Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 in Brewing

Well, I think this has been a good year brewing wise; I've brewed a fair amount, and upgraded my system to include an actual mash tun (even if I am keeping my full volume BIAB brew style because it's so darn convenient)--allowing me to parti-gyle with much more ease.  I also learned a lot, tried out new techniques (step-mashing, in particular), and done new styles (sour/funk).

2-1-16; Apfel Blonde Ale.  2.25 gallons bottled.  A Belgian Blonde ale, fermented on the gross lees of a hard cider.  It came out decidedly interesting, but not great.  This was my first trial with the AW4 wine yeast in a beer.

Kala Jeera IPA.  Made with the second runnings of the above blonde, fermented with /something/ Belgian, and flavoured with kala jeera.  I actually like it, after it aged a while. 3/4 gallon.

3-11-16; Kedrigern's Brown.  A rebrew of my favourite robust porter recipe, trying to dial it in.  5.25 gallons.

4-12-16; Wizard's Wit: A lemony Belgian wheat beer, I will definitely be making this again next year.  It came out fantastic, with lemony herbal complexity, and extremely clear. 2.5 gallons bottled.

4-13-16: Gaffer's ESB.  Absolutely disgusting, and still sitting in the fermenter.  Primary issue is that I boiled the wormwood for too long--while 1gm per gallon works, it should not be boiled for more than 5 minutes.  Then it got infected with Roeslares. 3.5 gallons, not yet bottled. Dumped

4-14-16; Radagast's Oud Bruin: A high OG Flander's brown with Roeslares.  6 months later, I added 1.5 gallons of fresh wort and chaga, plus some commercial dregs with Jolly Pumpkin in them (I hope).  This was the first time I used a 4 hour boil.  About 4 gallons in fermenter, and I plan to bottle after one year.
Oud Broun, Gaffer's ESB, Wizard's Wit

5-1-16; Raspberry Sour: I was testing the use of probiotic capsules for mixed fermentation got quite sour.  While chunky, the beer is delicious.  About 1/2 gallon in bottles.

6-11-16; Rhubarb Wine:  My usual rhubarb wine, with 27lb of rhubarb and a two stage fermentation (49th state saison and cote de blanc).  5 gallons.  And 4 gallons bottled.

6-22-16; Dark Farmhouse Wheat: Decidedly interesting, and fermented with a blend of 49th State Brewery Saison yeast, and my wild capture from last year.  3/4 gallon.

6-23-16; Graveyard Gose; The second of my WoW racial line, a dark sour wheat beer with salt, coriander, wormwood, and spruce tips.  It came out rather nice, actually; complex with just enough saline, and I didn't overdo the wormwood--I may very well make it again in a larger batch.  3/4 gallon.

6-24-16; Kitchen Sink Session Ale: Ok...this was just messing around, but came out delicious.  It was a second mashing of the grains from 5 different 1 gallon batches.  Bay leaf was added at bottling, and I want to make it again. 3.5 gallons.

8-3-16; Light Cherry Cyser:  Many requests for me to make it again, so I did.  My usual recipe, and it came out delightful as normal. 4 gallons

9-2-16; Lithuanian Raspberry Cane Raw Session Ale; This was also decidedly interesting; an experiment with using raspberry canes as the mash filter.  Other than the sulfur when young, it is nicely drinkable and full bodied--I believe I will make it again.  3 gallons bottled?

9-14-16; Chocolate Orange (German) Milk Stout: Brewed alt style with German malts, very low hop rate, and chocolate.  It seems to have come out lovely, but needs more orange--should be popular. 2.9 gallons bottled. 
1 gallon of second runnings got wild cultures and lacto--should be interesting.

10-7-16; Crabapple Farmhouse Ale: A strong but light coloured beer (pils/wheat/oat) with a 5 hour boil, and 4lbs of bitter crabapples added after high krausen.  Fermented with saison yeast, my wild yeast, and whatever is on the apples. 3.5 gallons currently, but hope to brew more and top it up slightly.

10-8-16; Stirrup Cup Wheat: English styled fruited wheat beer.  Currently tart from the fruits (raspberry, highbush cranberry, and crabapple), it will need quite a bit of aging.   About 3.5 gallons currently, and a funny grey colour.

10-9-16; Rauch-n-Rye; A beechwood smoked bier with about 20% rye.  Flavour is nicely smokey, almost bacony, but I don't think it's overdone. 3.5 gallons bottled.

11-7-16; Dry Hopped Ginger Cider: Apple cider with a full pound of fresh ginger, then dry-hopped with .5 oz of East Kent Goldings.  3.5 gallons bottled.

11-17-16; Brett C "Mild": There are about four gallons, which is slowly fermenting.  It should be interesting, given the stress from a long lag.  Assuming it is drinkable...

12-7-16; Saison du Brughal: An batch of pale saison with Saison Parfait yeast...still in primary, but smells tasty.

Around 60 gallons brewed!

Hopeful Wishing:
Some of the things I am hoping to do this year include my first grape wine (a white, to be naturally carbonated); my first pLamic (for reference, this means a beer with all the production characteristics of a traditional lambic...which is a protected term)--as a fully spontaneously innoculated beer.  More mixed fermentations (sour, funky, and fully mixed) with cultured strains...and just brew more in general!  I'm also planning to focus more on sessionable brews--full flavoured beers of 1-5% (a bit higher than normal definitions, but I tend to brew in the 7-9% range, normally).


© John Frey, 2017. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material.  The recipes and other contents therein may not be used for any commercial purposes.

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