Why Homebrew is Better

Every professional performer always does the same thing at exactly the same moment in every show they do. What I like are things that are different every time. That's why I like amateurs.

-- Andy Warhol

DSC_0074.jpg What Andy Warhol said about professionals vs. amateurs is true not just in theatre, but in lots of DIY pursuits such as brewing your own beer. Homebrew is better because each time it's different.

The beer that you buy is made by pros with the goal of replicating the same recipe each time; the same ingredients, the same process, the same consistent result. If you make your own beer, you can forget the same-old, same-old. In fact, it's rather hard to brew the same exact thing each time following home-made processes. As an amateur, you get to enjoy these small but noticeable differences. Homebrew has its own design goals, mainly exploring lots of variations that allow you to see how different beers can be. For instance, we've used fresh hops that I've grown when they're in season; we can dry the hops for use later in the year. We'll also buy hops from the brewing supply store.

I've got a setup for all-grain brewing at home and it takes about six hours to get a batch ready for fermentation. In the photo below, you can see the underlying IPA recipe and my notes outlining the steps. The notes help me structure the process and remember to do everything I need to do. I also use the notes to record times and other measurements.


The photo at right is next-to-last step, siphoning the cooled-down brew into a 7-gallon glass carboy. We'll add yeast and the fermentation will start. It takes several days for the sugars to be converted into alcohol. I like to check on the batch and see this vigorous activity up-close. DSC_0087.jpg

Brewing is fun to do with a group of people. The brew room, like a workshop, becomes a hangout and you get to talking while you're doing something. My daughter's fiance, Ryan, is learning to brew along with me. Ryan understands much more of the science behind brewing. We made a tasty Pumpkin Ale for Thanksgiving. Yesterday, we started a batch of light-colored German-style beer, which we'll eventually bottle for holiday presents.

More serious home-brewers try to perfect a recipe and repeat it each time, especially those who enter competitions. But not everyone needs to have that goal. To cite a phrase made popular by Perl programmers, there's more than one way to do it. That's what makes homebrew so interesting.


  1. I fuckin love hops. I’m just wondering, would it be too weird to make a bath tea out of them? You know with scalding hot water so the fragrant steam could do its thing? (i.e. infuse my every sense with its precious essence?) What about a hoppy body wrap? Okay, worst case, bury me under the hop vine. In the meantime a little Winter Hook will have to suffice.

  2. Great article! I’m brewing a Gingerbread Ale for the Holidays that I’ll be kegging and bringing to a few family parties. It’s very rewarding when you pour your first pint of your own brew and it’s much cheaper in the long run!

  3. I do a “sorta kinda” home brew… Here in BC our liquor laws allow U-brew services. Depending on your level of skill (or the amount of time you want to put in to it) you can either do things completely on your own, or have them take care of the brewing for you. By law here here you have to put the yeast in yourself (although nobody really enforces that), and you have to do the actual bottling yourself. They take care of the brewing, storage during fermenting and most importantly, all the cleanup!

    The beer is AWESOME, it’s “your” personal batch, and you can get it however you like. Things are more regulated than at home (tighter temperature controls and things like that) but it’s still a little bit different each batch. Of course they’ve got everything on hand to make just about anything you’d like – the place I’m using these days even has their own field of organic hops growing now!

    Besides the cost (it’s about half) the beer is so much better than most things you can buy in the store, as long as you’ve got a good brewmaster!

  4. Thanks, Dale. Really enticing. Love hops too!

    I was considering making a batch from one of those kits. Do you suggest going that route? Or is it feasible for a home brewer to make his own malt? Any information and product recommendations would be appreciated!

  5. Homebrew is much better than most mass produced beers. Ten or 15 years ago, it was even the only way to get decent beer in many places.

    Since then, there has been a huge explosion is high quality microbrews with many varieties. I’m not talking Sam Adams either.

    Most homebrew recipes call for dried malt extract (DME). This is the main ingredient in the beer, and it’s a pre-processed, powdered form of malt sugar.

    DME places a ceiling on the taste quality and gives homebrews a swampy flavor. The true way of brewing, doing a real mash with grains, is exponentially more time intensive, but is the only way to break through DME mediocrity.

  6. #3, I’ve seen a similar store in Michigan. I wonder if the laws would allow something like that in Colorado.

  7. Sigh… I wish I had the space for a “brew room.” Still, thanks for renewing my motivation to get some sort of home-brew setup going.

  8. @eap: all-grain is not “exponentially” more time intensive. Extract batch: 3 hours, all-grain batch: 6 hours. There are some nice good both dried and liquid malts available; extract brewing can be done on-par with all-grain, with quality ingredients.

  9. @EAP: Not only does all-grain brewing produce superior beer, it also fills the work space with heavenly aromas. Nothing like it on earth!

    That said, brewing with extracts at first is the best way to gain knowledge and experience. Then maybe some partial-mash brewing before making the all-grain jump. I think that attempting to go immediately to all-grain brewing would be incredibly frustrating (and expensive) to beginners, and most would quit in short order.

    @PROFESSORPOLYMATH: See above. Best to begin with extracts to learn. Walk before you run. If you want to go the kit route, it depends on the kit. If you mean a Mr. Beer type thing, don’t waste your time. Find a homebrew shop, or look for one online. (A local store is a great place to get advice, so if you have one, use it.) They usually have good starter kits with all the basic gear. One final bit of advice: If you do start brewing, be paranoid about sanitation. Brewing creates an ideal environment for microbes, and you want your chosen yeast to be the only living thing in the fermenter. Myself and the friends I brew with all ruined a batch or two in the beginning by not being careful enough.

  10. I’m lucky enough to get my home-brewing fix at a nearby friend’s house. We helped set him up last year with a keg fridge and 10 empty kegs as wedding gifts. And now, every few weeks, a group of friends get to assemble on his back deck and help move hot mash between pots while sipping cold brew from the last sessions’ kegs. I keep the brewing in my own home limited to a jug or two of apple cider, spiked with champagne yeast and left in the closet for a week or so. Much less boiling and siphoning and such — just need some decent yeast and a vapor-lock from the brewers’ supply.

  11. I’ve wanted to brew some hard lemonade and ginger beer. I also wanted to try my hand at cyser and perry. Beer though has no appeal to me. I just don’t like the bitter flavor of hops.

  12. My girlfriend and her dad (Jack Mingo) make ales and beer. They really do it up, too. Naming and making labels for each batch. I even designed some labels for her one time.

    They’re very experimental with their brews. Each one is definitely a unique experience. Unfortunately, my girlfriend likes strong beer… really strong, and I don’t particularly. And when I say strong, I mean in both flavor and alcohol content. If you can get it down, it’ll **** you up for sure. :)

    If I had the space, time, and patience, I’d love to get into it myself.

  13. Most professional brewers I know where home brewers .

    Ive worked in a Homebrew Store and Home Brew Manufacturer/Wholesaler and Worked at breweries and even done a small amout of brewing consulting in Australia I now live in the US .

    Best thing you can do when starting out is keep everything sanitized and start off easy I recommend the Coopers beer kits that are made in the same brewery as the Famous Coopers Sparling Ale .

    In the US you can get Coppers Beer Kits from http://www.makebeer.net/ but I recommend visiting a local home brew shop and adding finishing Hops like hop plugs and Liquid yeasts to your beers .One of the biggest improvements you can make is kegging your beer and Kegging your beer takes the pain out of bottling .

    After that you might want to move on to Extract brewing or Full Grain Brewing but personally I think theres still nothing easier or quick as making a can of Hopped extract .

  14. I must disagree with, apparently, everyone. While I have enjoyed many many homebrews made by myself and comrades, I find good professional beers far superior. I prefer my beers to be balanced. Homebrews tend to be one note wonders.

  15. @19: Excellent recommendation; How to Brew is the only “book” I’ve read on brewing so far, and it’s gotten me through a dozen or so extract batches. Written by an engineer, it is well organized (allowing quick reference on brew day) and a compelling read.

    For beginners: you needn’t confine yourself to kits. If you wish to build your own, there are numerous sites out there that provide recipes, and brew stores sell all of the components (malts, specialty grains, hops, yeasts, additives, extracts, etc.) a la carte. There are also several pieces of software that will help you nail your gravity, ABV, bitterness, and carbonation. However, it is generally cheaper and less error-prone to pick up a kit.

  16. I’ve been meaning to make a new batch for ages, but I’ve stopped drinking so much. Well, it is festive season and all though, innit? If I start some tomorrow, it will just be drinkable by New Year, and anything drunk then doesn’t count…

  17. If variability were an asset, manufacturers would introduce some strictly controlled variability into their process. It wouldn’t be hard, and if it were viable we should have seen someone doing it by now.

    I think it’s more a case of them trying to produce a brew that is more or less acceptable to everyone. Let me try to explain.

    Ok so… suppose there are a bunch of dimensions in beer-space, say 10 or so. Everyone has slightly different preferences along each of these dimensions. One way to visualize the spread of preferences would be as a high-dimensional blobby thing in this beer-space, roughly spherical. Now the counter-intuitive thing about high-dimensional blobby things is that most of their mass is near their surface. Think of a line, then a circle, then a sphere, then extrapolate from there.

    Manufacturers are going to make beers close to the center of the blobby thing, so as to be as close as possible to the preferences of as many people as possible. However the chance of someone actually thinking this center point is an ideal brew is vanishingly small. Nearly everyone has an exceptional preference.

  18. @20 – I think you’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Every good brewer started brewing small at some point, and most small breweries start with a dream and a basement. Just because you haven’t enjoyed the craft brews you’ve had doesn’t mean there aren’t any that are on par with pro breweries. Unless of course you are saying you prefer Coors and Bud, in which case… get out.

  19. I’ve been brewing since the 1970’s, when I was but a wee lad. It’s just fantastic that home brewing has a substantial following now. Back when I first started there were no home brew shops and finding ingredients was a chore.

    I had a friend who worked at a bakery and I would get big buckets of malt extract through them. Hops came from the local hippy co-op and brewers yeast was resurrected from bottle conditioned beers like Chimay.

    I now brew from grain and I never follow a recipe and though you get a disaster every now and then most result in a fabulous new taste adventure.

  20. Dr. Harrison: I bow before you. You are truly a genius. Three dimensional taste blob expressions of beer-space indeed!! I see it now; you enter the beer store and above every offering, a plastic model of the beer-space value. Guinness an oblate spheroid, Coors a shallow platter, Asahi Super Dry a spindle, Hobgoblin a lumpy egg…. oh the potential. How would you lay out the taste coordinates?

  21. My husband is an avid home brewer.

    He no longer uses kits to brew – they taste a bit “tinny” to both of us and we are spoiled since he went all-grain.

    He’s also written a bit of brewing software that can be found here: http://www3.telus.net/sockmonkeysandbeer/home.html

    There’s also detailed instruction on how to build a kegerator for those who would rather not bother with the hassle of bottling.

  22. kinky sock monkey! Great kegerator too! Love the fridge magnet batch labelling. All that beer… are you guys lonely at all?

  23. i will concur with the sentiment that the Cooper’s brew kits are the easiest option – i’ve been using them for years to make perfectly good beer with minimal fuss. they’re easy to use and understand, and the beer you make ranges from fucking awesome to mostly tolerable, depending on how rigorous you are with measuring and cleaning. we’ve done a few of their ginger beer kits recently too, holy WOW

  24. @ALOISIUS:

    You can try brewing soda and similar. There’s a book by Storey (the publishing house – they’re the onese that are all about self-sufficiency on things like soap and candles and stuff – very Foxfire) that’s on brewing soda pop and such like, all using the yeast fermentation method of carbonation. While I’ve gone onto force-carbonation using a big bottle of CO2, it’s still a heck of a read.

    (And I still sometimes do a yeasty ginger ale.)

  25. Beer good.

    Well, certain sorts of beer. I’m partial to trappist, trippel/quadruppel bock, imperial stout, and harvest ale style beers.

    Unable to find educational and motivational tales about brewing these sorts, I’ve deduced that they are a bit more work or challenge than most hobbyists are willing to go for. Is this right?

    I’d love to be wrong. Being a total novice in brewing, I’d definitely need tutorials to get going.

  26. I worked in a homebrew supply shop for about a year, and I learned more useful things during that time than in any other job I’ve ever had. There is nothing like home brewed beer, nothing.

  27. Some brief points

    I got into brewing because the beer I loved the most (see, Unibroue) was so darn expensive. Now, I find that I can brew beer that you simply cannot find in America. Furthermore, with Belgian and Flemmish Ales, you’ll find that variety and dynamic ingredients is the point, so what you create is sure to be good, and also one-of-a-kind. Which kind of goes back to the whole point of the blog post.

    Seldom does my beer turn out “poor” and one reason why I am confident I can beat even craft breweries is the small-batch advantage. So much more care and control goes into something this small. I compare it to cooking your own steak, vs. going to a restaurant. Sure, the professional cook could do it better, in theory, but he’s doing it 40 times in one night, and he’s not the one who gets to eat it. But you make one batch, and you get to drink it. That goes a long way as far as TLC.

  28. This also tends to be a great way to obtain beer when you’re on a severe budget (e.g. student).

    In fact, the thought crossed my mind just yesterday to go out and buy the basic kit. I’ll take this post as a sign.

    Anyone had experience home brewing gluten-free beer? If I could sort that out, my girlfriend would love me (more) …

  29. Another point is that beer styles like cheese vary greatly from region to region (at least they should and did at one time). Beer is a living thing. Personally I like the wild brews I’ve tasted like pulque’ in Mexico, sorghum beers of Africa and ales in little farmhouses around europe. They are all radically different from mass produced beers. Some of the tastes that these brews strive for would be considered off flavors to our pallets. I think that the home brew scene has actually reinvigorated what was a dying tradition. We now are seeing regional differences brought back to life which I for one find very encouraging.

  30. OK, we’ll automate it; electronic “nose”, gas chromatograph and whatever we can get, all inputting to CNC control software and a three axis milling machine whittling out the flavor model. Pour the beer in, 3D physical representation comes out.

  31. My brother-in-law is a big homebrew nut. He has a piece of software that will track and time all the steps for you for a whole bunch of recipes, but I’m not sure what it is. You can also make your own recipes and store them in it. I’ll find out what it is and post it here for you, but I’m sure it’ll work a bit better than scribbles on notebook paper :). But, if that’s yur thing, go for it.

  32. Any other home brewers spot the mistake in the last picture? The racking tube is about 8+ inches above the beer in the carboy. The whole point to racking is to avoid oxygen intrusion, which’ll wreck the beer. Oops.

    Anyway. You can make a pretty darned good beer with malt extract (though I’d always preferred LME over DME).

  33. I liked the article but the Warhol quote must’ve been in ironic jest. He was the king of copies!

    Theatre professionals don’t try to do everything exactly the same every night. That would be the death of the art. There is a “margin of error” which only narrows in consideration of technical or safety issues. It’s the naif performer who will tend to attempt to repeat performance aspects “exactly.”

    In their defense, what amateurs consistently tend to have in their favor over professionals is probably the most important aspect of the work: genuine enthusiasm.

  34. I’ve just visited an “expo” at which was demonstrated a “nano-brewery” which a local New Zealander is patenting. It consists of a stainless steel cylinder about 30cm diameter and about 120cm tall, plug for mains power (temperature control) and a tap at the base. Quite pretty, and certainly acceptable domestically.

    The ingredients go in at the top, the program is set for that particular type of beer (he has recipes for 80 different brews from light ale to stout) and 6 days later 20 litres of beer is ready to drink from the tap, chilled as per the type of beer. No need for bottling, easily cleaned for the next brew.

    The results he had to taste were excellent. Professional quality, but with amateur idiosyncrasy to taste!

    The price when he’s ready to sell? Below NZ$1000 he reckoned.

    I’m on the waiting list, and hoping this isn’t vapourware.


  35. I love a fresh, hoppy brew as much as any beer lover, but let us not forget gruit, the psychoactive aphrodisiac brew of yore. Hops were introduced to tone down the sexual frenzy that ales induced. Hops are loaded with estrogen and responsible for an unfortunate condition in some men called ‘brewer’s droop.’ I haven’t tried it, but it looks like a lot of fun could be added back into the game by substituting humble yarrow for hops.


  36. ACLOPS-

    This is exactly my fear. I got into making bread a while back- and it was good, but not as good as I could buy at a good store.

    What kind of beers do you like? I do like really hoppy IPA beers. So, I’m thinking of going for it.

  37. @41. Uhh. No? The description says this is the second to last step — he hasn’t pitched the yeast yet. You need to introduce oxygen at this point because boiling the water pretty much removes any dissolved oxygen. No oxygen makes for very unhappy yeast.

    It is *after* this point you want to avoid mixing more oxygen in.

  38. Not much room or equipment? Try making mead, fermented honey. Lots of resources on the net. You can make it in one gallon batches. Takes longer to ferment & mature, it’s more like wine than beer. I’ve made batches that were ready to drink in 4 weeks, some that took a year.

    There are many styles, still, sparkling, sweet, dry and every combination. Fruit, spice, can be added. Few people know what mead is supposed to taste like, so if it tastes good it is good!

  39. Mmm..better? It’s cool to homebrew and everything but after the first couple brews wear off, don’t you sort of realize that your beer isn’t as good as what you can pick up off of the shelf?

    As for professional brewers, you don’t give craft brewers any credit. They thrive on being creative and taking risks unlike AmBev and SABMiller and those thugs. It’s just that people dont know enough about craft beer yet, but if you want to start learning: http://beernews.org/

  40. thanks for the gruit Forgeweld, now I’ll have to seek some out. I wonder if there was an unspoken conspiracy of farm wives that found hops better than gruit from their point of view?

  41. @47:

    You’re in luck, then. In my opinion, IPA’s are absolutely some of the most forgiving recipes for the novice homebrewer.

    Anybody who hasn’t tried brewing their own should really give it a shot. I used to homebrew religiously when I was too young to buy the stuff at the grocery store :)

    “Brew day” makes for a fun Saturday afternoon with friends and the initial monetary outlay (if you go with a kit. And I’ll second Cooper’s as a good start) is pretty minimal compared to most hobbies… Though collecting and disinfecting re-cappable bottles gets to be a drag after the first few go-rounds, so then you’ll probably wanna invest in a keg or two.

    Only stopped because the homebrew shop in my town went outta biz…

  42. Homebrewing is the best hobby ever. I’m fifteen years in and loving every minute of it.

    To all who think they lack space but want to brew anyway – all you really need in terms of space is a couple of feet square in a cool dark place to keep your beer while it ferments. Using a propane burner outside on the patio eliminates any risk to the stove, counters, etc, and makes cleanup a comparative breeze. Burners can easily be found at this time of year at home improvement centers as turkey fryers, sometimes even bundled with a big pot.

    #34 – Belgian and other advance styles are not the first beers you should attempt, probably, but they are in reach. Modern homebrew shops should stock a wide variety of Belgian-style ingredients, including a selection of Belgian yeast strains that will give you the characters you are looking for.

  43. george fix knows ‘better beer through math’, takuan.

    hops’ closest living relative is that most sacred of herbs.

    god bless the cannabanacea (sp?)

    makes me weep with gratitude.


  44. I’ll leave it to the professionals myself. As EAP noted, a lot of homebrews have a swampy, overpowering flavor that to me is not beer, more of a mead. I prefer lighter lagers and belgian style ales, trappist and the like.

    I can drink dozens of different lagers, and really, some of the most popular ones are quite good.. it’s just that it’s easy to get sick of a lager flavor. It’s not like Coca Cola or your favorite soft drink, for some reason beer just tends to overwhelm the palate after a while, probably because we drink so much of it!

    My way of supporting the concept is to visit talented brewpubs, those that have taps straight at the source. Nothing beats a pint of fresh, well made lager at a microbrewer/bar. One of my favorites is in Iowa City, a little place called Old Capitol brew works. It’s a great brewpub but avoid the food. They specialize in drinkable lagers, and don’t have a good rep for the heavier stuff, so fair warning.

  45. Fermentation in general is wonderful. I am currently “brewing” my own miso (that Japanese soya bean paste stuff that look like it came out of a baby’s ass but tastes lovely). It’s going to take *two years* to complete – just a-sittin’ in my shed in a big tub with a lid on pushed down by some rocks. Love the idea – love it.

  46. The great thing about the U-brew services is they’ve got a level of equipment you couldn’t get at home, but still have the personal individual batches you get doing it at home. I’ve had some “not so good” U-brew from time to time, but usually from someone brewing at home in “clean” (in quotes) equipment. Plus the whole “no preservatives” thing is a serious plus.

    For the “not so in to beer” crowd these places do wine, cider, coolers, etc too… But no, you’re not going to be able to make your own vodka!

  47. Brewing & fermenting things is the natural next step if you’re the sort of person who gets into growing things. Fermentation is a growing process, and if watching seeds germinate does it for you (it certainly does it for me), then watching yeast do it’s thing will probably be all thrills as well.

    I am inspired to get into homebrew, but I think I’d rather try alcoholic ginger beers to start with (I have gluten-intolerant housemates). Anyone got a good recipe or how-to kit or list of required equipment for a keen beginner?

  48. I love to home brew. We moved into a new house where I have enough room to pursue this hobby of mine.
    My friends always ask me why my beer tastes better than theirs, and I always tell them that the secret ingredient is dog hair.
    Hops RULE!

  49. @25 I’m keeping both baby and the bathwater, actually, as I said I enjoyed homebrews yet preferred probrews. While I don’t regularly sip the two you mentioned, they do have their merits and there is room in the world for such beers. I would not want their proponents to have to get out.

    @47 Don’t let fear of failure keep you from trying. Homebrewing may be your thing. Look at all the passionate posts in favor of the craft. Also, you will be learning the basics(intermediates and advanceds should you get that far) of creating fine malt beverages. This will lead to greater understanding of beer in general.
    As for what I like…well, that would be a long list, yet as before I would say that balance is the key to greatness in this area. I also do not limit myself to beer, but find wines and liquors fit the bill quite often.

  50. #41 – I believe that he is racking the wort to the primary fermenter, and from what I’ve read at that stage you want to oxygenate it for a healthier fermentation. It is in the later stages of brewing where you want to keep oxygen out.

  51. @ Takuan & Forgeweld — I don’t know if y’all are in the SF Bay area, but at the last Jeremiah O’Brien beerfest (highly recommended: drunken stumbling after bottomless cups of microbrew on the deck of a WWII liberty ship!), I think the Magnolia Brewpub was pouring a gruit. I don’t remember a whole lot about that day, but I remember having more than one sampler of that. It was dark and herbaceous and weird-in-a-good-way. I ‘spect I was pretty droopy at the end of the day, regardless. I don’t recall what plants it was spiked with; but if you’re looking for a taste of gruit, their pub on Haight & Masonic might be a good place to start… or no wait– maybe it was 21st Amendment Brewery? You should prob’ly go there, too, just to be sure. Guess it’s time for a reconnaissance mission… Oops– I forgot this thread was about making it yourself! SF Herb Co. must have some yarrow. Hey, I know they’ve got wormwood, as bitter a bittering agent as can be: I’m imagining absinthe gruit now… it seems so obvious! Why has this not been done? Now, get to work.

  52. #24 by pfh

    I like your insight that commercial beer aims for a taste profile that is more acceptable to more people — somewhere in the middle.

  53. This post immediately made me think of the Anchor Brewing Co. in San Fran, of which I’m sure most of you are familiar with.

    They have an annual brew for the winter season that they’ve been doing for 34 years now called “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Ale.” With this particular ale, they adjust the recipe ever year, thus recreating the beauty of an ever changing homebrew.

    From the website:

    “Each year our Christmas Ale gets a unique label and a unique recipe for the Ale itself. Although our recipes must remain a secret, many enthusiasts save a few bottles from year to year—stored in a cool dark place—to taste later and compare with other vintages. Properly refrigerated, the beer remains intriguing and drinkable for years, with different nuances slowly emerging as the flavor mellows slightly.”


    It’s always one of my favorite winter beers…

  54. @65 – The Magnolia Brewpub (at the corner of haight and masonic) does indeed make the Weekapaug Gruit. It’s a seasonal, so you won’t find it on tap now- next spring, i think. They used to release it on valentine’s day but it was later this year, i believe i tipped one back around march or april.

    Homebrew doesn’t replace craft brew for me, there are plenty of breweries out there making fantastic and very adventurous beer. But there is a fundamental joy in manufacturing one’s own inebriants, and I relish the ability to experiment and innovate. I also like having cheap, fresh, and good homebrew on tap in my kitchen.

    I’ve had some bad homebrew (and made a couple of batches I wasn’t very proud of)– I’ve also had some pretty terrible commercial craft/brewpub offerings. It’s the skill of the brewer that matters, not the size of the brewery.

  55. I’d rather just go to the Beer Store and buy me a nice craft brewery beer. Less hassle, more consistency in the tastes that I like, and it don’t stink up my house. I’m very particular about what I like in my beers, and “each time it’s different” is not something that I would consider to be a positive thing.

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