above the 9% mark. He has yet to make a beer in which barley, hops and yeast were the only ingredients.

I'm all for experimentation and creativity, when he says to you "it's not fun for me unless i can get extremely creative about the beer i make" it's hard not to like the enthusiasm. The only problem is that most of these beers turn out really bad, with a few exceptions along the way but these were also not something i'd reach for if i had other options.

This was by no means saying someone else is inferior to me, as i make the crappy batch as well, just frustrating to see someone who's passion got me into this, well kinda stink at it.

End Rant

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Old 02-06-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
the_trout's Avatar
May 2011
Rochester, NY
Posts: 438
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Id chalk it up to different strokes for different folks.

Im more on your side of the spectrum but that doesnt mean the "mad scientist" approach is inherently bad. How many filiments did Edison try before he made a light bulb that was worth a crap? I dont know but I bet its safe to say thousands. When he hit the right one he changed the world forever. Maybe your buddy will change the world of beer someday? Until then Id hedge my bets and keep making your KISS brew.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
Heavyweight homebrewing author & air gun shooter
unionrdr's Avatar
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,990
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I like to stay close to the basics of a style,but change some of the grain or hops or the like.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
mean old man
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Oct 2012
Sterling, VA
Posts: 6,307
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think in all fields, there has to be both kinds of scientists, the sane and the mad.

the evolutionary and the revolutionary

small steps and giant leaps
"Beer. Good." - Words of House Grog

drinking: Otto M. Gourd Pumpkin Barleywine, Jewel Thieves Apple Wine, Fresh Squee Zed IPA - bottle conditioning: LoCo Foot Barleywine, Basque cider - lagering : Schwarzbier - fermenting: apple wine, Skeeter Pee - on deck: Grodziskie

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
Relax? RELAX?!
PhelanKA7's Avatar
Feb 2010
Posts: 996
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I was a lot like your friend and still am somewhat. Heck, I even have a recipe for a beer called "The Kitchen Sink." I think more recently I am going to try and do more basic beers but still utilize some exotic ingredients that I have experience with from doing so many weird/big/complicated brews. I obviously see nothing wrong with the mad scientist approach but it can be easy to get stuck in a rut of brewing crazy **** just because you can.

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:34 PM   #6
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
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Homebrewer Rule #3 Thou Shalt Not Criticize How Another Homebrewer Brews, just because it's different from our own way. Ask 10 homebrewers how they do something and you'll get 12 different answers, and they ALL will be correct..
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
Jul 2011
Ames, Iowa
Posts: 538
Liked 40 Times on 36 Posts

I realize that post came out wrongly. I'm not knocking the guy, i love the guy. Just at some point i'm going to need to stop faking the " oh yea this is pretty good" deal. I'm all for experimentation, just not my thing so a said above "different strokes for different folks"

Again sorry for the de-constructive critiscm just curious if anyone else out there had that same kinda guy around.

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
kpr121's Avatar
Jul 2009
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 3,151
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I have a friend who sometimes comes over to help me brew. He’s interested in brewing and knows enough to be dangerous, but hasn’t ever done it all by himself. I personally think he sees and understands how much work and effort it takes and doesn’t find it worthwhile to do it on his own. In fact he gave me his starter kit that his wife bought him so I could use the buckets and bottling equipment. I totally respect that. Plus it gives us both a chance to hang out in my garage, drink a few, smoke a few stogies, and get away from our SWMBOs.

Anyhow, he pretty much always wants to brew over-the-top beers. Pecan Bourbon Porter, ChupaHOPra, Pliny the Elder Clone, 60 Minute IPA (where we mixed up 5-6 varieties of hops and just continually threw them in the pot), are some of the beers we have made together. And you know what, they all turned out good or great! I think partially it’s because I have a little bit more knowledge about brewing basics and styles and I am also more conservative, so I know when it’s time to reel him back in.

It works out great for us because he maybe comes to help brew once every 5 or 6 sessions, which is usually just in time to put something crazy on tap. In between I primarily make the standard 4-6% ABV beers that everyone enjoys. Usually giving him a 12 pack or a case along the way.

Sometimes you need a Hyde to your Jekyll. Maybe you should work on some collaboration brews!?

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:52 PM   #9
wickman6's Avatar
Sep 2011
vernon hills, il
Posts: 643
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I sometimes find it difficult to be brutally honest when it comes to giving feedback on things, especially if its something that can hurt feelings. I was raised "if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all"

Many times I'm silent. Lol

My fiance is the polar opposite, no qualms about opinions. I guess that's why we work

Anyway, not giving honest feedback is not doing him any favors. That is if he asks your opinion.

But to him, he may love his beer. And that may be all he's worried about. I like to share mine, and hope those people.truly enjoy what I've made.
My wife is like a well crafted beer...bitter, yet sweet enough to balance perfectly!

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
Almaigan Brewing Co.
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Dec 2008
Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
Posts: 4,562
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Originally Posted by iowabrew View Post
I realize that post came out wrongly. I'm not knocking the guy, i love the guy. Just at some point i'm going to need to stop faking the " oh yea this is pretty good" deal.
Actually, I think that came across fine in your post. It's his beer, he can do what he wants, but I know the feeling when someone keeps offering you things and explains what they're doing and you gently suggest maybe a different approach in certain areas. You slug down the beer and try not to grimace. Next month, they give you a new beer and they obviously had no interest in even considering any of your suggestions. You slug down the beer...and try not to grimace.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C. S. Lewis, English essayist & juvenile novelist (1898 - 1963)

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