It's February, and, as usual, several of my beers are in various stages of fermenting or conditioning. Here's what's currently in progress:
- Primary: Rye pale ale w/Centennial and Chinook hops
- Cold secondary: altbier
- Newly bottled: Belgian pale (v2) for MS Brew Movement
- Bottled but sitting for additional conditioning: Brett B Saison (probably 23 flip-top bottles)
- Bottled and ready to drink: Schwarzbier (20ish bottles)
- Festbier (probably 2-4 bottles)
- Kolsch (probably 4-6 big bottles and a small one)
- Belgian pale v1 (probably 3-5 bottles)
- Belgian tripel (4 or 5 bottles)
- Festbier (really, really tasty...maybe the best thing I've brewed)
- Science of Beer pale (good clean, hoppy pale ale)
- Belgian pale v1 (really improved with age)
- Kolsch (I'm almost always happy with that style)
- Whole hop pale ale (one of the better hoppy beers I've brewed)
- Zwickelbier (first go at decoction)
- Hefeweizen (decoction mashout)
- ESB v1 (solid)
- ESB v2 (different yeast, slightly more flavor hops...smooth and refreshing - and won the DeNeuville contest!)
- Quick German pils (kind of threw it together for 4th race, but pretty refreshing)
- Hoppy wheat ale w/citrus zest (ugh)
- Hefeweizen w/raspberry and blueberry (some bottles didn't carb, others were bombs; the OK ones were actually kind of boring tasting)
- Schwarzbier (though I think it's going to be good)
- Brett saison (super Brett-y...not much saison flavor. Interesting, not sure I hit what I intended)
- Belgian tripel (not bad, but just never really mellowed out the way I wanted...a little harsh to my taste)
- Belgian pale v2 (used 3522 to ferment...very nice at bottling time)
- Altbier (way too early! really a 2017 beer anyway)
- I kegged a beer (pale for Sci of Beer) for the first time in a couple of years. It tasted good and I liked having beer on tap, but a spigot mishap led to several quarts of beer spilling onto my rug and wood floor, so I'm not too motivated to keg again anytime soon!
- Relatedly, I acquired and then discarded a used dorm fridge--leaked condensation. I'll miss the extra lagering space, but the leaking was a bad deal.
- Quick lager fermenting (ie, fermenting cold till just over 50% of attenuation has taken place and then letting temp rise) has served me well, as has the ice-pack method of temp control.
- I continue to be inpatient with bottled beer--let those bottles condition, son!
- Brewing with friends (eg, Joel, Donnie) is fun, and so is brewing alone. I need to mix in a few more social brew days in with my solo outings.
- As usual, I ended up with more beer in the fridge than I could drink. I need to give more away and but less commercial beer!
- The sump pump/ice bath technique (thanks Jeff K!) really helps me get wort temp down to lager fermentation range.
- I still struggle with constructive criticism of my beers--I'm way too defensive and am my own greatest hindrance in becoming a better brewer!
- ESB/bitter (w/seasonal yeast - split batch between 2 yeast strains)
- Small saison (no brett...maybe use base recipe from brett one, and really ramp up finishing temp...dry is good)
- More lagers! I'd love to give a triple-decoction Czech-style pils a go, and I wouldn't mind brewing a German-style pils around the same time for side-by-side comparison. I think another festbier or a Maibock would also be great.A couple of nice lagers would be great for Italian Fest.
- Another hefeweizen...no fruit this time!
- Another witbier (for Cortney's wedding, but maybe also a trial run beforehand)
- A traditional bock