Saturday, 17 May 2008

Educate yourself

I have to share this with you. One of the Homebrew Twats I was arguing with about Kölsch came up with a great response:

"In addition, you obviously don’t know who Eric Warner is. Educate yourself."

That is so funny. I need to read an American homebrewing book to learn about German beer.

He was deadly serious. Laugh or despair? I'm still trying to work it out. I may need professional help.

If you're interested (and why should you be? Listening to other people's arguments is as entertaining as watching them eat soup. No, not that much fun. Like watching them have their hair cut. No, worse than that. Like watching them have a Spanish lesson.) , you can see the discussion here:

I started getting a bit impatient at times. You'll have to excuse me. I need to go away and educate myself.


Kristen England said...


Now you see what I get to deal with on a daily basis. 'Ive read a US brewing book AND talked with a German brewer.' Thanks for making waste 15 min of my life reading that ratebeer drivel. In my POV, ignorance can be forgiven if its true ignorance (eg, having no idea). However, people that choose to stay ignorant b/c things are difficult (eg reading German) make me full of rage-O-hol. Its todays society. Single serving friends. Instant gratification. Putting the least amount of effort into something. Wonderful stuff...

Ron Pattinson said...

Kristen, rather you than me.

I've just been explaining to my son Andrew about sources. Not all books are equal. I did a fair amount of waving books around.

This is a reliable source written by a university professor whose profession was brewing.

I picked just a random example of Brewers Publications style guide. Vienna and took a look through it's bibliography: half the bokos are from the same series. There were only 4 which I would call proper authoratative texts.

Not all books are created equal. Some have substance. some are just hot air.
And here's something

Ron Pattinson said...


a bit of incoherence in my last post. I blame Wildeman.

I know I shouldn't waste my time with these bigots, but sometime emotion overwhelms intelligence.

You'll be pleased to hear that I'm preparing a homebrew Mild special post. I just need to dig out the relevant brewing logs. I plan doing the whole spectrum of Mild strength from 1027 to 1105.

Tomorrow. I should have it ready then.

Kristen England said...


Im doing gyled 1901 Whitbread KKK and KK as we speak. I taking a bunch of notes and a lot of questions have been answered about the logs and the brewing of the actual beer. They should clear up whitbreads actual gyle-process.

As for the milds, Im going to be doing a barrels worth of something in about 2 weeks with a group of buddies. We'll definitely up for a mild of any strength.

Bill said...

I'm looking forward to your homebrew Mild post. The idea of trying to recreate some of these historicla styles is really intriguing.

How in depth are you going on the homebrew info for Mild? Are you covering processes, ingredients, etc? Love to see it.

The Koelsch issue is maddening. It's a simple point: don't label German beers by English/American labels. How difficult is that concept? You're only trying to say that Germans don't classify their beers the same way as Americans do. I mean they should know; it's their beer. Plus you cite references. Moreover, does it matter if Koelsch is really a lager and not an ale? It's not that scary a concept to me. OK, I was wroing because I thought of it in American terms (I was one of the ignorant), but now someone has shown me the Germans refer to it differently. Does it change anything at all about how it tastes or how you brew it? The most aggravating point is the unwillingness to listen to a contrary point of view. I like to think I know a lot about beer, but I know I don't know everything, and I'm willing to listen to anyone who can back up their assertions. Lunacy to sit there and say other people are fools when they show you real sources.

I need to go Edu-ma-cate myself with another beer. It's just way to hot here in the Pacific NW today and my pateince for lunacy is limited.

The guy formally known as Some Guy Named Bill

Ron Pattinson said...

guy from it's too long for me to write it out in full, I wasn't arguing so much about whether is Kölsch an Ale or a Lager, but for letting the Germans classify their own beer. Coming along and sticking our names on their beers. It's dierespectful.

Calling all top-fermenting beers Ales, is misusing the name. It defines a subset of top-rementing beers, that have their roots in the British Isles, direct or indirect.

Kölsch does not. Neither does Altbier. They are products of another brewing tradition. One totally separate from British top-fermenting beers. Where are the common roots of Pale Ale and Altbier? They aren't there.

Who are we to say that all German top-fermenting beers are just a type of Ale? That's not how Germans themselves classify them.

I'm just calling for more precision and more respect.

Ron Pattinson said...

Sorry. Ranting again. I forgot to answer the question about my upcoming Let's Brew Mild! spectacular.

I'll give the main details. If you're interested in more, look at the images. There will be scans of the original brewing logs.

I'm hoping some of you will be arsed enough to learn how to read the brewing records. I want more people to go out and look in the archives and see what they can find. It's not difficult to learn how to read them. I think I understand about 75%. I've just taught myself.

Maybe I should give a class in reading archive recipes. If anyone is interested, I could explain about brewing logs and what's in them. If you know how to read them, they're a goldmine.

I want to encourage people to look at brewing records. I can't believe how little they've been investigated. There are so many of them. I need help.

Bill said...

Ron, I was rambling but I did get your point. I completely agree. We shouldn't try to classify German brewing traditions using American/English nomenclature. My point was I don't understand the resistance of the American homebrewing community to realize that how we classify beers isn't the same as how the rest of the world classifies them. American homebrewers seem to think that they should create hard and fast rules even if they're based upon their own perceptions and not historical fact, and then judge the entire world of beer from those perceptions. It's a style-nazi thing and it drives me wild. We only learn by listening, but that idea seems foreign in the style nazi-world.



Anonymous said...

What a nasty thread that was! There was no mutual acceptance of basic common ground there. You had the yeast defines the beer camp (is that a cult?)vs. the people/language define the beer.

Anonymous said...

I got about four pages into that discussion before the will to live started ebbing away ...

Anonymous said...

... then I thought, 'ah, hell(es), might as well add my zwei pfennig's worth', so I went and blamed Michael Jackson for it all. (Fortunately, under British law you can't libel the dead ...)

Ron Pattinson said...

zythophile, it's hard to stay away, isn't it? I get sucked into these arguments against my better sense.

It isn't me just being weird. It isn't right to call German beers Ales, is it? I was starting to worry that I was crazy. In some paranoid dream where no-one will believe what you say.