I do everything wrong

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bobtheUKbrewer2

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I make a starter with dried yeast
I ferment in stainless steel pans with only loose fitting lids
I do not control fermentation temperature
During fermentation I skim off the top sludge twice a day
I bottle using jug and funnel
I bottle in 4 to 6 days
I leave the bottles at whatever ambient temperature is
Bottles and equipment are scoured and rinsed under my domestic hot water tap only

My beers are judged "very nice" by the head brewer of a local brewery.

Just one undrinkable batch in 50 years (at least 30 brews a year)
 

MaxStout

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I make a starter with dried yeast
I ferment in stainless steel pans with only loose fitting lids
I do not control fermentation temperature
During fermentation I skim off the top sludge twice a day
I bottle using jug and funnel
I bottle in 4 to 6 days
I leave the bottles at whatever ambient temperature is
Bottles and equipment are scoured and rinsed under my domestic hot water tap only

My beers are judged "very nice" by the head brewer of a local brewery.

Just one undrinkable batch in 50 years (at least 30 brews a year)
And the next person decides to add just one of those variables and ends up with bad beer. Who knew? Brewing is the epitome of "YMMV."

But good that you have been lucky enough to crank out good beer 1499/1500 times. If you enjoy the beer, that's what counts.
 
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bobtheUKbrewer2

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BigED - I specifically asked the brewer not to pull punches and to tell it as it is. My beer is better than most commercial bottled beers, to my taste. I do mash in the higher temperature range to improve (for me) mouthfeel. My efficiency figures are terribly low, in fact I do not measure them......Finally, I use more hops than would be commercially viable for breweries.
 

Bobby_M

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As a beer judge, I find that every competition brings a good portion of entries that prove that there are people that can't tell when a beer is bad. It's either that or it's a lot of wishful thinking. Of course there is always the chance that a beer went bad in its final bottling move, but when it scores a 15, it means just about everything went wrong.

However, you're not brewing for competition so you are the ultimate judge of failure or success. You probably like (or are immune to) fusel alcohols, high esters, oxidation, diacetyl, acetaldehyde and mixed fermentations. I'm not being hyperbolic. That process almost guarantees some combination of those results. Again, if you like it, nothing else matters.
 

VikeMan

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My beers are judged "very nice" by the head brewer of a local brewery.
I don't know about the UK, but in the US, "nice" is the kiss of death. Kind of like "tasty." It's a way of not overtly insulting the brewer, without having to actually lie and say "good" or "great." It's not a 100% reliable indicator, but it's pretty close IMO.

I specifically asked the brewer not to pull punches and to tell it as it is.
The problem is that virtually everyone who knows the brewer or is face to face with the brewer does pull punches. I wrote an entire article about basically this. If you want true unbiased feedback (unbiased in the sense that they don't know you from Adam), enter the same beer in two or more competitions. Look for the common themes in the scores and comments from both comps.

That said, I agree with others that if you're happy with your beer, then brew on.
 
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bobtheUKbrewer2

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Vikeman et al - I have total confidence that the brewer is totally honest about my beers. He once made a pale 4% bitter with an addition of some sort of "artificial lemon flavouring". On a visit to the brewery he pulled off a pint for me and asked me what I thought. I sipped it and told him it was awful. He said if I hadn't said that, he would not have respected my comments in the future....
 
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bobtheUKbrewer2

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BobbyM said You probably like (or are immune to) fusel alcohols, high esters, oxidation, diacetyl, acetaldehyde and mixed fermentations.

If my beer tastes BETTER than most UK bottled beers, how can the above be feasible or true ?
 

Qhrumphf

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If we trust head brewer to be honest, we still don't know if head brewer has a palate worth a damn either.

Even less so for you to be objective. Bias is INCREDIBLY powerful and no one is immune.

Blind evaluation by a trained impartial 3rd party (or ideally multiple of them) is the only way to say honestly whether your beer is objectively good.

And if you're blind to off notes, you won't taste them whether they're there or not.
 

VikeMan

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BobbyM said You probably like (or are immune to) fusel alcohols, high esters, oxidation, diacetyl, acetaldehyde and mixed fermentations.

If my beer tastes BETTER than most UK bottled beers, how can the above be feasible or true ?
@Bobby_M said exactly why. Preference and/or immunity (i.e. high personal taste thresholds).

Honestly, if you believe your beers, with that process, are better than most UK bottled beers, enter one of them in two competitions and find out what trained, unbiased evaluations of the beer look like. I'll be happy to be proven wrong. It would sure take a lot of work and cost out of my brewing.
 

Qhrumphf

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There was at one point an alleged sour brewer in NY or thereabouts who never sanitized a damned thing and open fermented in a dingy basement. If his "terroir" is at all relatable to the cobweb laden Brussels lambic brewery and has developed a healthy population of desirable wild ambient microbes, it stands as plausible. But every single beer was sour. The beer I tried was world class at least, dunno how much of the rest is legend, this was handed to me at NHC many years ago and I didn't meet the brewer himself.
 

superiorsat

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"I do everything wrong" and "my beer tastes BETTER than most UK bottled beers" seems as you know your process is flawed but getting you by. I would venture to say basically close to every brewer on HBT considers their beer better than what can be purchased in bottles commercially if for no other reason other than freshness. If they can't make beer at least comparable if not better then I would think there brewing hobby would end relatively soon. The real question is why buck the program? There are many ways that could and I would argue would improve your beer that you currently produce. Since you know there is a wrong way why not try to do it the right way.
 

GoeHaarden

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Since you know there is a wrong way why not try to do it the right way.
I think you're wasting your time. I see this thread as pure bait by the OP. People just need recognition sometimes.

If my beer tastes BETTER than most UK bottled beers, how can the above be feasible or true ?
Congrats on making beer, we're all very impressed. If you're not here for help or suggestions, carry on.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just not everyone's eye sight is 20/20...
 

VikeMan

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I would venture to say basically close to every brewer on HBT considers their beer better than what can be purchased in bottles commercially if for no other reason other than freshness.
I would agrue that another reason is the homebrewing equivalent of cellar blindness.

Back in 2014, I ran an (anonymous) survey of homebrewers (the denizens of a different, but mainstream homebrew forum), asking whether they thought their homebrew was "better than the average homebrew at large," "about the same as the average homebrew at large," or "not as good as the average homebrew at large." Of those that felt they had enough information to form an opinion, 69% believed their homebrew was better than average. 25% believed their homebrew was about average. 6% believed their homebrew was below average. Doesn't make for a very good bell curve! :)
 

D.B.Moody

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FIFTY YEARS! Congratulations on your early start and longevity. :rock:
THIRTY batches per year! I hope for your sake these are smallish batches. :p
 

superiorsat

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The key word there was considers. Every home brew I ever tried through out the years was not good (maybe 10 examples) but the brewer thought it was good enough to share. Fortunately I decided to give it a go anyway about 6 years ago. I would have started in the 90's if someone had gave me something good. Lol.
 

Jim R

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This is like bragging about cutting every corner on your job and doing the least possible work but the boss is still satisfied. I would be embarrassed to even admit this to anyone much less on a public forum.

A job or hobby worth doing is worth doing well and diligently. I am glad the OP doesn't work for me.
 

bracconiere

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@bobtheUKbrewer2 LOL

someday, when i get my life back in order...we need to do a beer swap! :mug:

i do get good effec, but just pitcher the cooled wort into my just rinsed fermentor. not because i haven't tried to clean, sanitize all that. but everytime i do my beer is actually sour then! so i just live with what i consider a light dusty taste....say good enough.
 

MaxStout

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The unanswered question here: have you entered any of your beers in a competition, and if so, what kinds of scores did they receive? Having a beer blind-tasted by a certified judge is going to have much more critical weight than a review from some buddy who brews.

I too have a friend who is a head brewer. At a brewery that consistently produces top-flight beers, no less. But he's too much of a nice guy and won't say anything bad. He's tasted a few of my beers and said they were all "very good." I know not to rely on his opinion if I want candid critique.
 

sibelman

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There are many wonderful things about homebrewing. First and foremost, it's easy and satisfying to make pretty good beer. Otherwise, there would be far fewer of us. But there's tension between this RDWHAHB sensibility and another wonderful thing: the endless possibilities for improvement, the pursuit of excellence.

The tension is exemplified by debate over intense LODO efforts, which sometimes verges into attacks and defensiveness. Happily, the overall HBT sensibility (and moderators!) help to mitigate the trolling and flame wars so common elsewhere. Most of the debate is healthy. Otherwise, there would be far fewer of us.

In this context, OP @bobtheUKbrewer2 could be misunderstood as implicitly slamming or baiting the intense efforts of more careful brewers. Instead, I choose to welcome his story as part of the tapestry, and to celebrate his lifetime of happy brewing.

Sure, some of us are satisfied with beer that many of us would not much enjoy. Sure, some of us spend money, time, and emotional energy on improvement efforts that many of us consider excessive. Happily, almost all of us accept that -- as long as we're not risking harm to ourselves or others (e.g. monoxide, explosions) -- we should do what works for us.

Relax, don't worry, and have a HomebrewTalk!
 

madscientist451

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My beers are judged "very nice" by the head brewer of a local brewery.
I've had some beers that were made by a "head brewer" that I considered undrinkable and have wondered how the place can stay in business. But, SOMEBODY must of liked it because the place is still there and still serving crappy (IMO) beer.
So like others have said, if you enjoy your beer, keep doing what works for you.
 

Garrett_McT

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Now the ultimate question.

Can you brew great classic styles?
Can you make a perfectly balanced Hefe? Sounds like you would get a banana bomb and call it a day.
I guess if your are going for a classic a banana bomb isn't great. But I love Fatheads Goggle Fogger, and I guess some people would call it a banana bomb. But hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder
 
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