HOMEBREW Digest #5319 Mon 07 April 2008

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  Experimental Base ("Alexandre Enkerli")
  AHA NHC South Region First Round - CALL FOR JUDGES (Mike Dixon)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 01:26:20 -0500 From: "Alexandre Enkerli" <enkerli at gmail.com> Subject: Experimental Base "Experimental base." I like this. And though I like both J. Ben's and Steve's post, I'm especially happy to see that Steve seems to have grokked quite precisely what I was aiming at. In so-called "hard sciences," precision is often key. Imprecise data points are worthless, precise data points are perceived as accurate. It's a very useful system, especially for "mission-critical" work. But we're homebrewers and there's no way a significant proportion of us can get the level of accuracy and precision expected of data for a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Even if we had the necessary equipment (calibrated, etc.), it's not like we can really control variables in a homebrewing environment. As J. Ben said of temperatures and such, there are to many things to take care of to get good comparisons between two batches. But my humanist/social scientist mind wasn't really thinking about comparisons between two batches. It was thinking about a broad "experience base." Sure, individual brewers have done things with both 1138 and 1028 (Euro and London) strains which have produced counter-intuitive results. And it's actually very hard to tell what the yeast strain's contribution to maltiness really is, given a limited sample size. But if you get people who have been trying to brew malty beers with both strains, and they tell you about their experience, you might end up discovering something you didn't know (instead of con-/infirming something you thought you knew). Again, because we're all doing this for fun, it's not about challenging the brewing canon with a single data point. But it can be about "free experimentation" and collecting results. An idea I got (and I should tell Chris Colby before I leave Austin) is that the magazine (or some other group) could pay brewers say $1 for each brew batch data. It wouldn't push people to brew more and it doesn't cover the hop price but it might encourage brewers to submit there data points. Then, this database could be managed by a group of people and all sorts of analyses could be done with the data. After a while, it's even likely that the data accuracy might improve. And while it's difficult to do good science with mediocre data, it would still be an improvement over "old brewers' tales" (I like this) and individual word of mouth if we could easily look at data points. "Oh, see... Many people who used this strain didn't get a good attenuation yet all those who did get a good attenuation mention rousing the yeast during secondary fermentation. Might have something to do with flocculation." Steve's discussion of decision making is spot on. We are talking about making decisions. The fact that these decisions have relatively harmless consequences is, in fact, a good thing. We can (and do) take risks. And we don't need to become lab rats to contribute to beer knowledge, if we take a few good notes while brewing and tasting. Again, I'm glad to see these "wild" ideas aren't simply shot down. I don't feel incredibly strongly about them but I'm still glad they can spark thoughtful discussion. - -- Ale-X in Austin (soon to be back in Montreal) http://enkerli.wordpress.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2008 10:51:59 -0400 From: Mike Dixon <mpdixon at ipass.net> Subject: AHA NHC South Region First Round - CALL FOR JUDGES Please sign up if you can assist us with the 1st Round South Region judging on April 19 in Raleigh, NC or Charlotte, NC and April 26 in Raleigh, NC (morning only prior to the World Beer Festival - as needed) If you have entries, please enter them first on the AHA website http://www.beertown.org/events/nhc/index.html Afterward, or if you have no entries, please sign up to judge using the online sign up page http://tinyurl.com/2nbkhm We are looking for BJCP Judges and experienced judges only. Thanks and Cheers, Mike Dixon South Region Judge Director www.ipass.net/mpdixon Return to table of contents
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