What’s Brewing? January 2022 Edition

January has blown by, and I’ve been able to get back into a rhythm of regular brewing!

Beer Batch Updates

  • MoreBeer had a sale on Pliny the Elder kits, so I picked one up and began the brewing process on December 27, 2021. I made a self-built recipe last year, and it turned out okay, but not great. For this time around, I’m adjusting the hop techniques a bit, to see if I can get some improvement. After initial fermentation, I did a closed transfer into a purged keg (on 15 January 2022), and then (quickly) added hops to the keg. This keg had a floating dip tube with a mesh screen, so that I could do a closed transfer off the hops and into the serving keg. The goal is to avoid hopping in the serving keg, so that the beer clears up nicely; the closed transfer is intended to preserve the hop aroma a bit longer. The beer is now transferred and carbonated–while it drops clear for a few days, I’ve started some tastes. It’s pretty nice, although quite a bit of hop haze.
  • I started a kolsch-style ale on January 8. The plan is to close-transfer and then let it condition for a few weeks to drop clear. Although I’ve previously used K-97 as my primary kolsch dry yeast, I’m trying Lallemand’s version this time around.
  • I brewed my Alstadt Alt recipe again on 22 January. It’s pretty much the same as before, because I love this beer so much!
  • I kegged my German pils on 26 December 2021, and the beer is now lagering in the serving keg.

What’s on Tap?

  • Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout is drinking pretty nicely. I’ll do a tasting soon.
  • The dark mild has been really delightful, and I think I’ll be sad when it’s gone. For serving, I’ll often let it warm up to around 50 degrees, and the dark malts shine through beautifully.
  • Dimorphos Kellerbier has cleared to brilliant, and tastes amazing. It has been really enjoyable to follow a beer through from young-and-fresh to mature-and-lagered. This recipe has weathered really well, and just keeps getting better.

What’s Coming Up?

  • I’m brewing a pale ale this weekend, using some HOPBOX hops–El Dorado and Strata will be front and center.
  • In preparation for Lent, I’m doing a Belgian SMaSH that I’m calling “The Simple Monk.” It will be pilsner malt, whole Cascade hops, and Abbaye Belgian yeast. The beer is intended to be no muss, no fuss, no temperature control, just let the ingredients play out for a flavorful low-abv beer.

Other Notes

  • A few weeks ago, I cracked the final bottle of the Gingerbread Winter Warmer, brewed way back in late 2016. It was delicious–but I’m also glad I didn’t save it any longer.
  • During the holidays, I started a ton of fermentation projects.
    • A new batch of sauerkraut is going.
    • I started a new batch of miso paste, because my previous batch is just about gone.
    • For something new, I am making malt vinegar! I put a bit of unpasteurized cider vinegar into a pint of a recent weissbier–it created a gorgeous vinegar mother, and I think the vinegar is just about ready to use.