Is it allowed to ask questions on:

  • wine (eg. does red wine suits to chicken?)
  • vodka (eg. how to make herbal liqueur from vodka?)
  • beer (eg. what kind of beer is best for Beer Can Chicken - I know its not a great example)
  • etc.
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I think it might be the only way to actually find out what the majority thinks. And not just what you and I think :) –  jmoeller Jul 14 '10 at 20:56
    
Just one more thing I'd like people to think about. Out of 250 questions, how many were related to [alcoholic] beverages? How many before these discussions popped up on meta today? I know that this is far from being a reason in and of itself to close the door on a subject, but it's still important: Is this subject so near and dear to all of us, so important to the site's success that we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot if we left it out? Those advocating its inclusion: are you sure you're thinking about what's best for the site - and not what you happen to be interested in? –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 3:01
    
@Aaronaught: Given that I didn't ask any drinks questions before seeing this topic, I think I can safely say "yes". With the possible exception of questions pertaining to coffee, for which I have a huge blind spot (and yet which is clearly the least controversial of the drinks questions I've asked...) –  Shog9 Jul 15 '10 at 3:51
    
(I removed the vote-posts, as people didn't just vote yes OR no) –  jmoeller Jul 15 '10 at 8:16
    
@Aaronaught: Your implication that we should need a reason not to close an entire branch of subject matter is just backwards. If that were the default stance and mindset then we'd need a discussion on just about every topic in existence, to vet whether it's "allowed" to be on-topic. That's just plain silly. You can't just come to the table and say "Xxxx should be off topic. Explain to me why it should not be." Regarding my particular interests, not much. I don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject. I have a book on mixing drinks that I consult occasionally, that's about it. –  hobodave Jul 15 '10 at 13:36
    
My reasons for "advocating it's inclusion" stem from a fundamental dislike for arbitrary regulations decided by a minority of the community, as well as being unable to see any merit behind the hollow reasons put forth thus far for it's prohibition. Also, what does the amount of questions have to do with this discussion? Nothing. The discussion is whether or not alcoholic beverage questions are on or off-topic. The quantity of questions asked thus far is irrelevant, and a hollow argument. –  hobodave Jul 15 '10 at 13:41
    
Also I've noticed that no one has mentioned tags in this discussion (or I've missed it). I think the appropriate thing to do at this point in time is to tag alcohol related questions appropriately, and comment referencing this discussion. Only when an overwhelming majority of people have decided this debate one way or the other should we take steps to close. –  hobodave Jul 15 '10 at 13:43
    
(I did miss it) Brendan mentioned them here: meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/121/… but was downvoted. –  hobodave Jul 15 '10 at 13:48
    
@hobodave: I've already given several reasons why the subject should be excluded. I'm simply refuting one of the most common reasons I've read for why it shouldn't be - that excluding it would somehow make the site less valuable or useful or cut off an important part of our audience. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 14:12
    
Also @hobodave, I can clearly see your rationale now; it's the canonical inclusionist, everything should be allowed unless an "overwhelming majority" doesn't want it. Unfortunately, that's an exceptionally poor recipe for real-world success. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 14:14
    
@Knives: Your response confuses me. Are you saying you don't care about mixers but you do care about coffee, or vice versa? (If the latter, what is this "huge blind spot?") –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 14:15
    
@Aaronaught: Yes, you've given several good reasons why it should be in your answer below. I wasn't implying that you hadn't. In your comment above that I replied to, it seemed like you were putting forth additional invalid reasons. The reasons you give in your answer are valid, I just disagree. –  hobodave Jul 15 '10 at 14:35
    
@Aaronaught: I'm saying I'm probably biased toward including coffee because I enjoy it daily and spend a fair bit of time experimenting with different varieties and roasts, whereas I don't spend a lot of time mixing drinks. I've tried to come up with fairly broad, representational questions on various drink-related topics (alcoholic, non-alcoholic), but my actual interests may be skewing the results toward the one I actually intend to ask/answer questions in going forward. –  Shog9 Jul 15 '10 at 15:57
    
@Knives: Well, I guess it depends on the specific coffee questions. Coffee beans are a food, and roasting them is a cooking technique (like roasting nuts). On the other hand, a question about espresso makers is definitely veering toward off-topic territory, if not way over the line. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 16:34
    
To me it seems that the exclusion of alcoholic beverages has different motivations for different people. For some it might not be ok, because it is a drug, for others because it is not halal etc. On what grounds is the discussion led? I think if it is for religious dietary reasons, it might be difficult to exclude, as a lot of food is forbidden under a specific religion as well. There is not much left if you adhere to halal, kosher, hindu and ecologically motivated veganism. If it is purely, because alcohol is a drug, then this is worth discussion, however I would be against prohibition. –  Sebastian Langer Jul 15 '11 at 4:23
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10 Answers

It's rather unsettling to see a group of people eager to deem a broad set of questions as patently off-topic.

Brewing & making spirits? Sure that's off-topic, because it has nothing to do with food or cooking.

However, I've seen in a couple perfectly reasonable questions about drink making the Prohibition Posse has come in full force calling for closure.

I've grabbed 5 dead-tree cookbooks off my bookshelf and flipped through. Four of those five include either a section, or at least a few scattered cocktail recipes.

Additionally, "being simple to google", as another answer stated as a reason, has never been a valid reason to deem something off-topic in any Stack* community.


I'm wary of the motivations behind this leaning towards "banning" alcohol related questions.

If they are moral reasons, then I think you should keep your morals to yourself and not impose them on this community. (Edit: I do not currently believe that this is anyone's actual reason for wanting to ban this topic.)

If the reasons stem from being a control freak and enjoying having a little niche of this community that you can feel proud of for controlling, and giving you something to do, then I don't have anything nice to say.

If the reasons are simply an honest belief that they are probably off-topic to "Food & Cooking", then this is reasonable. I just think you're wrong for the reasons stated above. Food & Drink in most cultures throughout the ages are strongly coupled.

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+1 well said hobodave –  plor Jul 14 '10 at 19:42
    
I think that drinks are off topic. The site isn't called "Food, Drinks & Cooking" :) I think that the scope of the site would change too much if all drink-questions are allowed. I don't care what or how often people drink -- God knows, I love going to a cocktail bar. –  jmoeller Jul 14 '10 at 19:50
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Do you just mean alcoholic drinks should be off topic, or any beverage? Things like smoothies are often treated as meals in themselves, but are certainly a beverage. –  plor Jul 14 '10 at 20:34
    
I actually think I'd vote most beverage-questions as off-topic. –  jmoeller Jul 14 '10 at 20:53
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So to get recommendations on smoothies I'm going to have to go to smoothieoverflow.com? I don't see how you are making this distinction between things you ingest for nutritional value. –  plor Jul 14 '10 at 21:05
    
-1 for your blatantly inflammatory remarks. My reasons have nothing to do with "prohibition". They have to do with the fact that drinks are not food. Not to mention what I've said before - if you want alcohol-related questions then brewing/winemaking is a lot closer to actual cooking than mixing drinks. It makes no sense to claim that brewing/winemaking should be off-topic but then to turn around and say you want cocktail questions. How is that better? How does it have any more to do with food or cooking? –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 21:29
    
@Aaronaught: I'm sorry you felt personally attacked by my undirected statements. I don't claim to know your reasons, nor do I make assumptions. I listed what I thought 3 possible reasons were, and what my opinions of those reasons were. You clearly fall into the 3rd reason I suggested, so why are you so offended? Regarding the "drinks are not food", it's just silly. I am actually a seasoned brewer. I checked all the books in my brewing library, none of them include a cocktail recipe. Yet, as previously stated, most of my cookbooks include cocktail recipes. Food and drink are the same. Period. –  hobodave Jul 14 '10 at 22:13
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Alright, easy google-ability aside. I have nothing against alcohol. I still think that "what is the best recipe for _____ drink" should be off topic. I'm 100% OK with questions like "what's the best way to muddle mint" or even "what's the best way to infuse vodka?" –  kevins Jul 14 '10 at 22:30
    
@Kevin: Maybe you will choose different examples after this, but I think that nearly all three of those are subjective and should be closed. The most egregious being the drink one. That question is as patently stupid as "What is the best recipe for risotto?" –  hobodave Jul 14 '10 at 22:36
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I disagree, and think that there likely is a best way to muddle mint or infuse vodka, but at least we're not disagreeing on the same topic as before! –  kevins Jul 14 '10 at 22:45
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@hobodave: "I don't claim to know your reasons, nor do I make assumptions." That's exactly what you did when you started off with the "prohibition posse" nickname. I'm not personally offended, but I have a problem with people making arguments based on what they perceive to be the (likely) intent of the people arguing, as opposed to the actual merits of the argument. I would like to keep these debates about the important things: Mainly, whether or not they help further the mission of the site at a fundamental level and what any unintended (or intended) effects of the questions would be. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 22:51
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How I see is it that 1) Drinks are something people make in the kitchen in almost the exact same way as certain foods (take ingredients, mix, possibly add some 'flair') and 2) It's not like having a broad scope will hurt the community. StackOverflow gets a wide range of topics that I wouldn't call "programming", and no one closes questions because "math doesn't belong on a programming site". –  Brendan Long Jul 15 '10 at 0:20
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@Brendan: What are you talking about? Math questions have been closed on Stack Overflow. What topics does it get that you wouldn't call programming that don't get closed or at least spark animated disputes? Having an overly broad scope does hurt the community; it's been proven time and time again. The issue to decide is whether or not the inclusion of this topic makes the scope too broad - or too inconsistent. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 3:10
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I also agree. I've never hosted a dinner party where I didn't want to serve drinks alongside food, and I consider them one event. I think the line is drawn at recipe requests, a line shared with foods. –  Andres Jaan Tack Jul 15 '10 at 10:41
    
@Aaronaught: Prohibition Posse doesn't imply any assumptions on my part for your reasoning. It's simply a convenient label given the subject matter, plus I'm fond of alliteration. :) However, it does accurately describe what you and a handful of others have taken upon yourself to do. Which is go around voting to close alcohol related questions based solely on this (prior to yesterday) relatively inactive topic. It's not even apparent that much more than 10 or 15 people have even read this discussion. –  hobodave Jul 15 '10 at 13:31
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Questions related to food and wine, possibly other beverages, do go together. As such. I see no potential harm in asking specific questions, regarding this pairing. The problem is, what constitutes 'specific'?

Is a question such as "Can I serve red wine with fish" purely subjective?

In a similar vein "I'm making hot curry and I need a white wine to serve, which grape variety would be best?

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The more specific we make the topic of this site, the less useful it becomes. What does it matter if making beverages isn't "cooking"? Maybe we should change the theme to "food preparation" rather than "cooking" to make it more clear, but having beverage-related questions doesn't hurt the site, and banning them will just push people away.

Why not tag all beverage-related questions with beverage and let the people who hate liquids add that tag to their "Ignored Tags"?

Edit for clarity: Drink preparation is very similar to food preparation, and having both won't over-extend the scope of the site. The important part is that almost all of the people who are expert cooks also know a lot about making drinks.

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You're incorrect. The more specialized a site is, the more likely it is to attract real experts and therefore the more useful it becomes. Without focus, you have Yahoo Answers. Please don't start trotting out the "ignored tags" workaround already; it's been beaten to death already on Stack Overflow and most people have learned their lesson from that: Don't wait to decide on a topic's sanctioned status. It's not relevant whether or not people like the booze questions. Trust me, I like booze. What's important is the tone that a proliferation of such questions sets for new visitors. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 2:00
    
P.S. My -1 vote is specifically for the ignored tags bit. Your first paragraph is something I merely disagree with; however, advocating that people start ignoring tags before the site even goes live is actively harmful to the site's long-term survival. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 2:01
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@Aaronaught, most expert cooks are going to know how to make drinks. My point isn't that site should be for everything, but that 'cooking' is already a fairly narrow topic, and drink preparation is almost exactly the same. And what's wrong with ignoring tags? The exist so you can not be bothered by something you're not interested in. If someone's not interested in beverage-related questions, they should set the site to ignore them. On my first day on StackOverflow, I set 20+ ignore tags and I don't consider the site any worse because it has content I'm not interested in. –  Brendan Long Jul 16 '10 at 0:25
    
The point is that this is not the appropriate time to be ignoring tags. This is the beta period, where we need to decide as a community what should be in scope. If somebody disagrees with the community then they can decide to ignore the tags. You're falling back on the same ridiculous premise that's been debunked hundreds of times on SO/MSO, mainly that people who don't want a certain topic, don't want it because they "hate" the topic and can't stand to read about it. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love cocktails, but questions about them hinder the real mission of this site. –  Aaronut Jul 16 '10 at 2:57
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I didn't say people who don't like it hate it, I said if you're not interested in something you can ignore it. I feel like the community should define guidelines strict enough to keep the site focused, but there's no reason to be so strict that everyone agrees on topic. It's perfectly fine for there to be beverage-related questions for a subset of users who are interested even if 90% of users will never look at those questions. It doesn't hurt the scope, but I don't see how a separate "beverage perpetration" site would be more helpful than just including it here. –  Brendan Long Jul 16 '10 at 5:12
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I would answer this question "sometimes."

This question is too broad to answer definitely yes or no on. I vote to break this question down to categories that do make more sense to make individual yes/no decisions on, refactoring to generalize outside of alcoholic beverages where appropriate, and then go from there.

Here's my take at a breakdown, based on topics touched on this thread:

  1. Alcohol In Cooking Food

  2. Beverage Making and Cooking
    2.1. Brewing, fermenting drinks, and distilling (beer, wine, liquor, root beer, kombucha)
    2.2. Everything else (cocktails, soda, infusions, tea, coffee, shakes, smoothies, juice)

  3. Meal Selection and Planning
    3.1. Beverage/food pairing
    3.2. Balancing of flavors across dishes
    3.3. Dietary/nutrition planning

  4. Food Presentation
    4.1. Plating
    4.2. Garnishes

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Unfortunately the vast majority of "yea" voters seem to think that 2.1 is off-topic but 2.2 is on-topic, and don't see anything odd or contradictory about this. So even though I personally agree with your assessment, I don't think it's going to help here. –  Aaronut Jul 16 '10 at 3:09
    
@Aaronaught: I think it's difficult to tease out what people specifically think about 2.1. vs. 2.2. because the discussion on this thread is all over the map at the moment, and the votes are coming in on whole constellations of issues at once. I want people to think about what the right distinctions are to be made between these topics before tallying voltes. –  Owen S. Jul 16 '10 at 3:27
    
I'm one of the 2.1 is off-topic, 2.2 is on-topic crowd. While I'd love to see questions on 2.1, the process is more removed from food and cooking as much of the work is removed from actually eating it (I would make the same argument about cheese-making). Other than that, 3.3 is the only other I would call off-topic. –  plor Jul 16 '10 at 16:06
    
@Aaronaught, 2.1: Chefs don't generally make their own beer. 2.2: Chefs frequently do make their own drinks. The distinction should be based on the audience of the site, and the intended audience knows about one but not necessarily about the other. And I agree that this should be broken down. Trying to discuss such a huge variety of things is difficult. –  Brendan Long Jul 18 '10 at 17:02
    
@Brendan: Specious reasoning. The ratio of chefs who make their own beer to chefs who make their own cocktails is equivalent to the ratio of anyone else making their own beer to making their own cocktails. There's no reason to believe that chefs are any more "experts" on this. I could also say that most chefs listen to music but don't play an instrument. That's obviously true but not very important. –  Aaronut Jul 18 '10 at 18:14
    
@Aaronaught, perhaps it wasn't the best phrasing, I should've added something about expectations. The best I can think of "Being able to brew beer doesn't make you a better chef, but being able to make drinks/smoothies does". –  Brendan Long Jul 18 '10 at 20:23
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@Aaronaught, I think the food/drink distinction is somewhat arbitrary and not helpful, because you want to ban a category of questions not because it's not helpful for chefs, or because it's not the exact same method as cooking, but because the result is liquid. What if I want to make a jus to add to my meat? What if I just want to drink it? Now it's a beverage. Similarly, what if I want to make orange juice, carrot juice or tomato juice to add to a recipe? It's the exact same as making a drink, but I'm not drinking it. If I add "to put on my steak", does that make any beverage question ok? –  Brendan Long Jul 18 '10 at 20:27
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I think that home brewing wine or other alcoholic drinks is obviously off topic. Also generic wine-oriented questions seem off topic (e.g "California wines are better than South African wines?").

Pairing is really food and cooking oriented that can't be off topic! Of course could be a bit subjective but this is always true in food and cooking (it is not engineering!).

Some beverage preparation (e.g Iced Coffee or Bicerin) are quite on topic.

Cocktail preparation is not much on topic, but it does not add noise and having such questions could not harm at all this site.

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+1: I agree with all your points. The way you've stated your last sentence has also made me realize that this topic is probably entirely too broad. Perhaps if this topic stays inconclusive, or even is decided that it is on topic, someone could still start another discussion directly relating to the on/off-topicness of specifically cocktail preparation. I'm not sure where I'd fall there, probably lean towards on-topic. Yet, I wouldn't feel some grave atrocity had been committed if the community decided they weren't. –  hobodave Jul 15 '10 at 15:32
    
Pairing has nothing to do with cooking. Serving, maybe. Not cooking. Yes, it has to do with "food", but if the site was about food in general then we'd have crap like restaurant reviews included as part of the subject matter. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 15:35
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@Aaronaught: every chef would agree to the fact that serving is an important part of cooking. –  Lorenzo Jul 15 '10 at 15:51
    
Oh, you speak for every chef now do you? Serving is an important part of cooking? Repeating this mantra in various forms does not make it any truer. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 16:27
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@Aaronaught: it is true indeed. At cooking schools professional cooks are taught serving. –  Lorenzo Jul 16 '10 at 9:52
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@Aaronaught: I concur with Lorenzo, with the obs. that there are several elements that go into serving. I've tried to make those distinctions in my response in case we want to debate those distinctions separately. –  Owen S. Jul 20 '10 at 16:35
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I don't think brewing / distillation needs to be on-topic, although I'd love to see some examples of edge-cases if someone can think of any. Similarly, growing wheat is off-topic, while using flour isn't, and milling...?

I will be rather unhappy though, if drink-mixing questions are off-topic, especially if the ultra-subjective "pairing" questions are allowed.

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Can you elaborate on why you consider drink-mixing to be relevant to a Food & Cooking site? Questions about making specific drinks are effectively recipe-swapping (already considered off-topic), so the only remaining questions would be on things like specific gravities, mixing techniques and equipment, garnishes and so on. While these aren't actively harmful, it might be very difficult to confine the scope this way and avoid an explosion of alcohol-related questions. Surely drink mixing is even farther away from cooking than beer brewing, isn't it? –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 18:12
    
P.S. I've made a small revision to my answer. After thinking about it, I've decided to take a more definite stance against pairing questions, primarily because they are bikeshed questions by definition. I can't think of a single example that's appropriate for a Q&A site. I still think mixing is off-topic, but food/wine pairing is actually much worse. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 18:24
    
@Aaronaught: IMHO, drink-mixing is effectively the same as many other food-related questions, and should be handled equivalently: you might consider a recipe-centered question on making the canonical caesar salad (or a health-centered question on using raw eggs in the dressing) off-topic, but that shouldn't disallow questions on coddling the eggs or preparing the croutons for said salad. –  Shog9 Jul 14 '10 at 18:38
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I'm with Knives here, drink-mixing questions such as techniques are very relevant to the site. Something as simple as "Do I use sweet or dry vermouth in a martini?" does not go to recipe swapping, but is general knowledge related to food. This may not be "cooking" but it definitely is food preparation. –  plor Jul 14 '10 at 19:25
    
How is it the same? What's the bartending equivalent of coddling eggs or making croutons for a Caesar salad? –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 19:25
    
@plor: No it's not. Drinks are not food. We already have proposals in Area 51 for bartending and drink mixing. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 19:25
    
I think drink-questions should go to Area 51 as well. –  jmoeller Jul 14 '10 at 19:28
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@Aaronaught Where do questions about lemonade go then? –  plor Jul 14 '10 at 19:30
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+1: See my answer: meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/121/… –  hobodave Jul 14 '10 at 19:40
    
@Aaronaught: how about muddling mint? –  Shog9 Jul 14 '10 at 19:45
    
@plor: Huh? Lemonade questions don't belong on a cooking site either. I don't know "where" they go - somewhere else. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 21:33
    
@Knives: Still doesn't seem to have much to do with cooking, from where I stand. Food is something you can eat. Cooking is the art of preparing foods. This isn't even tangentially related, it just happens to involve a food-like ingredient. That doesn't count, in the same way that wine as an ingredient doesn't somehow make a cooking question off-topic. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 21:38
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Perhaps it's a cultural thing, but in my country just as much attention is paid to the wine used in the kitchen as served at the table. Just as much attention is given to the choice of wine for a given type of food. Basically, it's virtually impossible to consider one without the other. In my experience, if one were to take 5 decent sommeliers and ask them to pair a wine with a given type of food, the end result would be virtually unanimous. Personally, I know nothing about cocktails, so I wouldn't try to answer those questions. I would hope others do likewise regarding wine. –  Pulse Jul 15 '10 at 0:00
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This is getting out of control. I got a vote to close on a question about using a blender with a link to this discussion as a reason. Until there is a site for beverages, I see no reason to exclude them from here. Cooking shows do stuff with beverages all the time (alcoholic or not). On Iron Chef, for example, it's not uncommon for them to prepare a drink with a particular dish. I see little difference between questions on drinks and questions on knife maintenance. They are perhaps not the core of the site, but they are ancillary and have no better place at this time. –  Ryan Elkins Jul 15 '10 at 18:07
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Also, that was not an invitation to start closing questions about knives and other tools. I think in general we should adopt a policy of being as inclusive as possible, instead of exclusionary. If a fringe topic starts to dominate the site, then maybe work to help them get their own site or take other steps to bring focus back on the main topic. –  Ryan Elkins Jul 15 '10 at 18:10
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If you can consume it as part of a meal - it should be allowed in. The steps required to source, prepare, cook and clean up after should also be fair game.

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"How do I make homemade wine?" was voted off-topic on area51.

I don't think questions like that one, or like the one you posted are appropriate.

"what kind of beer is best for Beer Can Chicken" and "does red wine suits to chicken?" might be appropriate, maybe with a wiki-sticker.

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-1: The how to chill beer quickly is no more off-topic than a "how do I thaw ice cream quickly" question that was also asked –  hobodave Jul 14 '10 at 19:39
    
One is about something you eat (food) the other one is not. –  jmoeller Jul 14 '10 at 19:46
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if you thaw the icecream too quickly, you'll pretty much be stuck drinking it... Also, what about milkshakes? –  Shog9 Jul 14 '10 at 20:10
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That's a rather petty distinction. What is eating? What is food? Is food only a solid? What about soup? What about lemonade? If you want to get really nitpicky (which I assume you do based on your reply), food is simply a substance that is edible and provides positive caloric value. Mixed drinks, and heck, even 200 proof grain alcohol fit this. Alcohol is broken down into sugar and then digested as such. Engaging in a debate as to what constitutes "food" just brings everyone full circle back to "stupid". (the debate, not you) –  hobodave Jul 14 '10 at 20:16
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Drink mixing questions seem to be very easy to google, and amount essentially to a recipe request; It seems to me they should be off topic, but I'm open to arguments to the contrary.

Pairing seems like it should also be off topic, as it can be far subjective and argumentative.

Update: Let's ignore the google-ability. I still think that blatant requests for recipes are off topic.

I should clarify: I have no problem with technique or ingredient related questions.

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Despite having answered a mixed drink question, and getting some reputation as a result, I'm inclined to agree, going forward! –  Harlan Jul 14 '10 at 18:36
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I think you're missing the point. Mixed drink recipe requests are obviously off-topic, because recipe requests are off topic. But what about mixed drink questions that aren't asking for a recipe? –  Brendan Long Jul 18 '10 at 16:58
    
@ Brendan Long: I wouldn't say I'm missing the point; you and I agree that mixed-drink recipe requests are obviously off-topic, but our opinion is not universally held. This question was reopened: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/960/… As the last sentence in my answer intends to point out, I have no problem with mixed-drink questions that are not recipe-requests. –  kevins Jul 19 '10 at 19:32
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Just throwing another thought into the mix.

The consensus seems to be that Brewing is obviously not cooking. I contest this. Home brewing is generally started in the kitchen, it can involve different ingredients and methods, and is at least as related to cooking as jam making and pickling which we do seem to have questions on.

In the same way, making ice cream or lemonade is not cooking but would probably be allowed. One of which involves no solids and the other no heating up.

I would say that questions on brewing should be allowed as they involve preparing a consumable item.

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Even if brewing is cooking, I think it is too wide a topic to be included in a site about cooking, and it has its own proposal on A51. if you want to brew beer then add your voice to that proposal. –  Sam Holder Jul 22 '10 at 12:23
    
And if you want to allow questions on consumable items, should we allow questions on preparation of home medications? –  Sam Holder Jul 22 '10 at 12:25
    
@Sam Are the medications herbal/food based? Tea, spice mixes, tinctures (herbs/spices in alcohol), herbs/spices in oil, evolved in many cases because of their beneficial nutritional components. Indeed, separating taste from health is not really possible, since our very anatomy is designed to discern and extract nutrtition from food.. Was it Hippocrates who said, "Let your food be your medicine?" –  Ocaasi Aug 6 '10 at 0:21
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