|A handy inscription on my mash tun|
- Changing from partial volume to full volume boils. This was a relatively minor change in the grand scheme of things, but it did pave the way for all-grain brewing.
- Transitioning into all-grain brewing. This is perhaps the largest and most enjoyable change. As mentioned above, in many ways it was like learning to brew all over again. New equipment, new things to worry about (or relax about).
- Improved temperature control. This change has allowed me to extend my brewing season, as well as ensure happier yeast during my previous "usual" brewing season (late fall through early spring).
- Yeast starters. Where I had been relying largely on dry yeast, I am excited to expand into some new strains in the world of liquid yeast packaging.
- Beginning the transition into kegging. As I finish out the year, I've been building a keezer setup, with anticipated "first draft" in the first week or two of the New Year.
Favorite Brews of 2014
- Bonedigger Brown Ale. This may be the first recipe I've ever designed that turned out perfect on first try. I chalk it up to dumb luck, and will definitely put this into regular rotation!
- Gondwana Pale Ale. This one took two iterations, but ended up as a nice showcase for Citra hops (my new favorite hop variety--it will be tough to hold back on overusing this one!).
- Summer Blonde Ale. This ale was my first temperature-controlled brew, and ended up as a quite drinkable warm-weather concoction. This too is going into regular rotation!
Goals for 2015
- Experiment with new ingredients--yeast, hops, and malts. I have worked a lot with "classics" such as crystal malt, basic American and British yeasts (e.g., Nottingham, various Chico strains, etc.), and Cascade hops. In the upcoming year, I would like to expand into some untouched territory.
- Perfect kegging and in-keg carbonation of my homebrew, along with small-scale bottling from the keg. I'm thinking about building a bottling gun, just for fun.
- Develop an in-house white IPA recipe. While I was traveling recently, I got a chance to try an amazing Italian white IPA (Lariano Vergött), and since then have been dreaming about devising one of my own.
- Brew and/or develop more session beer recipes. Pretty much what it says.
- Brew a lager. Now that I have good temperature control, I can start to think about lagers and pilsners. This opens up a whole new world of styles and techniques, of course.
|Summer Blonde Ale|
Homebrew Roll Call (everything I brewed in 2014)
- Peter's Irish Red Ale
- Burning Hills Cacao Stout
- Laurasia IPA
- Fake Tire Amber Ale 3.0
- Gondwana IPA
- California Vanilla Porter
- El Dorado Amber Ale
- Rodinia IPA
- Summer Blonde Ale
- Gondwana Pale Ale 1.1
- Vaalbara Session IPA
- Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Clone
- Bonedigger Brown Ale
- Andy's Pumpking Ale 1.0
- Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout