• We have a new forum and it needs your help! Homebrewing Deals is a forum to post whatever deals and specials you find that other homebrewers might value! Includes coupon layering, Craigslist finds, eBay finds, Amazon specials, etc.

Do "professional" brewers consider brulosophy to be a load of bs?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Status
Not open for further replies.

BrewVerymore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2017
Messages
46
Reaction score
3
Bit of a controversial title, but hear me out. I've got some buddies who own commercial breweries who I shoot the ish w/ once in a while. I've brought up things like "cold break" where the master brewer of many years who told me "I've heard of that term. Really don't know what it is." in a fashion that I could only describe as the same way I would regard talk from a flat earth theorist.. On another occasion I referred to some brulosophy experiemnts as well as HBT posts about dry hop length and some other stuff I can't really remember and he told me, "Yeah you can't really believe those Brulosophy posts. It's not real science."

This has led me to believe that perhaps professional brewers look down on said websites. Has anyone else experienced this? What's the deal here?

Are there any professional brewers on here who have contrary opinions about the experiments on brulosophy and other homebrew websites and is professional brewing really such an esoteric field where the rules start changing?

Thanks!:mug:
 

madscientist451

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2014
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
1,981
Location
Bedford
B "Yeah you can't really believe those Brulosophy posts. It's not real science."
Nope, its not real science, most, if not all Brulosphy experiments have too many variables. But that doesn't mean that things shouldn't be tried,or that existing ways of doing things shouldn't be challenged.
The above statement, misses the point of the Brulosophy blog;
its not something that you have to "believe", all he's saying is that people can or can't notice a difference when two beers are presented. You can do what you want with that information, I find it to be pretty interesting.
PS: I've had some beer brewed by "professionals" that was absolute crap, so while everyone has an opinion, everyone also has armpits and some of them stink.
 
OP
B

BrewVerymore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2017
Messages
46
Reaction score
3
Perfect. Because I dry hopped a beer for 2 days and it is the best IPA I have made so far, but when I told some "pros" they were giving me crap while I just think the proof is in the pudding. Had I not told them I dry hopped for 2 days vs a week or whatever I think they would have had a completely different opinion on the beer and commended me for the brew :p :tank:
 

MSK_Chess

enthusiastic learner
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
697
Reaction score
254
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
A master brewer that has only heard of a 'cold break'? interesting phenomena. Yet I can show you a film of a German brewery in the 1930's who reduced their boiled wort in a matter of some seconds realizing the value of a cold break.

The great thing about brulosophy is that it speaks to us on a level that we can identify with. They are simply enthusiastic homebrewers like ourselves attempting to brew the best beer they can with the ingredients and equipment at their disposal. Almost everything I know about brewing I have learned from enthusiastic amateurs and the vast majority of them are American and Canadian homebrewers. Professional brewers don't want to tell you nada, the just wanna keep it all up their sleeve.
 

jwalk4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
267
Location
St. Thomas
Keep in mind too, that not everything translates directly from a professional brewery to your kitchen or garage. There are differences when mashing huge volumes of grist, on upsized and upgraded equipment.
 

str1p3s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
200
Reaction score
117
I think they are pretty clear in their posts that they know their science isn't a rigorous as it could be. But what draws me to them is I've often thought, "I wonder what would happen if I just changed this one thing?" but I don't have the time or equipment to do two batches of the same thing and take a month just to test one variable.

Also, they are testing things on a homebrew scale. That speaks to us and our experiences a lot more than a pro brewer who is working in a big automated brewery.
 

jekeane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
522
Location
Jacksonville
I think the biggest take away from Brulosophy is that home brewing tends to be a pretty forgiving hobby assuming you are sanitary and are within a range of best practices.

I have have used some of the ideas on the site to good affect some have not worked out at all. And quick lagering for instance has been a mixed bag it has had some pretty good and really bad results depending on the strain so I always will do a traditional lager schedule when I have the time.
 

MSK_Chess

enthusiastic learner
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
697
Reaction score
254
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
I think the biggest take away from Brulosophy is that home brewing tends to be a pretty forgiving hobby assuming you are sanitary and are within a range of best practices.

I have have used some of the ideas on the site to good affect some have not worked out at all. And quick lagering for instance has been a mixed bag it has had some pretty good and really bad results depending on the strain so I always will do a traditional lager schedule when I have the time.
would be interested to know what worked for you and what did not. i just did a quick lager after reading the brulosophy idea (which they give credit to others for) and I thought it was ok, used WLP830 German lager.
 

jekeane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
522
Location
Jacksonville
would be interested to know what worked for you and what did not. i just did a quick lager after reading the brulosophy idea (which they give credit to others for) and I thought it was ok, used WLP830 German lager.
830, 838 and 940 have worked well although I have gotten some esters from 838

Zurich Lager did not like the method 34/70 was a estery mess as well. I have used a few others but would have to check notes.
 

Dcpcooks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,535
Reaction score
536
Location
Libertyville
The guys I know that do this for a living don't read the brulosophy site. I doubt it's got much to do with content as much as it's not relevant to them. They all went to siebel and most have worked at multiple breweries over the years.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
2,853
Reaction score
1,359
Location
Long Island
I'd be interested in responses to the OPs original question. I believe the difficult part of what brulosophy does that makes them quite a bit different from what most of us homebrewers do in our own "experiments" is the triangle testing. I can see professional brewers being every bit as reluctant to embrace the validity of a bunch of random people (who knows if they even have taste buds) inability to tell beers apart when the difference is readily apparent (to the brewer).
 

mirthfuldragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
742
Reaction score
411
Location
Arlington Heights
The guys I know that do this for a living don't read the brulosophy site. I doubt it's got much to do with content as much as it's not relevant to them. They all went to siebel and most have worked at multiple breweries over the years.
Also, just because someone is a professional brewer does not mean he or she is knowledgeable in the craft. I'm an attorney, and I work for a mortgage company in attorney oversight and compliance (and a bunch of other things) - so I am lawyer who lawyers other lawyers. And a lot of those lawyers are not as swift as one would hope given their hourly billing rate. Half the lawyers I worked with in private practice were not worth a ****, and going to law school is a lot harder than going to Seibel (or at least a lot more expensive).

The same applies to brewing. Think about it - if success is a function of beer quality, then BMC are just killing all the craft breweries five to one (craft beer is 17% of market volume and 20% of market value). Our club has one member who consistently medals at competition (over 25 this year) and also the header brewer at one of our local micros. I listen very carefully when either of them speak.

I just do not get the hate on Brulosphy. Is it gospel? Of course not. At least they are pushing the scientific method by attempting to control variables and publish results and avoid random chance. Personally I think the sample sizes are too small, so they do yield significant data but I wonder what the margin of error calculates out to be, but given the scale, it is a good read and information worth knowing.

My LHBS beer courses still teach to secondary beer, and a lot of my homebrew friends secondary - and you mention the word "secondary" here and in about six seconds someone is going to chime in with "don't do that, it doesn't help and only increases your risk of oxidation, and autolysis is a not an issue at the homebrew scale".

I would guess 75% of the techniques we use and the recopies we use are rote copies of what someone else has said.

/rant over, someone else can get on his or her soapbox now.
 

Murphys_Law

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2015
Messages
1,361
Reaction score
1,028
Location
Denver area
Depends on the pro! First, as noted before - not everything translates from the pro brewery to a home brewery. Also, not all pro's should be giving advice! I talked to a local pro who advises only using US-04 and US-05, it's "cheap and easy to store". That advice really goes against any testing and comparison.

Solid advice but there is whole other world of yeast out there to explore!
 

Norselord

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2013
Messages
495
Reaction score
235
Location
Peachtree Corners
Brulosophy is scientainment. Like Bill Nye, the shows hosted by NDGT, or most documentaries.

Their experiments contain various degrees of flaws.
The results depend on the opinions of people, and do not track real quantifiable data (as one would see in a laboratory)

Most seriously: their experiments can not be replicated reliably by others. This is a key element of the scientific process.

Having said that, I like what they do for the following reasons:
- it encourages exploration
- it makes people think
- their results, on average, make some sense
- it is entertaining
 

redllama

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
158
Reaction score
56
Location
Atlanta
I will say that I enjoy reading the Brulosophy articles and have changed up some of my techniques due to them, but mostly it has helped me relax when something doesn't quite go right during brew day as subtle changes generally do not have a giant effect on the finished product.

That being said, having homebrewed for years and also working in a pro brewery there are major differences. If my house IPA/Stout/whatever is slightly off on one batch it is no big deal as it is more than likely still good. If you are a pro brewery people expect the exact same product every time they order. Flaws can also manifest and magnify over time. My standard beers never last more than a month on tap. By the time a brewery packages, distributor picks up, retailer orders, and then customer drinks you could be looking at 2, 3, or who knows how long. Differences may be exacerbated by then.

This is really a long rant to say "relax, don't worry, have a homebrew" as chances are that as long as your sanitation is good and you have a decent recipe the end product will be fine.
 

ericbw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
3,591
Reaction score
1,222
Most brulosophy ends with not enough variation to say there's a difference. It's 6 friends tasting beers and looking for the differences.

Interesting but not all that scientific (or terribly entertaining).

Leave out pro brewers. Most readers should regard it as interesting and ambitious, but just one piece of info.

Also, they call them exbeeriments because they're not rigorous experiments.
 

Dcpcooks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,535
Reaction score
536
Location
Libertyville
Also, just because someone is a professional brewer does not mean he or she is knowledgeable in the craft. I'm an attorney, and I work for a mortgage company in attorney oversight and compliance (and a bunch of other things) - so I am lawyer who lawyers other lawyers. And a lot of those lawyers are not as swift as one would hope given their hourly billing rate. Half the lawyers I worked with in private practice were not worth a ****, and going to law school is a lot harder than going to Seibel (or at least a lot more expensive).



The same applies to brewing. Think about it - if success is a function of beer quality, then BMC are just killing all the craft breweries five to one (craft beer is 17% of market volume and 20% of market value). Our club has one member who consistently medals at competition (over 25 this year) and also the header brewer at one of our local micros. I listen very carefully when either of them speak.



I just do not get the hate on Brulosphy. Is it gospel? Of course not. At least they are pushing the scientific method by attempting to control variables and publish results and avoid random chance. Personally I think the sample sizes are too small, so they do yield significant data but I wonder what the margin of error calculates out to be, but given the scale, it is a good read and information worth knowing.



My LHBS beer courses still teach to secondary beer, and a lot of my homebrew friends secondary - and you mention the word "secondary" here and in about six seconds someone is going to chime in with "don't do that, it doesn't help and only increases your risk of oxidation, and autolysis is a not an issue at the homebrew scale".



I would guess 75% of the techniques we use and the recopies we use are rote copies of what someone else has said.



/rant over, someone else can get on his or her soapbox now.

That's a tall soap box, careful it's a long fall.

Siebel is just a place for learning the basics. As is law school or any other place of higher learning. Real world experience is where folks cut their teeth on their respective careers.

It's like a chef that can knock out 200-300 meals in three hours and earns a Michelin star isn't watching Alton Browns cooking show on the food channel. The two don't jibe.
 

lump42

The Lajestic Vantrashell of Lob
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
1,069
Reaction score
621
Location
Bluegrass Region
Brulosophy is scientainment. Like Bill Nye, the shows hosted by NDGT, or most documentaries.

Their experiments contain various degrees of flaws.
The results depend on the opinions of people, and do not track real quantifiable data (as one would see in a laboratory)

Most seriously: their experiments can not be replicated reliably by others. This is a key element of the scientific process.

Having said that, I like what they do for the following reasons:
- it encourages exploration
- it makes people think
- their results, on average, make some sense
- it is entertaining
I agree that there methods have flaws, but that is part of science. Every experiment has them, even in labs. The repeatability isn't the issue when dealing with the softer side of science (anything that is measuring people) and their methods are similar to those being used in other food science industries. They are not measuring if the variables make a difference but if the difference is perceivable.

Their sample sizes do run a bit small. But the biggest thing is that they only have one replicate. Each batch would only count as a replicate and ideally it should be done at least in triplicate to be conclusive. The agreement on multiple replicates on a large enough random population would allow for replication by others within reasonably margins.

I see the experiments they are running more akin to preliminary exploratory research looking to see if there is something that's worth looking deeper.
 

TungstenBeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Messages
328
Reaction score
53
Location
Buffalo
Also, just because someone is a professional brewer does not mean he or she is knowledgeable in the craft. I'm an attorney, and I work for a mortgage company in attorney oversight and compliance (and a bunch of other things) - so I am lawyer who lawyers other lawyers. And a lot of those lawyers are not as swift as one would hope given their hourly billing rate. Half the lawyers I worked with in private practice were not worth a ****, and going to law school is a lot harder than going to Seibel (or at least a lot more expensive).
Heh. My dad's favorite joke is,

Q: Do you know what they call the guy that graudated last in med school?

A: Doctor.
 

mongoose33

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
7,866
Reaction score
7,020
Location
Platteville, WI
would be interested to know what worked for you and what did not. i just did a quick lager after reading the brulosophy idea (which they give credit to others for) and I thought it was ok, used WLP830 German lager.
I did a quick lagering schedule w/ 830, it turned out fine, though I didn't go head-over-heels on the flavor. Others have given it high marks, and it may have been partially the hops used.

I just did a quick lagering schedule using 840, Mexican yeast, producing a dark lager of my own formulation, and it is outstanding. I'm thinking of brewing it again this weekend; assuming the second version turns out, I'll post the recipe.
 

HarborTownBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
872
Location
Chicago
It's not science, but rather a guy pushing the envelope and exploring a little bit. In a hobby/industry with so many "rules", it's definitely nice.

He's done some really interesting things that I have been wondering about for years. One interesting one was the different beer colors (I've always said, "Dark beer is not a flavor, it's a color" whenever people say, "I don't like dark beers"). His experiment showed some light to my argument and explored some aspects many people hadn't considered.

But you have to know what you are reading when you read it (and he's pretty clear about that). For some reason you always get those...people... who argue the results as though it's being claimed as a new fact.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
2,853
Reaction score
1,359
Location
Long Island
Most brulosophy ends with not enough variation to say there's a difference. It's 6 friends tasting beers and looking for the differences.

Interesting but not all that scientific (or terribly entertaining).

Leave out pro brewers. Most readers should regard it as interesting and ambitious, but just one piece of info.

Also, they call them exbeeriments because they're not rigorous experiments.
This is not accurate or even close. Last 10 experiments had average of 20 participants in the tasting panel with a low of 16 and high of 41. Yes they are probably mainly friends tasting beers...thats what my friends do too. But to downplay the experimental rigor due to small sample size I'd challenge anybody to pull this off once let alone do a new experiment and publish it monthly. (I think they have 6-7 people publishing a new experiment twice a week).
 

mongoose33

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
7,866
Reaction score
7,020
Location
Platteville, WI
On the quality of Brulosophy exbeeriments:

I don't think they're that bad. Really. I'm a scientist and I don't see a lot of places there that might be improved.

They're doing two batches as identically as they can, changing one variable (usually). Exbeerimenters will do things like split a yeast starter, ensuring each gets the same thing. The temperatures of mash, fermentation, and so on are very close, such that no reasonable, experienced brewer would expect, say, a .4 degree difference in mash temp to produce a noticeable final result.

The essence of experimentation is control of extraneous variables. Unless they're lying to us about what they're doing (and I don't think they are), they're doing a pretty nice job controlling.

There's a flaw in understanding research that sometimes people make--that is, the fact that you might not have perfectly controlled everything doesn't mean that what you didn't perfectly control had a negative influence on the results. It might have, might not have. If the variable not perfectly controlled differs significantly between experimental and control batch, it might be an alternative explanation for the results. Might be. This is why we replicate.

****************

My issue w/ the Brulosophy approach is on the back end--deciding if the beers are different or not.

I don't agree with posters above about the lack of value of tasting as a measure of difference compared to measuring physical attributes of the beers. In the end, we brew beer so we can drink it, and we like the beer we drink to taste good. Thus taste as a measure of beer quality has tremendous face validity.

The problem is what different people perceive. My signature says what it says for a reason. I don't care for Belgian beers. There's something about the flavor that turns me off. I can judge them (just had one from Morrey that was an excellent Belgian--but I'd never order one :) ). People who like Belgians would, I'm sure, like Morrey's. No off flavors, good mouthfeel, flavor is rich and full. And I don't care for it!

So when we get a panel of tasters in brulosphy exbeeriments, we're seeing if a bunch of people can tell the difference between two beers. We know nothing about what they've been drinking prior to testing, whether they like the style or not, if they're super tasters versus people like me who are not, of what beer drinkers, if any, the panel is representative.

****************

When I teach this I have my students, w/r/t sampling, imagine doing a student survey and asking passersby to take that survey. Would their results be different if they were asking student passersby inside the Engineering building compare to those inside the Art building?

I don't know which building the Exbeeriment sample tasters come from. The IPA building? The Sours building? The BMC building?

****************

On top of that, a typical panel will have more than half the tasters unable to identify the odd-beer-out. Think about that. People are focused on whether the results are significant, which is fine, but there's another very interesting element of the data--most can't tell the beers apart!


****************

Further, and this part gets me, the writeup usually says, if the result is not signficant, something like "tasters were unable to reliably distinguish between the two beers."

Um.....no. Reliability is repeatability or consistency of measurement. If each taster were identical, sure, but they're most assuredly not. I'd be more impressed with the results if tasters came back 3 or 4 days in a row and were able to repeat the same conclusion each time. What we don't know is how many "correct" guesses were in fact that--guesses.

What we have is analogous in some ways to a one-shot case study. No way to know whether the results would be the same tomorrow w/ these same tasters. Or a different set of tasters.

****************

I've read a little, and see a few videos, on how the food industry does taste tests. Much more controlled. Among other things, I'd love to see if tasters could, really, distinguish between these beers on successive days. And before drinking any other beer.

Are tasters in the exbeeriments suffering (if that's the right word) from palate fatigue? If the exbeerimental taste test was their first beer of the day would the results be different than after drinking a couple IPAs? Or a slew of other beers?

These are questions I'd want to have answered before drawing any great and weighty conclusions.

****************

Just to give Marshall a little love, he's trying to do some things. Most of us critical of the methods or the measurements aren't doing a damned thing, including yours truly.

Marshall and his cohorts are "in the arena."

If and when I can figure out how to brew large batches and split them, I'll try some of this. I'm anxious to do so. And if I do taste tests, I'll try to do them under more controlled circumstances.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
2,853
Reaction score
1,359
Location
Long Island
nice wall of text mongoose

I found the following article pretty interesting. http://editorbar.com/upload/ReBooks/2013-4/39a2699a23608d62a95ece703b059e4b.pdf

Maybe you can comment on whether it is reliable source can't believe everything on the internet. Anyway the point made in section 8.4 reads directly on sample size and would seem to put the Brulosophy experiments within the applicable range for detecting differences between samples. Section 7.2 provides interesting comment on selection of testers. Overall reading this I tend to be more impressed with the power of the tool they are using and less inclined to disregard findings.

I think main issue people have is overinterpreting the meaning of found no perceivable difference. That really doesn't meant there was no difference or the samples were the same.
 

bwarbiany

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Messages
5,041
Reaction score
4,992
Location
Mission Viejo
Bit of a controversial title, but hear me out. I've got some buddies who own commercial breweries who I shoot the ish w/ once in a while. I've brought up things like "cold break" where the master brewer of 17 years out of Bend, OR told me "I've heard of that term. Really don't know what it is." in a very mightier than thou fashion that I could only describe as the same way I would regard talk from a flat earth theorist..
A master brewer that has only heard of a 'cold break'? interesting phenomena. Yet I can show you a film of a German brewery in the 1930's who reduced their boiled wort in a matter of some seconds realizing the value of a cold break.
Keep in mind too, that not everything translates directly from a professional brewery to your kitchen or garage. There are differences when mashing huge volumes of grist, on upsized and upgraded equipment.
We as homebrewers are interested in rapid chilling of wort to generate cold break. MOST homebrewers are doing this with an immersion chiller, and/or commonly recirculating through a CFC or plate chiller. We're doing this in an open kettle where we're watching the results and frequently then moving wort to a fermenter (carboy/better bottle) where we see the "gunk" in the bottom.

How do commercial brewers chill their wort? I haven't looked at all of them, of course, but I suspect it's being run through a big high-capacity plate chiller direct from the [mostly-closed] boil kettle to the [closed conical] fermenter, probably with very chilled water running the opposite direction as they wouldn't recirculate unless they have to. Then they have big conical fermenters that have outlets on the very bottom to dump the trub.

So undoubtedly their process generates "cold break". But would they necessarily use that term for it? It's just trub that goes into the fermenter at that point. And it'll get dumped after it settles. So they don't necessarily have to worry about racking a beer off the trub. It's gone when they package their beer.

I doubt this brewer doesn't know anything about the stuff going into the fermenter. But I wouldn't be surprised if they don't always use the same terms for it that we do on our scale.
 

ericbw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
3,591
Reaction score
1,222
This is not accurate or even close. Last 10 experiments had average of 20 participants in the tasting panel with a low of 16 and high of 41. Yes they are probably mainly friends tasting beers...thats what my friends do too. But to downplay the experimental rigor due to small sample size I'd challenge anybody to pull this off once let alone do a new experiment and publish it monthly. (I think they have 6-7 people publishing a new experiment twice a week).

Ok they have more than 6 people. Doing it once is not "rigor."
 

bbohanon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
823
Reaction score
252
Location
Charlotte
I think most professional brewers are too concerned with their beard grooming and what font to use on their labels to worry about such trivial things.

:goat: :goat: :goat:
ROFL..This made my day. You have no idea how many times I have had this thought roll through my mind as I talk with professional head/assistant brewers (hot side) as most of them DO have very well groomed beards.

The back of the house guys (cold side) always have much more scraggly beards (or none at all as most of them hate getting hop particulate/trub in their beards when breaking down cleaning everything up).

You win the forum for the day!
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
2,853
Reaction score
1,359
Location
Long Island
I'd be interested to compare the percentage of professional brewers with science and/or engineering degrees to the percentage of homebrewers with the same. My guess is that homebrewers are probably more scientifically bent than typical brewers at small to mid sized craft breweries. I'd guess somewhere along the line as the breweries grow they go ahead and develop a scientifically astute quality department but doubt that many of the people working there that would introduce themselves as professional brewers have much scientific training at all.
 

RichBenn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2009
Messages
912
Reaction score
70
Location
Tahoe
I was a black belt Six Sigma practitioner for one of the biggest companies in the US.

In case you don't know, Six Sigma is basically using statistics and other methods to improve products and eliminate defects. So the statistical methods and data collection used on the Brulosophy are well known to black belts and all scientists.

Is Brulosophy science? Yes. He takes a hypothesis, runs an experiment, collects data, generally follows scientific methods, and publishes results. OK, self published and not peer reviewed in the classical sense, but enough that it could be called science, IMHO.

Where it may fall down a bit, other than peer review and those that repeat the experiments, is in what is called "lurking variables". Typically, one tries to control all the variables that are known, so that the experiment can isolate a specific property. Thus the experiments are done on the same day, with the same grain bill, same mash temperature, water, fermentation temperature, etc. One could also vary all these variables during the test, but the sample size to get significant results would be prohibitive. This is not really a critique, but rather an acknowledgment.

Lurking variables are all those things we know about as well as, more importantly, all the things we don't know about that might influence the result. Yeah, we statistically couldn't tell the difference between two yeasts, but would the results be different if we used a different grain bill, used a higher or lower mash temperature, had the testers eat a Shepard's pie before testing, used a different sulfate:chloride ratio, tested on a full moon instead of a new moon -- you get the picture. It's something all scientists deal with when designing experiments. What we do know is the exact conditions tested have a high degree of confidence of being true, unlike simple observations that most of us base our judgments on.

So the Brulosophy has done more, in my opinion, to advance brewing knowledge and challenge brew myths than any other public site. They are to be commended for adding so much to be brewing community. Many things we all suspected have been confirmed; many we things didn't expect have been revealed.
 

bbohanon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
823
Reaction score
252
Location
Charlotte
We as homebrewers are interested in rapid chilling of wort to generate cold break. MOST homebrewers are doing this with an immersion chiller, and/or commonly recirculating through a CFC or plate chiller. We're doing this in an open kettle where we're watching the results and frequently then moving wort to a fermenter (carboy/better bottle) where we see the "gunk" in the bottom.

How do commercial brewers chill their wort? I haven't looked at all of them, of course, but I suspect it's being run through a big high-capacity plate chiller direct from the [mostly-closed] boil kettle to the [closed conical] fermenter, probably with very chilled water running the opposite direction as they wouldn't recirculate unless they have to. Then they have big conical fermenters that have outlets on the very bottom to dump the trub.

So undoubtedly their process generates "cold break". But would they necessarily use that term for it? It's just trub that goes into the fermenter at that point. And it'll get dumped after it settles. So they don't necessarily have to worry about racking a beer off the trub. It's gone when they package their beer.

I doubt this brewer doesn't know anything about the stuff going into the fermenter. But I wouldn't be surprised if they don't always use the same terms for it that we do on our scale.
As far as brulosophy, most dont have the time to even bother with that..Alot of them dont even homebrew any more if they came from that background believe it or not. Going pro takes up most of your time keeping the business running and beer brewing to worry about such things. Most laugh when I mention homebrew forums and say something like "Yea I remember those back in the day.."

As far as chilling and such on a pro level,
Most of the ones I am friendly with here in the local area chill with plate chillers that look like compact car radiators in size. They normally use chilled water (ground temp or glycol chilled if they are a bigger outfit) for their source of "cooling" and they do NOT recirculate.

I see the wort hit the fermenter right at ale pitching temps and they get this done relatively quickly as they are doing back to back batch brews. Most of the local mid-size outfits also have the luxury of jacketed fermenters so if needed, they can bring a lager down to pitching temps quickly in the fermenter even if it coming from the chiller at more of an "ale" pitching temps.

Once the wort is xferred and at the right temp, they grab the yeast brink, hook er up and push the yeast into the ferm tank.
Its an awesome process every time I am able to be there for brewday.

You are correct they dump trub/yeast post fermentation. Most dump the yeast back into a brink for reuse in a future batch if its still in its viable reuse window.

Some of them also recirc filter their beer to clear it up/remove any yeast which is cool to watch/help with also.

I need to find a new place to dump some pictures of the entire process as I took some pics the last time I was at one of the local breweries here when I won a stout contest of all the ins and outs of a normal brewday. Photobucket has totally hosed me over with their new pay to play model. :-(
 

ericbw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
3,591
Reaction score
1,222
There's a clear division of two camps here. I think the OP should ask the professional brewers who have dismissed Brulosophy what they think.
 

azmark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
207
Reaction score
53
But is big beer investment good for the Craft Beer Market?
(oh that's a different hot topic)

Craft and Big Beer have "stolen" so much from the homebrew community over the past couple of decades, that I don't think any "Pro" brewer should dismiss what is being done or talked about in homebrew.
 

Konadog

Bird Call Brewing
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
801
Reaction score
284
Location
Long Beach, CA
So the Brulosophy has done more, in my opinion, to advance brewing knowledge and challenge brew myths than any other public site. They are to be commended for adding so much to be brewing community. Many things we all suspected have been confirmed; many we things didn't expect have been revealed.
This sums it up for me, I look at it as another tool in my tool box to use or ignore at my discretion. The fact that the crew at brulosophy take the time and resources to run these experiments and present the results in a context that most everyone can understand is another plus IMHO.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
63,801
Reaction score
15,303
I was a black belt Six Sigma practitioner for one of the biggest companies in the US.

In case you don't know, Six Sigma is basically using statistics and other methods to improve products and eliminate defects. So the statistical methods and data collection used on the Brulosophy are well known to black belts and all scientists.

Is Brulosophy science? Yes. He takes a hypothesis, runs an experiment, collects data, generally follows scientific methods, and publishes results. OK, self published and not peer reviewed in the classical sense, but enough that it could be called science, IMHO.

Where it may fall down a bit, other than peer review and those that repeat the experiments, is in what is called "lurking variables". Typically, one tries to control all the variables that are known, so that the experiment can isolate a specific property. Thus the experiments are done on the same day, with the same grain bill, same mash temperature, water, fermentation temperature, etc. One could also vary all these variables during the test, but the sample size to get significant results would be prohibitive. This is not really a critique, but rather an acknowledgment.

Lurking variables are all those things we know about as well as, more importantly, all the things we don't know about that might influence the result. Yeah, we statistically couldn't tell the difference between two yeasts, but would the results be different if we used a different grain bill, used a higher or lower mash temperature, had the testers eat a Shepard's pie before testing, used a different sulfate:chloride ratio, tested on a full moon instead of a new moon -- you get the picture. It's something all scientists deal with when designing experiments. What we do know is the exact conditions tested have a high degree of confidence of being true, unlike simple observations that most of us base our judgments on.

So the Brulosophy has done more, in my opinion, to advance brewing knowledge and challenge brew myths than any other public site. They are to be commended for adding so much to be brewing community. Many things we all suspected have been confirmed; many we things didn't expect have been revealed.
Good post. My biggest critique or Brulosophy is that they don't do a good or thorough job of explaining their statistical assumptions...
 

MSK_Chess

enthusiastic learner
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
697
Reaction score
254
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
I did a quick lagering schedule w/ 830, it turned out fine, though I didn't go head-over-heels on the flavor. Others have given it high marks, and it may have been partially the hops used.

I just did a quick lagering schedule using 840, Mexican yeast, producing a dark lager of my own formulation, and it is outstanding. I'm thinking of brewing it again this weekend; assuming the second version turns out, I'll post the recipe.
Interesting thats kind of what I thought, it was clean but not that flavoursome. Maybe WLP830 is like the WLP001 of lager yeasts? ;)
 

ericbw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
3,591
Reaction score
1,222
But is big beer investment good for the Craft Beer Market?
(oh that's a different hot topic)

Craft and Big Beer have "stolen" so much from the homebrew community over the past couple of decades, that I don't think any "Pro" brewer should dismiss what is being done or talked about in homebrew.

What has big beer or craft beer stolen from homebrew? I don't understand this idea.
 

mongoose33

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
7,866
Reaction score
7,020
Location
Platteville, WI
nice wall of text mongoose
Did any of it resonate with you?

I found the following article pretty interesting. http://editorbar.com/upload/ReBooks/2013-4/39a2699a23608d62a95ece703b059e4b.pdf

Maybe you can comment on whether it is reliable source can't believe everything on the internet.
It appears to be. ASTM International is a voluntary standards organization. Any time people try to regularize what standards are followed it makes it easier for us to understand and maybe even trust them.

That's actually a good thing when people write scholarly papers on research they've done. The more you can explain, exactly, what you did, the more people understand it and can accept it or not. Even if they don't accept it, they can say "OK, I don't agree with how you conceptualized this, or how you operationalized that, but given what you've done, let's see what was found."

The piece you reference is much more disciplined in how a triangle test is to be conducted than how I think they probably do it in these beer tests. One example is whether the beers are presented to the individual in a random order (AAB, ABA, BAA, BAB, BBA, ABB) or whether they're just given to an individual in the same way. Further, they note the desire to have tasters in multiples of 6, so if there is an ordering effect, it will be canceled out by all possible orders being presented.

Anyway the point made in section 8.4 reads directly on sample size and would seem to put the Brulosophy experiments within the applicable range for detecting differences between samples. Section 7.2 provides interesting comment on selection of testers. Overall reading this I tend to be more impressed with the power of the tool they are using and less inclined to disregard findings.
I agree--except it's not exactly clear whether the exbeerimenters follow it as written. I think the standards represent one of the best possible ways to evaluate perceived differences in taste.

I think main issue people have is overinterpreting the meaning of found no perceivable difference. That really doesn't meant there was no difference or the samples were the same.
Very true. Very rarely do people address Type II error (there IS a difference but it wasn't discovered in the test).

This is actually the foundation of one of my concerns with this type of thing. Maybe there's a difference but tasters have palate fatigue, meaning they're no longer reliable as indicators of differences. That's why I'm wondering if people have been drinking beer before testing, how much, what kind--all of those things might result in "not significant" results where there really is a difference that would be perceived, if only they hadn't A) drank so much before, B) drank too many different types, C) ate spicy wings as precursor to tasting, D) whatever.

Alternative explanations work both ways, for both Type I and Type II error.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
2,853
Reaction score
1,359
Location
Long Island
Did any of it resonate with you?
yes but I think I'm in the already persuaded camp.

I agree with the concerns about palate fatigue but do think this could be reasonably addressed by asking testers to take a few minutes before the test to clear palates--and then provide some water and bread. I've listened to the tests being done on Basic Brewing Radio and I've noticed the testers tend to be motivated to try hard and take pride in getting the right answer. They quickly forget that they are the instrument and think they are being tested not the beer.
 

Morrey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
3,529
Reaction score
1,375
Location
Coastal, SC
One of the biggest things I have gotten from Brulosophy is ideas. By this I mean I take their results and it spawns off ideas for me to do my own tests and draw my own conclusions.

Mongoose33 and I were just talking about taste test comparisons regarding lager yeasts. Since I don't necessarily subscribe to the theory that random Brulosophy testers evaluations will align with mine, I will do my own lager yeast tests.

I never knock any of the Brulosophy results albeit I look closely at findings like theirs (or any taster for that matter) knowing there is a bit of subjectivity in anything that we as humans evaluate. In this regard, Brulosophy presents good leads that I then take to the next level....my own tests and comparisons.

PLUS, their findings give us food for thought and provide an incentive to put our own thoughts into the brewing process. I applaud Brulosophy for their efforts and genuinely hope Marshall will continue.
 
2
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top