Brew Years Resolutions 2015
Going back through my brew book, the little black book full of my notes on my homebrews. 2014 was a pretty busy year. All told I did 22 brews this year, including one or two split batches. Thats cool because my goal was about two brews a month. Mission accomplished! Thumbing through the memories of brew days gone by has me thinking about the future. What do I want to do in the brew year of 2015. Now that Christmas is over and January first is right on the horizon, it's time to make my brew years resolutions. So here are a few resolutions I am far more likely to keep then that one about getting on the treadmill more often or cutting back on the red meat.
1. Brew More Lagers
I brewed my first lager here near the end of 2014. This had been a long time coming. Mainly because of the extra time this needs to ferment and the addition of keeping it cold. I have heard many horror stories about lagers, that they are finicky, tough to ferment properly, need a lot of extra care, so on and so forth insert gasps of horror here. The truth is it wasn't that much harder then an ale and my lager came out great. Not going to be scared to get some more lagers going in the new year. My wife should anticipate me beginning to dig a lagering cave any day now.
2. Explore the Diversity of Liquid Yeast
I am one of those people who doesn't have any problem using dry yeast. It's more stable, it comes with more cells, and best of all it makes great beer. If you are making mostly blazingly bitter or juicy offerings to the gods of hops, what the point in throwing in an expensive liquid yeast. Hops are the star not the clean fermenting california ale yeast. Use US-05. So why do I want to use liquid yeasts in 2015? Well a sub resolution on this one is to start brewing beers with more then just hop character. I love hops...but they're not everything (don't punch your computer those things are expensive). As I brew more and more I feel the need to try to make some more yeast driven styles, and there is no denying liquid yeast is where the variety is.
3. Re-use that Yeast
This resolution is in response to the other reason I don't use a lot of liquid yeast. It's damn expensive! A packet of dry yeast will run you about 25 kroner ($5), while a vial or smack pack of liquid yeast begins around 60-70 kroner ($12-15). The cool thing about yeast is you can wash it and re-use it. I've given this a try a few times in the past, but never been brave enough to repitch my washed yeast into a new beer. Well I am over that, as Ninkassi as my witness I will begin repitching washed yeast! No more shall billions and billions of innocent cells be doomed to a watery grave at the bottom of a floor drain. You will live to ferment another day my single celled soldiers...I swear it.
4. Re-brew favorite recipes
One of the routines it is easy for homebrewers to fall into is constantly brewing new recipes . I am guilty as charged. I went through my brew book as I said and found that of my 22 beers brewed this year, only one was a re-brew of an earlier recipe. Well they say practice makes perfect, and since some of these recipes turned out pretty good, shouldn't take much to perfect them.
5. Get some Beers Ageing
I didn't want to say "get into sour beers" here. Everyone wants to get into sour beers. I want to get into making them, he does, you do, your aunt from down south does too. I find it less clichéd to say I want to get some "long term projects" going. This includes sour beers, but also big robust dark stouts, and sticky high ABV [insert grain type here] wines. You know stuff you would be foolish to bottle in less then 6-12 months let alone drink. I love my light ales, I love turning them around quick and being able to drink something hoppy and refreshing within 4 weeks of brewing. Those ales though tend to disappear quick, I want a legacy, I want beers that get dusty in the bottles.
Those are my big ones for the coming year. Seems reasonable enough right? Far more reasonable then exercising more or eating healthier! What are some of your brew years resolutions? Leave a comment here or on my facebook page. Happy Brew Year to all my readers and subscribers out there. Cheers!