2016 was a pretty great year for me brewing wise. I tackled a lot of projects and brewed a lot of beer. I was even able to write a guest article for Craft Commander on yeast foraging. You can check that out here. I also built a new keezer so that I could serve more beers on tap and bottle less of my beer. That was a big help. I got way more organized and scheduled with my brewing. I also shared a lot more of my beer with people I feel could give better feedback than I have before. (I still have a few boxes to get out to some folks.)
All of that aside, I'm really happy with my brewing in 2016. I plan to keep all that going and brew even more in 2017. I have 5 taps to keep full now after all! I'm also going to add in some other styles of beer to my brewing. Saison will always be my greatest love when it comes to beer styles. I'll always brew it and I'll always enjoy drinking it. As much as I love Saison, I am also enamored with some other styles too. British Bitter has always been a favorite style of mine. I brewed a few Bitters last year and at the time of this writing have already brewed one in 2017. Now that I have more taps, I'll more than likely have a Bitter or something similar on tap at all times. I am also an avid fan of German beers. Pilsner, Hefeweizen, Bock, Helles, Munich Dunkel, Altbier, Marzen, really all of the sessionable beers from Germany are what I enjoy drinking when I can find them. I'm going to be brewing a good many of those to keep on tap this year as well. I think brewing different styles will help me learn more about brewing and improve my skills as a brewer. I'll be writing a few posts covering these as I go along. I know they won't be "farmhouse" styles but maybe there are others out there that enjoy them as much as I do.
Another type of beer I've been brewing but not writing about lately are hoppy beers. I enjoy hops as much as the next person, I just don't go as nuts as some people do for them. My girlfriend and a lot of close friends love drinking them so I'll be brewing more of those too. I don't have a ton of experience brewing IPAs and Double IPAs but this year is going to be the year I change that.
For projects for 2017, I have a new fermentation chamber project in the works now. This will be aimed to be a lagering and cold storage chamber for brewing and keeping lagers, Bière de Garde and any other style that may need some cold conditioning. I think this will help a ton with scheduling and time frames of my brewing. Saison I've never really worried about temperature. I learned in 2016 by brewing a lot of Bière de Garde that cold conditioning really gums up the works when brewing any other beer that would really need temperature control. I have a dorm size fridge that I've been using for yeast storage in mind for this project.
One other project I have in mind is a grain mill cart. I'd like to get my mill mounted to something that will be easy to move around my garage and get it out of the way but also be a place I can store a few other things. I think this would help a ton even being used during brew day to hold things I'll use throughout the brew.
This isn't near the updated I had in the beginning of 2016 but I really wanted to jot down some thoughts for what I have planned for 2017. This will be the year I tackle some new styles like Lagers and IPAs. I plan on doing some more large split batches in there too. Either way, there will be plenty of beer. Here's to the new year!
Andrew "Gus" Addkison
@aaddkison on Twitter