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2007 Commeth

Yeah, its 11:55PM before the year changes, and I’m sitting here writing a blog post instead of snoozing upstairs with my wife or watching all the sheeple on TV in time square… but that’s me. What can I say.

2006 is gone, and with it goes alot (ALOT) of beer brewing. I won’t rack up the total this year for fear of legal reprisal, but I was a very prodigious homebrewer. I did try to ask the government how to legally brew more than 200 gallons in a year, and received a relatively unsatisfactory and dismissive answer to the issue, and I took that response with the degree of urgency and attention it commanded. Seems that it warranted as much attention as I gave the warning too, considering the overwhelming discussion on the subject.

Actually, In 2006 I ended up giving away almost 80+ gallons, and I’ve still got about 40+ gallons sitting downstairs in the basement…. and we had alot of help from family and friendly visits. I definitely have left 2006 with a whole laundry list of learnings to take with me, and an arsenal of recipes that will be tweaked and revisited in the coming years.

Some of my personal homebrewing highlights for 2006 include:

  • Winning second place for my imperial stout in my first homebrew competition
  • Having Ric Hoffman from Stewart’s come to the May meeting and talk to us
  • Getting feedback from Scott Bickham (Grand master Level II judge) indicating he rated my Saison a 37/50… and if you’ve ever read his (brutally honest) reviews of commercial beers in Zymurgy, that’s something to feel good about.
  • Getting re-elected as 2007 President of FSB – I must be doing something right, or I’m a total sucker…
  • Assisting at Twin Lakes with a batch of Greenville Pale Ale.

I’ve had lots of positive feedback indicating my homebrewing is on the right track, and that people like what I’m doing. I try to take that with a grain of salt since most comes from friends and family, but to be honest those are the folks I most care about pleasing – the rest is just gravy.

I’ve managed to acquire many new tools and toys that I will be taking into the 2007 brewing year, including:

  • Motorization of my Crankenstein 3-roll mill, much to the appreciation of my abused Dewalt hand drill.
  • Acquiring a floor corker to handle belgian bottles and corks, so I can have that swanky presentation that Victory and Ommegang enjoy
  • A 28 gallon kettle with false bottom, so I can brew 20 gallon batches – What are you supposed to do when you 10-gallon-like something, and your family and friends also 10-gallon-like it?!??!

This coming year, I plan on focusing on a couple of things. They include:

  • Volume – 20 gallons of beer per batch may seem like alot, but man – when you share batches with friends, family, and other homebrewers, it goes fast.
  • Belgians – Brewing 2 or 3 batches of Dubbels or Tripels a year is not the way to master styles that are more of an art than a science… So corker, get ready – you are in for some abuse. Kegs – Take a breather, ’cause 5 gallons of bad belgian ain’t worth it.
  • Whole hops – All my operative kettles will have false bottoms, so why use pellets when I can filter out fresher and more “pure” tasting ingredientS?

Well, it is now well past 1am, and I am not forming nearly the kind of thoughts I was 3 pints ago, so time to take the first descansa of the new year. Happy tidings to all!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 1, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Happy New Year!

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