Ramble On

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Home Brewery is Getting Out of Hand

My brew kitchen in the laundry room.  Such as it is.
Mary's been very tolerant of this brewing adventure.  She doesn't mind when I disappear for half a day when I go visit Dan's brew kitchen up the hill from Hawksbill Cabin.  She's gone so far as to buy me recipe books, or order gifts right from the Northern Brewer website.  And she doesn't mind that I have taken over half of the laundry room with equipment and supplies.

I should note that the beer shown in the photo is not all my product - only about half of what is on the counter there is beer, the rest are cleaned empties waiting for refills.  About half of the remainder is home brew, with the others there gifts from friends or neighbors or my own stash (I have hoarded a four-pack of Sierra's Hoptimum, for example).  There are also four cases of home brew bottle conditioning there on the floor below (along with four cases of new bottles).

For the first time since I started this hobby two years ago I have a brew calendar that stretches out to May - mostly still brewing extract kits, although I have begun piecing together my own recipes.  Here's what I have planned through May:

  • Super Saison - this is the Northern Brewer Saison de Noel, however, I am late for a holiday release and instead plan to release this in time for Super Bowl.
  • Honey Porter #4 - my fourth attempt at Honey Porter, this is the one I posted about yesterday.
  • Nut Brown Ale - I have been waiting for winter to brew this one, and it is next on my list.
  • Cascade IPA - I plan to brew a single-hopped IPA using Cascade hops.  Three ounces came from fellow brewer Bill out in Luray, grown in his backyard.  I'll dry-hop with an ounce of Willamette Cascade hops that Dan gave me.
  • Petit Honey Saison - Another variation on a Northern Brewer kit.
  • Honey Lavender Kolsch - I made this with the lavender tincture last year and it was very popular.  I'll brew it for an early May release this year.
  • Couer de Saison - this promises to be a light saison for June release.  It's a flyer for sure, as the kit includes the makings of a basic saison with grape juice added, to lighten it up and make it a beer-wine combo.  Skeptics get in line behind me.
Since this is getting out of hand, maybe it is time to think about moving on to all grain brewing.  That means I'll need to do most of the work outside on brew days, which is okay, but it also means I'll need more room, like the entire laundry room.  Mary and I talked about it, she wants a remodel.

Accompanying that move to all grain brewing will be an aggressive move to making my own recipes.  To help with that transition, I asked Mary to get me a book called Designing Great Beers (Amazon link below), to assist in the analysis and estimation of how ingredients will work together.  After the spring and summer brew calendar above is under my belt, I'll be ready for this next step.

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