12

Beer.StackExchange.com recently went into public beta. It's chugging along, but there's some discussion on whether homebrew and beer really need separate boards:

https://alcohol.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/47/why-not-expand-homebrew-stackexchange-to-include-beer-stackexchange

Full disclosure, I (as both a homebrewer and a beer enthusiast) strongly against merging the two topics. Anyway, it seems like we should get homebrewing's thoughts on it.

3

I've been wondering for a while why alcohol.SE and homebrewing.SE both exist and this question provided some important historical context.

From my perspective, since both sites now cover various kinds of alcoholic beverages, I think merging homebrewing into alochol could make sense. The title "Beer, Wine, & Spirits" does not exclude homebrewing and would make some questions that have come close to being off-topic (e.g. Fruit Liqueur- Chop Fruit? or Calculating alcohol percentage after diluting with a sugar syrup) feel much more at home. I also think there is overlap in terms of evaluating alcoholic drinks, kegging equipment/processes, and product storage. Each of these apply both to homebrewed and commercial products, even if there are also setting-specific aspects.

On top of all that, both sites are ostensibly stuck in beta due to their low questions-per-day metric. Joining the sites should help with that at least a little, especially if helps encourage questions like the one above that might feel to some users like they don't really fit into either site as they stand now.

I'm curious to see if people's perspectives have changed over time, as some of the arguments I see here appear to be less relevant given the current definition of alcohol.SE.

2

I don't think there really is much overlap, and the majority of questions on the site would be closed if they were asked here. Although as a homebrewer, I've been able to answer some of the more technical questions about brewing, from the consumer's perspective.

I'd also vote against merging, since the focus of both sites are completely separate if one looks just a little deeper than the "Beer/Brewing" moniker. I give more detail here.

  • Homebrewing has also been in beta now for over three years. Perhaps expanding the charter is what it needs to garner the activity required to become a fully-fledged site? – Xander Mar 27 '14 at 23:27
  • Maybe, but B.SE seems to have slowed and has far fewer unique visitors per day than HB.SE. I don't think bolstering these two together just for the sake of numbers is the way to go. The only metric we are falling behind on is questions per day, and I think that's because of the format - factual, objective questions, of which there are a limited amount. More open questions, like "which hops pair well with Simcoe" would open up a larger stream of questions. – mdma Mar 28 '14 at 8:15
2

May be expanding homebrew.se into brewing.se would be helpful. I use StackOverflow for both my home and professional coding projects, and I would love to use (brewing)homebrew.se in a similar way but I hold back on professional brewing questions, as they seem very much off topic for a homebrew channel. For these, I use professional brewing forums on facebook, private forums and reaching out to friends in the industry privately.

Regarding beer.se vs alcohol.se vs brewing.se I could see these working well together, as a moderator I see lots of questions on this site that are about enjoyment of the homebrewed product, that people label as off-topic, but I see as a continuation of homebrewing - from grain/grape to glass.

We see questions about homebrewing, distillation, setting up a brewery, to leagl queries on selling alcohol in the US/Aus/UK to finding hop varieties native to Northern India, the remit of homebrew.se is percievied as far wider that it was initially envisaged.

I think merging beer and home brewing could work, but what about homebrewed wine?

I think merging homebrew and beer into alcohol would make more sense, and given their new definition of basically all things alcohol may make my next paragraph redundant.

To my mind what would make the most sense is dropping the 'home' section and turning it into brewing.stackexchange and attract everyone from timid first time home brewer asking "if this looks right" to 40 years experience head brewers asking for a recommendation on brewhouse designs and/or malt suppliers in the MidWestUS or Outer Mongolia.

1

I think there's probably overlap FOR NOW, but I would hazard that beer.SE would grow significantly quicker than homebrew.SE, and in the long term, homebrewing-related questions would be only a very small part of beer.SE.

I much prefer keeping a separate homebrew.SE as it lets me focus on homebrew questions without having to sort through pages about asking opinions on latest-fad-craft-beer-that-isn't-availably-here, which I really couldn't care less for.

  • 1
    Could that not be solved by filtering on a homebrew tag? I'm not necessarily suggesting this is the right answer, but it's a potential option that might benefit (or not) both communities. – Xander Mar 27 '14 at 23:29
  • That could work... but I was also point out that the homebrew SE is not merely about beer. There are also questions about brewing wine, meads, ciders, and lots of other non-beer beverages. A combined community would leave those users out in the cold to start a new SE. Probably brewing.stackexchange.com or something. – BrianV Mar 31 '14 at 17:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .