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Drew Beechum's "Brewing on the Ones" (NHC 2012)

Homebrew All-Star and Beer Advocate columnist Drew Beechum gives his presentation titled “Brewing on the Ones: Zen & the Art of Homebrewing” at the 2012 National Homebrewers Conference. His message is clear: SIMPLIFY!

Let us know what you think about his talk and how you’ve simplify your ingredients and process over the years.

Big thanks to the American Homebrewers Association for letting us videotape and post some of this year’s presentations. Cheers!

http://www.northernbrewer.com/connect/2 ... -the-ones/

Drew rocks. Keep it simple and let the ingredients shine.

Great talk. I kinda went that route when I started doing lagers and wanted to refine my technique and zero in my brewstand. Then it pretty much stuck. Oddly, though, in the past couple months I have made a few Browns (starting with Bucksnort for Big Brew!). So, there’s a place for it all in homebrewing.

Again, great talk by Drew - so what’s brewing this weekend? I think I’ll do a SMaSH pilsner!!

:cheers:

If one wants to “brew on the ones,” one needs simply to move to Asia. Brewing here is always like brewing with shackles. We don’t have access to the wide range of ingredients one does in the USA. By the way, Drew’s happoshu definition isn’t 100% accurate. Happoshu is simply a tax designation. There is no specific recipe for happoshu; nor is it a genre. Many have no rice. Some are completely malt free.

I don’t think the point was to “brew with shackles on”, but rather to use restraint and stick to the malts that impart the main flavor you are after. If you are making a sandwich and feel like a PB & J, just because you have a well stocked fridge adding pickles, ketchup, salsa and capers probably isn’t going to make a tasty sandwich!!

Bummer about your limited access in Asia. I assume it would be huge $$$ for shipping?

I liked the ones idea better than SMaSH. I could never bring myself to brew SMaSH because its just no fun. Brewing on the ones lets you make use of those specialty grains that fill that one big tub in the grain room.

I was guilty of making many brown beers and have only recently been curtailing my generous use of the specialty malts. I suppose this is just part of becoming more experienced.

Thanks to NB for taping and providing that to those of us not fortunate enough to make the pilgrimage.

When i stopped doing a busy grain bill, i started to make better beer. i even stopped useing crystal malt in some of my beers, to their benefit.

I was in Milwaukee for a wedding, so I stopped by NB Milwaukee and picked up some specialty grains - and some Best Malz, so rather than doing a SMaSH pilsner, I am doing a Schwarzbier with Pilsner, Blackprinz, Munich and a little Crystal - not exactly on the ones, but a lot more simplified than I would have made…which is headed in the right direction.

Thanks again, Drew, for an interesting talk.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

I like this approach and have been taking it for the last few brew sessions. I’ve managed some very lightly colored clear beers that end up accentuating one item or another. Good video btw.

While I agree with the sentiment about not brewing overly complicated recipes, I have to say I disagree with the idea Drew repeated several times about being happier with little or no choice. Remember Ford used to only offer one “choice” of paint. How long did that last? A restaurant or bar that only served Budlight would not make me happier, nor would a store that only sold one version of each product. There were two TED talks on this topic, one about the benefit of choice and why we now have so many options in the grocery aisles (Malcolm Gladwell) and one where the speaker is annoyed that he has so many choices (Parodox of Choice Barry Swartz). Watch both and make your choice between the two, but I noticed Drew’s revised DIPA didn’t really seem to adhere to his own subject. Keeping it simple is a choice I often make, but I’m thankful for all the options that are part of that choice.

-Dave

I really enjoyed the talk. I started simplifying my recipes a few months ago (I’ve only been brewing AG since Jan 31), and they have easily been my best beers. They taste cleaner and less muddled.

It took some serious self-control to do it the first time, but I have found that I love brewing with one hop. On deck: Sorachi Ace single-hop American wheat.

I won’t brew this way all the time, but it seems like a good rule of thumb.

[quote=“BAD-Brew”]While I agree with the sentiment about not brewing overly complicated recipes, I have to say I disagree with the idea Drew repeated several times about being happier with little or no choice. Remember Ford used to only offer one “choice” of paint. How long did that last? A restaurant or bar that only served Budlight would not make me happier, nor would a store that only sold one version of each product. There were two TED talks on this topic, one about the benefit of choice and why we now have so many options in the grocery aisles (Malcolm Gladwell) and one where the speaker is annoyed that he has so many choices (Parodox of Choice Barry Swartz). Watch both and make your choice between the two, but I noticed Drew’s revised DIPA didn’t really seem to adhere to his own subject. Keeping it simple is a choice I often make, but I’m thankful for all the options that are part of that choice.

-Dave[/quote]

I agree that consumer constraint might not be the total explanation for why brewing on the ones or SMaSH might be preferable. However, you also have the relationship between consumer expectations and experiences and this affects satisfaction. When you add all thoe great-sounding specialty grains you expect to find those flavors, and most often you don’t. You get what Beechum called “brown”. I’ve done this enough to know that its a fact that “muddled” is a real outcome of this kind of brewing, and it is not satisfying. In using fewer components one can find those characters, and while it may not be as complex at least they are there and that leads to satisfaction.

[quote=“BAD-Brew”]While I agree with the sentiment about not brewing overly complicated recipes, I have to say I disagree with the idea Drew repeated several times about being happier with little or no choice. Remember Ford used to only offer one “choice” of paint. How long did that last? A restaurant or bar that only served Budlight would not make me happier, nor would a store that only sold one version of each product. There were two TED talks on this topic, one about the benefit of choice and why we now have so many options in the grocery aisles (Malcolm Gladwell) and one where the speaker is annoyed that he has so many choices (Parodox of Choice Barry Swartz). Watch both and make your choice between the two, but I noticed Drew’s revised DIPA didn’t really seem to adhere to his own subject. Keeping it simple is a choice I often make, but I’m thankful for all the options that are part of that choice.

-Dave[/quote]

You cant add stuff the the expirement by choice. The point was that people that would order the steak dinner have more regrets or less happy maybe after they ordered steak and then realized they wanted lobster. Than just being offered a steak dinner.
If someone offered you lets say pliny the elder you would be happy, then if they offered you pliny and something else you may have second thoughts after your decision…etc
And it was an experiment as a whole not just one person

“Step away from the crystal.” Sounds very appealing, but do all batches then end up like Kolsch knock offs? I’ve been trying to make great tasty very clear and as yellow as possible ales. Can crystal/caramel be left out completely?

I like the talk and I like crystal. ITs funny because I have been brewing this way for some time now. At least with my APA’s and IPA’s which i brew and drink a lot of. The one thing for me that was fantastically ironic was that I watched it while drinking Firestone Walker Wookey Jack which is a Black Rye IPA and it was fantastic.

I bet it was great. I think there are many awesome beers out there with complicated grain bills & hop schedules. I think the point of the talk was that as home brewers, we drink these beers, get inspired, and throw whatever sounds good into our brew with reckless abandon. When we simplify we can learn more what each ingredient truly tastes like in our beers so we have a chance at creating a complex brew like the one you enjoyed instead of muddy water…

Right now I’m drinking my “Sterling Pilsener Ale” from a freshly tapped keg. I guess it is a SMASH beer, being only Best Malz pilsener malt and homegrown Sterling hops. A very simple, clean, and refreshing beer. Lovin’ it for summer drinking.

OTOH, there is something to be said for a complex grain bill, as long as the specialty grains are distinguishable and there for a reason. I stay far away from kitchen sink beers!

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