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  1. Default the local homebrew

    A disturbing thing happened at the local homebrew store today and it got me thinking. How much do you all listen to the "brewmasters/owners" and other fellow homebrewers at your local homebrew store? (or LHBS for Oskaar). Does anyone pay them any attention, or just take with moderation, or just plain ignore them?
    I bring this is up as I was going to pick up some goodies for my latest batches and got seriously heckled, ridiculed, and lectured at over my yeast and nutrient selections. Sadly this is the second time it has happened in that store, but unfortunately this is the only homebrew store within a long ways so I tend to end up there. The first time was a few weeks ago when I was buying yeast and stuff for my jasmine mead batch. The owner, a supposed "master brewer" according to the awards, asked what I was buying the 71B and yeast hulls for. When I told them I was using the 71B for a jasmine mead, the owner FLIPPED, big time. They proceeded to go on a 15 minute rant about how I should never ever ever use 71B for mead and that I should only use K1V or EC-1118. At the moment, I was trying hard to keep my laughter under control at the bizarre display, but it kind of stuck with me. Today, I went back to get some more yeast for my next project, and was once again heckled for my choice of yeast and nutrients for my mead. While the owner was not in attendance, the workers and several local home wine makers decided to chime in that 71B should not ever be used for mead, only for fruit wines, or dandelion wines.
    Now I have only made a few meads as some of you are aware, but as you all have posted and said 71B can make a good mead.
    But does beg the question of how much heed do you all pay to the local homebrew store and its collective voices.
    any thoughts, comments??
    somewhat miffed and wondering,

  2. Default Re: the local homebrew

    Jeez! Why does he feel so threatened is my first thought. Seriously, at some point he should just shut up and be happy to take your money you know?

    I listen to the folks at TheBrewersCoop out here, but they pretty much just do beer. They have done mead before, but they dont know too much about it.

    Which is how we got into the yeast mess we're in by using the one they suggested, the EC-1118 I think it is. (We want to do sack meads, not dry, so ...).

    You could always give them a bottle to see which could shut them up. That whole "killing them with kindness" thing.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    The OC

    Default Re: the local homebrew

    Or . . . you can suggest that he post his thoughts on what, where, how and why, here on

    I promise I'll be gentle.


    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  4. #4

    Default Re: the local homebrew


    I think I know what you've inadvertantly done -- you've walked into a private club without asking permission first. Oh, I know it seems like a retail establishment on the outside, but once you walked in, you crossed an invisible line beyond which you were expected to prostrate yourself, and beg an audience of the reigning "expert".

    Oh, yes, I've seen this before -- different situations and different people, but the same nonetheless. See, it goes something like this: the local "brewmaster", with all his plaques, trophies, and other gaudy displays of ostentation, holds the opinion that 71B is no good for mead. Maybe he read this somewhere once; maybe he had a batch go bad on him; maybe Joe Blow, whose second cousin's former roommate once worked in the Lallemand mail room, stated this with authority within his hearing. Regardless, this is his opinion, this is his store, and these are all his toadies standing around him. Each one of them will doubtlessly regurgitate this guy's stance on 71B. If you ask them where they first learned of this yeast prohibition, almost certainly it will turn out to be -- you guessed it -- the Brewmaster himself.

    So, in you come with specific wants and knowledge; first mistake -- you were supposed to crawl before the sattrap and ask him his opinion. You maintained your own opinion, even after you'd been "enlightened" as to the truth of things; second mistake -- you were supposed to see the error of your ways. You came back again and repeated both these transgressions; third mistake -- you weren't supposed to come back at all.

    It's not about the money with some people.

    My advice: stick to mail order. It's more expensive, and you have to wait a bit, but it's a heck of a lot easier on the nerves.


  5. Default Re: the local homebrew


    Sorry you must put up with such non-sense at your local supply house. My supplier ask no questions (except "Can I help you find anything?") and I offer no comment. I shall be more appreciative of his quietness from now on.

    You might consider a reply of this nature, should he "booger" you again, "Thank you for your suggestions, but I tend to experiment on my own, rather than go the paths trodden previously thus never realizing the outcome of the journey never traveled." Maybe he'll be smart enough to realize he, himself, has not taken the journey as well.

  6. #6

    Default Re: the local homebrew

    Man, I just got back from my LHBS, and I am sooo glad of his help (I'm a newbie brewer as well). He said right off the bat that he knew very little about mead, but he was interested in how mine turned out.

    My suggestion on yours is to poke him in the eye. With a pointed stick.

  7. #7

    Default Re: the pointed stick


    (With Apologies to Monty Python)

    Pointed stick? Oh, oh, oh. We want to learn how to poke out an eye with pointed sticks, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh? Fresh fruit not good enough for you eh? Well I'll tell you something my lass. When you're walking home tonight and some great homicidal maniac comes after you with a bunch of loganberries, don't come crying to me! Now, the passion fruit. When you lunge with a passion fruit...

    Nudge Nudge (sorry couldn't resist... see signature below)

    I haven't found any brew supply stores in my area, I tend to get all my equipment from internet suppliers. are all suppliers I've dealt with and all have delivered flawlessly. If you know what you're looking for It can be a real time saver, and no taxes... probably, comes out even after shipping and the typically higher markup at traditional Brick & Mortar stores.


  8. #8

    Default Re: the local homebrew

    Wrathwilde, I was hoping someone'd take that n run with it Danke.

  9. Default Re: the local homebrew

    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehog
    any thoughts, comments??
    somewhat miffed and wondering,
    Next time, just say "If I wanted your opinion, I'd have beat it out of you." Or something of that nature.

  10. #10

    Default Re: the local homebrew

    Here's a better set of replies I devised for you.

    I agree... beginners and people who want dry meads should only use K1V or EC-1118. Meads are like beers and wines, different yeasts introduce a variety of mouth feels, textures and flavors. EC-1118 is one dimensional and can impart a bitter taste. KV1 and EC-1118 will also ferment to dryness... not so good if your looking to brew a sweet mead with a lower alcohol content.


    "And all Beer should be brewed with the yeast Budweiser uses for Bud Light, since that's the most popular beer in america."


  11. #11

    Default Re: the local homebrew

    Hedgehog, take this guy with a grain of salt, but buy your supplies online. Who needs aggravation?

    You're making great mead, supported by the world's best forum - what do the opinions of Joe Shmoe over at the supply store matter? Has he ever even dreamed of a jasmine mead? His loss!

    It's like the guy who invented frosted light bulbs: it had been commonly accepted wisdom that it couldn't be done, till someone who had never heard that went ahead and did it. Wait till mead gets better known - this person will be calling you up trying to pick your brains.

    My supplier doesn't take me very seriously, because I'm a woman I suspect, but (apart from elephantinely flirting) he doesn't give me flak. If he did, my dear, I'd be taking my custom elsewhere.

    Miriam the Mead Bubeh
    Israeli Kitchen

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Default Re: the local homebrew

    Wow, I'm just stunned that anyone would treat a customer like that.

    It really makes me thankful for my own LHBS. They seem to look forward to my visits, and there is no such thing as a quick trip there for me. We always chat over the lastest and greatest in our discoveries. We've developed a wonderful relationship, and I have found them to be helpful and very interested in my meadmaking.

    Maybe your best option for shopping at your less than courteous LHBS is to make your purchases without going into much detail about what it is for. What a shame they can't be a supportive part of your hobby.

    David Baldwin
    Michigan Meadery LLC

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Default Re: the local homebrew

    I think LHBS should stand for Leeners Home Brewing Supplies (which is what I thought it meant originally) at No one needs drama when buying supplies...

    But invite him to post here... I want Oskaar to get to take a bite out of someone besides me...

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