Monday, January 4, 2010

Brewing More in 2010

I brewed at least 9 batches of beer in 2010.  That equates to over 3 barrels (approximately 96 gallons total) of beer and somewhere between 900 and 1,000 bottles of beer.  I didn't drink them all.  Half went to my brother or other co-brewers, and I like to give away and share beer with my friends, family, and neighbors whenever I can. 

One of my goals for this year is to brew More, even though I brewed more last year than I ever had before.  I think the emphasis is on the word More.  I would not be upset to brew less than 96 gallons.  I might, however, be upset to only brew 9 times.  I would be pleased to brew only 6 times if I knocked my own socks off with the beer I brewed.  That said, I want to practice brewing whenever I can.  Real life is sure to get in the way, as my wife and kids have their own agenda involving me, but I want to get the most (get more?) out of every batch I brew.  

I wouldn't mind brewing with more people.  I got the chance last year to show brewing to a person that had never brewed before, and do all-grain beers with two people that had previously only brewed with extracts.  It was a lot of fun teaching, but I had good and motivated students.  It might be nice to brew with other people on their equipment, especially those who might have nicer (or more complex) rigs then I.  Everyone does things a little differently, and emphasize different aspects of the process.  I am in need of learning more hands on tips, tricks, or see equipment used that improves the beer or makes the process quicker, easier, or safer.  I should join a local brewing club, but am not sold on the idea.  I have been reluctant to do so for many personal reasons and past experiences, but perhaps this is the year I just suck it up and do it.

I had also had the chance to brew by myself a few times this past year.  I usually brew with my brother (or occasionally friends).  I did enjoy the quiet time and introspection of this personal endeavor.  I do like having company for the clean up, though.  If I get the chance, I should try to brew alone more, especially if I make improvements to my brewery and need to understand procedure.

Brewing more means I want to brew with absolute intention.  I want to have each beer turn out how I think it should, how I intend it to.  I would accept the beer turning out better than hope for as well.  The beer should not only look and taste how I want it to, but I would also like for it to have at least the starting gravity and volume that I am shooting for (without adding adjuncts or extract to hit that gravity).  This might be a bridge too far, as another resolution of mine is to make process and equipment changes to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and try to be environmentally and economically friendly.  So, I want to experiment more.  Definitely, I want to get more satisfaction out of brewing, get more better beer, and experience more and different brewing experiences.  I want to learn more about what is happening from what we do as brewers.  I want more people to taste my beer, and I want more (and better) feedback.  This probably means I need to enter my beer in more competitions, even though I am not really competitive.  I don't want to necessarily win (although it might be nice).

Certainly, I want more out of 2010 than I had gotten out of 2009.  I intend to push for it. 

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