2017: Looking Both Ways
I’m not making resolutions, because the calendar shouldn’t dictate things like that, but it’s a breaking point.
Several good things happened in the past year…
- I became more interested in brewing maltier styles despite still drinking hoppy styles.
- I read Brew Like A Monk and Homebrew All-Stars. Both excellent books.
- I improved my efficiency a little. I’m still below where I want to be, though.
- I won a bronze medal. I can now call myself an award winning homebrewer! 😂
- I started into water adjustments.
- I started kegging.
- I started, and then stopped, fooling around with my system.
- I brewed my first sour.
As usual, improved efficiency. I pulled a sample of wort out of the mash tun during my prior brew day, and it was 122°F. Considering I was targeting and hitting 156°F, this is concerning. I am tempted to move to a cylindrical cooler.
I’m going to learn more. I started reading Wood & Beer just after Christmas, and then I bought Experimental Homebrewing (kindle) because I caught it when it was $2. I may also read the Brewing Elements series, particularly after reading how Cincinnati breweries work with their water.
I’m going to slightly expand the Batavia Basement Brewery. I intend to get two more Better Bottles. I’m going to get a 10 gallon kettle (and I might go ahead and get 12 or 15 just in case). I might do something to be able to control fermentation.
Not everything I do will be related to capital improvements. I’m going to brew at least two new-to-me styles (and by new-to-me, we’re talking styles I haven’t made, not styles I haven’t drank!). One will likely be a Belgian Dubbel. I’m going to make some quick-reference papers/cards to help me remember how I want to do things (like gelatin fining, kegging). I’m going to improve my kegging process.