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Back From a Three Year Hiatus... What'd I Miss?

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FirstAidBrewing

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Hey Everyone,

Well it's been three years since I've been active on the forum. But three years, two kids, a new house and a new job later, I'm finally back. It's amazing how fast life can fly. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" as Mr. Lennon once put it.

What's new in the homebrewing world these days? What are the trends? I missed the boat on the sours and the NE IPAs. Anything really popular currently?

I'm planning on easing back into the hobby. I think my all grain rig will still collect some dust for a little while as I only really have time for time efficient batches these days. I'm actually thinking of making a batch of saké as my inaugural return brew. From my preliminary reading, it seems that I can make a small batch and only spend an hour a day tops on each step. I'll be looking to document that in a how-to post once I read up and have my ducks in a row.

Happy to be back!

-FAB
 

mashpaddled

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Haze is still popular.

Sour beer has waned unless you want to brew slushy kettle soured NEIPAs with equal part fruit puree and beer.

Kveik is all the rage which is a set of Scandinavian yeasts that dry well, ferment with low pitch rates and high temperatures and produce relatively clean but slightly fruity flavors.

IPA of any type has not gone away.

Pastry stouts are on the decline, barleywine on the rise.

Pilsners are not so big homebrewing but getting big in craft beer which means it will be a big homebrewing thing fairly soon.
 

day_trippr

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Good summary, but left out LoDO brewing...
 

kh54s10

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What's LoDo brewing ;)
Low dissolved oxygen. LoDo brewers go to great lengths to eliminate oxygen from all brewing steps except for aerating before pitching the yeast. They claim the beer is dramatically better. I may try it some day, but not likely. I can't imagine that it will make a big enough difference to account for all the extra trouble.
 

logdrum

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Low dissolved oxygen. LoDo brewers go to great lengths to eliminate oxygen from all brewing steps except for aerating before pitching the yeast. They claim the beer is dramatically better. I may try it some day, but not likely. I can't imagine that it will make a big enough difference to account for all the extra trouble.
I’ve started incorporating some of the LoDo techniques on the cold side & can say without reservation that it’s 100% worth it. The only hot side item I’m using atm is underletting my mash.
 

kh54s10

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I’ve started incorporating some of the LoDo techniques on the cold side & can say without reservation that it’s 100% worth it. The only hot side item I’m using atm is underletting my mash.
Your mileage may vary from mine. Unless the LODO technique makes the beer much better than most commercial beers I can't see a big enough difference, since my non-lodo brews usually equal, and in a large percentage of the time, exceed the average commercial beer.
 

mongoose33

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Your mileage may vary from mine. Unless the LODO technique makes the beer much better than most commercial beers I can't see a big enough difference, since my non-lodo brews usually equal, and in a large percentage of the time, exceed the average commercial beer.
In fairness, until you've tried a few LoDO beers, you can't say. I think my beer is better than virtually all commercial beers--and also to be fair, there are many, many crappy commercial beers, so brewing better beer than commercial isn't all that high a bar.

I'm still playing with LODO stuff, and for me the jury is still out. There clearly has been a noticeable difference, and in a couple instances, stunningly so--far exceeding anything I've experienced in commercial beers.

But not all the time. I think there are specific recipes where it shines, and others where it doesn't shine so much. And when it comes to flavors, how we perceive them is often different from person to person.

So you might see it as impressive and valuable, or you might not. But until you've actually experienced several of them, it's impossible to have an informed opinion on the process.
 

Franktalk

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Don't forget the yeast genome coding; that's fairly new, within the last three years.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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What's new in the homebrewing world these days? What are the trends? I missed the boat on the sours and the NE IPAs. Anything really popular currently?
  • Basic Brewing Radios "Hop Sampler" approach.
  • Pitching dry yeast without rehydrating.
  • Adding small amounts of brewing salts to extract-based recipes.
  • Brew-in-a-bag (BIAB), especially for small (3 gal or less) batches.
  • New books in 2019: "Simple Homebrewing" and "The New IPA". Both are good resources that should move the forums forward with new ideas.
 

kh54s10

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In fairness, until you've tried a few LoDO beers, you can't say. I think my beer is better than virtually all commercial beers--and also to be fair, there are many, many crappy commercial beers, so brewing better beer than commercial isn't all that high a bar.
Not saying that LODO would not be better. But for me, at least at this point it DEFINITELY is not worth the trouble - to me...
 

logdrum

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Your mileage may vary from mine. Unless the LODO technique makes the beer much better than most commercial beers I can't see a big enough difference, since my non-lodo brews usually equal, and in a large percentage of the time, exceed the average commercial beer.
Biggest difference for me is lifespan of the beer, I've got a Dunkleweizen from last November that is still drinkable-fallen off in quality somewhat, for sure, but still hanging on.
 

MaxStout

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Lots of local brew stores around the country closing up, with the shift to more online sales. Like almost everything else retail.
 

mongoose33

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Not saying that LODO would not be better. But for me, at least at this point it DEFINITELY is not worth the trouble - to me...
Now that's something on which we can agree.

It takes longer, is more fiddly, equipment costs are higher to do some things (at least in my setup), and requires a bit more attention to detail.

I brewed last weekend and I was able, after having filled the BK the night before, to do the entire brew day from beginning to done with cleanup, in just under 5 hours. If I wanted to really push it, I probably could get that down fairly close to 4.5 hours. But that would be the absolute best I could likely do. There are just longer processes, like preboiling the strike water, I'm doing a sort of step-mash arrangement (that adds 15 minutes), etc.

When I did BIAB, immersion chiller, just drain into the fermenter (no pump), I could do a brew day in 3.5 hours, and it was a relaxed 3.5 hours.

I miss that. :)

I'm still trying to figure out how to compare the approaches. Sounds easy (just brew the same recipe with and without LODO), but it's not. If I brewed the first recipe and put it in my conical, then the second would be in a plastic Bigmouth Bubbler fermenter. So right off the bat it would not be the same. I have another sense of this which is that if I did it that way and there wasn't a discernable difference (or enough to matter), then the presumed lesser method of non-LODO, then that would refute the LODO stuff.

*****

And there's another element. You could, I'm sure, tell there's a difference, but you might not like the difference. I brewed a Pilsner using LODO and the flavors were unlike anything I've ever experienced. Like a punch in the mouth with Pilsner flavor.

It was...well....almost too much. Others who had it raved about it, but I didn't care all that much for it. Was it different? Yeah, very much so. More desirable? Well, YMMV.
 

kh54s10

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Biggest difference for me is lifespan of the beer, I've got a Dunkleweizen from last November that is still drinkable-fallen off in quality somewhat, for sure, but still hanging on.
Lifespan is usually of no concern. These days I drink a lot faster than I brew. And without any LODO I have had a few beers (High ABV dark beers) that lasted over 2 years. In fact the flavor did not start dropping off until after a year old. And one of those I finished before I noticed any degradation.
 

Miraculix

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Hey Everyone,

Well it's been three years since I've been active on the forum. But three years, two kids, a new house and a new job later, I'm finally back. It's amazing how fast life can fly. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" as Mr. Lennon once put it.

What's new in the homebrewing world these days? What are the trends? I missed the boat on the sours and the NE IPAs. Anything really popular currently?

I'm planning on easing back into the hobby. I think my all grain rig will still collect some dust for a little while as I only really have time for time efficient batches these days. I'm actually thinking of making a batch of saké as my inaugural return brew. From my preliminary reading, it seems that I can make a small batch and only spend an hour a day tops on each step. I'll be looking to document that in a how-to post once I read up and have my ducks in a row.

Happy to be back!

-FAB
You missed the warm fermented lager thread, the quick sour techniques without kettle souring, the kveiks, the no need for oxygenating or rehydration for dry yeast. At the end, still beer.
 
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