2011 was a special year for me. In July I celebrated my 40th year of brewing at home. It was also a year in which I 'changed up' or modified some procedures and methods I had been using for at least the last 20 of those years...I decided to give a try to some of the great tips and bits of info that show up on the forum (thanks Denny, Gordon, Keith, Kristen, Kai, and others).
File 2011 under "old dog, new tricks"
Due to my work taking me out of town for extended stretches of time, I only managed to do around 14 batches in 2011 and some of them are still aging, but fortunately I was not wanting for beer at any time.
The biggest development of the year for me was diving headlong into the wild world of water chemistry, thanks to a sad decline in the quality of the municipal water supply in Central NJ.
On the upside, doing so has done unexpected wonders for some of the darker brews which I was happy with before, but which I now find much more satisfying.
Although 2012 is looking to be a busier year for me professionally than last year (with at least one extended gig on the west coast at some point), I'm still looking forward to getting in at least the same number of batches as 2011; I've already gotten a head start on 2012's Xmas Ale.
And I aim to delve a bit more into lager brewing, something I'd done only very sporadically in the past.
In any case, cheers everyone, and Happy New Year!