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A little spoon feeding *For New & Novice Distillers

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:00 pm
by cranky
Welcome to my spoon feeding thread. This thread came about as the result of me getting tired of telling new members where to go to find everything they need to know just to get started. I have been debating posting it for many months now and finally decided to do so simply so I can say to any new members "Go read and follow this thread" and save myself a lot of effort. If others wish to do the same feel free to do so. If you feel I missed anything also feel free to add whatever you feel is necessary. Thank you, now on to the spoon feeding.
Cranky

Many new members here are often excited about signing up and are very excited about their new activity. They want to rush in and get started making something as fast, and often, as cheaply as they can. Then they come here and start asking the same questions that have been asked a few thousand times and more times than not they are told by other members that they need to do the required research and we don't spoon feed anybody. Many people have links in their signatures that refer the novice to required reading and a few other threads that get people pointed in the right direction and that is a good thing but sometimes even that falls a bit short mainly because a lot of the information these novices need is quite spread out through several areas. So I was thinking, maybe a bit of spoon feeding isn't necessarily a bad thing. That's why I decided to try to make a post that is a bit more comprehensive about pointing out where to go besides saying " Do your research" I am also trying to list the various outdated parts of the parent site that often get the novices confused or admonished.

I am not a master, nor will I ever think of myself as one. I am just an eternal novice with enough gleaned knowledge from the masters that I feel comfortable giving a bit of advice in the hopes it helps people and keeps them safe.

So to the novice,
Most people on here understand that you, as a novice are excited to get underway and want to produce something drinkable as soon as possible but the very first thing you need to do is step back, take a deep breath and realize that this is not a race or some cheap way to get drunk, If all you want is a cheap fast drunk, you are embarking in the wrong hobby, just go buy something to drink it will work out cheaper and certainly faster in the long run. This hobby takes time and effort to do things right and doing things right is what HD is all about. Now for those who actually want to learn how to do it right here is a little spoon feeding for you before you go asking the same question over and over again.

The very first thing you need to do is forget everything you may have seen on youtube videos. The information there is more likely than not just plain bad information.

You have now arrived in the right place and are ready to begin learning how to do things the right way, but you will need to do your part. There isn't a short video to show you how to do it, instead there is a whole lot of reading ahead of you. This post is only the beginning but it should be enough to help you find the basics.

The very first place to start your journey is by reading "the rules we live by", you will find a link to them at the top of every page or click this link.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =35&t=5090


Once you have read everything there move on to "forum rules, notifications and helpful hints". You will find much needed information there.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=35


Then you can move on to what is considered mandatory reading before proceeding any farther, which is the "New distillers reading lounge" you need to read everything here before proceeding further even what you don't think you need to know.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=46

Then move on to the "Novice distillers" section
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=15
Here you will find many things you need to know even though some of it may be a bit redundant from the new distillers reading lounge. You should begin by reading all the stickies (they have that weird little light bulb looking thing next to them) but I would especially recommend reading

"the new-distiller's mini-FAQ
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =15&t=5166

"basic distillation 101"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =15&t=6243

"What still to build or buy"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 15&t=14972
Although if you are in the U.S. I personally would advise against buying since the still manufacturers will give your info directly to the TTB, but you already know that if you read the "Letter from brewhause" thread in the "forum rules, notifications and helpful hints" section.

"Distilling advice"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =15&t=6857

"novice guide for cuts"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 15&t=11640

and
"advice for newbies, by a newbie"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 15&t=19630


Now that you have read all those, move on to the "Safety and related issues" section
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=33

Beginning with this thread titled (what else) "Safety"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =33&t=4282

Then move on to "Mistakes" So you don't make the same ones others have.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =33&t=5200

If you use a keg with an external burner it is important to read this one titled "If you use a keg you need to read this"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 33&t=50513

and if you take pictures with your phone this is important too
"geo-tagging please read"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 33&t=26915

Now on to "basic safety"
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 33&t=11187

Then last for this section "Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?
(Spoiler alert) never use glass in a hot section of a still.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 33&t=13723
there are many more discussions in all of these sections, so plan on spending plenty of time in them

The next section to go to is "What not to use" Just read everything here.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=89

Now another thing I would like to mention is something I don't recall in those links above but I feel is necessary to know and that is about Blue distillate which more than likely the novice running copper will see at some point. A good place to learn about blue distillate is here
http://ww.homedistiller.org/forum/viewt ... 33&t=16667" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
and here
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 16&t=19850
Basically there might be what looks like a slight blue cloudy tinge to tails but in any other circumstance blue distillate is very bad. Read everything in those two threads and you will understand.

Guess you can understand now why people often advise "Read until your eyes bleed". Are your eyes bleeding yet? I think mine are from writing this. Once they are you may still have some questions but now they probably haven't been asked a million times, but before you ask you have one more bit of research to do and that is the HD Google search located at the top of every page. To use the HD Google search simply click the link then without changing anything already in the search window type in your search and you will probably find the answer to your questions. You should only ask a question after doing all of the above if you don't want to just be told "do your research".

Now that you have read all the information in all those links and made a trip to the eye doctor to get some eye drops or new glasses you are now ready to begin on the path of distilling. Now go have fun, be safe and make everybody on this site proud.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:12 pm
by jedneck
:clap: :clap: :clap: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:21 pm
by corene1
Outstanding! :thumbup: I am keeping this handy!

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:22 pm
by T-Pee
Well done, cranky!!
Made that a part of my user signature. :)

tp

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:38 pm
by cranky
Thank you, it actually took several months to write that, I'm glad you like it.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:23 pm
by frozenthunderbolt
Sticky it and make it a screen in the sign up process!

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:29 am
by moosemilk
Been waiting to see your final draft, cranky. Well written!
:clap:

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:29 am
by still_stirrin
Dude...outstanding! 100 x props 2 U.

Sticky yet?
ss

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:51 am
by thatguy1313
:clap: :thumbup: :clap: :thumbup: :clap: :thumbup:

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:11 am
by cranky
I'm glad everybody likes it and hope it helps make things a little easier for everyone on this site. I know it will make it a little easier for me.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:33 am
by sltm1
Very, very well done !! There ought to be a way to make this mandatory reading for the 1st time poster. Not necessarily to make them read all the threads (which they should over time), but to enlighten them about the seriousness and complexity of the hobby they're about to dive into, it'd keep fence sitters on the fence, and "true believers" a real good eye opening start. Again cranky, BRAVO!!

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:46 am
by bearriver
I will be using this to reference the new members who "aren't getting it".

Good show!

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:51 am
by T-Pee
"Sticky status" requested. :thumbup:

tp

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:04 am
by bearriver
Goodin' TP :thumbup: This thread is desperately needed. Maybe a cleaned up and locked version is in order, before it gets out of hand...? This version could then remain unstickied and open so we can banter about including or excluding information. Just an idea... :idea:

I have a feeling some of our newest members are going to get quite pissed off after being told where to go (here) and how fast to get there.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:09 am
by ShineRunnah
That is awesome. Nice work!

If anyone gets upset because they're expected to have a certain level of knowledge before posting a stream of rookie questions (over and over and over...), so be it. If they can't accept that it's expected they put in a degree of effort before being spoon-fed info, this may not be the place for them. I can't imagine this being worse than having someone like Rad read you the riot act (Love Rad's posts!).

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:19 am
by sltm1
TP, bein as how I'm "Computerly Challenged", what did I get wrong? I hit the "!" triangle button and got "This post has already been reported"?

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:19 am
by T-Pee
ShineRunnah wrote:If anyone gets upset because they're expected to have a certain level of knowledge before posting a stream of rookie questions (over and over and over...), so be it. If they can't accept that it's expected they put in a degree of effort before being spoon-fed info, this may not be the place for them. I can't imagine this being worse than having someone like Rad read you the riot act (Love Rad's posts!).
As our Aussie buddies say, "Struth!"

tp

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:21 am
by MichiganCornhusker
Excellent work, cranky! This type of coherent collection of direction to key threads for information is extremely helpful, thank you for your time and efforts putting this together! :thumbup: :thumbup:

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:22 am
by S-Cackalacky
T-Pee wrote:"Sticky status" requested. I urge others to join me in doing so. Just hit the little triangle top right in the OP. :thumbup:

tp
Got my support. I'll be trimming down all those links in my signature to just this one. Great job Cranky.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:24 am
by S-Cackalacky
sltm1 wrote:TP, bein as how I'm "Computerly Challenged", what did I get wrong? I hit the "!" triangle button and got "This post has already been reported"?
No need to do it again. The "report" TP did will be seen by all the Admins.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:24 am
by T-Pee
I already trimmed my links but left "The Rules" as a standalone because they are important enough that they don't get lost in the other reading.
sltm1 wrote:TP, bein as how I'm "Computerly Challenged", what did I get wrong? I hit the "!" triangle button and got "This post has already been reported"?
S-Cackalacky wrote:No need to do it again. The "report" TP did will be seen by all the Admins.
I also edited my above "call to action" so the Admins don't get showered with requests. :angel:

tp (who finally got the edit right)

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:26 am
by sltm1
Thanx, S-Cackalacky.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:49 am
by cranky
I have posted condensed versions of this a couple times to new members and was PMd by one or 2 more that I actually sent this version and had very positive results. I don't think anybody will actually take offense to being told to come here and follow these directions. I do know that some have found it a bit frustrating trying to find all the information when they were told "do your research" especially when their first language isn't English. I like bearrivers idea of a locked thread and an open one to allow discussions about it without cluttering the original up and maybe allow the locked one to be edited as ideas work out.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:52 am
by T-Pee
I think it has a pretty good chance of just that.

tp (prescient)

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:08 am
by Jimbo
T-Pee wrote:Well done, cranky!!
Made that a part of my user signature. :)

tp
Excellent work Cranky, I added it to my signature as well. Thanks for taking the time to assemble that!

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:41 am
by cranky
Jimbo wrote:
T-Pee wrote:Well done, cranky!!
Made that a part of my user signature. :)

tp
Excellent work Cranky, I added it to my signature as well. Thanks for taking the time to assemble that!
Thank you. I like how you titled it in your signature, maybe that would have been a good title for the thread. :D

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:55 pm
by bearriver
S-Cackalacky wrote:I'll be trimming down all those links in my signature to just this one. Great job Cranky.
Wonderful idea. I will do the same.

Again, great job Cranky! :clap:

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:58 pm
by S-Cackalacky
bearriver wrote:
S-Cackalacky wrote:I'll be trimming down all those links in my signature to just this one. Great job Cranky.
Wonderful idea. I will do the same.

Again, great job Cranky! :clap:
OK, so like T-Pee, I added the "Rules we live by" link back into mine. Otherwise all the posts I've made to new members about reading the "links" in my signature would make little sense. So, I added it back in just to be grammatically correct - like that means shit around here.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:03 pm
by woodshed
I was going to suggest How to keep the Sharks Away as a title but I really prefer Jimbo's.
Great job cranky. Contribution of the year IMO.

Re: A little spoon feeding

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:33 pm
by HDNB
really nice compilation. definitely a sticky vote for the novice section. Thanks for the effort Cranky!