Awhile back, I changed my blogging habits to condense each batch into a single post, rather than split across multiple updates. Some of this was to save time, and some of this was to make it easier to find the full story on a particular batch later on. I’ve (personally) liked this switch overall, but feel that it also can lead to a drought in posting.
So, I’m introducing a new, occasional series–“What’s Brewing?” These will be quick, informal posts to highlight planned batches, currently fermenting batches, and other bits that don’t quite warrant a full write-up.
What’s Brewing? January 2020 Edition
Over the holidays, I brewed up a storm! I’ve been doing a ton of lagers, and hope to have enough backlog that I can let some of them condition for a good stretch of time.
December kicked off with a festbier, which is now lagering in the keg. I brewed it as a fairly traditional version of the style. I followed that up with a German pils, but made with American pilsner malt (from Great Western) and Crystal hops. This one got the double decoction treatment, as I work on perfecting that technique. Finally, I did a rebrew of my Red Rye Lager, an American-style amber lager made with California common yeast (in this case, Imperial Yeasts Cablecar version). The nice thing on the latter is that it’s cool enough that I can just ferment it at ambient, without having to tie up fermentation chamber space!
With so many lagers in production, I was a bit worried about taps sitting vacant while I waited for beers to ferment and condition. So, I kicked off 2020 with two quick-and-dirty kitchen sink brews. One was an English-style porter, the other an American(ish) pale ale. I took some shortcuts with ingredients, using up odds-and-ends that were on hand. I also adopted the “Short & Shoddy” format of Brulosophy, with abbreviated, 30 minute full-volume mashes and 30 minute boils. Those batches should be ready to keg in a few days.
Over the break, I did a full cleaning of my keezer lines. On tap, I currently have my ESB, the smoked Scottish ale, and a cider. The Scottish ale has cleared up and conditioned beautifully, and has been absolutely enjoyable. My cider was made with Treetop brand Honeycrisp apple juice from the shelf and Mangrove Jack cider yeast. It’s dry, hazy, and perfect for winter evenings. Both the Scottish ale and cider are in 2.5 gallon kegs, and will probably get kicked pretty soon. I’m aiming to have the Short & Shoddy porter and pale ale ready to go in their place.