Brewing "tight"

Reads 1804 • Replies 12 • Started Monday, November 30, 2015 8:08:11 AM CT

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JulienHuxley
beers 6219 º places 450 º 08:08 Mon 11/30/2015

Hey guys,

I’ve been brewing for a couple of years now and feel quite comfortable with my equipment and process so I’ve been finding myself improvising and eyeballing a lot of things in my typical brewday. Yesterday however I brewed for the 4th time in 3 weeks and decided to be very serious in the application of my recipe. I hadn’t brewed so carefully in a long time and was impressed by the relative precision I was able to obtain, in SG, in fermentor volume, in color, in pH and so on. Definitely brought an element of fun I wasn’t really expecting.

How would you guys describe your brewday attention to detail? Are you more of a sloppy "it’ll taste good" brewer or are you generally very meticulous? Have you found yourself swinging between both types? I remember as a rookie being obsessed with notes and measurements, now it feels like I might be going back to it (a bit).

 
HornyDevil
08:11 Mon 11/30/2015

Originally posted by JulienHuxley
How would you guys describe your brewday attention to detail? Are you more of a sloppy "it’ll taste good" brewer or are you generally very meticulous? Have you found yourself swinging between both types? I remember as a rookie being obsessed with notes and measurements, now it feels like I might be going back to it (a bit).


I’ve definitely honed my process over the years. As well as what I include in my notes.

Meticulous? Probably not, but I can repeat a beer pretty closely if necessary.

 
skinnyguy
13:14 Fri 12/4/2015

I think I’ve learned where I can be lax and where I need to focus my attention. There are a number of measurements I don’t end up doing on brewdays because I’ve brewed on the system enough. I probably should do more than I currently do, but I am able to reproduce the same beer.

 
JulienHuxley
beers 6219 º places 450 º 13:39 Fri 12/4/2015

Thinking about this has gotten me thinking that if I’m going to skip so many measurements, I might as well try making a beer with no measurements at all. Not weighing grains, not measuring mash water (ok maybe strike water temp just to make sure the thing is fermentable in the end but not the actual mash temp). Throwing *some* hops in there and stopping the boil when it’s been "about an hour". I have no doubt I can do it, I’m curious as to the result. Any of you guys tried this before?

 
ekstedt
beers 7869 º places 348 º 02:52 Fri 12/11/2015

Originally posted by JulienHuxley
Thinking about this has gotten me thinking that if I’m going to skip so many measurements, I might as well try making a beer with no measurements at all. Not weighing grains, not measuring mash water (ok maybe strike water temp just to make sure the thing is fermentable in the end but not the actual mash temp). Throwing *some* hops in there and stopping the boil when it’s been "about an hour". I have no doubt I can do it, I’m curious as to the result. Any of you guys tried this before?


Not all the way, but this summer I did a saison without any SG measurement, pH readings or IBU estimation nor any calculations at all. I did use temperature, volume and weight measurements which I believe are more or less undispensible.

The beer turnded out great by the way, one of my best this of brewing year. I have done similar beers before which of course facilitated the recipy making.

 
ekstedt
beers 7869 º places 348 º 02:52 Fri 12/11/2015

Originally posted by skinnyguy
I think I’ve learned where I can be lax and where I need to focus my attention. There are a number of measurements I don’t end up doing on brewdays because I’ve brewed on the system enough. I probably should do more than I currently do, but I am able to reproduce the same beer.


This is pretty much my approach too.

 
HornyDevil
08:42 Fri 12/11/2015

Originally posted by ekstedt
Not all the way, but this summer I did a saison without any SG measurement, pH readings or IBU estimation nor any calculations at all. I did use temperature, volume and weight measurements which I believe are more or less undispensible.


Outside of the no IBU estimation, this is basically how I brew all my beers.

 
skinnyguy
14:09 Fri 12/11/2015

Originally posted by JulienHuxley
Thinking about this has gotten me thinking that if I’m going to skip so many measurements, I might as well try making a beer with no measurements at all. Not weighing grains, not measuring mash water (ok maybe strike water temp just to make sure the thing is fermentable in the end but not the actual mash temp). Throwing *some* hops in there and stopping the boil when it’s been "about an hour". I have no doubt I can do it, I’m curious as to the result. Any of you guys tried this before?


I kind of do that with the small beers from my high gravity stuff. I usually do a gravity check on the runnings to make sure I’m not pulling harsh stuff at the end. But hops are estimated on the fly, as are any additional fermentables added,

 
JulienHuxley
beers 6219 º places 450 º 14:11 Fri 12/11/2015

Originally posted by HornyDevil
Originally posted by ekstedt
Not all the way, but this summer I did a saison without any SG measurement, pH readings or IBU estimation nor any calculations at all. I did use temperature, volume and weight measurements which I believe are more or less undispensible.


Outside of the no IBU estimation, this is basically how I brew all my beers.


This is how I brew all my IPAs now for sure. But I still weigh the stuff. Pretty confident I know what 11lbs of base malt and 1 ounce of hops looks like now though, might try to brew "off the scale" next batch. Should be fun.

 
ekstedt
beers 7869 º places 348 º 16:54 Fri 12/11/2015

Originally posted by HornyDevil
Originally posted by ekstedt
Not all the way, but this summer I did a saison without any SG measurement, pH readings or IBU estimation nor any calculations at all. I did use temperature, volume and weight measurements which I believe are more or less undispensible.


Outside of the no IBU estimation, this is basically how I brew all my beers.


Agreed.

I usually do OG and FG readings just to ensure that my process is not drifting away, and to be able to give a proper abv number on my bottle labels. Besides from that, I have no use of those SG readings. And it was actually very relaxing to skip thoose measurments, one of my favorite brewdays.

 
GarethYoung
beers 1111 º places 27 º 06:23 Tue 12/15/2015

I’m definitely on the sloppy end of the scale. I take gravity measurements and I measure mash temperature, but that’s about it, in terms of readings. Since everything I make is rank with brettanomyces, and possibly bacteria, already, I actually don’t even bother sterilising things most of the time. I look at cross-contamination, mostly, as a positive thing. I’m careful about IBU’s and mash temperature, but that’s about it, in terms of readings/calculations.

I’ve been brewing for a while though and used to be much more precise. I think you need to learn how everything works carefully before you decide what you can be relaxed about. I’ve got a fairly well worked-out process that does the damage, so I mostly just stick to that and judge things by eye and by taste.

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