Author Topic: Brewing calendar  (Read 980 times)

Offline Werks21

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Brewing calendar
« on: August 13, 2014, 07:05:38 PM »
Hello, This is my first post on the boards but Ive been lurking and learning for a while. It has occured to me that if you want an Octoberfest in early October you had better be thinking about it in August or July or maybe even earlier. I dont know because I havent brewed an Octoberfest. Point is though that if you want to be drinking the beer of the season year round you need to on top of things. So I decided to put together a "Brewing calendar" and am wondering if anyone else does this, or what some of your favorite seasonals are. My imediate concern is what to brew in early sept to have on tap for late fall early winter. Go wild.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 07:26:53 PM »
Christmas brews?  Fall lagers?  Winter warmers?  Pumpkin porter?
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Offline Steve in TX

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Brewing calendar
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 07:51:40 PM »
I have a list on a white board. Seems like every beer I brew gets replaced with two more.

I do put effort into having light and easy to drink beers available in the summer. Rest of the year is open season.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 08:14:11 PM »
Northern Brewer has a Google Calendar set up for this on their site somewhere. It has things like Dry Stouts for St Patty's day, Lawnmower beers for the summer, and so on.

Personally, I end up getting an idea in my head whenever and if it's still in my head when I'm getting ready for my next brewday, then I brew it. I don't generally time things out. A lot of time I'll decide on a yeast strain I want to brew with and do 2-3 beers in succession so I can keep reusing the cake. The only thing I always brew at a specific time is cider/cyser and other melomels when the fruit is in season. I didn't get to brew a Saison this summer, but if I get to it in the winter it won't really bother me.
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Offline Werks21

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2014, 09:14:27 PM »
I checked out the calendar on Northern Brewer and its kinda hectic/scattered. I think I will be starting from scratch just so I can keep it simple. The white board seems like a good idea. Still up for suggestions of peoples favorites for a given time of year though.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2014, 03:52:22 AM »
This year I decided to make a Maibock and have it ready for Cinco de Mayo. I named it Cinco de Maibock. I brewed the beer (JZ's recipe from BCS) in early Jan. it was ready on time and delicious.

However it was so darn hot here in May I never wanted to drink it. I decided it must be cold in May in Germany.
Tommy M.
Huntsville, AL

Offline majorvices

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 04:13:27 AM »
This year I decided to make a Maibock and have it ready for Cinco de Mayo. I named it Cinco de Maibock. I brewed the beer (JZ's recipe from BCS) in early Jan. it was ready on time and delicious.

However it was so darn hot here in May I never wanted to drink it. I decided it must be cold in May in Germany.

I target my Maibock to be ready by Easter (or a week before).

And yes, seasonal brewing takes careful planning. I have already brewed all my fall beers and now I'm looking forward to brewing winter seasonslas.
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 04:24:50 AM »
I tend to brew some basic beers year round - a lightish lager and ale (rotating among styles such as Helles, BoPils, American and German Pilsners for the lagers and Bitters, Milds and Scottish 60 or 70 Schillings for the ales), an amber or red ale or lager that is bit bigger (Irish Red, Vienna Lager, etc...) and then a Belgian or other specialty beer to round out my taps 4 taps at all times.  So within the foregoing, I just look to a style and make it over and over until I am satisfied with it, then move on.

I like to have a few dark beers for heading into winter and move lighter as I head into summer.  Then I brew for events by scheduling the beer accordingly - a SuperBowl lager in late November or early December,  competition beers so many weeks prior to the competition based on those dates, a Solera Flanders Red to blend with the aging batch...that kind of thing.
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Offline poobah58

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 04:27:36 AM »
I just made up an excel spreadsheet of a brewing calendar. I know what I'm brewing 2 years in advance!!
You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2014, 05:16:08 AM »
I have a spreadsheet calendar that cycles through all of my favorite styles every year.  In August/September I have listed a whole bunch of British ales like Irish Red, Nut Brown, Porter, Oatmeal Stout, and Scotch Ale.  And sure, you can make some of those for St. Patty's instead if you like, but these are great styles for winter.  Also, this is a great time for a lot of your Belgian styles, which are nice to sip on for a little something different in winter.  Finally, a plain old American Amber or a German Altbier are nice quaffing in winter.

I could mention Pumpkin Beer and Christmas Ale, but those are just too dang obvious.  I make one of those once in a great while, but there's more to life.

 :)
Dave

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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2014, 07:23:44 AM »
my brewing calendar is basically a "Competition Calendar" and a "when will I run out of Kolsch...better rebrew" calendar.

I continually have people in my club whine that they're not ready for NHC or some other major competition.  Please.  You know when it is a year in advance.  Start backing things up from that date.  Black out dates for when your fermentation chamber is going to be full and find spaces for those other batches.  Can't make that Kolsch while the Vienna is in there, but maybe go get that yeast started when you start the d-rest on the previous.  Arrange things around, get things turned in at peak freshness, and if they're going to have to sit keep them damn cold and away from O2.  No excuse for green beer in a competition.  Had a nice glass of Gold Medal Dunkel last night; brewed it over Thanksgiving weekend.

/rant

as for seasons, in the winter I use an unheated guest room loaded with carboys filled with cider and mead.  In the spring I make a big stout or two that will last through the next winter.  In summer I make saison, generally 4-5 of them.  In summer and early fall I'll also make 28B out of 3711 and storebought juice as I wait for the next crop of apples.  After that I usually make a bunch of hoppy beers to take advantage of the new hops.  Lagers and Kolsch are year round efforts in my house.

Offline kmccaf

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2014, 07:36:17 AM »
Yeah, I've gotten alot better at knowing when I will like something, and to plan around that. I think it pays off to know when you will like something. I always want to drink Dry Irish Stout in August. Not sure why, but that is when I most want it. And if I have the thing I want on tap, I will be drinking it during its peak, rather than green or past its prime.
Kyle M.

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 07:48:44 AM »
Yep, definitely pays to think ahead and budget time accordingly. I like to have a saison on tap pretty regularly, as well as assorted American ale styles. Now that I'm back to brewing lagers, I try to plan ahead to keep one in the pipeline regularly. Past that, I do like the dry stout in March, lighter styles in the hot months, high OG stuff for the cold months. Anything else is fair game sprinkled in between, usually on a whim or short notice..
Jon H.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2014, 08:23:13 AM »
Each year around November I take all of the ideas for beers I have toyed with for the past year or so and whittle them down to the list of beers I think I can brew and drink in a year. During the year I usually add a beer or two but typically I come into a year with a list of brews and buy all the ingredients I need for them. I brew a lot of small batches so I can buy in larger (and cheaper) volumes by buying it all at once. Within the list I have one annual beer I brew each December. The rest are loosely divided into hot and cold beers with some straddling the one or two patio weather months we get.

Figuring out when to brew a beer to drink it at a particular time isn't just counting days on a calendar for each step of brewing. You have to know how long beers take to become drinkable and look ahead at what beers you will want several weeks or months from now. The less you plan out the beers you want to brew the harder it will be because by the time a particular season rolls around you have forgotten to get moving on the beer and it's too late.

The good thing about the early releases of seasonal beers by commercial brewers is that you can look at the Oktoberfests and Pumpkin beers showing up in July and August and know if you want to brew one it is time to get moving on it.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Brewing calendar
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2014, 10:11:16 AM »
I don't have a brew calendar but I generally brew to the weather and what I want. This summer ive brewed things that dont have to be chilled to 45º for pitching. Also my brewing has slowed down due to heat wave and busy schedule.  So I've been doing things like Scottish Export, Pale Ale, Flanders, Lambic, etc. I made my Oktoberfest in march, but it got tapped in early summer due to a lack of patience. 

Its getting about time to think about the NHC entries though. I'll probably enter two this year and brew them in October, bottle condish, and cold store a half rack of each until time to ship.

Anyway, good luck sorting out your schedule