Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Year in Re-brew and Brewing Goals

Looking back at my goals from 2012 I have the following:

  • Brewing a sour
  • Making a wine or mead and a cider
  • Brewing at least 60 gallons of beer
  • Brewing at least one of my very experimental beer ideas (smoked fruit beer, caraway spiced rye beer, herb beer, etc...)
  • Brewing an all grain batch
Of these goals I certainly accomplished 2: brewing a sour (the sour brown is still in secondary) and brewing an all grain batch (I in fact brewed multiple all grain batches).  I partially satisfied two goals as I brewed a cider and made a somewhat experimental beer in my peated porter, but didn't make anything too experimental and didn't make a mead or wine.  I also came up short in the number of gallons I brewed with just 10 batches at 5 gallons each, plus 1 gallon of cider.  All-in-all it was a mixed bag year for brewing with a few very good beers coming out of it and some techniques learned.  On the other hand there were some bad batches and my brew in a bag ability still lacks.  Rather than set specific one year goals for 2013 I decided to simply list some short (hopefully next few months), medium (hopefully within a year), and long (hopefully at some point) term goals.

Short Term Goals
  • Attend a brew club meeting.  I've been meaning to do this for a while and the timing has never worked out.
  • Enter a competition.  I need to have a beer I feel is competition worthy or a competition I'm not embarrassed to enter with an "okay" beer.  Hopefully one of the two will happen soon.
  • Obtain a new all grain system.  I've been disappointed with the limitations and the quality I have gotten from my brew in a bag setup and decided that I should move to a cooler system.
  • Rebrew a beer.  I am yet to have done a "rebrew" of a beer.  While I might not use the exact same ingredients I plan to remake my black saison again with a very similar recipe, hopefully with just as much success.
Medium Term Goals
  • Make a mead.  I've been wanting to make a mead for a long time and my brother beginning to make mead and wine (living in Napa Valley certainly helps with that) has made me even more intrigued.
  • Make a wine.  Again, this is something I've wanted to do for a while and just haven't gotten around to.
  • Brew a DCambic or Marylambic more appropriately. Essentially the plan is to use the wild yeasts I caught in November and brew a full beer with them.
  • Brew another sour.  When my current sour finishes I hope to brew a second one using the yeast cake, in addition to my local wild ale.
  • Host a tasting.  I've been planning this for a while but haven't figure out exactly how I would do it.  This could be a simple tasting and reviewing session or a pairing with cheese or full courses.  Regardless of how its done it would be fun to get some honest opinions on my beers and share them with friends.
Long Term Goals
  • Attend the National Homebrewers Conference and/or Great American Beer Festival.
  • Win a competition. I would like to make beer of quality high enough to at least win a category.
  • Have a blending session.  With the current sour beer I am making, and the others I plan to make in the future, it could be interesting to blend some of these together.  In addition to blending the beers on my own, it could be fun to have a few friends over to join in and make their own blend.
  • Set up a yeast lab.  This isn't something I could do now but having read other blogs and recently getting the book: Yeast, my interest has piqued.
  • Begin kegging/build a kegerator.  While I don't mind bottling it might be nice to be able to have at least some beers on tap, especially having some stouts or porters on nitro could be fun.
  • Brew a lager.  Again, something I don't currently have the capacity for but would be fun to try if and when I have my own setup where I could control temperatures.
  • Take another beer influenced trip.  Maybe a return to Belgium or actually making it to Cologne and Dusseldorf?
With these goals I don't feel the need to brew certain styles at certain times but have some idea of what I would like to do moving forward.  Hopefully 2013 will have some more great beers.