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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: gmac on March 18, 2014, 03:29:22 AM

Title: Inspire me.
Post by: gmac on March 18, 2014, 03:29:22 AM
I haven't brewed in a while.  I have a 5 tap kegerator with two beer on tap and a cider, two empty taps and nothing to put on them.

I'm in a real brewing funk.  Not sure what to make, not sure what to do next.  I want to try some new styles (see my recent Berliner Weiss post) but now doesn't seem like the right time.  This winter keeps dragging on, I got into a disagreement with my usual on-line supplier so I'm back to the one I don't like as much.  I've had a couple batches go bad recently due to a wild-yeast infection so I bought 3 (yes 3!!!) stainless conicals that I haven't used yet.  I threw my back out again so I can't really do much right now anyway and we cancelled the Movie Channels so I don't get HBO and can't watch the new Game of Thrones episodes. 

There, now I'm done venting.  I need that kick in the pants to get me back at it.  What keeps you motivated to brew?  I've got base and specialty malt sitting in the garage, lots of yeast to use and obviously fermenter room. 
Help.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: Alewyfe on March 18, 2014, 04:26:08 AM
Find a brew buddy. Someone who wants to learn, or someone who can help you and you guys can brew and split batches. Brewing with a friend is always fun and it will be easier on your back.

Close your eyes...think about the lovely smell of those mashing grains and boiling wort. You're weighing out the hops. Rub 'em in your hands and just take a deep wiff. Mmmmmmm........Beer.

You've got the winter sad syndrome and only making beer can cure you.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: ynotbrusum on March 18, 2014, 11:38:32 AM
3 conicals to fill - I would do 3 beers that are identical other than the yeast used then track the progress of each and note the differences in fermentation and flavor profile.   Or do 3different beers to fill out your taps - a light ale like a Kolsch, cream or blond; an amber, ale or lager; then a dark beer, such as a Porter, stout or Schwarzbier, if you can lager.  I would consider trying a cherry stout, since you can now dump yeast and do a secondary in the same vessel - maybe add some Brett with the tart cherry addition (whole or purée or wine base), if you want to get funky with aging the stout a bit and belgianize it.

I hope something there inspires you!  Keep on brewing- this winter is starting to end!
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: AmandaK on March 18, 2014, 12:25:25 PM
I get in brewing funks too. It happens. I just get too excited, do too much beer stuff, and then get burnt out on it. Then I get excited again and the cycle starts anew.

I think I'm on the upswing for this one. I haven't brewed in nearly a month (which is very, very long for me) but I'll be brewing on Sunday. And again on next Friday. I committed to brew for our housewarming party at the end of April, so I should really get on it.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: klickitat jim on March 18, 2014, 12:30:42 PM
I get burned out by the end of a tripple header brew day, but already planning the follo day. Got a trippl header this weekend. Rebrews just in case, for NHC.

Sent from my SCH-I915 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: udubdawg on March 18, 2014, 12:45:18 PM
I committed to brew for our housewarming party at the end of April, so I should really get on it.

No one's gonna actually go in the house.  This is where the party will be.   ;D
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ssDt_kv_saQ/Uv_aqO-lRwI/AAAAAAAALNA/Vkrr72Z-2j4/w488-h553-no/IMG_20140215_152225422.jpg)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pXOn73hMhCQ/Uv_b62NFDeI/AAAAAAAALPQ/ME3JNvCnnYY/w982-h553-no/IMG_20140215_152733865_HDR.jpg)

Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: AmandaK on March 18, 2014, 12:50:07 PM
I committed to brew for our housewarming party at the end of April, so I should really get on it.

No one's gonna actually go in the house.  This is where the party will be.   ;D

That's another project I have to start and finish before then. Having proper taps in the adjoining room to keep the drunks out of the toys. Ugh, more beer projects!  ::)



But gmac, why not brew something to help inspire spring to come a little faster? Like a Helles? Or a cream ale?
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 18, 2014, 01:02:05 PM
Why not brew something big to age into next winter? Make that last brew that feels like winter and by the time you're packaging the beer it will feel like spring.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 18, 2014, 01:05:52 PM
It is March, brew a Maerzen!
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: AmandaK on March 18, 2014, 01:13:26 PM
gmac, you've inspired me to start thinking about beer more.  8)

I think I'm going to do a couple of saisons for this housewarming party. LOVE saisons. Saisons + spring = heaven. Perhaps I'll dry hop one with Amarillo, a la Tank 7.  :) Maybe I'll zest some citrus into the other half, like from Zymurgy.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: Pinski on March 18, 2014, 02:26:07 PM
Perfect that Kolsch recipe!
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: erockrph on March 18, 2014, 03:33:20 PM
Go mix-a-six of some beers you like from various styles, preferably something you haven't had in a while. Maybe one or more of them will give you some inspiration.

Try out a new style, or one you haven't done in a while. Maybe go to the LHBS and see what seasonal yeasts they have and see if any of them inspire you.

Set a schedule. I was in a big funk a few months ago. I had brewed a few styles for the first time and none really turned out as well as I had hoped. And in the middle of all that my winter warmer (which was initially a delicious ESB) got infected from a cinnamon stick. But I have a tough schedule to work around between work and family, so I only get 1-2 potential brewdays a month. I schedule them into my calendar, and brew whatever's scheduled when the day comes. I still enjoy it; it doesn't feel like work to me, but it does keep me moving forward regardless of whether I'm in a funk or not.

If nothing is jumping out at you, then brew some solid recipes that you know you're going to want to drink once the weather gets warm. Even if it doesn't do much for you now, you will appreciate it in a few months. IPA, APA, Helles, Kolsch, Pils, etc.

Finally, it sounds like you do actually want to brew. But if you're not feeling it, there's no harm in taking a hiatus for a bit. Stick around on the boards, stay involved in the conversations, and sooner or later something will jump out at you.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: morticaixavier on March 18, 2014, 03:55:31 PM
Try to clone labatts' export!
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: weithman5 on March 18, 2014, 04:30:00 PM
i feel for you. i haven't brewed since last summer.  i keep thinking about it but just haven't gotten around to it.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: gmac on March 18, 2014, 05:13:33 PM
Try to clone labatts' export!
I will have to invent that first. :)

Thanks all. I may go for some saison tomorrow. Keep the ideas coming.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: morticaixavier on March 18, 2014, 05:29:32 PM
Try to clone labatts' export!
I will have to invent that first. :)

Thanks all. I may go for some saison tomorrow. Keep the ideas coming.

alright so take my honorary canadian card away. How 'bout molson export?

**EDIT**

Although, perhaps ironically, labatt's address is 445 Export blvd
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 18, 2014, 09:57:52 PM
When I get in a brewing funk/rut, I'll experiment, just to shake things up.

                1.  Make an APA or AIPA with some of the new crazy hop varieties. Lots of new hop aromas and
                    flavors out there now.
                2.  Add some coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, chiles, cherries, or bourbon soaked oak chips into
                     a stout or porter.
                3.  Add some grapefruit zest to a keg of Saison or IPA, then pull it when it gets to the flavor you
                     want.
                4.  Use a yeast you haven't tried with a malt you haven't tried.
                5.  Forget about styles - pick a yeast,  base malt, and specialty malt out of a hat at random 
                    and just brew it. I've done it with a couple brewer friends - it's pretty fun !
                6.  Try to clone Molson or Labatt's - nah, screw that  !!!      :D

                Brew when you're ready, man. You'll know.
                   
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: gmac on March 18, 2014, 10:11:47 PM
Try to clone labatts' export!
I will have to invent that first. :)

Thanks all. I may go for some saison tomorrow. Keep the ideas coming.

alright so take my honorary canadian card away. How 'bout molson export?

**EDIT**

Although, perhaps ironically, labatt's address is 445 Export blvd

You get a free one so you can keep your card.  One a side note, John Labatt Classic was one of my favourite beers.  All grain and supposedly reinheitsgebot approved.  But they quit selling it a few years ago :(
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on March 19, 2014, 09:33:02 PM
Hows this - Because you still draw breath, and the sun still shines, and life is good but is better with a home brew 8)!
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: morticaixavier on March 19, 2014, 09:49:33 PM
Try to clone labatts' export!
I will have to invent that first. :)

Thanks all. I may go for some saison tomorrow. Keep the ideas coming.

alright so take my honorary canadian card away. How 'bout molson export?

**EDIT**

Although, perhaps ironically, labatt's address is 445 Export blvd

You get a free one so you can keep your card.  One a side note, John Labatt Classic was one of my favourite beers.  All grain and supposedly reinheitsgebot approved.  But they quit selling it a few years ago :(

sounds like a challenge if ever there was one.
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: gmac on March 19, 2014, 11:34:17 PM
Try to clone labatts' export!
I will have to invent that first. :)

Thanks all. I may go for some saison tomorrow. Keep the ideas coming.

alright so take my honorary canadian card away. How 'bout molson export?

**EDIT**

Although, perhaps ironically, labatt's address is 445 Export blvd

You get a free one so you can keep your card.  One a side note, John Labatt Classic was one of my favourite beers.  All grain and supposedly reinheitsgebot approved.  But they quit selling it a few years ago :(

sounds like a challenge if ever there was one.
Clone a beer from memory. Hmmm....  My memory isn't that good so it should be easy.

Did I mention that the 3 fermenters I got were 22 gal brewhemoths? 
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: euge on March 20, 2014, 12:39:44 AM
Ruling out seasonal affective disorder...

You'll brew again when you're ready. Might be a bit boring for ya at the moment so perhaps a change up in routine- short boils, experimental hop schedule etc....
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: brewsumore on March 20, 2014, 01:56:47 AM
I hadn't brewed since the end of September 2013.  Busyness, and then -32F temps had kept me waiting for the right timing.  But I brewed two weekends ago - 10 gallons of a newly developed IPA recipe.  Then brewed again last weekend, teaching a friend how I do all-grain, this time 10 gallons of Denny's BVIP. 

Beyond getting more beer to drink, a chance to practice a favorite hobby, and an opportunity to help a friend, I received a few bonus points (insert sound of coins piling up):

1) used new hops combination (summit/amarillo/citra for the IPA) - pre-dryhop tasting suggests that I will enjoy the results of this experiment.
2) managed to correctly estimate brewhouse efficiency for a big beer (the BVIP).  Well, not exactly.  I exactly hit my predicted OG of 1.087 with no sugars added, although I had .75 gal extra yield in the fermenters.  This was just another bonus, since I will use my Carbonator Cap to carbonate in 1- or 2-liter soda bottles the extra beyond what fills two kegs, allowing us to evaluate the straight imperial porter, with no added vanilla and bourbon.
3) my buddy has posted photos of my system and process, and me brewing, for his Facebook friends.  Makes me happy to turn more folks on to system ideas for Cheap 'n Easy batch sparging, and to have the photos for my personal use.
4) I am making good progress in depleting my stockpile of bulk malts while they are good and fresh.

I guess it's either that you just need to start the process, to stir/renew your passion for brewing, or maybe I'm thinking there is a mental aspect, meaning it's a game of claiming the items under the plus column that only happen when you brew... not considering anything in the minus column.  Cheers!
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 20, 2014, 02:23:32 AM
How about G. Heilmans Special Export?

Dunno if they still make that. Basically old style in green bottles.


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Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: gmac on March 20, 2014, 02:26:33 AM
How about G. Heilmans Special Export?

Dunno if they still make that. Basically old style in green bottles.


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The only Hellmann's we have is mayonnaise. But I can try it. 
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: AmandaK on March 20, 2014, 01:25:47 PM
22 gallons conicals??? My God, man! I thought I had problems!  Hahaha. ;)
Title: Re: Inspire me.
Post by: gmac on March 26, 2014, 09:18:15 PM
Thanks everyone. I brewed 15 gals of Saison today. Went well and I'm hoping to brew again soon. The only glitch was the ice in my water hose so I couldn't use my immersion chiller. I just cranked the garage door open and am letting it chill naturally. Might not be perfect but its a start.
I will let it sit in the cold garage overnight and ferment tomorrow. That's often my method in the winter.

Just 80% pils, 10% wheat and 10% Munich 1. 30 IBUs from an ounce of magnum and 2 of Styrian Goldings.

I only had yeast for 10 gals so the other 5 is going to be a starter for another yeast, not ideal for making beer but I will get a big pitch for the next 15 gals.

Thanks all.