LHBS bad attitude!

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Aust1227

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I am frustrated. So I will spend a few minutes venting.

I am new to brewing. I have done 5 batches so far, and am really trying to do it right. I have built my own MLT, Cooler, Kegerater, ext..

Right now I am working on switching over from extract to AG. This next brew is really designed to test the efficiency of my MLT, which I made this past weekend.

So.... I go into the LHBS today. I ask for 4lbs American 2 row.

Then I ask the guy "what do recommend for specialty grains to make an amber. I am really looking for some good red color"

He replies with an shrug and deep breath "There are tons of grains with a red color"

"okay. I am new to this and would like something that will result in a nice Amber ale."

He says " We don't just make recipes up on the fly. And we don't give out advice for recipes. Everyone likes somehting different"

Me, getting frustrated "Okay. That all makes sense. But can you still answer my question? Grain, red?"

Him "You really just need to know that stuff before you come in here"

I bought my grain and left the store. I won't be going back. Anyone else have similar experiences? I would think they would love to talk beer to a new brewer! I have spent enough money in there too, at least $600 in the last month! Oh well. Guess I will be buying my stuff online now.
 

mew

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Wow. Was that the guy who owns the place? My LHBS got out a big dusty old book to look up some local water chemistry for me the other day, that place is great. The only thing that keeps them in business is customer service. If I were you I'd return my stuff and buy it somewhere else.
 

Rhoobarb

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Find another HBS or go online. That's just poor service. I've been to three different HBSs in my area and was never treated like you were.
 
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A

Aust1227

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A LHBS is in a sort a kind of hobby shop. Not much different than a coin store, stamp store, model airplane, ext.. Usually those are the MOST fun places because the owners are passionate about their "hobby". They want to teach and learn.

Certainly not the case here. I am glad you guys don't have to experience crap like this. The name of the store is heartshomebrew.com, and I have been doing a little research on here, and realized there are TONS of other stories just like mine. Very sad.
 

Beerlord

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Post up a name so it can be avoided by all. I have just the opposite when i go to the store, I'm never there less than half an hour unless it's really busy, everyone who works there loves to talk about home brewing.
 

srm775

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Aust1227 said:
I bought my grain and left the store. I won't be going back. Anyone else have similar experiences? I would think they would love to talk beer to a new brewer! I have spent enough money in there too, at least $600 in the last month! Oh well. Guess I will be buying my stuff online now.
I wouldn't even have bought the 4 lbs. of two-row. I'd have dropped everything I had picked-up on the counter and told him you were taking your business elsewhere.

In situations like that, I always live by the motto: I may have had to kiss some a$$es to make that money, but I sure as hell don't have to kiss any to spend it.

I remember awhile back there was a very similar thread about that same store. Just go elsewhere.
 
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Aust1227

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I would have loved to drop the 4lbs. But brew night is tomorrow. So I am screwed in that aspect.

HEARTSHOMEBREW.COM should be avoided!!

I had no idea their reputation was already so bad.
 

abracadabra

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He won't be around for long, retailing in the USA is brutally competive. The only reason I do business with Doug at Just Brew It in Fayetteville, Ga is because he's a nice guy. Otherwise I'd buy everything online.
 

OblivionsGate

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Wow! That's horrible. I asked similar questions at my LHBS and all were answered. In fact, the one time, one of the guys and I ran around the store making up a beer on the fly and it turned out being some of the best stuff I've made!

Between discussion on here and general orders from online, you should be fine. Hopefully someone will open a new HBS in your area
 

-Dan-

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There are already bunch of postings accross the board about hears.... enjoy! :)
I don't like the guys attitude either especially on Saturday mornings; however, he has been always pretty nice to me. Got even free stuff once...
 

cge0

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You guys can't just portray the LHBS as the devil. What if he once had a customer ask the sort of question and had to deal with "DUDE THIS RECIPE SUCKS, WTF YOU SUCK". It's honestly the safer route to say that.
 

Zzyzx

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... Since it's appears you haven't been given ideas for a grain to impart red color...

Roasted unmalted barley (AKA Black Roasted Barley). use a few Oz per 5 gallons.
Otherwise a small amount of CaraRed or Chocolate malt should do the trick.
 

john from dc

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i've gotten a lot of attitude at one homebrew shop. and been treated really nicely at another (guess which one i go to regularly).

this is a big problem in the bike industry (i work part time in a shop). i don't know what it is about the nature of certain shops, but they seem to foster bad vibes when it should be a place devoted entirely to fun.

i'll let you know if i figure it out...
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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John, that's funny you mention bike shops. I recently experienced exactly what you are talking about while shopping for a road bike for SWMBO. Two shops we went to were great (of course it helped that we were with a friend that's a pro rider and he knew everyone there), but a third shop we went to just felt off, the guys in there acted like we were bothering them, not very helpful in general, etc.

But as has been stated...a HBS should be the exact place you can take these kinds of questions and not be embarassed or run off for asking them. It's a shame.
 

discgolfin

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I have a few choices but go to, but I use the one closest for convience. In all honesty it is not that the guy is bad, he just doesn't show as much enthusiasm as I do. If I ran and operated a store I would have my customers so excited as I was that they would walk out of my store with a smile on there face and an empty wallet. The next week they would be back. I think the problem is that unless they have a direct competition they will stay in buisness. I buy most of my stuff online..

sorry to hear the trouble..

I say AHB, midwest, northern, more beer..I have been happy with all 4..AHB my favorite..little affect on shipping to wallet.

Jay
 

DeathBrewer

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that's weak. i've never been to a homebrew store like that. there are tons of information: recipes, books, style guidelines, etc. AND the people are always completely willing (hell, excited!) to help out.

he'll bury himself acting like that.
 

cowgo

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I checked out this LHBS website and here is what's stated on their Home Brew Help Page HERE

It's 2AM and you can't seem to find that darn instruction sheet. It's long after closing time, it's too late to call one of your brewing buddies. This section is to help you overcome situations like this. Here you will find all the complete instructions that Heart's has to offer. In addition, the Home Brewer's Dictionary and reference guides will help you understand the process. If you're not able to get the answers to your questions call or email us as soon as you can.
Maybe we should all email and ask the OP's question: "what do recommend for specialty grains to make an amber. I am really looking for some good red color" and see what the response is. I just did, come on and join the fun!
 
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i had a similar situation with my LHBS, and guess what, closed! now, unfortunately, i have to drive at least 20mins to get to one, but i buy the vast majority of stuff online anyway. later this afternoon i am going to drive about an hour clear across the other side of denver just to pick up some brown malt because no one else has it. one place i called that's closer told me they stopped carrying brown malt and replaced it with amber malt because "it's the same thing". i didn't bother trying to disagree with the guy because of his snotty, arrogant tone on the phone, but suffice to say, i'll never visit that store.

oh, and btw, if you want a really red hue, try some melanoiden malt. maybe a little harder to find, and carared will probably get you the same color, but it has a very unique malty flavor and a wonderful color.
 

jds

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SenorWanderer said:
i called that's closer told me they stopped carrying brown malt and replaced it with amber malt because "it's the same thing".
Beer at Home or Stomp Them Grapes?
 

Sherpa FE

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I have shopped there and you are right his short, and mad at the world attitude is very evident. I went there once, and my wife has been there twice, and has always been the same.
I am sorry for saying this but LHBS only get one shot with me, and then thats it. I dont need to hear any lip service, or bad attitudes to spend my money. I will also, however, support any company that bends over backwards to be courteous, and helpful, even IF they are more expensive on some items. (Midwest Supply)

Yeah I would stay away from Hearts, and thier selection is decent, but thats if you can find it.

Later,
Josh
 

ThebrewdawG

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abracadabra said:
He won't be around for long, retailing in the USA is brutally competive. The only reason I do business with Doug at Just Brew It in Fayetteville, Ga is because he's a nice guy. Otherwise I'd buy everything online.
I found directions to Doug's place online last week and planned on heading over there this past Saturday but decided to call ahead becouse of the snow. It was after 4 and he said he hadn't had a customer all day and was closing early unless I needed something in which case he'd wait on me. I told him I was a couple towns away (Mcdonough) and wanted an extract kit to brew this weekend. He said come on. When I finally did get there, maybe 45 minutes or so later, he knew I was a noob from the getgo. He gave me all kinds of advice and helped me decide on what to brew for my first 5g batch. I bet I spent a half hour there and only about 30 bucks! He's a brewer and he's in it for his passion and not necessarly for the money. I will be a repete customer for many years to come.
 
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cowgo said:
Maybe we should all email and ask the OP's question: "what do recommend for specialty grains to make an amber. I am really looking for some good red color" and see what the response is. I just did, come on and join the fun!
I politely asked about an Irish Red. Response will be posted here!
 
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Given that it was after 7:00 PM EST when I received this, only about 25 minutes after sending my question, I can't fault these guys for being prompt and courteous. However, the advice is OK at best, and he never actually answered my question:

HeartsHomeBrew said:
I would recommend that you use Cara Pils for body. That and some
sweetness are what it it is generally used for. The crystal will
impart some body but is mostly for color (degrees of red) and sweetness.

Just use a little of both.

Check the web for Irish ale recipes... I'm sure there are plenty out
there, and I'm sure the good ones will have both of these grains.

Cheers

Dave

>Below is the result of your feedback form.
>---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>comments: I just read your Homebrew Help page, and apparently I need help.
>
>After brewing pale ales, IPAs, and stouts, I'm interested in making
>an Irish Red ale. I'm going to use about 9 lbs of American 2-row as
>the base, and I'd like to include a bit of light crystal grain for
>some body. I just don't know how to get that red color. Can you
>recommend something for me?
 

cowgo

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You got a bit better response than I got Yuri. I asked the OP's original question and got this response:

The degree LV on the crystal malts 10,40,60,120 etc. tell you the amount of color you will get. Luke
A little vague but it would be a start if I was a noob and in the store ready with all of the obvious follow up questions.
 

beala

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SenorWanderer said:
i had a similar situation with my LHBS, and guess what, closed!
Is this "What's Brewin'" off of foothills parkway? This is the store I bought my first brewing supplies from. The first time I went there the salesman was extremely helpful. He was so chatty he started explaining to me the chemical process of fermentation, down to the molecular structure and how the bonds are made and broken. The line to the register often took 15 minutes because he was so talkative with all of the customers! The second time I went there, right before it closed, a different kid at the register didn't seem to care at all, or answer any of my questions. To be honest, it didn't really bother me. It's rare that any cashier is enthusiastic about his job, but it was disappointing how much the service had fallen off.
 

steve123

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Our shop has been pretty cool with us, he's got a little of the attitude of it being Do-it-Yourself, letting us make our own educated decisions on ...well frankly... screwing with the flavor, but he has offered us suggestions on grains as we are getting them milled.

Hell he even through our Heffe together, though not the most complex extract brew, he wa svery accomidating.
 

cd2448

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@steve123

do you go to home sweet homebrew sansom/20th in center city? that's where i've got most of my stuff. they're a little full of themselves but after 20+ years in the business i guess they are allowed to be. i've always found them to be very helpful for me as a noob and they've helped me work out recipes based on characteristics i'm looking for in a beer, rather than just trying to sell me one of their kits. they've remembered my name since the very first time i went in there - customers love that.
 

BrewDey

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Too bad to hear that. The guys at my LHBS (www.listermann.com) are great...sure, at times they've been a little gruff-but nothing like described here. I have realized that they will rarely tell me to NOT use a certain ingredient or go a certain route...as if-"sure go ahead and see what you think". They've helped me identify off-flavors in my own beer and let me sample theirs-and answered any question I've had.
 

Revvy

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Boy I swear that this weekend I read another thread on here about this place...and it was a long, older thread too. I think there's been a lot of complaints about it here and on other forums.
 

slimer

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discgolfin said:
I have a few choices but go to, but I use the one closest for convience. In all honesty it is not that the guy is bad, he just doesn't show as much enthusiasm as I do. If I ran and operated a store I would have my customers so excited as I was that they would walk out of my store with a smile on there face and an empty wallet. The next week they would be back. I think the problem is that unless they have a direct competition they will stay in buisness. I buy most of my stuff online..

sorry to hear the trouble..

I say AHB, midwest, northern, more beer..I have been happy with all 4..AHB my favorite..little affect on shipping to wallet.

Jay
Which one do you go to?

I have had decent luck at 3 of the ones around here.
 

davefleck

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beala said:
Is this "What's Brewin'" off of foothills parkway? This is the store I bought my first brewing supplies from. The first time I went there the salesman was extremely helpful. He was so chatty he started explaining to me the chemical process of fermentation, down to the molecular structure and how the bonds are made and broken. The line to the register often took 15 minutes because he was so talkative with all of the customers! The second time I went there, right before it closed, a different kid at the register didn't seem to care at all, or answer any of my questions. To be honest, it didn't really bother me. It's rare that any cashier is enthusiastic about his job, but it was disappointing how much the service had fallen off.
i beleive this is the old shop I used years ago. Heard the owner passed away recently and his son closed the doors eventualy...
could be thinking about another place...

a small place i've found close to home (in arvada/westmister area)

on harlan just north of 88th
turn west into the office park just north of of dairy queen... it's tucked back there
good prices, great service. Not the huge selection of Brew at home but much closer to my place.
 

Vorsicht709

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The first place i went to but my stuff was horrible. 1) They didnt know anything about brewing beer, the recipe they gave me tasted like garbage (due to a whole bunch of uneeded sugar added) 2) I was a day late returning the capper I rented and he calls me on the phone telling me off and when I returned it apologizing he continued to tell me off. 3) when I asked what hops he carried he said NONE and even better he lied and told me nobody sold hops!! Needless to say I found a more friendlier brew store
 

Brett0424

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one place i called that's closer told me they stopped carrying brown malt and replaced it with amber malt because "it's the same thing". i didn't bother trying to disagree with the guy because of his snotty, arrogant tone on the phone, but suffice to say, i'll never visit that store.

oh, and btw, if you want a really red hue, try some melanoiden malt. maybe a little harder to find, and carared will probably get you the same color, but it has a very unique malty flavor and a wonderful color.
They are the same thing...http://www.homebrewers.com/product/GH180B/UK_Brown_Amber_Malt_20L.html
 
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I would think they would love to talk beer to a new brewer! I have spent enough money in there too, at least $600 in the last month! Oh well. Guess I will be buying my stuff online now.
The first time I went to a beer store...I was 21, and actually looking for how to make Root Beer......4 hours and $100 later I was a home brewer. About a year ago, I went into another Brew store and when the guy asked if he could help, I said "I've never made mead"....He got so excited, he cut me off, grabbed me by the arm and physically pulled me to the back of the store room where he had a few carboys of mead. I haven't always gotten the best advice from the LHBS workers...but there has definitely NOT been a lack of enthusiasm.
 

beerthirty

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I am really glad I have never had that experience. It sucks that anyone has. My LHBS (What Ales You) is so helpful. Today I went in to get parts for the BMBF and ingredients for Ode to Aurthur stout. I didn't have the recipe on paper but had it on a thumb drive. He was more than willing to plug it into his computer(bypassing firewalls) to retrieve the info. From the first time I went into Chuck's store he has happily given me any information I needed and was honest if he didn't know. He has told me that accuracy in his brew measurements doesn't bother him because that is the way he learned to brew, but in the same breath has said that in the short time I have been brewing I know more about brewing than he does. What a salesman, even if my butt is a little singed from all the smoke. I take his suggestions many times when it comes to ingredients because he has never steered me wrong and sincerely wants my brews to come out great. He honestly critiqued my first batch (it was drinkable but it sucked, I have to say) and helped me plan the second which came out much better. He has ordered anything at all that I wanted and he didn't stock(like firestone parts) and gotten them quickly. When I was in there today he got a call from someone in NM that wanted to buy liquid yeast. Chuck spoke with that person and explained the viability problems with yeast in the desert and suggested he find somewhere closer to get his yeast from. It's no wonder I spend $70 bucks in there everytime I walk through his door. I'm not trying to give him a plug, he does that himself with the service he gives his customers. One day I might check out the other 2 LHBS in town, but for now I don't see any reason to. I hope that you will soon find a shop as helpful as the one I have.
 

kbrewer1

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The one HBS in Central PA I go to the owners are winemakers, not to mention they tend to give me a skeptical eye because I'm in my early 20's.

The one I go to in Northern VA, when I attend college, is much more polite and made a point of making sure I use their store for my needs.
 

fat x nub

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thats wierd...brewers always love to talk beer i thought. You should have given the guy hell and raised hell in that store. You should have got in his face and said...stop being a ****ing ass hole and tell me what will give me a nice ****in red color. And then you should have slammed the 2 row on the ground and hopefully the bag would have busted open (if not u still look like a bad ass) and walked out. This is why i am on zoloft
 

beerthirty

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thats wierd...brewers always love to talk beer i thought. You should have given the guy hell and raised hell in that store. You should have got in his face and said...stop being a ****ing ass hole and tell me what will give me a nice ****in red color. And then you should have slammed the 2 row on the ground and hopefully the bag would have busted open (if not u still look like a bad ass) and walked out. This is why i am on zoloft
I'm not sure its helping... or maybe it is:D
 
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