All the homebrewing and bottling we’ve been doing recently has reminded us that ‘it’ll be fine’, ‘ah, sod it’, ‘near enough’ and other slogans of corner-cutting have no place in the process.
Should we just check that tap is off one more time? Yes! Can we remember if we cleaned and sanitised that pipe? Pretty sure we did. It’ll probably be fine. No! Do it again. How much sugar did we use for priming with the last batch? Do we really have to turn a laptop on to check the calculation? Groan. (Stop moaning — it’ll only take two minutes and it’s absolutely worth it.)
Funnily enough, the more careful we are, the more consistent and drinkable our beers have become. Who knew?
Some bad experiences with commercial beer recently suggest that the same principle is not always applied even by the pros — dodgy quality assurance, careless recipe formulation and slapdash bottling practices evidently abound (often driven by cashflow pressures rather than laziness, to be fair).
Even the big boys who pride themselves on consistency and precision have their ‘sod it’ moments, such as deciding that clear glass bottles aren’t ideal but, meh, they’ll do, if that’s what marketing wants.
Variation and inspiration are fine; sloppiness never is.