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Mash/boil Or Fermentation?

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Dan Pratt

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Who can weigh in on the topic of what makes better beer.
Is it the mash style and boil or is it the fermentation eg yeast and temp control
I know both are important when making beer but which one makes your beer better?
 

bignath

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Who can weigh in on the topic of what makes better beer.
Is it the mash style and boil or is it the fermentation eg yeast and temp control
I know both are important when making beer but which one makes your beer better?
If i had to choose only one of two options, i'd go with fermentation.

Not necessarily because it's "makes better beer", but because it has the ability to single handedly **** an otherwise well made beer.

Give me a beer that has missed style guidelines with mash profile but fermented well any day, over a beer that's bang on the mark but a noticeably bad ferment.
 

fcmcg

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Who can weigh in on the topic of what makes better beer.
Is it the mash style and boil or is it the fermentation eg yeast and temp control
I know both are important when making beer but which one makes your beer better?
This will surely start a few fights....
However,in my opinion , it's the fermentation , temperature control and sanitisation...
For example , we have a BIAB brewer at my club who won AABC with his porter...
Anyone can make a kit or a extract or AG beer.Regardless of how you make your wort , you will make a better beer by controlling the fermenation , having the right ( and enough yeast ) and being sanitry.All of these things will make ANY wort better.

Cheers
Ferg
 

Bats

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Although good control of all three contribute to good beer, I'm with the other guys on this. Carefully controlled fermentation is the most important in my mind.
 

Steve@PMF82

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Give me a beer that has missed style guidelines with mash profile but fermented well any day, over a beer that's bang on the mark but a noticeably bad ferment.
THIS ;)
 

vortex

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Yeah no question. Yeast health, consistant fermentation temp and good sanitation. No discussion needs to be entered into :)
 

Bizier

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Yeah, with everyone else, you NEED a clean ferment, but you also need to have a half decent boil if you are all grain, mash temp of 65 can be used for most beers.
 

Dan Pratt

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i have normally fermented an ale in 2 weeks in my temp controlled fridge at 20 degrees. this weeks 150 lashes clone i fermented in 4days>>>. 1.041 - 1.012. for experimental purposes I tried US-05 into a 1litre of DME wort ( yes i know the debate on that ) on a stir plate and picthed it into the 5 gallon batch after it went mental over night.

I had some trouble maintaining a boil, eg it boiled for 5 mins and urn cut out(again and again, long story), so i whirlpooled and added the aroma hops to the no chill cube. with the beer considered a fail but still at 1041 i kept it and tried this out>>>
 

manticle

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Personally I think each element is integral to good beer. If you get a really bad, out of balance recipe, mash way too hot, don't boil properly, underpitch (could be considered both part of fermentation and ingredients) you can make pretty terrible beer even if you ferment it at the right temperature. Every step, including conditioning and packaging is essential to decent beer.

I agree you need a clean ferment but I'm not sure there's much point trying to prioritise. Good ingredients and good processes through every stage = good beer just like cooking.
 

labels

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I'm a great believer in 'we make the wort, the yeast makes the beer'. After you done pretty much what YOU want with the wort, your next job is to make sure you treat those yeasties with kid gloves, giving them everything they want to keep them happy right to the end.

After you've taken the beer off you can gradually add salt so they autolyze (sends them loopy so they eat each other) then you've got vegemite!
 

MHB

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For me its temperature control first and foremost.
If you are looking to improve your brewing, before you even think of going AG have the ability to control your ferment. I agree that every step in the process is important but its quite easy to make bad beer out of good wort if you dont control the ferment, even K&K brewers will see a marked improvement in their brewing with good temp control. And one of the smallest investments that you can make in brewing which will continue to serve you at any level Kit, Extract or AG
Mark

Nick either delete it or Im reporting it, this is a beer forum if you cant contribute something useful you dont need to post, in this case literally SHIT! I think most people got over toilet humour about the time their voice broke.
M
 

manticle

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its quite easy to make bad beer out of good wort if you dont control the ferment,
Agreed but it's also not easy to make good beer from bad wort, and it is very easy to turn good beer into bad beer by packaging it badly, especially if it needs to sit for a while.

I agree with everyone that you can stuff a beer right up by fermenting it badly and you can make a good beer made with less than the best ingredients or one that missed its mash numbers as long as you don't ferment at 28 degrees but I don't really see the point separating the steps.

Make the best beer you can, as well as you can by using the right ingredients, the right recipe and the right processes. Every step is just that - a step, part of the whole. Look at the whole.
 

chefsantos

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I'm a great believer in 'we make the wort, the yeast makes the beer'. After you done pretty much what YOU want with the wort, your next job is to make sure you treat those yeasties with kid gloves, giving them everything they want to keep them happy right to the end.

After you've taken the beer off you can gradually add salt so they autolyze (sends them loopy so they eat each other) then you've got vegemite!
I like the adding salt to make vegemite. I think I might try it. do you have a ratio ?
 

bum

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The barely literate "question" posed doesn't really justify such emphatic responses, guys.

What are we talking about here? Choosing one option to be adequate and the other less than adequate? Or one to be adequate and the other excellent?

Either way, you're talking nonsense if you think you can say one is always the one you'd choose. Me, I'd lean towards better fermentation in the former and and better brewing in the latter. Style/ingredients would play a big part and could totally reverse my opinion.

Manticle nailed it when he implied the question is pointless. Do everything to the best of your ability. There's no good reason to pick only one in practice and the discussion is endlessly dreary (and been done many times before).
 

hoppy2B

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It depends on how you define 'better beer' Pratty.
 

mje1980

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Personally I think each element is integral to good beer. If you get a really bad, out of balance recipe, mash way too hot, don't boil properly, underpitch (could be considered both part of fermentation and ingredients) you can make pretty terrible beer even if you ferment it at the right temperature. Every step, including conditioning and packaging is essential to decent beer.

I agree you need a clean ferment but I'm not sure there's much point trying to prioritise. Good ingredients and good processes through every stage = good beer just like cooking.

I agree completely. No good building a sweet 351ci clevo, then putting e10 in it. Or, buying a sweet custom made surfboard, then using plastic fins haha.
 

Nick JD

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Probably half of the beer I make per year is fermented at ambient temperatures with the appropriate yeast. These beers taste much, much better than my temp-controlled K&Ks ever did.

Brewing without temperature control is easily done if one chooses the correct yeast for the current temperature.

So I'd have to say C - knowing how to brew beer is more important than either A or B.

I'm really looking forward to my shed getting up to the mid 30s again this summer so I can brew beer in it. I'm going to do a K&K Saison to prove the point.
 

labels

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Being primarily a lager brewer, I know that each and every step is important to get a good, ultra-clean, crisp refreshing lager. I spend more time and effort controlling all the things I don't want in the beer, than those I do, paying attention to every little detail. From milling the grain through to filtering, kegging and carbonating and finally to serving, there is nowhere for anything to hide in lagers. None.
 

Dave70

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The barely literate "question" posed doesn't really justify such emphatic responses, guys.
That's some classical bum right there.


But I'll play devils advocate and claim none of the above.

Large commercial breweries have these procedures down to an exact science. Not an art. Cold, efficient perfection.
Their biggest selling products are dismissed virtually across the board as shit, in this little corner of the interweb at least.
So it's fair to say the recipe is the most important link.
 

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