Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Homebrewing Year in Review - Jeff

I'll have to admit that 2011 was a huge year for me, but just not in terms of brewing.  We purchased a new house back in March/April, which sapped up the lion's share of my free time.  Additionally, in November I left the job I had been at for 6 years for a new opportunity at a different company.  With all this going on, my brewing efforts seemed to get the short end of the stick.  Compared to prior years, my numbers were down (25 and 19 batches brewed in 2009 and 2010 respectively).

The Congdon Hill Brewery

From an equipment standpoint, this year saw no real major brewery upgrades either.  There was actually a bit of a downgrade to be truthful.  My fermentation freezer (stand up freezer with a digital temp control) did not make the move with us.  This now leaves me with only with a temp-controlled chest freezer to ferment as well as house the tap system.  This poses a bit of a problem as all the kegs have to come out of the freezer for 1-2 weeks when I am fermenting a new beer.

In the same vain as roll ups from prior years, here is what my brewing operation looked like in 2011: 
  • Number of Batched Made: 9
    • Number of Beer Batches: 8
    • Number of Cider Batches: 1
  • Number of Gallons Made: 53 gallons
  • Most popular beer style: American Ales - Cat.# 10 (n=2)
  • First Brew Day of the Year: January 3, 2011 (Ordinary Bitter)
  • Last Brew Day of the Year: December 29, 2011 (German Pilsner)
  • Homebrew Competition Medals Earned: 5 Medals - Silver, Boston Homebrew Comp (Belgian Golden Strong); Silver, Ocean State Homebrew Comp (Irish Red); Bronze, Boston Homebrew Comp (Midnight Wheat); Bronze, Boston Homebrew Comp (Ordinary Bitter); Bronze, Ocean State Homebrew Comp (Standard Cider).
  • Average ABV Across Batches: 5.7%
    • Highest ABV: 9.6% (Belgian Golden Strong)
    • Lowest ABV: 4.1% (Ordinary Bitter)
  • Number of 'Cloned' Beers Brewed: 1 (Timothy Taylor's Ordinary Bitter)
  • Favorite Brew: Ordinary Bitter - besides being a great drinking beer and winning a bronze medal, this beer was selected by my homebrew club to represent it at the AHA's battle of the bitters.  What made this so special was that Tom's club sent his bitter to represent their club as well making it a Unique Situation for us. 
  • Least Favorite Brew: American Pale Ale - not because the beer came out poorly, but this was the second beer in a double brew day resulting in a very fatigued brewer.
  • Approximate amount of grain used in 2011: 91 lbs
    • Most popular base malt: US 2-Row (40.3 lbs)
    • Most popular specialty malt: Munich Malt (3.25 lbs)
  • Approximate amount of hops used in 2011: 1.2 lbs
    • Most popular hop: Hallertauer (5.1 oz)
From both Tom and I, we wish everyone a wonderful New Year and many more brewing sessions to come.



"Let us drink for the replenishment of our strength, not for our sorrow."

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