Friday, March 8, 2019

A brief Rant. 2019 Edition...

Ok, well they've done it again.  The trolls have come out from under the bridges and from deep in their mom's basements and pissed me off.   So once again it is up to your old uncle Dave to set you numskulls straight. 

First, there is no bad style of beer.  PERIOD.   There are styles you may not prefer, there are beers that are made poorly, but there is no style of beer that sucks.   And if you think that the big breweries suck at making beer... you are an idiot.   

Macho Man... always original!
The jokes you are telling in response to people's posts on social media about macrobeer being horse p!ss in a glass are old and trite and completely unoriginal.   The jokes about macrobeer being water are also boring.    Do better.  Be better.  Or at least be original. As Herman Melville famously said "it is better to fail in originality, than succeed in imitation"  Don't be a troll regurgitating the same crap others have already said.  Say something new, brew something new... be original.  What the hell is it like to wander through life with out original thoughts?  life as a pale imitation of other men's better ideas?  Be freaking original... 

Listen, be who you want to be, and brew what ever you want to brew.  I'm not your mom, you can make whatever you want. But, there is nothing the matter with macro lager beer.   If you like it drink it.  If you want to make it make it.   But please for the love of all things hoppy stop making the easy jokes...  Don't know what I'm talking about?   Well, let me set the scene for you.  The place is a chatroom or a facebook Group.  The time is now, the place is wherever you are right now.

Brewer A -  "Hey does any one have a good American light lager recipe?"
Brewer B - " Just piss in a bottle and add some water"
Brewer C - "Why would you ever brew that?"  "big beer is evil"
Brewer D - "Conglomerate beer sucks... "
Brewer F - " just make a cream ale"
Brewer E - "low oxygen is the key... here is everything you didn't ask about low oxygen brewing..."
Brewer A - "I just want a recipe from someone who knows how to brew this style please, my wife prefers it and I want to make it for her"
Brewer B - "Get a new wife"
Brewer C - "Divorce her"
Brewer D - "is she dumb"
Brewer A - " You guys are jerks"


You can't tell me this doesn't look refreshing! and don't try
to say you thought it was some bizzare IPA we all know exactly
what this is a bowl of... yummy delicious American Lager.
Enough already, we get it, you don't like American Light Lager beer.  You prefer craft beers, we get it.  But if you are an ass hat to other brewers who do enjoy this style... then you are a jerk. PERIOD. 
American Lager and American light lager are most people's preferred beers, they have so much mass appeal, they are so easily consumed, they are so thirst quenching... that they dominate the world beer scene.  Yes, they are fairly low in hop and malt flavor.  But who cares.   They are still great to drink, when made well they are well balanced and slightly malty.  They are hugely refreshing, they are perfect on a hot day, or even a cool autumn day, or a crisp spring day... just about any day...

They are also very hard to brew well.  Most of you who make fun of American Lager and Light lager couldn't brew a great one if you had to.   They are tough to brew. You have to be the best at what you do.   You have to control every aspect of the brewing process, you have to limit oxygen at some points in the brewing process and dissolve the right amount in other points in the brewing process, you have to pitch correct amounts of vital yeast, and you have to learn to do a concentration brew with out screwing up your IBUs.  And if you can master all of that you also have to be perfect in cleaning and sanitation.  One flaw, one screw up and your beer is ruined. 

You suck! You could't brew a BUD
if you had to!  And your mom wears
Army boots!
Making fun of American Lager and American light manufacturer's makes you everything that is wrong with craft beer snobbery.  Any one of you would be honored to work at AB, any one of you would be proud to brew at Miller, or Coors... or even at Old Milwaukee.   Don't act like you wouldn't.   But you want to know a secret? Almost none of you would be qualified, because those guys are the best in the world at what they do.  They have advanced, degrees in Oenology, brewing, and Biology.  They love brewing as much as you do, and they are damned good at it.  They brew the exact same product all over the world with the exact same taste with different ingredients and different water profiles.  Can you even brew the same exact IPA twice?   

Couldn't find one with Kelly in front!
So get off the back of mega lager.  It is what it is, but it isn't evil.  It isn't horse P*$$, it isn't water.  It's beer, made by people who also love beer.   If you want to keep making fun of mega lager, at least find an original way to do it.  Quit using the same damned jokes we used in the 1990's. "lame"  "As if!", "That's so funny...NOT"

But wait there's more...

Second, major issue recently... Brewing priorities are again out of whack.  So I have to review them again for you all.  All around the internet I am seeing $1000.00 - $5000.00 wort production machines.   Listen I have no problem with electric brewing, I myself often brew on an electric system, what I have a problem with is a lack of understanding of the priorities... So... from the home office in Sheboygan Wisconsin, here is today's Top 10 home brewing priorities.  
  1. Cleanliness & sanitation - minor infections ruin beer
  2. Vital yeast pitch - covers a myriad of sins... hides most every flaw
  3. Correct amount of yeast - see above
  4. Oxygenation of wort before yeast pitch - yeast needs oxygen to replicate. 
  5. Temperature controlled fermentation - yeast makes bad flavors at wrong temperatures.
  6. Low oxygen packaging - oxygen ruins finished beer. 
  7. Freshness of ingredients - duh. 
  8. Low oxygen fermentation (many styles) - there are many styles where oxygen should be limited. 
  9. Patience & mindfulness - don't get hammered until you are cleaning up from your brew day, have a plan, be patient, be calm
  10. Wort Production - here it is at the end of the list.  The most fun most active part of brewing is not even close to the most important part of brewing.  
this is 100x more important than
a wort production machine!
Think I'm wrong? Well then go ask the guys who actually win the awards in your area.  They will knowingly nod at my list.   So by all means please support and buy awesome brewing gear from the amazing companies who produce the amazing array of products we now have available.  But for the love of Pete, start out with the fermentation related products they manufacture.  The very last thing you should buy is a wort production machine.   Remember more and more awards are won every year by guys brewing BIAB.  And all you need for that is a kettle and a bag.   So please do not over inflate the importance of the wort making phase of beer production... it is important to be sure, it requires your concentration, no doubt... it just isn't the most important part of the process.   It is the most fun part of the process, so why in the hell would you want to make it less interactive?  Makes no sense to me.  Some of you can literally brew from the couch via blue tooth.  My question is, do you actually enjoy brewing or do you just want to say you brew?  Give me a spoon and control knob any day over that crap!

Duke... laying down some truth son!
So now lets handle the questions I am sure to get... What about stainless conical glycol controlled fermentation should I invest in that?  sure... yes... of course... good idea... Should I get a counter pressure bottle filler?  yes, if you package in bottles or compete in contests you probably should.  Can you tell my wife I need two more fermentation fridges in the garage?   Yes, after my date with...your mom.  Don't forget the temperature controllers.  Should I get more kegs? yes, excellent... good plan... What about a stir plate?  Wait...are you freaking kidding me? what the freak? yes of course...seriously,  you mean you were even considering purchasing a wort machine before a stir plate?  What the hell is wrong with you?  have I taught you nothing?  Should I get a spunding valve?  Yes excellent plan!    What about an immersion heating and cooling system for fermentation?   Definitely,yes  good plan.  (although aquarium chillers cost a little less so watch for the sales.) You really think aeration should come before wort production?  YES, duh freaking duuuuuuh!   Should I get a $2k wort production machine when I don't have anything saved for my kids college or my retirement?  NO, NO, NOOOOOOOO! What the hell is wrong with you?  

strong yes is the dumb in this one...
Guys win awards every year with extract batches of home brew.  Big major shinny awards.  And guess what?... they don't use a wort machine when they make extract you nincompoop.  But when they do everything else right... it still turns out great.  So, my advice is to get your focus on what matters... As for me and my tribe of misfit brewers, we will keep on mashing in our super awesome ultra customized, plastic cooler mash tuns.  We will sanitize the living hell out of anything that comes near our beer.   Our minds will serve as our temperature control computers.    We will continue to pitch healthy yeast starters,  we will continue to aerate, we will continue to be patient, and we will continue to drink the awesome fruits of our labor.  (Unless one of us wins the lottery, in which case all bets are that case we will build a home brew system so ridiculously cool it will burn your eyes to look upon it. It will feature mirror polished stainless steel, be automated by magical woodland elves and be controlled by Jedi Mind power.... It will be awesome... but I'm not holding my breath.)

Soon I will be brewing some cool beers for you all again, a Belgian IPA (can anyone say La Chouffe Houblon? think I have it cloned)  and a Belgian Summer ale (somewhere between a wit beer and a Belgian single) until then keep brewing, keep thinking, and keep on drinking... home brew... in moderation... and with friends.