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Recap 2012: The good, the bad, the bubbles

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by inchrisin, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (445) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    It's good to have a math teacher in the club! :)
     
    kjyost likes this.
  2. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (655) Georgia Feb 12, 2012 Staff Member

    I had a good first year of brewing.. Well.. half year I guess.

    Went from no idea, to full blown all grain, big 1.100+ beers, 5 tap kegerator, and having something like 5 primarys and 1 secondary going at the same time.

    Brewed 15 gallons and bottled it all from recipes I made for my brothers wedding. Made custom labels for them, and all. It was an absolute hit at his wedding, and I was really proud of him for his special day, but really happy that people were loving my beers, going back for more, taking pictures of them, and seeking me out in the crowd to tell me they loved the beers, or talk craft beer.

    I learned alot about all grain brewing, and have a great set up going. Water profiles are the biggest help I've found in making better beer, and controlling my temps better throughout my process.

    I just bought a new house, so I'm excited to pack up my "brewery" and move it to a larger location, with more space and more stuff to grow. Planning already on my big barleywine I'm gonna barrel age to have ready in a year at my new place.
     
  3. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Savant (395) Virginia Nov 10, 2010

    Batches: 32
    Drain pours: 2
    Production: 78 gallons
    End-of-year pipeline: 13 weeks

    ---
    Recipes: 11 (1 DIPA, 5 IPAs, 2 Pale ales, 1 Wit, 1 Barleywine, 1 Fruit)
    Favorite recipe: Smuttynose 'Finest Kind' IPA
    Runner-up: PtE

    ---
    Average OG: 1.065
    Average ABV: 7.4%
    Average yield: 29

    ---
    New equipment: none

    ---
    Lessons learned:
    1) 2ndary isn't worth the time or effort unless recipe calls for fruit or bulk aging.
    2) Plastic fermentors benefit from an over-night soak in weak bleach-vinegar solution.
    3) pH stabilizer in the mash is unnecessary with non-alkaline well water.
    4) Water reports are worthy.
    5) Rye IPAs aren't all they're cracked up to be.
    6) Reading BA Homebrewing forum makes more better beer.

    ---
    Unresolved issues:
    Home brewing - obsession or addiction?
     
  4. It was an odd year for me... I've learned that I need to brew hard in the winter as I don't want to brew in the summer (due to being at the cottage rather than temp constraints - I have a basement in Canada :) ). Also, I don't drink much homebrew at the cottage as I have yet to bottle it for the cottage, that's a 2013 issue!

    I brewed a number of beers, though nothing that stretched me. I've been adjusting to a new brew kettle (15 gal) and a new burner (32 jet NG) that's been screwing with my ability to know what boil off will be and how to chill it. I've settled on a system, but it needs tweaking and I see myself eventually moving to a pump to move wort. I had a bunch of beers I loved (DIPA, Wit, Amarillo Wheat, Watermelon Wheat) but was also disappointed by some - a West Coast Bitter using Golden Promise - I think I don't know how to use GP yet, I love Furious, A HEf I waited too long to keg, a Dunkel that used old yeast and turned out tart (I turned this around with Brett though :p ) & a Brown Ale I make every year but this year it was just too thick and heavy.

    I really learned that I am not at all consistent. The Brown Ale I make every year tastes different every year. I made two watermelon wheats that were great but not the same... I need to work on this.

    2013 I hope to be the year of sours, likely bottling #1 and making a few more as I now have 3 - 5 gallon glass carboys for extended aging.
     
  5. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (315) Michigan Mar 21, 2009

    Welcome to the proper side of the Force.
     
  6. My wife learned to buy me a burner , new propane tank and new cooler for a hot liquor tank so I could move my operations outdoors. I myself learned nothing , not because I already know it all , Its just so damn hard to change my ways
     
  7. timjr2500

    timjr2500 Aficionado (160) Texas Jul 15, 2012

    I started brewing at the begining of 2012, an American Amber extract kit from NB. Last week I brewed an all-grain sour French Saison. I have brewed way more than I can drink and plans are in the works to start a microbrewery, and I couldn't be more excited.

    I learned that no matter what, its always more fun to brew with somebody else with you.

    And that you can make one hell of a mess bottling in the kitchen! I get excited with every new thing I learn and every new beer I drink. Cheers!
     

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