Saturday, August 24, 2013

A chronicle of the first 30 home brewed beers.

The first 30 beers. It's a good milestone, and falls right near the dawn into my the third year of brewing. Let's see, what did I brew?  Do you care?  This list is really more for me than for you.  It's one place where everything will be together.  I keep the details of each recipe (well most anyway) in a notebook, but don't really have a complete single list outside of this one.

Links within this blog are provided where applicable, which will lead to additional information on the beer, labels and often the recipe used.
  1. Brown Ale - from a Muntons Kit. - I did the priming sugar wrong and it ended up flat (brewed Sept 29, 2011).  There is a single bottle of this still and I plan drink it on the two year anniversary of it's brewing.
  2. IPA - Still nervous about the steps involved and this time I even steeped some specialty grains and added my own hops.
  3. Brown Ale, Norther English style - This turned out way darker and thicker than intended.  It was very bad.
  4. ESB - Bellatrix Bitter - The first beer that people complimented me on.  Maybe they were just being nice.  I could sense an off flavor, but couldn't put a name to it.
  5. Imperial IPA - An attempt at something similar to the 90 Minute IPA
  6. ESB - Bellatrix Bitter #2
  7. DFH Midas Touch Clone attempt - It actually did improve with age, and was good.  I'd like to do something similar again.
  8. Belgian Wit - Lunargaarden - This was a nice beer.  I crushed my own coriander for this one, and sliced the skin (peal) off of an orange. Felt like a true artist while brewing this one.
  9. Imperial IPA - Isis Imperial - I'm usually underwhelmed with the amount of hops.  Can I blame the hop bag?  This turned out OK, and I was determined to improve upon it.
  10. Brown Porter - This didn't turn out too well.  Dark beers have been a headache for me.
  11. American Pale Ale - Independence Ale 2012 - Late Citra hop additions.  This was a good beer.
  12. Imperial IPA - Another try at the Isis Imperial - Initially this was great overall, but oxidized very badly.  I was almost told that I should give up brewing and take up knitting.  High hopes, shattered.
  13. Brown Porter - Apotheosis Porter #2 - This was the winner of the 2012 Daytona Beerfest Competition.  "The perfect Porter," was how it was described to me.  Very happy and proud.
  14. Oktoberfest Marzen - First lager.  I enjoyed this one very much.  Held together nicely.
  15. Maibock - Maibock My Homebrewed Lager - The first experiment with the new turkey fryer equipment.
  16. Saison - Saison Du Ner - First ever all grain. (The above are all extract with specialty grains, below are all grain brews.  After one year of brewing, I made the switch to all grain and haven't looked back.) (brewed 09-22-2012)
  17. All grain version of the Apotheosis Porter - Bad beer. Ugh.  What is so great about all grain again?  And what is all this trouble with the darker beers?
  18. Strong Ale - Severus Strong.  This was an attempted Arrogant Bastard clone, only with higher gravity, and the hops weren't as severe it turns out.  After aging, this one was nice.  I still have a few.  I had 12 pounds of grain in a 5 gallon mash tun.  Somehow I still found room for water.
  19. Foreign Extra Stout - Dunerbrew Stout - This turned out OK.  Improving some with age still.
  20. Wheat Ale - #FF Hopped Wheat aka Hoppy Valentines Bouquet - This was based off a recipe given to me from a Twitter friend from around the world, a clone of an Aussie beer called Mountain Goat Steam Ale.  It won the Valentine's Inspired Beer award at the Deland Craft Beer Festival 2013.  LIght in color, hoppy on the flavor and aroma side, and nicely effervescent.
  21. Winter Ale - Inkling's Ale, a strong version of a British ESB.  This turned out only OK.  Some are still around and I'm hoping for minimal improvement yet with age.
  22. English Style Barleywine - Anal Retentive Dishrag.  To date only a few have been touched.  Aging this one for the winter.  High hopes.  This one is designated for some upcoming competitions.
  23. Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) - Maris Otter and Centennial
  24. SMaSH - Mild Malt and Simcoe - These were fun to do and of the two, this was the better.  Both were nice 
  25. IPA - Hold Your Fire - Centennial and Simcoe hops, Maris Otter Malt with Crystal 15.  Kept it simple.  This was a good beer, and if I remember, most disappeared at one of my tastings.
  26. Belgian Blonde - AHA Big Brew 2013, More Fun Blonde - one of the recipes for the brew day.  This turned out to be a very nice beer.
  27. American Pale Ale - Give Me Liberty Ale 2013 - Mosaic hops as late addition.  A very sessionable beer.
  28. Belgian Dubbel - Steam Monk - Brewed with the Mad Monk's Mash-Up in mind.  I drank one only so far, after 2 weeks in the bottle.  This is going to lager for quite awhile and be savored in the coming months
  29. Oatmeal Stout - 4Shel - My fear is that the mash is getting to acidic with the darker malt beers.  This may be terrific, but if not, then I'll have to work on PH balance.
  30. Belgian Tripel - XXX - Read all about it here.  The label hasn't been released at the time of this writing. (brewed 08-17-2013)
A lot of these beers have the recipe listed on the Recipes page.  A lot of the labels are also listed on the Labels page.  Neither are fully inclusive lists...I do have a life besides making sure everything is perfect and complete here.

So, what does this list say about the brewer?  Classic Styles.  Nothing real crazy or outlandish.  Mostly safe recipes, with a tilt toward higher alcohol volume.  No spices in anything, only the coriander and orange in the wit, and some grape juice as additives.

At this milestone of 30 beers and two years of brewing, I realize there is a lot more to learn.  Always!  I'm not saying I'm a pro or anything even close to it.  I can safely say I'm a step up from a Novice now.  I always want to view others as better and more knowledgeable, so I can learn from them.  Heck, in the process others may even learn a bit from me.  I do know a few things about brewing now, and more importantly can make beer that I and others enjoy.

I wonder what to do next.  Maybe something crazy.  Something zany.  Something to make the homebrew club go, "wow! what courage and insight into something wild and wacky!"  Or maybe something very drinkable...and classic.  Ideas?

And here is to brew #31 and beyond.  Cheers!