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Sharing homebrew! Yes or No?

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ed5388

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So I've been brewing 5 gallon extract batches for almost a year now and I'm sure, as most of you, I give a portion to friends and family to try. My reasoning is I like to get feedback so I can figure out where to make changes in my recipes to become a better homebrewer (plus its nice to get a pat on the back when a recipe comes out good). I'd say as of right now if I get 2 cases from a 5 gal batch I probably give away a case between some of my family members, close friends, guys I work with, and even mail some out to friends in other states (which tends to get expensive). I tell everyone I have no problem giving out the beer, just give me some honest feedback in return. My issue is I get feedback from hardly anyone! I'd be happy with acknowledgment that they at least tried the beer at this point!! Lol Am I delusional and think my beer comes out good and everyone else is afraid to tell me it sucks, or are people really that inconsiderate that they can't tell you what they though of the free beer you gave them that costed you time and money to make? Now I do it cause I love to brew, but am I a sucker for sharing the fruits of my labor?? Anyone else have the same problem??
 

unionrdr

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I think they're just diggin free beer for the most part. Competitions would give better feedback. Plus less effort & costs involved.
 

dcarter

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I have a group of guys that I brew with. I make 25 gallon batches and the other guys make 10 and 15 gallon batches. We swap kegs all the time which gives good feedback from people who know beer and understand what honest feedback really means. My suggestion is to find a couple of guys to brew with and set up a swap meet. Competitions are good also but depending on how many entries there are, you stand a good chance of getting lost in the shuffle.
 

unionrdr

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Just makes more sense to me than the oh boy,free beer! crowd. You know who your friends are when this knid of thing happens.
 
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ed5388

ed5388

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Some of the people I give it out too are avid craft beer enthusiasts and fellow home brewers! I'm really gonna have to rethink who I share with and start saving more for myself. Thanks for letting me vent and for the advice! Cheers
 

jcam91

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Nightshade said:
There are those who enjoy drinking beer.
There are those who appreciate beer.

While the two are not mutually exclusive they are also not always the same person.
Amen.
 

F250

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Some of the people I give it out too are avid craft beer enthusiasts and fellow home brewers! I'm really gonna have to rethink who I share with and start saving more for myself. Thanks for letting me vent and for the advice! Cheers
You'll know if they think it's great if they offer to pay for the costs you've incurred. ;)

Rick :mug:
 

OldBunny

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I find that friends and family are always appreciative. If I want honest criticism, I take a couple of bottles to a homebrewers club meeting or share with a friend who works at the local craft brewery.

If the beer has a problem, these guys will tell me so. They'll also tell me how to fix it the next time.
 

Rev2010

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My issue is I get feedback from hardly anyone!
I have a similar situation. While I know who has had my beer, since most people I give it to drink it in my presence, my issue is that there is no constructive criticism. Everyone likes it and and just says, "Oh that's good!" or "I really like it". Or I get the "It's the best beer I've ever had". I know most aren't just lying because if they were they wouldn't have seconds but it would be nice for them to give me some criticisms or suggestions on what they think would make the beer better. Negative opinions are quite welcome. Less sweet? More hops? Would be better with a more pronounced bready flavor? What??? Give me something!!! I don't just want to hear the beer is good.

There's only one guy I work with that gives me at least a bit of constructive opinion. For example, my pumpkin beer last year I intentionally did the spices over the top for a Weyerbacher'esque taste. This year, to please more of the general public I dialed the spices back 20% so it was perfectly balanced rather than over the top which he and I both prefer. All he could say was he prefers the spices to be smack in the face over the top. No mention of the malt body or anything else.

I can see why so many people enter their beers into competitions or join homebrew clubs. Seems like the best way to get feedback - from other beer connoisseurs.


Rev.
 

501irishred

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I just want to know how to stretch 5 gal batch into 3 cases! lol I might be be more apt to share with my "yeah, free beer" friends....
 

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I have a friend that I brew with. He loves good beer and wants to share it with the world. He's always taking beer to work and giving it away. He keeps trying to talk me into throwing a big party and tapping a few kegs of homebrew. To which I reply, screw that let em brew thier own beer. If someone wants to come over and hang out and have a few pints while they visit, that's great, but I'm not trying to supply the whole neighborhood. Too much freaking work involved. At least 80% of the people who try my beer don't like it anyway. They would rather have BMC. The ones that do like it appreciate it and don't abuse the priveledge. Another of my friends that really likes my beer used to get a little liberal with the tap. I never called him out on it. He decided one day he wanted to brew a batch so I let him come over and brew. That one time was enough for him. Now he always asks before he pours a fresh pint since he knows what it takes to fill a keg.
 

Safa

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Liberal with the tap?

Haha! I love it when my friends drink a lot of my beer, it means its good!
 

dcarter

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Liberal with the tap?

Haha! I love it when my friends drink a lot of my beer, it means its good!
Most awesome quote on the subject. There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing people enjoy my brews! I always open the tap to anyone who cares to try it.
 

StoutMeister

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as long as they enjoy it and dont ask why i don't make a BMC type beer (i simply choose not to) they can have all they want! :mug: I cant drink everything i brew so why worry.

If you want real constructive feedback attach a rate my beer survey to your hand outs that state a completed survey is required to receive the next round of free beer:mug:
 

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A good test is when you bring a beer to a party and everyone has options. If people try your beer, but go back to something else, they prefer it to your beer. If they keep coming back to your beer, you're doing something right.

There are caveats. If you brew a style that someone doesn't enjoy, you could have a good beer that nobody at the party likes. If your craft beer friends finish it off, take it as a compliment.
 

HBngNOK

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The friends and family I share my homebrews with are for the most part seasoned BMC-lite drinkers, and don't know what to look/taste/smell/feel/etc for when I pour them a homebrew. It puts them on the spot, and probably makes them feel awkward when I ask for honest criticism, since they don't know what to criticize, other than it isn't BMC-lite.

What I think I'll start doing is hand them a print-out from the BJCP Style Guidelines of what they're tasting to see if I can educate them, and myself as to what that particular style of beer is supposed to represent.
 
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I don't brew a lot of big batches so I'm fairly selective with who I share with. I don't mind sharing with people who enjoy beer and will appreciate the gesture. I like the feedback but I realize it's usually, "I really liked it" because most people just aren't beer critics and don't know how to express the finer details of what they liked and didn't like. They probably also don't want to be critical and worry about hurting my feelings (not that they would). If you go to somebody's house for dinner you usually don't hand them a detailed critique of dinner. You usually tell them that you liked it and if anything stood out. It's really no different.

What I dislike are people who find out I brew and think it would be neat for me to share because it's free beer. Those are the ones most likely not to enjoy it anyway.

I usually prefer sharing with people in person so I can ask them about what they like/don't like and probe for feedback and let them know I won't be butthurt if they don't like it.
 
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ed5388

ed5388

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Decided! Give to those that are deserving and save the rest for myself!!
 

andvari7

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About two months ago, I took some to work - the first time out in the wild. I was worried about the responses, but I was adamant that they be honest. The same held true this past Thanksgiving, where two of my cousins tried my Russian Imperial stout. The older of the two ended up downing two fairly high-gravity beers, and asked me, in genuine curiosity, about the intricacies of homebrewing. I think I may have opened Pandora's Box...
 

johngault007

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In my experiences the only people that would complain or say anything bad about free beer are the ones that do not want access to that "free" beer any longer. So, to solicit a valid opinion from someone under those conditions is like thinking an animal "really likes you" when all you are doing is simply feeding it.

A simple experiment on these people would be to ask for donations to support the costs of the ingredients involved in making beer. All of a sudden those same people will be less generous at your beer taps or ask for one less bottle of homebrew.

I still give away beer, because I enjoying socializing and having a couple pints with friends. Plus it's cheaper to take homebrew (even in a corny) than bring a 12-24 pack of store bought craft brew. I do not expect them to give any sort of feedback except, "thanks, this is pretty good."

If you want valid feedback, it's been mentioned already, take it to a competition or a homebrew club where someone will evaluate it and point out the flaws in your beer.

I'm not trying to sound like a downer here, but after 8 years of doing this, I have just noticed patterns in people and have become comfortable with it.

:mug:
 

BadgerBrigade

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I'm new to home brewing but I gave half of my first (& only, so far) brew out to friends and family... This was my first brew so I was not expecting it to be too good But I really insisted on my friends giving me feedback. I think your close friends will give you honest feedback....

If they're not saying anything either they're just inconsiderate folks for your brew was not the best ..... But I think homebrews are a little more of an acquired taste then store-bought product.

I really don't have any room to say such things because I'm probably the one of the newest guys on this forum :)

I think you should give your brew to the people that you know appreciate it....

But hell if you're mailing a beer here & there I'll definitely be open to be your guinea pig and in return I'll send you one of my ciders!!! Lol

As a matter of fact this sounds kind of like a fun idea... I think we should start a new thread and call it "beer swapping", Then maybe we can make a list and swap some brews with each other! I have only done one cider brew but I am preparing to do Apple/Pear right at Christmas time.... I think it would be really fun to send one of you guys a brew in return for a brew!

Would anybody be interested in this beer swap idea?
 

thetmaxx

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I like the beer swap idea, but could be pricey shipping beer out all the time.

I also have gained the most from competition. And have more recently passed out less and less beer. It is a lot of work to give it all away. My first decent brew, I was passing out six packs, not thinking much of it, only to realize I only ended up with a six pack myself. Now that I keg more, I can keep more for me, and I only pass out growlers to good friends and family, mostly because I want my growler back, LOL.
 

whoaru99

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So, to solicit a valid opinion from someone under those conditions is like thinking an animal "really likes you" when all you are doing is simply feeding it.
What's the first thing that goes though an animal's mind when it encounters something?
  • Is it going to eat me?

What's the second thing that goes though an animal's mind?
  • Can I eat it?
 
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ed5388

ed5388

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johngault007 said:
In my experiences the only people that would complain or say anything bad about free beer are the ones that do not want access to that "free" beer any longer. So, to solicit a valid opinion from someone under those conditions is like thinking an animal "really likes you" when all you are doing is simply feeding it.

A simple experiment on these people would be to ask for donations to support the costs of the ingredients involved in making beer. All of a sudden those same people will be less generous at your beer taps or ask for one less bottle of homebrew.

I still give away beer, because I enjoying socializing and having a couple pints with friends. Plus it's cheaper to take homebrew (even in a corny) than bring a 12-24 pack of store bought craft brew. I do not expect them to give any sort of feedback except, "thanks, this is pretty good."

If you want valid feedback, it's been mentioned already, take it to a competition or a homebrew club where someone will evaluate it and point out the flaws in your beer.

I'm not trying to sound like a downer here, but after 8 years of doing this, I have just noticed patterns in people and have become comfortable with it.

:mug:
I guess I'm not explaining it too properly in my original post. What I mean by feedback is basically a "hey thanks for that brew it was good or not my cup of tea." But I guess what I'm most annoyed about is I have a friend in KY and one in NE that beg me to send my latest brews cause "they wanna try it so bad!" So after the $15-$30 cost of shipping out multiple brews I never get a response other then "hey got your package!" Would just be nice if people appreciated the gesture a little more. Just seeing if I'm the only sucker or if others had similar experiences, but I'm not in any way looking for a "professional critique" from my friends and family!
 

johngault007

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No that's fair. Expecting a thank you is not far fetched, an should be expected. But anything else, from my experiences, is asking for too much.

Like I said, most of my neighbors are welcome to my beer on a regular basis, but they give that basic respect back to me. I freely offer my beer more because I love brewing, and I can't possibly drink as much beer as I make by myself, and stay at a high fitness level.
 

johngault007

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whoaru99 said:
What's the first thing that goes though an animal's mind when it encounters something?

[*]Is it going to eat me?


What's the second thing that goes though an animal's mind?

[*]Can I eat it?
And how is that different from someone who mooches our beloved Homebrew? :)
 

Gameface

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I've gotten a lot of very positive feedback but what I really want is someone to tell me what they liked and more importantly what they didn't like. I know that a lot of people just don't have to beer vocabulary to describe what they think about it so they just say it was good, or I liked this one better than that one. Guess I need to join a homebrew club.
 

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thetmaxx said:
I like the beer swap idea, but could be pricey shipping beer out all the time..
I hope I didn't mislead you guys, I don't mean lots of beer or ciders.... I mean like five of us sign up for the swap And we send one beer to our five beer-pals (like pen-pals but different... Lol)

I am a totally poor paycheck to paycheck guy But I think I could send five individual beers to five individual people: HELL, I'm gonna get 5 cool brews in return anyway :)
 
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ed5388

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Badger I'm in! Like the idea! Plus now that I'm cutting a lot of people off my free beer list ill have plenty to spare! Lol
 

Yooper

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I guess I'm not explaining it too properly in my original post. What I mean by feedback is basically a "hey thanks for that brew it was good or not my cup of tea." But I guess what I'm most annoyed about is I have a friend in KY and one in NE that beg me to send my latest brews cause "they wanna try it so bad!" So after the $15-$30 cost of shipping out multiple brews I never get a response other then "hey got your package!" Would just be nice if people appreciated the gesture a little more. Just seeing if I'm the only sucker or if others had similar experiences, but I'm not in any way looking for a "professional critique" from my friends and family!
The problem with sharing, and shipping it, is that most people who don't brew think "cool, free beer!". They really think that since it's homemade that it's cheap/free. So whether they like it or not, it's still a "free sample" to them so you won't ever get feedback.

I make soap (which is an even more expensive hobby than wine or beer making) and while people will plunk down $5 a bar or more for homemade soap at a Farmer's Market, I don't even get a response when people ask me for samples to try beyond "Thanks" but not another word.

I just stopped giving stuff to people who don't give feedback or at least come back and tell you "thanks again!". It makes my life far easier, that's for sure, as well as cheaper!
 

Yooper

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I hope I didn't mislead you guys, I don't mean lots of beer or ciders.... I mean like five of us sign up for the swap And we send one beer to our five beer-pals (like pen-pals but different... Lol)

I am a totally poor paycheck to paycheck guy But I think I could **** five individual beers to five individual people: HELL, I'm gonna get 5 cool brews in return anyway :)
Please see our rules and guidelines for beer swaps in the "sampling and critiquing" area. Thanks.

One or two trading via PMs is fine. anything bigger and you'd have to go through the organized swaps or otherwise get approval. Thanks.
 

BadgerBrigade

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Yooper said:
One or two trading via PMs is fine. anything bigger and you'd have to go through the organized swaps or otherwise get approval. Thanks.
Hi Yooper, I found the "sampling and critiquing" area, but to swap just one or two seems cool but a few more would rock and give us way more variety! Is there any chance I can set up some kind of brew exchange with a total of four people here?
Ed5388 is open to do a trade... If it is okay or if I may seek permission from someone I would like to get 3 more of us to do an exchange....


Is there any way to make this happen?
If it is pseudo against the rules Am I allowed to PM members and talk about the idea?
 

Yooper

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Hi Yooper, I found the "sampling and critiquing" area, but to swap just one or two seems cool but a few more would rock and give us way more variety! Is there any chance I can set up some kind of brew exchange with a total of four people here?
Ed5388 is open to do a trade... If it is okay or if I may seek permission from someone I would like to get 3 more of us to do an exchange....


Is there any way to make this happen?
If it is pseudo against the rules Am I allowed to PM members and talk about the idea?
You can PM people and discuss it! I'm not able to set up another swap right now, as I'm in the middle of finishing up organizing the biggest one of the year.
 

Evan_L

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I'm sure part of it is that they know what they are tasting, and that it's good...but they don't speak the language yet. If you went to a foreign country where you didn't speak the native language, and went to someone's home for a meal, how would you convey any of what you are tasting other than nodding and smiling. They might know what they are tasting but don't know how to put it in beer language yet, all they can do is smile, nod, and say "it's good"
 

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Usually I'm trying to keep brewing expenses down. Shipping home brew sounds like a crazy expensive way to share beer. Paying to ship to friends and getting nothing in return, even constructive feedback, sounds really crazy!

I share some homebrew with people I work with. If someone doesn't comment it even mention they drank it they don't get any more. I pass out one four pack at a time to people I think will like the beer only.
 

BadgerBrigade

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Yooper said:
You can PM people and discuss it! I'm not able to set up another swap right now, as I'm in the middle of finishing up organizing the biggest one of the year.
So, wait a minute, this is normal? This swapping thing? AWESOME!

As soon as I'm done with my pear/apple cider combination I will definitely want to trade to try other people's.....
If anybody reads this and is interested please PM me
 
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