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Author Topic: New brewers - things to think about from our Club  (Read 148 times)

Offline hopmonster

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Re: New brewers - things to think about from our Club
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 05:00:30 PM »
Here are some thoughts:

Go simple: The Beer - master easy brews that you create in a recognizable way. Making a clean American pale ale with a simple hop bill will benefit you massively. Work it until you get a beer that is both pleasing and recognizable. I have had too many new brewers offering dopplebocks, DIPA, Imperial Stouts, or whatever advanced/complex beer they want to make, without getting the basic. It is sort of like trying cupcakes before making a wedding cake.

Go simple: The Hops - For that pale ale, use 2 hops only. One to bitter, and one for aroma. About a zillion years (or at least over 20) ago I made a beer I called 'The Hopmonster', then doubled down on my mistake making "The Yeti" for Christmas. These beers shared a bunch of problems, but chief among them was that there was a stupid amount and array of hops in them. It was hop soup, and not terribly pleasant aside from being also insanely alcoholic which helped you forget the rest.

Go simple: The Yeast - Use old reliable  US ale yeast. It is clean, it is forgiving, you have had it dozens of times, and it ferments at ale temperatures.

Go simple: The Grain - Partial mash (DME or LME + crystal) or use a very basic grain bill (pale malt, maybe a little crystal for body/sweetness). You are going to drive toward learning and this will be acceptable. If you are worried about being legit with Partial Mash/steeping grains, my last beer made this way won 2 golds and a best of show with the second gold coming 7 years after it was first brewed (it was a barley wine/old ale).

Repeat: Repeat the process a few times with the same, ora very similar recipe. Maybe change the aroma hops, but nail it, then start to tweak. You have to have a baseline, eventually you will develop a base beer or two.

Be Fearless: Feel free to ask other brewers, we like to talk, but we also like to teach so you can avoid our errors. We made a mistake so that you do not have to. Do not be afraid to admit that your experiment might not be good, but if you know there is a problem tell us before we drink it. By that it could be as simple as saying, 'hey, this tastes way off, super funky, or like a used gym sock.' You will get better feedback if you don't poison someone.

Be humble: You are learning. There are a lot of willing resources, but if you are guns blazing that you've got it going on, and anyone who has ever tasted world class beers knows you've got a long way to go is a collision you want to avoid.

Be clean: Cleanliness is next to godliness, especially when it comes to clean breweries producing good beers. Lean a cleaning process and adopt it. Modify it after you have it down. Cleaning and sanitizing is a critical component of brewing.

Be collaborative: Perhaps the number 1 thing that helped my move both from novice to experience, then experienced to mastery was sitting in with another brewer who knew more advanced techniques, which massively improved my beer quality, and brewing capabilities. I cannot over sell this point. Sit in with a few people and see how they use the equipment they have, practices they keep, and approaches to managing the brew day.

Borrow stuff: there is a lot of unused/underused equipment around. If you want to try something, see if you can loan it from someone.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 08:34:15 AM by hopmonster »

Offline webnmar

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Re: New brewers - things to think about from our Club
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 11:41:59 AM »
let's start with a few things:

Here is another thread that has some interesting links on it and some useful info:
http://www.novahomebrew.com/index.php/topic,799.0.html


Initial starting advice:

-  get a hydrometer
-  work towards fermentation temperature control, we have several club examples to prove how important that is to the quality of your beer
-  write what you do and your results down, review it, use it, learn with it.



Offline webnmar

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New brewers - things to think about from our Club
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 11:38:12 AM »
I thought I would start a thread to allow some of our more seasoned veteran brewers to weigh in with advice, topics, perspectives to help some of our new brewers have a reference section here to use when they are deciding what to buy next, what to brew next, where to start, etc.  Please feel free to add posts here with pithy and pertinent topics and discussions. 

New brewers, if you have questions, pose them here too if you want the discussion, or click on the poster's name to send them a private message (PM).

 

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