Noobie mistake of not taking good notes

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BaldAssCat

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A few weeks ago I went to the HBS with a recipe for a Belgian pale ale only to find that they didn’t have anything I needed except the yeast, and that was a different brand. So we substituted the next best thing for everything on the list. The problem is I never wrote down what we replaced what with. Last night I put it into the secondary and had a small taste and it was great, even for the non-aged flat tasting sample it was it tasted great.

I still have the original recipe but I’ve been to the HBS this weekend and they restocked so I don’t know if I can figure out what was in it now. Anyone else ever too lazy or absent minded to write down something and regret it later? I’ve only just started all grain so I’m going to use that as my excuse this time.
 

david_42

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My former brewing partner would write down all of the grains, but never the hops. Since he was a hophead, you'd wonder.
 

Homercidal

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Noob mistake? Oh, great, I'm a noob again!

I have done the same thing before. I just used what I had and it was great beer. But how can we make you take notes?? Maybe try beersmith and print out a shopping list?? But that won't make you write down the substitutions while at the store.
 

LaurieGator

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Does your LHBS itemize their receipts? Both of mine do, so I have a record of all of the ingredients I purchased when I was at the store. I usually put mine into beersmith right away but sometimes it has to wait...
 

Helter

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I keep a moleskin at my brew station. I'm terrible at taking notes or keeping track of things, so this helps remind me. Anytime during the brew all I have to do is glance at that notebook, and it reminds me to write it down.
I write the date, the name, the recipe, and anything that I think might affect the outcome. Then when I do anything to that brew in the future (rack to secondary, bottle, drop jolly ranchers in the primary), I try to note it on that brews page.
 
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BaldAssCat

BaldAssCat

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Does your LHBS itemize their receipts? Both of mine do, so I have a record of all of the ingredients I purchased when I was at the store. I usually put mine into beersmith right away but sometimes it has to wait...
They just have 9 @ $1.50, nothing useful there. I don't have beersmith yet but that's next on the list. Right now everything goes on printer paper and into a 3 ring binder.

I keep a moleskin at my brew station. I'm terrible at taking notes or keeping track of things, so this helps remind me. Anytime during the brew all I have to do is glance at that notebook, and it reminds me to write it down.
I write the date, the name, the recipe, and anything that I think might affect the outcome. Then when I do anything to that brew in the future (rack to secondary, bottle, drop jolly ranchers in the primary), I try to note it on that brews page.
Don't have a brew station as such, I do my mash in the kitchen and move outside for the boil and cool down, then move back into the kitchen. But I do carry around a clipboard while I'm brewing and write down everything I do then. What I didn't do is bring that to the LHBS. I really need to start though. I forget something small every time I go and kick myself when I get home. It's a 45 min drive either way so when I forget something I go without until the next time I can get down there. For instance I needed a bottling wand for weeks. I've been down there 3 times since my old one was cracked and I've yet to grab one. I only have 3 kegs and I let my kids fill 2 of them with soda so I'm bottling with a hose.
 

Borisbbadd

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If that makes one a Noob again, I'll probably be one for ever.
I'm really bad about writing things down.
 

flylock_jac

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Not sure how far away your supplier is ,but maybe if you stopped back in with your original list he might remember what you substituted.
Bring pen and paper just in case.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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They just have 9 @ $1.50, nothing useful there.
That will help you narrow it down. Take the old recipe and see what likely base grain they would have subbed that costs $1.50/lb. You could ask them what they probably would have subbed.

I have a spreadsheet that calculates everything but I have fields in there for notes, readings, etc. I print that out before I brew. Then on brew day I scribble stuff down on it...anything I measure, any different process, anything really. Then later I type all the scribbling into that spreadsheet and save it. Then when the beer is done I enter the measured FG and any other last notes...then save it for 'the brewing file'.

I also like to write down certain parts of the process on that sheet of paper beforehand...such as the timing of all the late boil additions so I don't forget the irish moss/yeast nutrient/late hops/immersion chiller/etc.
 
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