Nearly a year ago, I drafted a set of Brew Year’s Resolutions for 2017. Let’s check in and see how I did!
- Do more science communication with homebrew as a vehicle.
- This goal was a solid win! I gave my “The Dinosaur in My Beer” lecture in various forms for five different venues, including Homebrew Con, and have more on the way. It has inspired me to do yet more with homebrew scicomm–something to look forward to in 2018!
- Pitch another article for a homebrew publication.
- I didn’t get this one. Move it forward to 2018!
- Explore lagers and pilsners in more depth.
- Use water chemistry more effectively.
- I’m feeling really good about this one! I’ve done a lot more building water from scratch where appropriate, and feel like my beers are improved as a result. I’ve definitely fixed the formerly “flabby” character of my blonde and wheat beers, which is a major win.
- Dial in my brewing system parameters more tightly.
- This one was a partial win. Thanks to modifications in my mash-in procedure, I’m hitting that temperature pretty consistently. I’m less happy with how closely I’m hitting starting gravities; I need to up the boil-off rates for my calculations. Once that’s done, I should be in good shape.
- Enter at least three homebrew competitions.
- I got two out of three on this one. I entered Romancing the Brew and the NHC, but never quite got around to doing a third competition. I think I’m okay with that. At this stage in brewing, I’ve earned enough medals to feel confident in my product, but the overall feedback is becoming progressively less valuable. My strategy moving forward will be to enter competitions opportunistically, aiming for at least two in 2018.
In the end, I racked up three total wins, two partial wins, and two misses in the 2017 Brew Year’s Resolutions. I’m pretty happy with this–now time to start drafting my 2018 resolutions!