In 2013 I only made 6 batches, and one of them was a 2.5 gallon batch, tallying up to around 27 gallons of malty beverages. My favorite beer of the year was easily the Wrong Coast IPA, which I will need to recreate or brew something similar soon. I also was very pleased with how my second lager, Durstlöscher, came out. My favorite label of the year would go to my most recent beer, Just an Udder, a milk stout which was inspired from Mrs. Shegogue Brew's creative mind. I will say, although my quantity went down in 2013, the quality was very high standards. Ever since I started homebrewing 4 years ago it seemed like every other batch would result in an imbalance or off flavor. I think I was pretty successful at removing off flavors in 2012, and in 2013 I also was able to prevent any balance inconsistencies - you know, create a beer that was too bitter, or thin, or sweet. Partly this was due to going to back to some tried and true recipes, but it was more so attributed to keeping an eye on my OG and evaporation rates to make sure my hopping rates matched by sugar content, and obviously, providing a healthy fermentation.
Outside of actually making beer I increased my social interaction in the hobby. For a while, other than my best friend (who also is my number one taste tester), I was kind of a loner in the hobby. Sure, I participate regularly in only forums like Homebrewtalk.com, but that is the internet, not real live social interaction. I connected with a friend colleg who I knew had also taken up the hobby and we traveled to the National Homebrewer's Conference together. It was an amazing time and we were able to learn a bunch and meet fellow brewers. I also met a group of friends through the BJCP Tasting Class I took. Most of them already knew each other from the local homebrew club (which I always seem to miss the meetings for and therefore have not yet joined - 2014 resolution!?), but they were very welcoming and provided another resource and friendly outlet for me to grow in this hobby. I am still anxiously waiting on my scores from the test I took on September 29th!
So as I sit here reflecting on another rather successful homebrew year, I would like to offer you and yours a very Happy Brew Year!
|(Went looking in picasa web album for picture and saw that google had added a snow animation to this one so I decided to included it!)|