Next Milestone Coming Up

March 11, 2012

With four kegs on tap, two beers fermenting, and one more waiting to be bottled, I’m not really in dire need of brewing again soon. This gives me plenty of time to consider what to do for my next batch, which will be my 100th batch of homebrew. The problem with picking a beer to make for number 100 is that I have way too many ideas that I want to try.

I’ve been thinking about making my first saison, as Spring and Summer begin to roll in. My idea here would be to use a basic recipe of pils malt with a decent amount of wildflower honey and some wheat malt. Rose hips would either go into the boil into the beer after fermentation, though I’m not entirely sure yet which way is best. The hops would be either strongly fruity or strongly floral, I haven’t quite decided. I would probably pitch the yeast around 68 degrees and slowly try to ramp it up to 85+ degrees over a few days to let the yeast really give off a lot of character.

Another beer I’ve been toying with is an imperial mint chocolate stout, which would age in bottles until this coming Winter. It’s a take on an imperial chocolate stout I brewed back in 2007 just after I had moved to Rochester. The starting gravity was 1.100, it used about 15% flaked oats in the mash, and came in over 10% ABV. That was a really nice beer and I really want to try adding mint to it cause it would go great with the chocolate flavor.

On the other hand, given my current set of beers, I could use something hoppy that isn’t quite as big as an imperial IPA. Part of me wants to try making a Belgian IPA, possibly brewing my Amarillo IPA with Belgian yeast. A Belgian RyePA could also be interesting, as the yeast esters could play really well off of the rye character.

I could also decide to go against usual convention and mark this milestone by brewing something that’s not strong or crazy. Belgian wit? American rye? I could do something simple and sessionable like those. I don’t really know what I want to do, so I’m just throwing ideas around.

As a reference point, I currently have on hand:

  • Mocha Porter Version 2 (keg)
  • Belgian Pale Ale (keg)
  • Belgian Dubbel (keg)
  • Dark Mild/Brown Porter (keg)
  • Mocha Porter Version 3 (fermenting)
  • Belgian Quad (fermenting)
  • Imperial IPA (ready to bottle)
  • Amber Ale (a few bottles left)
  • Mocha Porter Version 1 (a few bottles left)
  • Amarillo IPA (a few bottles left)
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