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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through January 09, 2007 * Art or Science? < Previous Next >

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Tom Callen
Junior Member
Username: Tc2642

Post Number: 50
Registered: 07-2005
Posted From: 194.72.37.252
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 01:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

While both need to be present within brewing I was wondering what people here tend to lean towards and what advantages or disadvantages this has? I tend to be more of an artistic bent, this is probably for a number of reasons, rubbish at maths (Dyslexia) and hating science subjects at school, while now knowing a bit more to improve my beer i.e. water treatment for certain types of beer etc, etc, I will look at 'interesting' ideas regarding process and try them. I suppose I tend to read Randy Mosher more than Ray Daniels.

Thoughts anyone?
 

dhacker
Advanced Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 684
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 72.155.211.48
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 01:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For me . . I'll say science.

There are two other just as important elements in my brewing as well.

Ease
Luck
 

Paul Edwards aka "Buster"
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1197
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.236.15.21
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 01:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd say 50-50.

Science helps you understand what's happening.

But the art of formulating a great recipe is a big part of the game.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3811
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 01:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am with Paul on this. One or the other seems to me to be a false choice. You need both and, probably, in about equal amounts.

Dan

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Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6094
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 01:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm also with Paul. The combination and synthesis of art and science and technique is what attracted me to brewing in the first place and what keeps me interested and intrigued.
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 2048
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 141.232.1.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 01:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom,
As a fellow Dyslexic I am surprised that math and science are not your strong points. Most other Dyslexics I have met are like me where math and science are second nature and the artistic side needs to be worked on.

As far as brewing is concerned I very much lean towards math and science but I throw some Jedi type guesses as to what will taste good in the end product.

-Doug
 

Rob Beck
Intermediate Member
Username: Robbeck

Post Number: 305
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 66.142.55.4
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 01:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You are indeed right, Tom, both art and science do need to be present in brewing. I think the science is necessary to brew world class beer, but the artistic blending of different flavors and unexpected ingredients is what makes for a truely unique beer. It's almost as if a brewer needs a good, solid, scientific and technical base from which to launch his/her artistic explorations. On the other hand, I've seen many brewers, who shy away from the technical, come up with some really great and different beers.
I guess that's part of the advantage of being a homebrewer over brewing for a living. We are not constrained and driven by the economic end of things and we're free to "do our own thing".
Personally, I wish I had more of an imaginative and artistic spark in me.
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 3524
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 62.20.8.114
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Art or Science?

I guess there are different views of it, here is mine:

If we are to get philosophical, I do not make such a big distinction between art and science. I figure some of the great scientists as well as great artists both have been "great minds".

Sure some may say that art is more more emotional, personal, fuzzy and alive, and science is basically strict, boring, anally obsessive and just a bunch of numbers. I think that is an image that much derives from poor science classes in school. I think that science is just as much alive as art does contain a kind of logic.

If one looks beyond that surface I think art and science has some important commong denominators. Artistic and scientific processes are both highly creative processes.

The process of "reading a science book" and trying to understand what someone else has written is to me not really a scientific process. A scientific process is using your creation and come up with New things, solutions to problems that noone solved before, or paint a painting the noone ever painted before.

Scientific "discoveries" could IMO as well be described as scientific creations. There are something that is called scientific methods, but I think the description of reality as derived by science is not unique. But it is consistent.

I think science can show beauty, just like a painting. A model is like a painting - an image of reality. Wether you understand it or not is another story. Sometimes it is in the eye of the beholder. This is so even in some parts of science bordering to philosophy.

Art as well as science are IMO expressions of life itself. Without life, there would be no art, and no science.

/Fredrik
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3814
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 02:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Perhaps when science outweighs art too much, you get Bud.

Dan

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Jim DeShields
New Member
Username: Niquejim

Post Number: 23
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 71.3.166.10
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 02:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Being a baker for the past 20 years has taught me that the science aspect is more important than the art. A truly experienced, well trained master baker could tell what the finished product will be just from the lists of ingredients. Also science is needed to know the correct order and time requirements of each ingredient. The art only comes into play when some new ingredient is tried, but once again science will determine the outcome due to the fact that proper knowledge is needed to use the new item. While I am new to this hobby the artistic side of me is what really enjoys it. In the corporate world of large bakeries all the experimentaton is done outside of the retail level. Homebrewing once again lets me create, and with the help and knowledge I've gotten from this site someday my brewing science knowledge will catch up with my passion for brewing so that I will be able to make trully great beer.
 

Jon Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 994
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 70.100.85.151
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 02:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I sort of think that none of us, save maybe Fredrik, are doing anything really scientific. Many of you do a lot of engineering (design and applied science) and technical stuff, but there is not much honest to goodness controlled experimentation. Someone else has done most of the science already. Checking pH and temperature are not any more scientific than looking for when you can see your reflection in the water. The tools are just differnt. Even when we "experiment" with the process or the ingredients, it's more of refining the "brushstrokes" so to speak. We're mostly trying to achieve an end rather than to gather data points. We don't always know what that end is until we get there.

I would venture that it's 99% art and technique and about 1% science. The artistic component depends on how you brew. If you brew only recipes, than there is very little art, and it is simply cooking from a recipe book.

Of course, some of us are more artistic than others.
Steinhauer
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3815
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 02:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jon is right with regard to classic scientific work. Controlled experiments are uncommon in homebrewing or, I suppose, even in commercial brewing.

Perhaps a better choice of words is art verses technology.

Dan

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Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6096
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It may be more technology than science, but I have found that deriving the various formulas involved in brewing has greatly increased my knowledge of what occurs during the process and enabled me to better control it.
 

Gary Muehe
Member
Username: Garymuehe

Post Number: 160
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 75.57.138.13
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 03:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is the kind of thread that brings me back to this forum. Fun stuff to read. The absence of trouble makers doesn't hurt either, right?
 

Drew Pattison
Member
Username: Droopy

Post Number: 170
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 143.115.159.54
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 03:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good question.

I'm not sure where I fall at this point. I used to spend a lot more time on the pre-brew formulating and processes to the point that I developed a spreadsheet and built my brewery.

At this point I have less time for that and follow a run-and-gun approach (art?). I think I am able to do this successfully becuase I have the foundation of the years of technology/scientific approach.

I still try to learn new things and add to the process. Some are more successful than others (I gave up on water chemistry but successfully integrated a timer and thermostat based heating element).
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 3525
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 62.20.8.114
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 03:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think one of the things that cause people, in particular young creative people (kids in school), to think that "science sucks" is that sometimes it is put forward that doing something scientifically means, there is only one way of doing it "properly" so to speak and that if they want to learn science they should align. Any amateur phsycologists will understand that is going to severly reject some individuals, perhaps even in particular the more creative ones.

There are still plenty of loose edges in science today that begs for creation.

I think "control" is also a bit relative. About accuracy and reproducability it sure is hard for a homebrewer to compete with a lab having state of the art analysis equipment. But doing something in the spirit of science to me isn't just about gadgets. It's more about doing the best you can, gives your options. If you have the option to use the power of a modern lab, by all means, use it and you have an advantage.

I think I've preached this before, but no matter how good tools you've got, you still end up in a situation where you are in a situation of incompletenss, and this incompleteness is what drives you foward, trying to bridge it. I think a key is to not try to think that you can avoid this situation by looking for better tools. I think you need to attack and handle this situation from first principles.

I think a little more relaxed and less rigid view of the scientific progress will give you more options. Once should not be discouraged by the fact that we are amateurs, or that others are better, have better tools.

Life is individual to each one of us, and I only take responsibility for painting my own image, and I compare my progress with my own references only.

I could look at a single painting and try to find a logic in it. But who would ever try to compare a single brush stroke from one painting with particular brush stroke from a another painting. It seems to me that a brush stroke living in one painting have little or no meaning in the context of a completely different painting.

/Fredrik
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1365
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 81.154.16.221
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 04:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think of brewing as a bit like cooking. You can;t just jump right in and brew a pilsner without at least knowing the basics of how one is made. Just as you can't make a creme caramel without any knowledge of the process or a recipe to adhere too. Once you have that recipe and knowledge of the processes you can start playing with them to create your own version.

Brewing needs a good scientific/technological grounding to get the process of brewing right. The art comes into play with the recipe formulation and knowing (through experience) what stage you are at in the brewing process, so you know what process to carry out next. ie whether to rack to secondary, or lager for a few weeks more etc.

Look at some of the best chefs and musicians in the world, they combine technique and practice with imagination and a creative slant on things which allow them to impart their own personality on what ever they do. therefore it is my feeling that both art and science are needed for brewing, and the percentages of each depends entirely on the brewer, and the type of person they are. Some brewers will be more creative, others mre scientific.
 

Jim DeShields
New Member
Username: Niquejim

Post Number: 24
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 71.3.166.10
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 04:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan, all conrolled experiments do not have to be rigidly scientific like the times you split a batch between multiple yeasts. That is science not art or maybe technology is the better word. And Jon you said it exactly " Someone else has done most of the science already. Checking pH and temperature are not any more scientific than looking for when you can see your reflection in the water. The tools are just differnt. Even when we "experiment" with the process or the ingredients, it's more of refining the "brushstrokes" so to speak." The science may have been done by someone else already but it is still science, without it the art would not have a canvas for the brushstrokes.
 

Jon Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 998
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 70.100.85.151
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 04:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, good science can be done without a lab in the modern sense of the word. A cleric in a pea garden is a scientist in a lab, after all. I think what I'm getting at here, though, is that, except for probably yourself, we are not brewing beer for sake of gathering data points to prove or disprove hypotheses. Even when we do "experiment" we expect at least good results.

While the process and technical aspects are more or less fun and interesting for homebrewers, it's really all about the beer. I don't think anyone (except maybe sugarbrew makers) would be doing this, if they couldn't expect a fine beverage at the end.

Let's think about painting. The artist and the house painter use many of the same materials and methods, but the artist is an artist, and the house painter is a technician. Both "expect" good results. The house painter's results must fit a standard, and the artists results can truly only be judged a success or failure by the artist.

Externally to all of this is the scientist (perhaps a chemist) who is responsible for discovering ways to improve the character of paints or paint application materials or even paint container materials. He/she is successful whether he discovers something that will or will not improve the paint. One data point is objectively as good as another, though his sponsor may not agree. Agreed, there is some art and technique in the science that allows one to come up with more positive data points than negative ones. And, indeed, the sponsors of the scientists apply pressure (mostly financial) to record positive data points. Otherwise, there would be no incentive to fudge data.
Steinhauer
 

robert rulmyr
Advanced Member
Username: Wacobob

Post Number: 852
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 24.155.15.195
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 04:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I brew pale ales IPAs, porters, and stouts. Deciding the % malts in my recipes takes less than a minute ( art ). Brewing 10 gallons...setup to cleanup...takes about 6 hours for me ( technology ). Let's see, 1 minute versus 360 minutes. Mostly technology ( science ) for me.
 

Jon Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 999
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 70.100.85.151
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 04:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's the catch Robert. Technology and science really aren't the same thing. Otherwise you could just as easily argue that recipe design (math calculations) is science, too. Call it applied science, if you might, but not simply science.

The thinking and acting that go with brewing (action potentials and nothing more) are also somewhat "scientific", if you want to go that far.

(Message edited by jstein6870 on December 20, 2006)
Steinhauer
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 3526
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 62.20.8.114
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 04:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I see what you are saying Steinhauer and I agree, and fundamental science and applied science are different things too.

I just wanted to hold the philosophical aspect up in the air. It is what makes science less boring.

My heart lies mainly with fundamental science and the philosophy of science more than applications. Of course brewing is indeed an application within the field of biotechnology. But then if you think again, it is also possible to explore a specific application in order to decode something bigger. That's the way I see brewing. I brew beer, but my mind is beyond it. My motivation to brew beer, doesn't end where the beer does. That's to be honest why I appear anal at times.

/Fredrik
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3816
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 04:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As I type, I am cooling a three gallon batch made from an eight year old can of Brewmart's Danish Pils. I am going to ferment a gallon as is, with yeast nutrient and a third with yeast energizer to see is FAN degradation is the cause of old extract going cidery.

Science?

Dan

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Jim DeShields
New Member
Username: Niquejim

Post Number: 25
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 71.3.166.10
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 05:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Absolutely Dan. Maybe not Nobel Prize winning, but controlled and with unknown chance of success. All science starts with "I don't know", whether it is What, Where, Why or How. Keep us posted on your results as your experiments are unusual but rooted in sound ideas.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3817
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 01:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The rap on LME going dark with age is true in spades! The eight year old "Danish Pils" extract made a wort that would have made Guinness proud. We will see how it tastes in a week or so.

Dan

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HEU Brewer
Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 239
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 68.253.183.230
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 01:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"As I type, I am cooling a three gallon batch made from an eight year old can of Brewmart's Danish Pils. I am going to ferment a gallon as is, with yeast nutrient and a third with yeast energizer to see is FAN degradation is the cause of old extract going cidery.

Science?"


No !!!! Not even close!
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3819
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 01:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry HEU. What have you done for the hobby lately?

Dan

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HEU Brewer
Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 241
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 68.253.183.230
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 01:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I support my local homebrew store every time I brew.

What does that have to do with answering your question?

Perhaps you can lookup the scientific method. Follow it, and publish the results.

Then it would be science.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3822
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 02:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

LOL! Good for you in your support of your local homebrew store. I am sure that they appreciate it!

Dan

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Chris Colby
Intermediate Member
Username: Chriscolby

Post Number: 475
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 24.27.7.221
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 02:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rob Beck says:
"It's almost as if a brewer needs a good, solid, scientific and technical base from which to launch his/her artistic explorations."

This is how I feel. A good grasp of the technical aspects of brewing is the invitation to the party. What you do when you're at the party is the artistic aspect.


Chris Colby
Bastrop, TX
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3823
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 02:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would like to second Chris' post. That seems very reasonable.

Dan

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Doug W
Member
Username: Pivorat

Post Number: 221
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 66.188.1.232
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 02:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Much along the same line. Understand the science and keep within the Rules of good, sound Sanitation and a few of the other key principles or Laws within Science, and you can get as artistic as you about want. Science and "experience" let us know that Peanutbutter is not conductive to brewing if even we wished the taste, for the Oils destroy head retention. Also get as Artistic as you wish, but dont blame a Brett infection or claim it to be "Modern Art" of some sort, because you were a dingbat and didnt use good sanitation principles.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3824
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 02:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Perhaps a good analogy to brewing is architecture. You can't even begin to express your artistic flare safely without a good grounding in technology/science.

Dan

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Randy Hamm
Junior Member
Username: Hamm

Post Number: 52
Registered: 10-2006
Posted From: 12.218.128.67
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 04:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As brewers, we must learn the basics of sanitation, and understand the use of hops, grain, water and yeast. This knowledge does not make us scientists. We use this knowledge to engage in the process of making beer. This process does not make us artists. We strive for a consistant result at the end of the process, a good beer! We are not scientists, we are not artists, we are craftsman.
 

Jon Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 1000
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 70.100.85.151
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 04:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ahh, but Randy, while I agree with you for the most part, you can not ignore the fact that while we practice our techinically influenced, non-scientific craft, we inject our own creativity, passion and sense of romance, and in this way the brewing CAN become art. Appreciation of the art is on the palate of the beholder.

One who consistently brews great beer using only "tried and true" recipes on the other hand may be an excellent craftsman but he/she is no artist, irrespective whether a Brewmagic or a Zapap system is used.

I think it depends on your approach. Do you do anything to seek inspiration before you formulate your brews. Often, when I decide it is time to brew a type of beer, lets say a porter, I will dig out and read books and articles I have collected on the style to relive the history and reexperience the sensory aspects of the style of beer. Yeah, it sounds a little cheesy, and I don't do it for most of my beers, but for those that I would consider artistic (like the robust black elixir bubbling away in the next room as we write), it's a must. These are the beers that turn out IMO to be great beers and not simply good beers. The goal is not always simply to create a beer, but a memorable experience.

If experimentation as a homebrewer is science, then so is experimentation of other sorts, if you get my drift.

This post was definitely worthy of number 1000.
Steinhauer
 

Doug W
Member
Username: Pivorat

Post Number: 222
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 66.188.1.232
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 05:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yay for a good post and 1K
 

Randy Hamm
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Username: Hamm

Post Number: 54
Registered: 10-2006
Posted From: 12.218.128.67
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 06:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jon,

I'm very interested in the artistic process, and have read numerous publications on the topic and had countless discussions with artist of nearly every discipline in the visual and performing arts (I'm a musician). Generally, we talk about how to transcend the technique while acheiving a state of relaxed concentration in the moment of creation.

I have a hard time making the leap from this concept of art, "acheiving a higher level of conscienceness", to the concept of brewing as an art. The definition of the term "Art" is certainly open to interpretation, but IMHO "Art" does get used in a variety of ambigious and inappropriate ways.

I can't wrap my head aroung the thought of watching a brewmaster in the midst of crafting (or creating if you wish) a new brew and feel that I have witnessed an artistic process. I think I would have seen too many math formuli and calculations to think of it as "art".

Congrats on your 1,000th post. I look forward to reading your continued and consistant "5 star" contributions to B&V.

Randy
 

Brew Mot
New Member
Username: Brewmot

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2006
Posted From: 71.135.42.202
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 06:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would say what type of brewer you are depends on what areas you take on faith and what areas you create, experiment or explore.

Examples:

You always use an existing recipe, brew as close to the original as you can.

You look at a recipe and see what you can do to make it better, or you have to try some new twist.

One of the above is creative, the other isn't.

You are always trying some new technique or tweaking/bettering an existing one. You need to learn the whys and what ifs of processes.

You go with conventional wisdom. Avoid doing the "bad" things. You always do the "good" things to the best of your ability. You do not question these practices and take on faith that they are good or bad.

One is scientific, the other is not.

I suspect that most home brewers are a combination of the two.

brewmot
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 3527
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.114.44.230
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 06:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> As I type, I am cooling a three gallon batch
> made from an eight year old can of Brewmart's
> Danish Pils. I am going to ferment a gallon as
> is, with yeast nutrient and a third with yeast
> energizer to see is FAN degradation is the
> cause of old extract going cidery.

Please post the results.

So far some thing has suggested to me that the "type" of FAN may matter.

So far the more cidery sugarbrew I've made was sugarsolution supplemented with wyeast nutrition.

Sugarsolution supplemented with nothing was less cidery.

Sugarsolution supplemented with only an aminoacid blend (ie. no ammonium salts), was the lesat cidery.

But of course it's all single datapoints, but my current hypothesis is that it may be due to several factors...

1) The *type* of FAN. The type of FAN is from papers known to in part influence the organic acid production. TCA cycle derivatives are formed as a result of amino acid metabolism. But the amounts vary a little depending on the N source.

2) It's also known to be crossregulations between sugar and N metabolism. It can't be ruled out that both the fast sugar level and the N level/type interact.

3) The remaining theory I have is the aeration level, vs glucose level in the wort.

4) Apart from this it's also a fact that sugar additions lowers the buffering capactiy of the beer. In every single test I have done, even amino supplemented, the beer pH is consistently lower in sugarbrews than in an all malt beer. This in itself may impact flavour too.

My normals malt beers finish ~ 4.3 (typical)
My amino supplemented amino-sugar water finished 4.0.
My sugaronly water finished 3.8 (but it also got stuck, leaving some residual sucrose even!)

The picture is in swedish but here is a pic of the buffering curve during hteprocess..it's the output from my mash pH simulator
(Jńsning = fermentation)


The buffering power of the beer will drop in proportion to sugar dilution.

Adding a phoshpate buffer might be a trick, this I have not tried. It's another possibility.

Let me know what you find Dan. If you can, check pH too for reference.

/Fredrik
 

Colby Enck
Intermediate Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 393
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 24.115.253.180
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 11:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Your graphs are improving (visually), Fredrik.

I don't think brewing is as high-fallutin' as 'art,' since my purpose is to make beer, not blow anyone's mind (well.... maybe). Maybe it's not art 'til you pee in the brew kettle.
 

Paul Edwards aka "Buster"
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Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1199
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Posted From: 70.236.15.21
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 01:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Certainly a lot of what we do is engineering, or applied science.

But even engineering has its artistic aspects. An "elegant solution" to an engineering challenge is a joy to behold.
 

Dan Listermann
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Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3832
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Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 01:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"An "elegant solution" to an engineering challenge is a joy to behold."

Nicely phrased!

Dan

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Richard Nye
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Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1918
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Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 01:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've studied your responses and I have the answer Grasshopper....

Science applied to brewing is the ability to brew without defects like infections, too much DMS, phenols, etc.

Art applied to brewing is the ability to create a beverage that is pleasing to the senses...much more difficult to grasp.
 

Jon Steinhauer
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Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 1001
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Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 02:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Randy, that sort of hits the nail on the head, doesn't it. Perhaps the usage of the word "art" is not appropriate, and the definition of art is rather vague, in itself. In my mind, art is the following: "the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects." Fine arts, now, are a different and specific set of things, and I obviously would not consider brewing a fine art. But what separates the brewer from a sculptor, say, who chooses to use barley malt and hop cones as media? The sculptor may glue them together in a manner that makes them take a form that only he or she has envisioned, and I choose to steep them and boil them in hot water. The actual act of gluing, or steeping (or brush strokes, or keystrokes for that matter) are not particularly artistic in themselves, but they are part of the overall journey from the medium to the final work. Our final products are different, but what inspired the creations and the visceral response to the creations may be very similar. Have you had those perfect brewdays, where everything seems to be fitting in perfectly, like it was supposed to be that way from the beginning, and then, near the end, something goes wrong. Say the propane runs out five minutes before the end of the boil, and you have to switch tanks. It's enough to ruin a potential masterpiece. The final product may be just fine, but as the creater, you know in your heart that it is not what you set out to create. It simply can not be.

It is my opinion that "science" is also used inappropriately in instances that "applied science" should be used. To me science is the following: "knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method." Taking precise measurements and doing calculations is simply not science, though it may be scientific in nature (many scientists take precise measurements and do calculations, too). But the purpose is entirely different. The aestheticity of the end product simply would not matter. It would just be another data point. Changes in the process would be evaluated by objective measurements, not aesthetic differences.

Now, brewing is also, indeed, a craft, such as masonry, blacksmithing and welding. Perhaps moreso in the small brewery environment than at home. Consistency and quality (as judged by some standard) are important. This is not to say it does not require some seat of the pants creativity when unexpected problems arise (variabilty in raw materials, environmental conditions, etc.). The creative license pretty much ends there, though. The end product is defined from the outset, and the skilled craftsman follows the necessary path to get there.

Anyone could argue with me using dictionary definitions, and that's fine, but these are what to me represent the heart of what art and science are.
Steinhauer
 

Mike Huss
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Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 1468
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Posted From: 24.123.94.154
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 02:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm probably being too simplistic here, but to me it's more tech than art based on the simple fact that AFAIK there are FAR more homebrewers in technical occupations than artistic occupations.

I'm in engineering, so I associate with and I am friends with more technical types than artistic types so my sample is not unbiased, but I know a bunch of tech types that brew, and not a single artistic type.

Just thinking of friends that brew I can think of engineers (obviously), IT geeks, doctors, dentists, etc. But I can't think of one artist, musician, or person like that who I know that brews. Of course that might be just the "starving artist" syndrome for them being that they don't have enough money to brew!
 

Dan Listermann
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Username: Listermann

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Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 03:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We have a commercial sculptor in our club. He used to do toys for Kenner. He freelances today.

Dan

(Message edited by listermann on December 21, 2006)

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Fredrik
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Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 3528
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Posted From: 62.20.8.114
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 04:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This turned out to be a very nice christmas thread in a good spirit of contemplation rather than other more personal themes.

I've personally always tried to understand things by trying to extract or construct common denominators.

Perhaps these things has a bit to do with your personality too, on how you express yourself. But if you think behind the expression there, if you look into the human psychology we are not that unlike. In fact I all living things have alot in common.

I have a need to create. Creating something, gives satisfaction and sensation of control and progress. Which seems to be natural for any living thing. From an abstract point of view I think life is about growth, expansion and improvement. All living organisms improve. Look at evolution. We can improve on all levels. Evolution of the genom is a very basal improvement, and today, in particular in intelligent organisms there are other more sophisticated levels of improvement.

If you like sports, learning more about sports, or getting better at it, is also improvement. Satisfying one of the basic needs of life.

I can imagine a painting as a model, in a general sense. An image of something complicated. How can you try to capture something big, into a painting?

How can I devise a formula that describes something complicated?

It as much an abstraction as those wicked paintings that look like scramble eggs to the laymen.

Painting, making music, gardening, modelling, writing poetry... couldn't it be different expressions of the same need?

If I wasn't a math geek, or modelling guy... but kind of the same person... I am absolutely sure that my creativity would find a different expression... in another world I guess I could picture myself making obscure paintings.

/Fredrik
 

Gary Muehe
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Username: Garymuehe

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Posted From: 75.57.143.196
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 04:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's simple for me. Once I start using my imagination to select ingredients and methods for a desired result, it becomes "art"

Oh yea, as dhacker has already said "ease and LUCK" are important elements.

(Message edited by garymuehe on December 21, 2006)
 

Mike Huss
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Username: Mikhu

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Posted From: 24.123.94.154
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 07:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok Dan, you have a sculptor in your club. What about the rest of the club? Seriously, are the vast majority of your club members tech based as a profession?
 

Dan Listermann
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Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3840
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Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, you raised an interesting point that caused me to have to think and I did find a professional artist who brews. He is the only one that I can name, but then again I am at pains to name anyone else that I know that makes their living this way either - brewer or not.

It is my sense that lawyers are under represented in the brewing world too.

Dan

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Tim Wi
Advanced Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 671
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 170.141.68.2
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 09:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Richard has it.

The "science" is using the tools accurately and consistently. (MLT, burner, hydrometer, refrigerator, CFC, etc.)

The "art" is in combining ingredients in a way that produces a pleasing beer.

One may combine ingredients in the most proficient and technically correct way, and produce a product that is NOT pleasing. Like a beverage made from 100% crystal.

One can choose the correct ingredients for a pleasing brew, exercising equisite art, but botch the use of the equipment (the "science") and produce a beer that is as unpleasant to drink as one made from 100% crystal.

you can't have one withot the other...

T

[edit: correct Randy to Richard]

(Message edited by riverkeeper on December 21, 2006)
 

dhacker
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Username: Dhacker

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Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 03:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

you can't have one without the other...

Hmmm . . . I thought that was love and marriage.

 

Jon Steinhauer
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Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 1004
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Posted From: 70.100.85.151
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 04:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So is getting on the scale every day to determine the increase in the mass of one's beerbelly science?
Steinhauer
 

Randy Hamm
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Username: Hamm

Post Number: 56
Registered: 10-2006
Posted From: 12.218.128.67
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 06:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ahhh! now we are getting giddy. I Love it!!!

Perhaps Tim is correct. Combining ingredients in a way that produces a pleasing beer, for the ever expanding human, is art.

Love and marriage is an art!!! Indeed, a completely understated balance of technique and ingredients, in an ever changing social environment ... things we never really understand... yet we try... and when we think we begin to understand, all the elements morph, yet again, into something we don't quite really understand... but does that stop us ?? Nay, I say... on with the art of love and marriage, and... brew on brothers, brew on!!!
 

Fredrik
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Username: Fredrik

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Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 07:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think what I meant to say with that, I in a certain respect, doesn't make a huge distinction betewen creative art and creative science, is that the expansion of scientific knowledge requires creation. There is a complication in there that is quite interesting. And this complication links art and science together.

How do you create NEW knowledge, if you are only allowed to use proven knowledge? Even science contain fuzzy stuff, that are kind of a choice. When there is such options in science, one usually prefers the most beautiful one. In science, simplicity is beautiful. If you are to choose between 10 models where each one of them does the job, scientists tend to pick the most beautiful one. And even in that respect there are some disagreements, because even simplicity is relative.

One major and significant difference between applied science and fundamental science is that in applied science, you rarely need to create something fundamentally new. All you create is new applications, but they all live within the realm of proven logic.

Now, if you are to solve the issue of merging einsteins general relativity with quantum mechanics it just can not be done with simply applying existing logic from physics. The scientists in this area try to really create new logic. New models that go beyond the classical logic. Here things are very fuzzy. Unless you are a creative mind here, you'll get nowhere. I'd think it even takes a little bit of and artistic talent to solve that problem.

That's the way I distinguish between applied science and fundamental science.

I think Art and fundamental science is both requires thinking out of the box. And if you get too anal about sticking to proven procedures you will find that the set of proven procedures is a closed system that prevents progress. New, unproven procedures and logic have to be created!

Then in another 200 years, todays crazy ideas, may well prove to be "prove procedures". In the past, ideas put forward by scientists which made great discoveries were often claimed to be baloney by collegues of the time and accused for doing ad hoc stuff.

/Fredrik
 

HEU Brewer
Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 245
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Posted From: 68.253.183.230
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 07:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"So is getting on the scale every day to determine the increase in the mass of one's beerbelly science?"

Only if L..... Ahh Nevermind

Merry Christmas Everyone
 

Nate Wahl
New Member
Username: Oogie_wa_wa

Post Number: 1
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Posted From: 72.69.110.92
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 10:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A very interesting thread folks, it got me to post for the firts time in years.

For me, the applied science and art come into play as a symbiotic balance thing; however, consider the indirect impact of the social side of the hobby. Talking and chatting about beer, meeting other brewers over beer, socialization with folks unfamiliar with the diversity of the beers that exist over beer, sharing beer with family and friends. Those may not directly relate to actually making beer, but the indirectly influence such matters as what kinds and varieties of beer a lot of us make, I suspect.

There's some historical significance, too, particularly when it comes to making recipe's for beers that had long past their popular time.

Other thoughts.

Just maybe the artistic side provides an artistic release for those more technically oriented, kinda like it gives the other side of our brain something to do where the two halves can work together. Homebrewing is a good form for this kind of release.

Fredrik's point about thinking out of the box and challenging the status quo is particularly interesting with regard to some parallel threads that are running right now; if any hobby or avocation is to continue to grow that kind of input is really necessary. Dissagreement is good, passion fuels discovery, the dissonance is necessary, even though it can tend to get ugly at times. You can try to quell it, maybe moderate it some, but it won't go away by the very nature of how involved folks are in homebrewing.

Okay, thanks for the opportunity to chine in with my $(1/50), brew on, and see ya again in a couple of years or so.
 

Jon Steinhauer
Senior Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 1006
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Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 02:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The problem with brewing as a creative science, at least on our scale, is that there is very little space outside of that box to create new knowledge. Sure, there are scientists and engineers creating new malts and hops and such, but most of that is of little real interest to the homebrewer, other then the adventure of a new material.

On the other hand, from the creative artistic standpoint, thinking outside the box can be as simple as going beyond the BJCP guidelines, like the roggenweizen APA I tapped last night. It's not a work of art, but simply one of those creative experiments to prove to myself whether something works well or not. Something to remember later when I am hit by some inspiration.

Fredrik, funny isn't it, how somthing that would have won a Nobel Prize fifty years ago wouldn't even earn you a 10 minute abstract presentation at a scientific meeting today?
Steinhauer
 

michael atkins
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Username: Mga

Post Number: 495
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Posted From: 71.214.30.107
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 03:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Art or Science?

"I throw a little dry malt,which is left on purpose,on the top of the mash,with a handful of salt,to keep the witches from it, and then cover it up".

Instructions for brewing Scotch Ale, 1793

From the book Secret Life of Beer by Alan D. Eames}
Love This Hobby!

http://msnusers.com/micksbrewery
 

Fredrik
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Username: Fredrik

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Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 03:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Fredrik, funny isn't it, how somthing that would have won a Nobel Prize fifty years ago wouldn't even earn you a 10 minute abstract presentation at a scientific meeting today?

Indeed, it is fascinating. Something that used to take the best geniuses on the planet to figure out, are now teached in basic courses at school. It proves that it is possible to make significant progress even though the basic functionality of the human brain probably didn't change one bit in this period. But then today there are new problems, that probably takes the a genius from our time to figure out. As soon as one hard problem is solved, there is another one. It's all in motion and the hard part probably isn't the applications, the hard parts are probably to break new ground. It was in the past, and it will be tomorrow.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik
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Username: Fredrik

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Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 03:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Those who discovered, invented or layed ground for what is today everyday stuff today, will still forever be remembered as heroes and great minds with all right, because they did the hardest thing you can do, break new ground.

/Fredrik
 

Steve Jones
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Username: Stevej

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Posted From: 24.159.40.129
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Even scholars and experts can't agree on what 'art' is. Look up the definition of art and you'll find dozens of different opinions. Most seem to incorporate the concept of original creativity that evokes an emotional response.

Does the brewing of beer really involve art? Does it truly envoke an emotional response from most 'consumers' of the art? Ok, I'm not talking about the homerific 'BBEEEERRRR .... [drool, drool]' but a truly emotional response, even from non beer lovers.

I'm not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I can be emotionally stimulated by some paintings, sculptures, etc. - tho not by most. And I certainly appreciate a good beer, but it doesn't really stimulate an emotional response from me.

I tend to believe that brewing is (and always has been) an application of principles of nature (not science, which is really the study of natural systems), and contend that there really isn't any artistic component in the brewing of beer. After all, the first beer was made by nature, not man - can nature truly produce art? IMO the use of a natural process to produce something that has an intended purpose is not art.

I think this is why the word 'craft' has been adopted for the non-mainstream brewing industry - it is the word most reasonably applied to what we do.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

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Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, then, here's to the "craft" of brewing, and all its theory, processes and the splendor of its many forms.
 

Tim Copeland
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Username: Hammer

Post Number: 63
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 65.92.9.234
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 08:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Great Thread!

No matter what you call it, Art or Craft, Science or Technology, both are definitely present in this Hobie and I tend to agree that most will lean one way or the other. I tend to fall on the Science side but personally wish I was more weighted toward the art side. Many of the worlds highest paying jobs often successfully combine the two, for example Architect, Plastic Surgeon Orthodontist,Movie Director, Software developer.
As a side note; I also believe that this is the reason that from time to time, people here will butt heads and scwabble. After all when have you ever heard of a room full of Scientists ever agreeing on something outright, or when have we gone a week without a war of words in Hollywood or the music industry.

PS Don't get me wrong I'm not one of the people who take the stand that this sort of thing will be the downfall of the board...quite the opposite in fact I find it interesting and most times amusing, just a Social observation is all and my 2 cents.

Happy Holidays ALL

TC
 

Jon Steinhauer
Senior Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 1008
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Posted From: 70.100.85.151
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 08:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is the best thread we've had in a while.

But the highest paying job must easily be the CEO, whatever that entails. The job where you make tens to hundreds of millions for doing extrememly poorly and getting fired.


I think we can all agree, though, that whether you are emotionally moved while brewing all grain, or simply brew from the canned kit just to say you made it yourself, it's all an equally valid waste of time and worthy pursuit of fine beer. Whether you believe it to be a gift of God, Mother Nature, Earth, Space Aliens, simple chance or anything else, by all means, KEEP ON!

May you all be fortunate enough to celebrate the season with a fine beer, a fine lover, and a fine parrot.



(Message edited by jstein6870 on December 22, 2006)
Steinhauer
 

Steve Funk
Member
Username: Tundra45

Post Number: 247
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 209.216.175.141
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 12:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Very good thread and the last (for me) until after the upcoming holidays are over. Brewing is a craft that is, to me, continually refined or tweaked. I'm no artist believe me, but I try to be creative in the brewery. Recipes from imagination, sure. Seat-of-your-pants style brewing, at times. But an attempt to create "art" by brewing, I just don't see it. But then again, I just had a taste of my Orval-inspired brew and darnit if that isn't art...
Merry Christmas to all the brewers out there.
Na zdravÝ
 

Michael
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Username: Hoppop

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Posted From: 69.132.121.114
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 12:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>>This knowledge does not make us scientists. We use this knowledge to engage in the process of making beer. This process does not make us artists. We strive for a consistant result at the end of the process, a good beer!>>>>

I don't want total control damnit! To me, I want part of this process to still be a bit of mystery and magic. I don't want to know the sorid details of what the yeasties are doing when I am sleeping upstairs. Frederik may....cheers to him!

For me, I want to "consistently" have uninfected brews (sanitation), consistently hit my efficiencty within a certain range, consistently understand how my "ghetto" system mashes and spits out wort, but.....I never shoot for making the same beer twice. I gave up on contests a few years ago...hell, I even grabbed a silver in the AHA NHC a few years ago.

I am constantly tweaking grain bills, hop bills...is the end brew always what I am shooting for? No way, but it is always a bit amazing to me when I pour a pint of my homebrew. My work life has too much "control"...for me, brewing is a chance to be creative. I think I just had a Charlie P moment...forgive me.

Cheers

(Message edited by hoppop on December 23, 2006)
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3850
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Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 01:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

At a AHA conference many years ago, Terry Fahrenkopf, head brewer of Steelhead Breewing at at that time, said something that I have remembered. She said,"Some artists must paint, I must brew."

Dan

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Jon Steinhauer
Senior Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 1012
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Posted From: 70.100.85.151
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 04:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lasts two posts, Michael and Dan, pretty much sum it up for me. I've taken shots at drawing, music and poetry in the past, and they did nothing for me. Every so often, though, when I pull on from the tap, I feel like I am experiencing a masterpiece. Fewer than one out of twenty brews or less. The rest is just good beer, and there's nothing wrong with that, either.
Steinhauer
 

dhacker
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Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 696
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Posted From: 66.21.201.170
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 01:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I gave up trying to draw . . couldn't even get the stick man right. I can play several instruments, I've written some decent stories, and I can put on one heck of a choreographed pyromusical, and with all of that, I still find brewing the most satisfying . .

. . though I have brewed a couple of stick men quality beers in the past.
 

Dan Listermann
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Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3853
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 04:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I hate people who can draw and / or play the piano.

Dan

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6109
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 02:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can, and occasionally do, write, and I can carry a tune sufficiently well that I performed with a singing group for a while. But I'm definitely "graphically challenged" when it comes to the visual arts. I worked at an art college once (in a technical capacity), and I was continually amazed at the creative energy that percolated throughout the place, although I don't believe I ever met so many dysfunctional personalities.

I once read somewhere that the average person had two creative outlets: cooking and sex. I'll forgo commenting on the latter in this post, but for me brewing is an extension of cooking, the notion that you can take relatively ordinary ingredients and create something truly remarkable with them, something that you can hold in your hand and savor and say "I made that" before consuming.

(Message edited by BillPierce on December 24, 2006)
 

Tom Callen
Junior Member
Username: Tc2642

Post Number: 51
Registered: 07-2005
Posted From: 84.64.87.5
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmm, just had a quick once over on this thread, and prehaps I should have asked about peoples "Philosophy of Brewing" (There's a book waiting to be written by someone!) because that is what seems to have been given by most people. Having had a rethink myself as to what art is I tend to go with Clausewitz's definition that to an extent all creative thinking is art (even if it is destructive, as in the case of war), as to what "creative thinking" is, well, that opens up a whole new can of worms. Btw Doug, I have been told that there's around 80 different types of dyslexia, I had trouble with reading and writing and subjects which required sequental logic, I tend towards looking at the social, political science, philosophy, war, sociology, that kind of thing, I can "do" fuzzy logic i.e. getting from A to C without having to go through B and theory far better than I can simple maths. Strange old thing the mind eh?
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 6094
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 140.211.82.4
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 05:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Terry Fahrenkopf"...that would be Teri Fahrendorf....

and in the interest of discretion, I won't comment on her beers.....
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.