Fair Brewing Setups?

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Fair Brewing Setups?

Postby Push Eject » Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:56 pm

How do you guys feel about brewers entering competitions with beer brewed with "automatic" brewing systems like Sabco's Brew-Magic (http://www.kegs.com/brewmagic1.html) and Beer, Beer and More Beer's All Grain Systems (http://www.morebeer.com)?

Do you guys feel it a fair competition against those brewers brewing on setups they've crafted themselves that aren't computer controlled?

I know I would love a $3000 brewing system that can accurately repeat a batch every time without my intervention, but is that really brewing?

Eager to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,
Charlie
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Do they really make better beer?

Postby jayhawk » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:16 pm

For me, those systems take away a little of the fun of homebrewing, which is having people ask "What the hell are you doing?" as they stroll by my backyard and see all the buckets, hoses, kettles etc all over the place. My "system" is pretty bodged together, but it makes great beer. I am sure a system like those you show make great beer to, and probably are less hassle than my little 23L system. I am still relatively young and new to the hobby, so as I grow older and more fed up with the hassles of my system, and as I earn more $ (hopefully), I may move towards a fancy three tier system with more capacity. But I think it all comes down to this: Does the $3000 super cool system make better beer than the plastic mash tun on my patio? I don't know. So far, I have received great feedback from family and peers about what comes out of my system. For me, that is good enough.

Chris

PS A little quiet around here lately, eh?
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i am a beer geek

Postby ninkasi » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:01 pm

i love to brew
i am very serious about having a good time and making the best beer possible. however, that doesn't mean you have to like it. i do all grain brewing, 5 gallons, in my kitchen, wearing my lucky pink bathrobe.
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Funny you should say.

Postby Freon12 » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:08 pm

I have been in the basement making a three tier system to make my life(and Back) easier.

I am sure the same beer that came out of my plastic bucket, will come from the glass carboy, will come from the stainless coni.

For me, it's not about gizzmos, but about the ability to concern myself with recipe and process(tempretures ETC.) and not worry about kicking over my batch or giving it a bug from my bucket.

Plus as to the money thing, a nice system can be built using all kinds of stuff and used parts and cheap stuff(except temp. controllers). It's part of the fun for me, and fun is good.


Steve


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Learning to weld with a borrowed TIG was a bonus.
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Would be my approach too.

Postby jayhawk » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:52 pm

I think I would be more inclined to peice together a system using parts from here and there. If you have the space, time, skills, why not build yourself something sweet. You are right, it should all be about having fun with it.
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This is how i look at it...

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:09 pm

I don't know if one of those $3,000 systems produces great beer, but what I do know is this: My system that I put together last summer cost me somehwere around $600. I couldn't believe how much better my beer is tasting... The cost differential is $2,400. A ten gallon batch will cost me $50. That means that with the money I didn't spend on equipment I can brew 480 gallons of great beer, not too shabby.

Cheers
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Yeah, but is it fair?

Postby Push Eject » Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:23 pm

You know I agree with everything you guys are saying... my system is pieced together too if you remember my prior posts with the crazed angle iron stand...

The question is not "are our systems worthy?", it is "is it fair to compete against a turn-key, store-bought, automated brewery?"

Should there be a separate category for beers brewed on those systems or should we all have to compete together (essentially pitting money against ingenuity).

Hopefully I've phrased my question in a clearer manner.

Cheers!
Charlie
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can't think of a title

Postby jayhawk » Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:31 pm

I have yet to attend a "brew off", so I am not sure of how political and/or competitive they are, but it seems to me that there should be competition among all brewers, regardless of the system. Besides, how could an event really enforce rules regarding systems anyway? It would be pretty tough to effectively screen out participants who use any of these systems. I suppose that there could be a section of competition reserved for only home built systems, and I suspect that it would be the most popular part of the event as folks could share pictures/stories/tips on how they constructed their system. This could actually set off a whole new brewing subculture as you would expose all those folks who have sweet home built systems, thus encouraging more folks to take a stab at it.
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What really makes good beer?

Postby Brewer2001 » Tue Oct 07, 2003 11:15 pm

Charlie,

It is true that the expensive systems aid the brewer in their brewing tasks, but it is the knowlege of the brewer and knowing how to use the tools that makes the difference. Anyone that claims to be a brewer should have a basic understanding of the craft and how to manipulate the steps and acheve the desired result. Automation and system design will help but that is not the most important factors. I have been trained and worked as an assistant brewer, but I brew at home using my pot and buckets which I have used for years. The problem (with homebrew equipment) is that it lacks in some critical area that alters the brewing method enough so the desired result cannot be acheved. I still do not have a wort chiller (bad of me), so I only brew during the cool months of the year. My beer could be better if I cooled it sooner but I accept this trade-off.

Knowledge is the key.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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My 2 cents

Postby fitz » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:45 am

The way I look at the automated systems is that yes, you can make the same beer everytime, but you can also make the same bad beer everytime too. I like the mad scientist approach to making a batch, and if I think I can make it better, tweak it the next time. I haven't been in competition, but I am an @$$hole enough not to care what anyone thinks as long as I like it. After all, its my hobby. Praises are good, but don't forget the real rewards are good beer.
As to Jayhawks statement, Things have been quiet around here. I went out of town for a week, and I thought Jeff shut the place down when I came back.
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Sure it is fair

Postby KBrau » Wed Oct 08, 2003 5:26 am

I think that any brewing system whether it be an automatic 3 tier R.I.M.S system or a simple bucket and sparge bag is fair for brewing competition. I agree with Brewer2001 that it is all about knowledge and not so much about equipment. The fancy equipment is simply a convienience and does not guarantee the same results every time. A brewer could be just as consistant with a simple brewing kit provided he/she is meticulous when brewing. The other thing that should be considered is that yeast is a living organism and does not always ferment according to plan. While a fancy brewing system will not help a brewer to deal with these issues, experience and knowledge will. I guess that is my 2 cents.
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Ditto

Postby Freon12 » Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:45 am

That message was also in my reply, but you said better than I. I bow to your wordsmithing.


S.
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3 tier brewing system

Postby KBrau » Wed Oct 08, 2003 7:54 am

Freon
I built a really inexpensive ($70) and simple 3 tier system from wood and I have had good success with it. I have pictures on my website and could send you the plans if you would like. Took only a few hours to assemble and it is extremely helpful with all grain brewing.
www.kuenstlerbrau.com (look under "brewery tour")

Rich
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Jeff, Mesa, Lathe, Sven...?

Postby Push Eject » Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:40 am

I'd love to hear your opinions.

Cheers,
Charlie
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That system works.

Postby Freon12 » Thu Oct 09, 2003 7:37 am

You are much more responsible than I, the turkey fryer is at least two feet away from the stand. Unfortunatly, my burner is part of the stand, soooo I used metal angle iron so the fire marshall would relax.


Brew on

Steve
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