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A little less than a happy high
homebrewing continues to be an interesting distraction for me, though every once in a while, I’m reminded that there are two very different schools of thought when it comes to brewing. On the one hand, there are the Scientists, who weigh, measure, analyze, and target. Every brew they make is done with an eye to precision, and while there is experimentation, it is done in a very controlled fashion with known ingredients and variables. These were the same folks who questioned my idea for an apple beer. I shudder to think what they would say about the Lords of the Sea Mead.

On the other are the Cooks. These folks tend to be a lot more fluid in their thinking. They’re less bound by style restrictions, and as a result are more open to tinkering with unusual ingredients or ideas. Brewing for them can be anything from a well planned affair to a bunch of ingredients pulled out of their cupboards and thrown into a boil. This is chaos brewing at its finest.

You can probably guess where I fall on the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very interested in the technical aspects of the process, and I do believe that systematic exploration has its place. I do also think, however, that it’s easy to get caught up in the science at the expense of the art.

So says I.
10 comments or Leave a comment
From: herringbonekid Date: March 22nd, 2004 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
komos, may i ask who drew the image of the panda you utilise ?
komos From: komos Date: March 22nd, 2004 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's actually a scan of Genma (in panda form) from Ranma 1/2, a manga series by Rumiko Takahashi.
daniela From: daniela Date: March 22nd, 2004 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
100% with you on that one, man..

i can't wait to post in that forum how my bittersweet chocolate stout is delicious, though everyone who commented said it wouldn't work!
komos From: komos Date: March 22nd, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
They're helpful in their way, but sometimes the approach can be stifling. You experienced it with the stout. I ran into it for the first time when I suggested an apple beer last fall. Reactions ranged from "you should make cider" to "you're going to have a lot of trouble with the pectins setting." This from folks who had been talking about raspberry and strawberry wheats... which have the same problems.

Somehow people managed to make beer for thousands of years without the benefit of Science! I'll concede a place for it, but for me, that comes in the form of understanding the process, not having the process dictated by it.
bushidokelt From: bushidokelt Date: March 23rd, 2004 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I'm more along the lines of the cooking crowd, although my brother (an engineer) criticized me about how much of this and that I was using...as long as I wrote it down, I figured I was ok...
komos From: komos Date: March 23rd, 2004 09:25 am (UTC) (Link)
When I'm planning a brew, I use the calculators on beertools.com to get an idea of where I'm heading. This is decidedly a Science! sort of thing to do. By the same token, I'm willing to dump molasses into a boil and say, "Yeah, that's about 20 oz."

I just can't let myself get too picky about it, if only because it takes some of the fun out for me.
bushidokelt From: bushidokelt Date: March 23rd, 2004 09:53 am (UTC) (Link)
BEERTOOLS.COM is WAY COOL!! Why didn't you tell me about this before?????
komos From: komos Date: March 23rd, 2004 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't know that you, well, didn't know.
From: ex_cayetana730 Date: March 23rd, 2004 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
You can definitely balance the Scientist with the Cook in your own way, as you said in reply to bushidokelt. It probably makes the best beer possible actually.

And anyone who says Lords of the Sea Mead is a bad idea is an idiot and doesn't know anything and will end up covered in slime at the bottom of the sea. So there!
komos From: komos Date: March 23rd, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Seems you know how this works... ^_^

I'll probably never find out because the matter may be too... delicate to talk about in public forum.

And I just had a spurt of inspiration. More on that later.
10 comments or Leave a comment