How To Ask A Question

from theweeklybrew

clipart-questionmarkI was crawling the brewing forums tonight and realized many people don’t know how to ask questions. I can’t count how many times someone has asked a question only to get a response asking for more info. Even then they don’t get the needed info right. So I’ve written a guide to asking questions. Hopefully this will help in the future so I won’t ever again need to respond with need more info.

Somethings Wrong With My Beer

This is numero uno in terms of brewing questions. At some time every begining brewer asks this. The problem is even when you provide the right info you don’t always get a great answer. The odds go up when you ask properly though. First things first with this question. Always state your recipe, including what yeast was used, and hoping schedule. The reason for this is different ingredients cause different flavors. Especially in the yeast category. You may have a banana bomb from high temperatures, or because you used a yeast that produces strong fruity flavors.

While we’re talking temp though make sure you include that also. The person answering will need to know pitching temp and fermentation temperature. If you don’t know the fermentation temp because the environment isn’t controlled then say that and state the fluctuation range (ie temp in apartment ranged from 65 -70). A few more things to include is how long it fermented in secondary, if it was dry hopped, was fruit added, gravity readings, and sanitation procedures.

Example

Wrong

Help, My beer tastes gross and smells bad. What did I do wrong?

Right

My beer has a watery flavor and a vinegar smell to it. I used a dead guy clone kit from Rogue. Not sure exactly what was in it. I pitched my yeast at 75°F. I don’t have AC, but the temp in the house never got above 80°F. I let it ferment for a week like the recipe said and then bottled. For bottling I primed with 3/4 cup sugar. I rinsed the bottles with hot water before filling them. What went wrong?

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One Response to “How To Ask A Question”

  1. Dr Wort says:

    Unfortunately, it all comes down to brewing experience and knowledge, Jared. You can’t ask the right question until you know what question to ask…. 😉

    If someone has something wrong with their beer and can;’t narrow down the problem or the question, they pretty much don’t understand the classic mistakes to look for. Sanitation, Fermentation temp, Yeast pitch, poor mashing technique, etc.

    You can make a list of the classic brewing mistakes and photo copy it 500 times…. Hand them out to all the novice brewers. It’s better than trying to walk through their entire brewing process every time.

    Yes, we spent time working in a Home Brew shop!

    Instant gratification without learned knowledge runs ramped in home brewing. That’s why only about 15% maintain the hobby and the rest just buy beer and drink it! They don’t have to think much buying beer…. ;-}

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