(another) Alton Brown/Good Eats "Amber Waves" Episode Discussion - Page 7 - Home Brew Forums

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Old 08-06-2011, 03:07 AM   #61
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I love how many people pick apart this show, but in reality (as many people have already mentioned) it's brought so many people to the hobby.
While Alton does make some mistakes, he also gives a great basic idea through the process.

YMMV. For me? I stopped brewing for years, but then after watching the Amber Waves, tied in with a homebrew shop opening close to home? I was back in it.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:18 AM   #62
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One of things AB does very well is take complex cooking techniques that usually require expensive equipment and make everything doable for a first timer with modest equipment. The guy tackled smoking meats with a cardboard box and a hot plate (and made it work). Does anyone really think he is suggesting that cardboard boxes makes the best smokers? No. But for a first timer who just wants to try it out without investing a bunch of money on gear, it makes perfect sense. If you like it, then you start investing in gear and learning in greater detail. Without that shoestring DIY approach, a lot of people would never make that first attempt.

 
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:06 PM   #63
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It does make me wonder about the accuracy of other topics that I have a normal knowledge of.

From a mathematical perspective, many if not most experienced people on this forum would be in the top 0.1% of the population (that would be 310,000 in the US) when it comes to knowledge of the brewing process.

 
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:41 PM   #64
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I agree with everyone. This was a good show to bring people to homebrewing and learn the very basics of it, and it obviously worked.

However, it still fun to watch him mess it up.

 
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:30 PM   #65
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It would be interesting to know how many homebrewers were inspired by that episode.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:21 PM   #66
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I use use his turkey fryer ladder set-up in my BIAB system. Plus his pancakes are so great that I could never bash him.

 
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:38 PM   #67
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I have watched and have been inspired by AB's good eats episodes to try out some of his contraptions. I especially liked the
,
and the clay pot
. Watching his amber waves episode was disappointing, but until I saw this thread I had never seen it before. Alton is human after all and not Spock's third cousin. Glad I didnt learn brewing from AB. Still love the AB just not this episode..yikes

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Old 05-21-2013, 01:10 PM   #68
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ok. Speaking as a home brewer and huge Alton Brown fan... let's cut the guy some slack. Honestly, what do you expect from a half an hour cooking show?

Sure, he screws up some of the lingo and I would probably be hard pressed to actually drink the beer that he brewed on that episode, but I'm also willing to bet that that episode may have introduced a few people to the concept of home brewing that may have known nothing about it, beforehand. I know, for me, I saw Emeril Lagassi (or however the hell you spell his name) make some beer on TV once, about 10 years ago and, though I don't remember the details I'm sure they were way off, too, but seeing it done on tv like that was enough to spark my interest and see how easy it really is to get started.

If you try it and like it, you are going to want to learn more, branch out, and seek more reputable, in-depth sources of information and improve, from there.

I look at this episode as more of an advertisement, than anything else; it was an opportunity to spark interest in home brewing with a larger, more general audience.

 
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockytop714 View Post
ok. Speaking as a home brewer and huge Alton Brown fan... let's cut the guy some slack. Honestly, what do you expect from a half an hour cooking show?

Sure, he screws up some of the lingo and I would probably be hard pressed to actually drink the beer that he brewed on that episode, but I'm also willing to bet that that episode may have introduced a few people to the concept of home brewing that may have known nothing about it, beforehand. I know, for me, I saw Emeril Lagassi (or however the hell you spell his name) make some beer on TV once, about 10 years ago and, though I don't remember the details I'm sure they were way off, too, but seeing it done on tv like that was enough to spark my interest and see how easy it really is to get started.

If you try it and like it, you are going to want to learn more, branch out, and seek more reputable, in-depth sources of information and improve, from there.

I look at this episode as more of an advertisement, than anything else; it was an opportunity to spark interest in home brewing with a larger, more general audience.
Hell, I saw it when I was still starting out and knew (a little) better. I was not offended by it though recognized shoving the lid in the bucket was a bad idea. Hopefully since it is a short show most people will google search home brewing and go from there rather thank taking AB's advice at face value. Everyone, ourselves included, are biased on process and they are not necessarily the ideal methods.

I just prefer to think that that episode did more help for homebrewing than the BWW commercial hurt.

 
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:02 PM   #70
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I wasn't going to post on this thread but as someone else resurrected it I might as well.

Some of his ideas are useful. As Revvy pointed out, using his drying suggestions works great with hops. I've also added vanilla beans to corn sugar per his advice (he does so with cane sugar but I'd recommend this just the same for that hint of vanilla flavor) although I tried it once with DME and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're going to boil the bean too. I even used his rice method to do rice wine earlier this year to make sure I didn't sneak in any burnt pieces.

That said, I can also add two people who got interested in homebrewing because of the Amber Waves episode. I was at work when they started talking about making their own beer after seeing an episode of his and we talked more about it and they're both still brewing today (in Alabama no less although I can't verify they started before 2 weeks ago. ). I went back later and watched the episode and viewed it more as comedy than anything else but it really only takes a few deviations to make decent beer. As was mentioned above taking the steeping grains out before boiling prevents astringency. Being too rough with the fermenter is a bad idea but I'd argue that I only made 2 or 3 batches in a bucket before switching to carboys. With that in mind, the bucket was only a stepping stone. I have zero issue with the bleach and have apparently just been really lucky with using it as it's all I used for years until investing (splurging) in starsan a couple years ago. All in all though, I thought he did a reasonably decent job of demystifying the idea of the process. I consider it in the same general tone as the Mr. Beer kits that helped introduced numerous current brewers to the hobby.

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