Brew Year’s Resolutions 2018

20170903_151314It’s a new year! Having reflected on the past year of brewing as well as how I hit my resolutions for the previous year, I’m ready to set out some goals for 2018.

  • Pitch a new article for a homebrew publication.
    • This is a holdover from last year. I had one article published in Zymurgy during 2017; now, I just have to get a pitch together for something else during 2018.
  • Perfect my oatmeal stout recipe.
    • I entered my Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout in the first-round 2017 NHC, and scored an exceptionally pleasing 40. Unfortunately, comments for improvement were pretty vague (which was a bit disappointing, given the caliber of judging there). I’m going to modify the base malt a bit, perhaps, and see if I can’t kick up the score and make it into the second round.
  • Brew some more sour beer recipes.
    • I had great success during the past two years with a Berliner Weisse and am working towards a respectable raspberry Belgian sour. I’m hoping to hone the raspberry Belgian, and brew at least one other kettle soured beer. A gose or another Berliner Weisse will hopefully be in the mix.
  • Brew a perfect IPA.
    • I feel like my IPAs are good right now, but could be better. A lot of this might be in dry-hop handling; I usually keg-hop the things, but end up with a result that can be a bit harsh. The upside of this is that loss of hop flavor from oxidation is less of an issue. It’s time to find a happy medium. For 2018, I want to experiment with different ways of hopping and transferring IPAs, to finally hit peak IPA! I’ll probably start with a return to dry-hopping in the primary…I need to first see if drop-off in hop aroma is even that big of a deal anymore given my kegging and cold storage setup. I had preliminary attempts for my Thanksgiving IPA, but it didn’t stick around long enough to verify hop longevity!
  • Hit my calculated starting gravities more consistently.
    • I’ve found that I am often 0.02 or 0.03 off my starting gravity, usually a touch on the low side. This is almost entirely a boil-off rate issue, so I want to dial that in a bit better this year.

This should be plenty to keep me busy–I’ll check in at the end of the year to see how well I did!

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