A quick end of year update on home brewing I began this journey in May and have brewed quite a few batches. I think I’ve done 20 batches this year but I honestly can’t remember. I should keep a batch notebook. Anyway, the beer I brewed in September using White Labs’ Berliner Weisse vial received a fruit addition in November and was ready to keg this week. My concern was particles and gunk making their way into my kegs. This is a very realistic concern as my cheese cloth idea failed miserably and more gunk than I had preferred made its way into the keg. I cold crash all of my beers before kegging and it still happened. Oh well.

Yesterday, I also bottled the remaining gallon or so of my roughly 9% Coffee Stout into 5 22oz Bombers. I also bottled up the last of my cider with most of it going into flip-top growlers to be shared with friends asap. I had to bottle these up because they were almost gone anyway and I really needed to free up the kegs.

Unfortunately, the beers I did keg yesterday didn’t really need to be kegged. I’m moving this weekend and I’d prefer to move beer in kegs than in glass carboys so, despite my beers not being matured to the level I wanted, I transferred them and purge the O2 so they’ll just mature in kegs instead of in carboys. Fermentation on these was complete but the flavors could use a bit more time.

  • Kegged the Strawberry Rhubarb Berliner Weisse. Had issues filtering out gunk. It’s VERY ready and finished around 1.004 FG or about 3.5% ABV
  • Kegged the Chimay “yellow label” clone. Brewed 11/23. Kegged 12/26. OG: 1.062. FG: 1.007. It was decent but still had a sulfur / sour eggs aroma to it. I’m hoping this fades.
  • Kegged the Orange Belgian Wit which I brewed around thanksgiving. FG was 1.009 but, since I undershot my efficiency, this beer is only at 2.7% ABV and slightly off. Time will improve it. I’m sure.
  • Kegged the 13% ABV Russian Imperial Stout. Brewed on Thankgiving with an 1.096 OG and 1.019 FG. It’s still very boozy but a nice chocolate presence. It’s in a keg but I’ve placed in there 2 white oak spirals that spent a week soaking in bourbon. We’ll see how this one tastes in a month or two.

I have about 2.5 gallons of my Root Beer batch left with 3 more soda kits I want to do. Another is a different Root beer kit, a cream soda kit and a strawberry cream soda. My GF loves having soda on tap and she makes drinks with it so I like to keep one tap for her.

So, now that we’re caught up on things and the fact that only one of my batches was a semi-failure, it’s time to discuss what’s brewing next. Of course I’m moving this week so I imagine a brew day won’t happen for the entire month of January. Brewing should happen in February and so far, I have 3 things planned:

I have two vials, both from White Labs. Brettanomyces lambicus and the other is Brettanomyces claussenii. The second vial will be used for a Boulevard Brewing Saison Brett Clone. The other will be used for another sour but I need to do more research before going for it. I imagine both will be a long fermentation time.

I have 2 packs of Safale US-05 which I’d like to use for a few IPAs but since I’m taking all of January off from drinking, have 4 kegs of beer done and a lot of beer in the cellar, I don’t want to brew any IPAs until the summer-time.

With that said, I think it would be good to brew another big Imperial Stout or a re-creation of my accidental barley wine that was intended to be a 10.5% All Citra Imperial IPA and ended up being a 12.7% Barleywine. It’s sat in my cellar since June and it is tasting outstanding! Really a terrific beer. So I want to rebrew that. Finally, I’d like to get another Berliner Weisse vial and do another batch with different fruit. Maybe an Apple Weisse? Raspberry? I’m not sure yet.

If you have any suggestions for next batches, let me know. Looking for some longer term aging beers that can sit for 6 months.

I took some photos yesterday of the kegging process. Thanks for reading!

Strawberry Rhubarb Berliner Weisse

Strawberry Rhubarb Berliner Weisse

Strawberry Rhubarb Berliner Weisse

Strawberry Rhubarb Berliner Weisse

13% ABV Imperial Stout

13% ABV Imperial Stout

13% ABV Imperial Stout

Chimay Yellow Clone

Chimay Yellow Clone

Belgian Honey Wit

Chimay Yellow Clone