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Old 07-12-2017, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default Gordon Strong vs Brulosophy

I just bought Brewing Better Beer by Gordon Strong, and even though I'm only about a quarter of the way through, one of the things I keep noticing is that much of the advice, things he says are important/have a big impact, tips for better brewing etc are things which Brulosophy have tested and shown no significant result, ie. make no noticeable difference.

I also have Jamil Zainasheff's book Brewing Classic Styles, and the same thing is true, many of his recommendations are things which Brulosophy have "proved" superfluous.

On this forum even, whenever advice is given, often someone will link a Brulosophy exbeeriment which says the contrary.

Now I find the Brulosophy site really interesting reading, but I wonder if they are perhaps doing many brewers (particularly new brewers) a disservice by suggesting that the details generally aren't that important. Some examples of the things I'm talking about are:

Yeast pitch rate
Boil length
Fermentation temperature
Step/decoction mashing
Mash pH

I'm not suggesting all these things definitely make a huge difference, nor am I suggesting that the Brulosophy experiments are worthless, but I don't think it's a coincidence that the best brewers I know from around the Irish brew clubs are all pedantic when it comes to brewing, likewise famous and successful brewers such as Zainasheff and Strong.

I'm interested to hear other thoughts on this
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:59 PM   #2
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As a statistics graduate, I tend to wince when I read the Brulosophy stuff. I'd prefer to see well over a hundred samples, especially as they use lots of different tasting panels and should be considered meta-data.

Interestingly though I draw a slightly different conclusion than you. I think that the conclusions, if properly caveated and the small print read carefully, can point out that brewers shouldn't sweat stuff. But I do think Strong and Jamil are great people to read and philosophically I try my best to follow their advice.


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Old 07-12-2017, 09:02 PM   #3
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I have a lot of brewing books but my go to book is Gordon Strong's Brewing Better Beer, I like the fact to that he does give credit for some of his techniques which he has picked up from other brewers and books he himself has read, Ray Daniels is one that comes to mind. His recipe book is good also.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:09 PM   #4
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This is a subject I have given some thought to recently.

I do feel the what Brulosophy bring to the brewing community is a general sense of confidence that brewing fast-turn-around, nice drinkable beer is easy and basically uncomplicated. The message that comes through with most of their stuff is that basic cleaning and sanitising and using modern equipment and methods with a sound, scientifically based recipe is going to get you good beer.

The results show that the details on this or that and the here-to-fores are basically not distinguishable to any great extent to guys who just like to drink beer.

None of their experiments that I have read tend to go out towards the 3 months stage post pitching, which is when I actually start enjoying the beers I make. That would be very tedious from a scientific standpoint, I do concede.

I like to imagine that quite a lot of the forum content does try to push outside the slightly narrow envelope of the Brulosophy experiments, but acknowledge the fact that these experiments add a level to practical knowledge.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajhutch View Post
As a statistics graduate, I tend to wince when I read the Brulosophy stuff. I'd prefer to see well over a hundred samples, especially as they use lots of different tasting panels and should be considered meta-data.

Interestingly though I draw a slightly different conclusion than you. I think that the conclusions, if properly caveated and the small print read carefully, can point out that brewers shouldn't sweat stuff. But I do think Strong and Jamil are great people to read and philosophically I try my best to follow their advice.


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Yes indeed, AJHutch makes the same point I (sort of) made that "sweating the small stuff" misses the real point.

Kudos, mate!
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strange-steve View Post
I don't think it's a coincidence that the best brewers I know from around the Irish brew clubs are all pedantic when it comes to brewing
Totally this. Of all the homebrewers and pro-brewers I've met or know.


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Old 07-12-2017, 09:16 PM   #7
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Interestingly though I draw a slightly different conclusion than you. I think that the conclusions, if properly caveated and the small print read carefully, can point out that brewers shouldn't sweat stuff.
You could well be right, in that for general brewing the minor details are in fact minor. Both those books I mentioned are geared towards competition brewing, so perhaps it's only in those circumstances that the small stuff becomes important.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:21 PM   #8
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None of their experiments that I have read tend to go out towards the 3 months stage post pitching, which is when I actually start enjoying the beers I make. That would be very tedious from a scientific standpoint, I do concede.
That's a good point and something that I noticed also. Like yourself I tend to prefer a little more age on most of my beers.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:21 PM   #9
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You could well be right, in that for general brewing the minor details are in fact minor. Both those books I mentioned are geared towards competition brewing, so perhaps it's only in those circumstances that the small stuff becomes important.


Indeed. I think we see on this forum the difference between "casual" brewers and those who hold themselves to a higher standard. Neither is right or wrong per se, just different.


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Old 07-12-2017, 09:22 PM   #10
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I like the way the brulosophy keep it simple. On the back of them, I only use one fv, let brew sit for up to 4 weeks on trub and have with my latest brew followed thier advice with gelatin and also force carbing.
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