Saturday, January 9, 2010

Plans for the upcoming year

Well, with the New Year revelries over, I thought I might spend a minute or two to come up with my brewing goals for the upcoming year. I don't think I'll do anything really "crazy," like I did two years ago--using odd ingredients, making some extreme-ish beers... No, I believe this year will be a bit more tame, as such things go. Here's a quick list, in no particular order:

1) I'm already planning my first few Brew Days. 23 January is the first one; I'm not certain when I'll be brewing in February, and March may or may not be a wash this year. If it is, I'll certainly try to get a second day in either in February or (more likely) April.
2) I've got a few equipment projects lined up for throughout the year... I hope to make a RIMS system for my BrewStand--I've seen quite a few very nice ones over on I just need to save a few pennies and get the parts.
3) I'm working (slowly, in my 'copious free time') on a translation of a period German text on beer. This one details the various beer styles brewed in each of the various towns of Germany, from circa 1550. The list is rather vague on details, but is still interesting for its historical value, and there may be a few nuggets to glean...
4) I hope to work on really nailing down one or two beer styles this year, brewing them repeatedly until I have them where I want them. I'm planning on doing English Pale Ales until I'm sick of them, and may start doing a couple of lagers towards the middle of the year.
5) I plan on doing a series of 'SMaSH' brews, trying to see the differences between, and strengths and weaknesses of, certain ingredients. In particular, I'd like to make a series of near-identical brews using some of the new hop varieties that have shown up lately, such as Alpha, Bravo, Tomahawk, Warrior, and Zeus. Yes, they're all high-alpha varieties; I have a reason for that, but I won't be disclosing said reason for quite some time to come, most likely.
6) I will be prepping my 'stash' to bring to Pennsic--I'm aiming for 8 batches (40 gallons) at least, likely with a preponderance of 2 or 3 styles, as yet TBD. If I work on my EPA's, they will obviously be a large chunk of the lot; quite probably, I'll do a number of Irish Red Ales, as well. If I can convince my Lady Wife to allow me a couple more carboys, then my output may increase; my last Pennsic, though, I brough 40 gallons, and returned with about 4--I'm not certain what the 'saturation point' really is, but at least for 3 years ago, I slightly exceeded it.
7) There are hints that I *may* be asked to brew some 'donation brews' for Pennsic. You know, to "convince" certain mercenary groups that battling on the side of fair Atlantia is in their best interests. I'd be happy to--provided I have the brew time in my schedule, and maybe some assistance in requisitioning the supplies. I may have a line on a "regular" Sanke-style keg to put said batches in, which would be interesting from many angles. More on this particular item as I know it.

And, as always, other things will likely pop up as they attract my attention through the year. But for now, at least, that's the list. What do you, dear readers, have brewing?

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