Author Topic: 2011--> 2012  (Read 3221 times)

Offline cheba420

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2011--> 2012
« on: December 29, 2011, 07:31:29 AM »
We're at the end of another year and its time to size it up.
In 2011 I brewed more beer than I ever have before. With this coming saturday's brew session, I'll have 20 batches for the year. I set a goal at the end of last year to brew every 3 weeks so I'm happy with my results. All of the additional brewing has really helped to improve my process and I'm making better beer as a result. A few firsts this year:

Made the jump to 10 G batches.
Took an all grain class at the LHBS
I got to use my homegrown hops in a recipe. (ok, so there was only .25 ounces, but I grew 'em dammit!)
Brewed my first session beer.
Began using gelatin to clear certain beers.
Formulated my first recipe. Vanilla Porter. (its awesome, by the way)
Began using starters religiously.
Began harvesting yeast, rinsing it and reusing it.
Had a Mic Ultra drinker fall in love with my Amber Ale!  Poor bastard didnt see it coming! :)

For 2012 I plan to keep my same pace at 20 batches per year but will increase volume as more and more of those brews will be 10G batches. I also want to join my local home brew club and enter a beer or two into a competition for objective feedback. Ultimately, I just want to keep improving my craft. I'm going to branch out a little this coming year and brew some new styles like Saisons, Double IPA's, Kolsh and Cream ale.

So, What did you do this year? Whats the plan for next year?

Cheers!

Matt
Mesa, AZ.
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On Tap: Vanilla Porter, Belgian Blonde, Saison, Black IPA, Punkin Porter
Primary: Pale 31 Clone, Raspberry Cider
Secondary: Vanilla Porter
Conditioning: Brett IPA
Bottles:Mosaic Wheat
On Deck: Flanders Red, Berliner weisse, Punkin Saison, Saison Brett

Offline tygo

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 08:02:36 AM »
I brewed 20 batches this year for a total of just over 100 gallons.  Pretty much my standard annual volume.  All beer but I may still squeeze in my first batch of mead in the next few days.

For this year my goal was to dial in some recipes that I had been working on by rebrewing them a bunch of times:

CAP - I think I've got this one locked in.  Tastes good to me and I don't know what I'd change.  We'll see how it does in the NHC.
ESB - Pretty much there on this one.  Minor tweaking.
BoPils - Close but still working on this one.
Belgian Golden Ale - This one still needs some work to get it where I want.

Also this year I got my kegging rig setup and running smoothly.

For next year I want to continue working on those four beers, and also a Dark Strong Ale I've brewed a few times now.  I'm planning on entering a lot more competitions this year to get feedback on my brews and work on some process improvements to my system.  Nothing drastic, just tweaks here and there.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 08:19:58 AM »
2011 - I started homebrewing in October!  I made my first batch, an IPA extract kit made by my LHBS and it turned out great.  I even added a dry hop step w/ Cascade that wasn't in the recipe.  I also brewed an extract Hefe, which was put together by my LHBS, and it turned out well also.  My fermentation temp was higher than I wanted on the first day, but my wife liked it and that's all that counted since I brewed it for her (even though I ended up drinking most of it).  

Became a member of the AHA!

Purchased two used ball lock cornys for $10 each off CL and put together my kegging system with an extra fridge we had in the garage.  I helped a friend bottle his brew once and that was enough for me, so I have kegged all my brews so far.

After the Hefe, I bought a Rubbermaid (blue!) 48 qt. rectangular cooler off CL for $5 and turned into a mash tun.  I brewed my first all-grain early Dec. which was a 3 gallon batch of a Breckenridge Christmas Ale clone.  It's been fermenting for almost two weeks now, it looks good but the jury is still out on that one.  

Also purchased a keg shell which i turned into a brew kettle.

Saturday, on the last day of the year, I'm going to brew an APA and it's a simple recipe that I put together myself...which means I'm going to have to name it.  It just consists of Pale and Crystal 60 with Simcoe and Cascade Hops w/ dry hop of Cascade.

2012 - Looking to find a small cheap fridge/freezer to convert to a temp control fermentation chamber.  Not sure if I'll jump into lagers, but this should help control ferm. temps and help improve my beer.

Will join a brew club here in Denver/ Castle Rock area.

Get a burner to complete my all grain set up, which will allow me to do 5 gallon batches.  Although, the three gallon batches that I currently do on my stove, will allow me to brew more and experiment more with different types of ales.

And the last item, get more of my friends into brewing!  Happy Holidays everyone and cheers to the New Year!

« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 08:23:16 AM by thebigbaker »
Jeremy Baker

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Offline duboman

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 08:53:07 AM »
This was a great year! I actually started brewing my own beer after talking about doing it for years! To date I have brewed a tad over 100 gallons of various styles. I began the year in April with various extract recipe kits and quickly moved to all grain.

After starting with the basic bucket set ups I quickly upgraded all of my equipment, started tweaking some proven recipes and am now fully creating my own scratch recipes with the help of Beersmith! The year is not over yet and have a session planned for the last day of the year since it's going to be 50 degrees here in Chicago.

For 2012 I am beginning to look into increasing my batch sizes, upgrading equipment accordingly and refining my recipe selections to create a more consistent flow of my favorite beers. I am also hoping to be able to adjust my work schedule so that I may be able to attend my first GABF!

I am now an official AHA member and am entering my first sanctioned competition this week to get some real feedback on two of my recipes so I may continue to hone my craft and improve my product. Thank you to all the people that participate in this forum, your knowledge, guidance and patience has been the most valuable resource!

Happy and Healthy New Year to all!
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Online theDarkSide

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 09:04:20 AM »
In 2011, I brewed 9 batches ( last batch coming on Saturday...just under the wire ), for a total of approximately 45 gallons.  I also earned my first medal (a gold ) ever in the New England Regional Homebrew competition with an American Pale Ale ( actually the "medal" was made of wood :) ).  This was also the year I started really playing around with my water and additions.

For 2012, I plan to do a lot of lagers ( already have 4 planned with ingredients ready to go ).  It will also be my first time attending the National Homebrewers Conference in June ( as well as the Brewing Network Anniversary party -  woohoo!! )
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Stephen M.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 09:11:07 AM »
Good topic.  I always like these threads.  It's cool to see how much we learn/progress each year.

In 2011, I brewed 28 5-gallon batches of beer, a cider, and a semi-sweet mead.  Overall, a solid year as far as production.  My brewing goals were: (1) to try decoction mashing; (2) to explore more German styles (which have steadily become my favorite styles); (3) to learn more about water/mash chemistry; and (4) to enter a competition.  I achieved the first three goals; I still haven't entered a competition.

In 2012, my goals are: (1) to perfect my favorite styles (this is a lofty goal -- I may only focus on 2-3 of my favorite styles); (2) to incorporate what I learned this past year about water/mash chemistry and decoction mashing into my recipes; (3) to enter a competition; and (4) to update Pint of Law more frequently!

Cheers and happy brew year everyone!
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Offline tom

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 10:19:30 AM »
2011 - I started homebrewing in October!  I made my first batch, an IPA extract kit made by my LHBS and it turned out great.  I even added a dry hop step w/ Cascade that wasn't in the recipe.  I also brewed an extract Hefe, which was put together by my LHBS, and it turned out well also.  My fermentation temp was higher than I wanted on the first day, but my wife liked it and that's all that counted since I brewed it for her (even though I ended up drinking most of it).  

Became a member of the AHA!

Purchased two used ball lock cornys for $10 each off CL and put together my kegging system with an extra fridge we had in the garage.  I helped a friend bottle his brew once and that was enough for me, so I have kegged all my brews so far.

After the Hefe, I bought a Rubbermaid (blue!) 48 qt. rectangular cooler off CL for $5 and turned into a mash tun.  I brewed my first all-grain early Dec. which was a 3 gallon batch of a Breckenridge Christmas Ale clone.  It's been fermenting for almost two weeks now, it looks good but the jury is still out on that one.  

Also purchased a keg shell which i turned into a brew kettle.

Saturday, on the last day of the year, I'm going to brew an APA and it's a simple recipe that I put together myself...which means I'm going to have to name it.  It just consists of Pale and Crystal 60 with Simcoe and Cascade Hops w/ dry hop of Cascade.

2012 - Looking to find a small cheap fridge/freezer to convert to a temp control fermentation chamber.  Not sure if I'll jump into lagers, but this should help control ferm. temps and help improve my beer.

Will join a brew club here in Denver/ Castle Rock area.

Get a burner to complete my all grain set up, which will allow me to do 5 gallon batches.  Although, the three gallon batches that I currently do on my stove, will allow me to brew more and experiment more with different types of ales.

And the last item, get more of my friends into brewing!  Happy Holidays everyone and cheers to the New Year!

Wow!  The Foam On The Range is having our January meeting next Wednesday if you don't have anything better to do www.foamontherange.org .  Great way to start off 012.

There is also a club in Castle Rock, the Rockhooppers, but we're much better  ;)  .

2011 was fun for me.  Brewed 2 batches at brewpubs.  Never did that before. 

But we moved in October and I haven't brewed since.  Lots more in 012.

Cheers,
Tom
Brew on

Online micsager

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2011, 10:34:49 AM »
For the past three years, I have brewed one gallon less than the legal limit.    LOL

Best thing I ever did is convert a chest freezer into a fermentation chamber.  It will hold eight buckets of liquid goodness.

Offline WDE97

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 11:19:33 AM »
2011 was a big year for me as a brewer.  At the end of 2010 I decided to get more serious about brewing and started by reading several of the great brewing books to improve my knowledge.  Armed with a newfound passion and a much better understanding of brewing art and science, I took the leap to all grain after 14 years of extract brewing. I haven't looked back or slowed down:

Brewed 20+ batches
Built my own 3-tier system with 10-gal igloo drink coolers; also have 5-gal ones for small test batches.
Built a 5-tap kegerator and keg most of my beer now.
Tried new styles including Dunkelweizen, Octoberfest, Porter, Belgian Wit.
Utilized new techniques including step and decoction mashing, brewing lagers, using yeast starters for all batches, dry hopping.
Tried to enter National Homebrew Contest to get some feedback, but my beers disappeared at a UPS facility.
Joined a newly formed homebrew club and have regulary hosted meetings.
Routinely support my local brewpub!
Brewed an apple cider for the first time. Very tasty.

What's up for 2012? More learning and brewing!
I have been learning about water chemistry and will start modifying my water and controlling my pH.
Enter National Homebrew Competition again.
Attend NHC in Seattle and participate in club night.
Plan to brew more lagers (just picked up a used fridge for lagering).
Start brewing sour beers.
Get married in September!! My fiance loves my beer and wantes to learn to brew with me!
Volunteer time at local brewpub to learn about commercial brewing and just to help out some great guys.
Brew a beer that all the Keystone Light drinkers in my Monday Night Football group will drink, though this may not be possible. ;D


Happy new year everyone!!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 11:33:41 AM by WDE97 »
Robert H.

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On tap: Oak Aged Bourbon Stout, Flander's Red, IPA, Belgian Pale, Northern English Brown Ale.

Fermenting: Flander's Red, RIS.

Aging: 4 Flander's Red Ales, Belgian Dark Strong, RIS.

Offline euge

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 11:21:57 AM »
In 2011 I maybe brewed 15 batches- some of them small so doubt I hit my limit. I even ran out of beer on occasion. But it has been an important year equipment-wise.

Highlights for equipment were:

Moved back from the garage into the kitchen and halved my batch-size.
Installed a Blichmann Thrumometer on my largest brew-kettle. A truly useful item that I can't do without now.
Started using the March-pump to recirculate the wort for faster cooling rates.
Bought a chest freezer and controller- probably the best purchase of 2011!

Brewing highlights:

Brewed a lot of Kolsch.
Bought a case of Kolsch glasses.
Due to the freezer my beer improved.
Started keg-hopping my bitters.
Multiple IPA batches with just a 30 minute high alpha hop addition to 50 IBU.

Also after four years my brewing philosophy is starting to manifest itself. So for 2012 I will work on that. There may be some small equipment adjustments.

I also hope to start experimenting with Czech Pils and Steam-beer. I expect challenges with the pils. ;) Plus, will be extensively researching kits to help further debunk the myth that they make poor-quality beer.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline ibru

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 11:26:09 AM »
Some of you guys have been busy!!

2011 was my year to get back into brewing. After years of brewing 3-4 batches the past serveral years, I brewed about 10- 10 gallon and 2- 5 gallon batches in 2011.

The biggest change was the construction of my shop (40' X 60") with about 1/4 of it dedicated to brewing. I love it! I have a floor drain, 3 bay sink with hot water, and everthing is within a few steps. It really makes brew day a lot easier.

I started batch sparging and really like the time savings and the results.

I'm almost done with my 4 tap kegerator (actually it's a converted chest freezer). I called it a Keezer to my wife who said, "Oh the Geezer's Keezer." So I don't call it that anymore.

I started using a conical fermenter. I enjoy the ability to easily harvest yeast and dump the bad stuff.

2012- I plan on some upgrades to my system, finishing the kegerator, and some more work on my shop to make it more useable and better organized.

Beers to all in 2012!!!

Bruce

Offline punatic

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 11:45:09 AM »
My brewing has taken me in new directions.  I only brewed a few batches of beer this year.  My bees have brought me honey for 22 batches of mead,  but my main focus has been on a type of "brewing" that we are not allowed to discuss here.

For 2012 I resolve to be more like I am now than I was before.
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline madscientist

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2011, 12:06:01 PM »
In 2011 I made the jump from extract to partial mash... my apartmet prohibits me from going to all grain and full boils, but I think after doing several PM batches I have the process dialed in.  Of course, in 2012 I will continue to tweak and refine my procedures. 

In 2012 the overall goal is to keep brewing beer people enjoy drinking.  While I love brewing beer for myself, it really makes me feel good when I get good feedback from others, especially those who haven't been exposed to homebrew or craft beer in general (the diehard BMC crowd).  I really enjoy it when they ask me about making beer and I get to educate them about the process. 

In 2012 I would like to dial in on a few recipes and really make them the best beers possible.   

Above all in 2012 I want to continue to educate myself about all things brewing and beer related, ask questions, and experiment!
Homebrewed since 2010

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2011, 12:28:00 PM »
2011 was my year to start judging homebrew contests.  Passed the test late in 2010, judged five contests and met some great people in the process.  I also won a few medals, all seconds but I'm happy about that.

Brewed a boatload of beer and brewed my first decent lagers, that is a personal victory.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline hokerer

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Re: 2011--> 2012
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2011, 01:18:13 PM »
Got into weizens this year which is a style I had never messed with before.  Also, just sneaking in another style I've never tried by brewing a 1.100 imperial stout this coming Saturday
Joe