Of building Hay Wagons and Benz's

Making the beer

Moderator: Brandon

User avatar
Brandon
German Brewing
Posts: 551
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:38 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Of building Hay Wagons and Benz's

Postby Brandon » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:17 am

As Das Alte so eloquently says: "When a brewer chases after numbers, things that are much more important can be missed. When a person does not know the difference between an hay wagon and a Benz, he can be convinced that an hay wagon is a Benz. He can be handed a book on how to build an hay wagon, and he will build it, all the while thinking that he has built a Benz. Then, comes the day when he learns what a Benz is and on that day he realizes that he has been a fool."

This is the primary reason this forum exists. We painstakingly chase perfection of German beers, sometimes chasing numbers, sometimes going on gut, or following acquired information. Building a hay wagon thinking it's a Benz is the perfect analogy for much of what we have encountered, and I believe folks here KNOW what they are after.

To make our exploration and journey of German beer brewing successful, please share your thoughts on how to improve our collective approach towards achieving our goals? Initially we needed a place to discuss the role of oxygen throughout brewing and our experiments, but there is so so much more than that to the overall processes, ingredients, and packaging/stability. And the community here has widened to include some very talented folks.

Whether you have a process approach that has worked that you think would be valuable, an experiment we could all participate in, a recipe idea that needs to be tried, or translation/interpretation of brewing texts to adapt a process to homebrew scale, please share the idea here and let's get some general discussion going about how this collective group can help support each other better.

Thanks!
lhommedieu
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:18 am
Contact:

Re: Of building Hay Wagons and Benz's

Postby lhommedieu » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:28 am

Definitely still picking hay out of my hair. The forum has been very helpful and I don't even bother to go to "that other place" much anymore - although it was and is useful in some respects.

As long as we're building Benz's it would be great to drive one in Germany one day!
User avatar
Feurhund
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 8:09 am
Location: Newburyport, Massachusetts

Re: Of building Hay Wagons and Benz's

Postby Feurhund » Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:26 pm

I think a list in order of priority would be helpful.

For example adding SMB to brew water after boiling is more important than spunding, etc.
lhommedieu
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:18 am
Contact:

Re: Of building Hay Wagons and Benz's

Postby lhommedieu » Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:00 pm

The top 4 for me:

An accurate pH meter and digital thermometer would be on the top of my list. I'd follow that with a set of pumps because it makes the transfer of hot liquid much easier. A conical fermenter because it makes it easier to keep control of a closed system from boiling kettle, through cooler, to keg on the other side. Finally, a residual sugar testing kit because it makes it easier to naturally carb.

I have a few more bells and whistles but these are the essential four.
Bryan R
Braumeister
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:27 pm

Re: Of building Hay Wagons and Benz's

Postby Bryan R » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:11 am

Feurhund wrote:I think a list in order of priority would be helpful.

For example adding SMB to brew water after boiling is more important than spunding, etc.


It's the sum of all parts, any skimping anywhere is going to have an effect on outcome.
Bryan R
Braumeister
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:27 pm

Re: Of building Hay Wagons and Benz's

Postby Bryan R » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:29 am

In all honesty.. When I and Brandon first met over a year ago, I could tell we were on the same journey. We were not out to bullshit ourselves thinking our beer was where we wanted to be. We swapped beers and found that the beers had the some "issues"( bland and lacking depth and character), but the same beer were wowing judges :roll: . We slowly started to amass people of the same mindset, ones knowing something fundamental was wrong. Ones that would try as hard as possible to fix what was broken by any and all means.

It's been a long journey this year and a half, we worked on this 18hrs a day 7 days a week for nearly a straight year. Reading, theorizing, brewing, testing, dumping, and repeating. Each time tweaking this or that, all to have the same outcome. Then one day a live brew session of mine had a malfunction, which ultimately caused the epiphany. From there things rocketed forward, creating the illusive "it", only to have it leave upon start of fermentation, day 2 of fermentation, end of fermentation, upon racking to the keg, etc. It would show its beautiful face only to vanish like a ghost.

Right now on my journey to the inner sanctum, I will not bullshit you or myself, I feel there is one piece left to get me there... That piece, I have no idea what it is, but its what I feel I need to have to take the beer out of this world. Call it the last 2% on my journey to 100%( mind you we started at maybe 50%)

I have brewed LODO so many times its like second nature at this point, but still nearly every time I am tweaking and honing. I will not settle for 98%.
User avatar
Brandon
German Brewing
Posts: 551
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:38 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Re: Of building Hay Wagons and Benz's

Postby Brandon » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:24 am

Bryan R wrote:In all honesty.. When I and Brandon first met over a year ago, I could tell we were on the same journey. We were not out to bullshit ourselves thinking our beer was where we wanted to be. We swapped beers and found that the beers had the some "issues"( bland and lacking depth and character), but the same beer were wowing judges :roll: . We slowly started to amass people of the same mindset, ones knowing something fundamental was wrong. Ones that would try as hard as possible to fix what was broken by any and all means.

It's been a long journey this year and a half, we worked on this 18hrs a day 7 days a week for nearly a straight year. Reading, theorizing, brewing, testing, dumping, and repeating. Each time tweaking this or that, all to have the same outcome. Then one day a live brew session of mine had a malfunction, which ultimately caused the epiphany. From there things rocketed forward, creating the illusive "it", only to have it leave upon start of fermentation, day 2 of fermentation, end of fermentation, upon racking to the keg, etc. It would show its beautiful face only to vanish like a ghost.

Right now on my journey to the inner sanctum, I will not bullshit you or myself, I feel there is one piece left to get me there... That piece, I have no idea what it is, but its what I feel I need to have to take the beer out of this world. Call it the last 2% on my journey to 100%( mind you we started at maybe 50%)

I have brewed LODO so many times its like second nature at this point, but still nearly every time I am tweaking and honing. I will not settle for 98%.


I don't get to brew nearly as often as Bryan, so I'm a few steps behind and still improving my process and system. My thought with this thread is to sort of take count of who is on the same path, where you are in the process, what you need to work on, etc. Then we can work together to address issues in an organized fashion. Maybe this thread isn't necessary, but for me, I have been making system changes like crazy over the past two months, including new chiller (and changing up pre-chiller), tri clover connects, fermentation process (spunden in a keg vs carboy wihout spunden), better closed transfers, mash cap, pump heads, I forget what else. Recipe changes. So for me this is still very much an evolving process. I've brewed a few beers that were right on, fantastic, but others are too much sulfur, or dead on arrival, or meh, half way there. It's definitely an evolution and dialing in so many variables.

Following the lodo doc and recipe makes a fantastic beer. But it does take some system changes and process rethinking to get there. I'll try to post some before/after notes about the process changes I make and the impact they have.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest