Changing the "Homebrew" forum.

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by JohnSnowNW, Apr 12, 2014.

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  1. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Zealot (565) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    For your consideration:

    It's my belief that the "Homebrew" forum would be more usable if broken down into several sub-forums. I honestly have no idea how difficult this is to implement, or how open to the idea the "Bros" are. Anyway, the above poll shows that the majority of users would be open to a "recipes" sub-group, at the very least, but there are certainly other sub-groups that would make the forum more user friendly.

    Just and idea.

    MTBrewr, FATC1TY, tobelerone and 6 others like this.
  2. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,170) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    First, sorry I didn't reply to this early.

    Just so I'm clear: What's being asked for is a sub-forum for homebrew recipes? That would be very easy to implement. What would be more difficult to implement is the idea of breaking it down into scores of styles. It could be achieved by creating prefixes, but we're talking a lot of prefixes used for a single sub-forum.

    We could also assign a moderator or two just for the homebrew forums to help keep things tidy.

    Let me know and we can make this happen.

  3. Philthe

    Philthe Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I think a few sub categories would be beneficial. Maybe recipes, techniques, fermentation would be a few good ones to start out with.
    tobelerone likes this.
  4. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia


    I think just a simple sub bar in the homebrew forum that people could add recipes too. I would also encourage that the person posting have atleast a certain post limit before they are allowed to post into the recipe forum. Would keep some of the trash out of the forum, and also allow poster to be vetted in terms of their knowledge. Otherwise the recipe section would be cluttered with junk.

    It would also be a place for us to store and post the crowd sourced BA beers we all put together.

    I don't think it needs to be broken down into a bunch of sub sections.

    Perhaps, even easy as American Styles, Belgian, Wild/Sour, so it's easy to look up and to moderate and keep it clean.
  5. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Zealot (565) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    Thanks for considering this.

    Yes, the idea was to add a sub-group for recipes, with the organization being left up to the difficulty of implementation. It would need to have some way of breaking up areas of the sub-group into different styles, but not necessarily one for every specific style, as it's just too broad to search and use efficiently without. What @FATC1TY proposed would work well.

    Thanks again!
  6. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,170) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    OK. Here's what I would need:
    • A list of "style" groupings for the prefixes.
    • 1-2 volunteers to moderate the homebrew forums.
    Once I get that we can make this happen very quickly.
  7. bulldogbrewhaus

    bulldogbrewhaus Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Virginia

    I agree with the latter part of this post, however I really disagree with restricting anyone from posting. Under this school of thought I would probably be prohibited from posting. I brew commercially for a living and homebrew every other weekend, which means I dont have alot of free time to post to this forum (unfortunately). I also think that what makes homebrewing unique is that anyone can stumble onto something great. I got where I am in life through the generosity of more experienced commercial/homebrewers willing to share with me. Not all good brewers are good posters. Cheers!
    Mikus, MTBrewr, Wanda and 1 other person like this.
  8. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,170) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    I don't plan on placing any restrictions in this new sub-forum.
  9. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    Lets keep it simple and see how it rolls:

    • American Ales
    • Belgian Ales
    • Wild/Sour & Barrel Aged
    • Lagers
    I would be happy to help moderate it, I have enough free time to do so, and get on atleast daily, but I don't care who does it. I think a cohesive section for someone to post a recipe that has been brewed, not a place to post a recipe as ask questions about what others think, thats the purpose of the main forum.
    Pahn and Mongrel like this.
  10. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    I can agree with that- I was merely pointing out a need to perhaps keep some of the junk to minimum. Obvious one recipe can be loved by some, and hated by others, and like you said, some people don't post often. Fair enough.

    I was more gearing it towards someone new coming in and posting a regurgitation recipe from a brewing sheet they got from a brewers best kit, especially without anyone knowing much about them, or their brewing style/recipe function.

    But, if someone had something really nice, and placed, or scored well on a recipe, regardless, I'd love to have access to it, regardless of their posting nature.
  11. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Devotee (490) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Where do English and German ales fit in? I think converting American ales to Pale/Amber ales and Dark ales/Stouts would be more encompassing.

    If I came up with it from scratch, I'd propose these to focus on some of the challenges that each group of beer shares.

    Roast-forward (might be fine mixed in with malt-foward)
  12. bulldogbrewhaus

    bulldogbrewhaus Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Virginia

    I can sympathize with having to sort through a bunch of junk before finding some good stuff. Perhaps it's time for you to start your own brewery FATC1TY! I really like the idea of keeping the sub forums simple and few in number. I think this is headed in a good direction. Keep up the good work guys. Cheers!
  13. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Zealot (565) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    I would just make this change:

    • American Ales
    • European Ales
    • Wild/Sour & Barrel Aged
    • Lagers
    I know Belgians are quite different from British/European ales, but if we have limited category choices, I think including them in the same category would be more encompassing.

    I'm totally down with you moderating. I don't think I've been on the site long enough, and I've also found my time restricted infant will do that.

    I don't think that's a particularly bad idea, but I think most people will probably want to search based on style/yeast choice...and that is more closely tied to region. I could be wrong.
  14. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Zealot (565) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    I would add that it would be helpful to have a standardized format for the recipes. This will make it easier to navigate, search, and use.
    FATC1TY and Pers like this.
  15. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,783) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I agree with sub forums, and would also like to see a FAQ or "getting started" sub category for new brewers! Also, I'd like to throw my hat in as a mod, I'm on here daily anyway... :rolling_eyes:
  16. Jmitchell3

    Jmitchell3 Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2013 Arizona

    so format for recipes? any ideas?

    Off the top of my head:

    Field, example:

    [Name] (bob's super stout)
    [Style] (American Stout)
    [Type] (all grain, mini-mash, extract)
    [Batch Size] (in gallons)

    [Efficiency Target] (if all grain)

    [Grain Bill] (include extract or steep grains here)

    [Hop Bill] (recommend asking for target IBU contribution for each addition OR quantity + alpha, and times)


    [Process] (any brewing notes, such as boil time, mash temps and length, etc).

    Maybe a template for Extract and one for All-Grain? Leaving some of the details in the Process box might be a bit risky.

    Possibly a good place to look for a template is Zymurgy's recipes?
  17. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    I would, but I don't want to be broke! hah!

    I think keeping it simple and seeing how it's used and works, before making the grand changes would be ideal here.
    cavedave likes this.
  18. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    Yes, there will be a standard format, as well as maybe some info for the thread titles, ie:

    "Heady Flopper" DIPA, -AG
    "Moose Knuckles" Brown Ale- Extract
  19. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    I don't see the reason to expand based on profiles of hop/malt/roast levels. I can see the whole, European and German ales, so we could simply do an American Ales, and then a European section that fills the voids of Belgian/German/Euro.

    Fruit/Spice/Smoke isn't a bad idea, but those are generally small notations of the beer. Want a Rauchbier? check the European Ale section.

    Want a fruit beer? Well, is it a sour? or is it a strawberry blonde? Check the WSW section, or the American section for a blonde ale to use and add fruit to. I think having a fruit section would also have people coming for ciders. Not sure on the stance of this site at this point of the game on wanting to host something with cider as a focal point.

    Too spread out, I think things will be thin and hard to find, at which point, doesn't serve a valid purpose.
  20. jbaker67

    jbaker67 Meyvn (1,302) Jul 1, 2012 Pennsylvania

    If you are still looking for someone to moderate the homebrew forum I would be happy to help.
  21. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Defender (634) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Would it be possible to have a 'drop down' when creating the thread that makes you select a style, could be listed by BJCP guidelines? Ie. someone posts an American IPA recipe and selects '14B American IPA' from the list. This function then would automatically pre-fix their thread title to read, '14B: Swampass IPA' and a subtitle that reads 'American IPA' when the thread is opened? Just an idea, don't know if it's possible.
    Jmitchell3 likes this.
  22. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,170) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    A prefix selector. Yes, however, see my reply regarding this. We're talking a lot of them, for a single use, which is probably a bit overkill right now.
  23. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,117) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Great idea guys. Hope it works out. I don't homebrew (yet), but for those that do, accelerating the learning curve into brewing really good output is always nice, vs. spending alot of time and money in bad experimentation batches to finally get something dialed in and tasty. The more people out there homebrewing good stuff and less bad stuff the better off we are. Power to the people!
  24. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,170) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    How's everyone feeling about @JohnSnowNW's basic breakdown, @Jmitchell3's format, and @FATC1TY's input and potentially being a mod? Any other input or nominations for mods?
  25. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (746) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    Wondering if the exact organization of the substyles might want to wait for a few more weeks until the new BJCP guidelines drop @ NHC, there might be some other organization changes to them that might help guide how they are broken up here? As far as break down at this point I like the idea of maybe:
    • American / English
    • German
    • Belgian
    • Wild / Sour / Brett
    • Historic
    Leave out the Lager/Ale differentiation. American and English brewing is much more closely related than English to German. American covers both Ales and Lagers (especially with the newish trend of IPLs). German covers both Ales and Lagers. Belgian for non-sour/funky Belgian styles (where to put a Lactic-Wit or Brett Saison would need to be banged out). Wild / Sour / Brett for any soured style: Belgian, German, American. Historic for odd recipes that really don't fit into any other styles (Sahti, George Washington's Spruce Beer, anything that Rob Pattison blows our minds with like hoppy and bitter Scottish beers or 6% ABV English Milds, etc.).
  26. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (746) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    I like the format that @Jmitchell3 proposed. I fully support @FATC1TY as a mod, he would do well. See my above post on my thoughts for the breakdown @JohnSnowNW
  27. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Devotee (490) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I agree with grouping American and English together.

    I think a lager category would be really useful though and I think people tend to have one or the other in mind when they're planning to brew. Especially for people without the fridge capacity to lager, it'd be nice to not have to sift through lager recipes.
    jbakajust1 likes this.
  28. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (746) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    Also, what are yalls thoughts on adding "Tasting Notes" to the format proposed by @Jmitchell3 , after the "Process"? Just thinking about if I were coming here looking for a recipe for a Porter with low roast, low biscuit, high chocolate, the tasting notes might drive me to choose beer 7 over the other 42, where just grains leaves some guess work on what it tastes like in the end. Thoughts?
    redmaw, FATC1TY and RichardMNixon like this.
  29. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (746) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    What about:
    • American & English Ales
    • Belgian & German Ales
    • Wild /Sour / Brett
    • Lagers & Hybrids
    • Historic
    Throw Bavarian Hefe in with Belgians as they all have very expressive yeast character with phenols and esters taking center stage. Put Lagers and Hybrids together as they all lean towards super clean fermentation and cold storage pre-consumption.
    RichardMNixon likes this.
  30. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,317) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    When we're talking about a format, is the forum product going to enforce it, or is it more of a guideline that people should follow (like I believe the Trading Forums have/had)? I would assume the latter, in which case the tasting notes could be optional (and useful). I would think replies from others trying the recipe might include said notes as well.
  31. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,170) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    It'll be up to the poster to follow the guidelines and format their post.
  32. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Zealot (565) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    I can get on board with @jbakajust1 second classification system. Really, it's up to how many categories @Todd thinks is appropriate/doable, and I haven't seen a number thrown out.

    As for the proposed recipe format, I think the style of the beer is more important than the name when we have such broad categories. To make it easily searchable, most people are going to use a specific style, or sub-style when searching. I usually search titles, so it would make since to have the specific type of beer be the first entry/title. I also feel that BJCP awarded beers should be easily distinguished, perhaps also included in the title? The recipe format should also make it clear if it is "extract" or "all-grain". Aside from that I'm good with @Jmitchell3 template.

    Forgive me if I've missed something in the way the search function works. I know you can make advanced searches, but most people are going to search by title/default and we should be making it as easy as possible to retrieve the information.
    Jmitchell3 likes this.
  33. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (746) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    I agree with @JohnSnowNW that it should be formatted with beer style/substyle as the posting title. I also agree the format should contain any awards the beer has won.
    Jmitchell3 likes this.
  34. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    I was thinking of something along those lines. People can see a posted recipe, for instance, say my Oatmeal Chocolate Porter.. Decide that they don't want to add as much oats, and add more chocolate malt. Someone who's brewed it, can put in, "I brewed this, it's really good, but I felt that the black patent was too much for me. If you are sensitive to the ashy/burnt notes, it's really nice to replace it with chocolate malt, or the carafa III that I used to tone it down.

    Obviously people will bastardize a favorite recipe, and tweak it to be their own. Adding in some variables for others to read and decide to use would be pretty useful, ala keeping it like a running thread.
  35. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,170) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    To ensure that it's approachable and useful, we definitely need to keep all of this simple.

    Before posting, the OP would be required to select a style category prefix. We can only assign one prefix per post, which would be used to narrow down the forum list view.

    Example: (all posts) (US - Mountain only)

    We can create quick links to all of the prefixes too.

    I'd be cool with:
    • American Ales
    • Belgian/French Ales
    • German Ales
    • UK Ales
    • Wild/Sour/Brett
    • Lagers
    • Hybrids
    • Historic
    Or we can extend it to the 23 core BJCP style categories: (feels dated, but I'm not opposed it)

    And I'm cool with whatever preferred formatting you come up with for titles and content.
    Jmitchell3 likes this.
  36. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (746) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    It is dated. The new one with Black IPA, American Wilds, and many others is released at NHC in June.
  37. Jmitchell3

    Jmitchell3 Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2013 Arizona

    Yeah. I'd say more of a guideline. I like the direction folks are going. :slight_smile:
  38. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,985) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Great idea, am on board with whatever breakdown is used, it will be a great benefit no matter how it is designed, or formatted, as the mods will be able to maintain consistency methinks.
  39. LakesideBrewing

    LakesideBrewing Initiate (103) Dec 1, 2013 Massachusetts

  40. epk

    epk Initiate (171) Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    I like this set. Best not to combine American with English if we don't have. The Brits certainly wouldn't like it (not to mention the use of ale and lager to being with, hehe).

    Is there a reason to use "UK" over "English" though? Is it to cover Irish and Scotch... maybe it's better (and politically correct?) to just say "English/Scotch/Irish Ales", especially since they are all categories here on BA already?
    #40 epk, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
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