I had a great witty title for this post but Impy Malting beat me to it with her new beers resolutions. I'm hoping to do a bit more brewing this year. I was looking at my blog and home brew bottle stocks and I realised I hadn't made anything since my heather ale back in September. My excuse is I went back to college all of a sudden, a green technology course came up and I jumped at the opportunity. The next while was taken up with lectures and projects. Then for the first time in years I had exams which went well but I didn't get to do much of anything in December but study. I had been hoping to make a repeat of the spicy Westley's winter warmer. Now that the excuses are done with here are some brewing plans for the next while.
It's been really cold in Dublin and there's been lots of snow. I've been holed up in the AranBrew layer knitting, scheming, making plans and writing blog posts. I did a stock take of my home brew ingredients and discovered I have no specialty grains and only some Perle and Pioneer hops left. From the comfort of my warm armchair I ordered lots of stuff from the Home Brew Company. Since it's so cold I decided that I should make an alt beer, kolsh or some other style of beer that will be helped by maturing in the chilly temperatures. I got caramunch, carapils, special b and munich malt. I also stocked up on Saaz and Halltertau hops so a lager type beer is definitely in my future. Unfortunately they were out of lager yeast but I reckon an ale yeast safale US05 fermented cold will do the job. If the order manages to make it through the snow I'll brew this weekend.
I ordered a 33 litre fermentation bucket and am going to have a go at making my own boiler using this tutorial thread on Irish craft brewer. Basically you put two kettle elements and a tap onto the bucket to make a cheap boiler. My large pot on the gas hob in the kitchen is fine for extract brewing but when mashing I have to use the pot to collect the wort. That means I have to heat the mashing water in a load of other pots. I'm also unable to lift the heavy pot of hot wort up onto the hob. I'm hoping a boiler will make things easier and quicker.
I'm also hoping to brew more seasonally this year. A dark Belgian trappist ale for the dark month of February. A bock for March and April. An IPA's and a saisson for the summer. A German Helles for October. A porter for november. A winter warmer in December. We'll see how that turns out.
Now for the knitting aims for the year list. This came from a post Aileen made in the Irish Knitters Group on Ravelry. It's a 10 for 2010 list and here's mine.
- Knit a hat and mittens for Dave
- Knit a clapotis/coin lace shawl
- Crochet for the crochet coral reef
- Card and spin aran weight alpaca, dye it and knit a colannade shawl
- Do more yarn and fiber dyeing
- Make a hackle so I can blend fiber with it
- Start making more art yarn
- Knit a pair of fancy colour work mittens
- Get the hang of knitting lace with charts
- Conquer my fear of sock knitting