Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 Brewing Resolution

New Year's resolutions seem to be in the air at this time of the year.  One look at all of the TV and magazine ads clearly shows that people try to make changes in their lives around January 1.  For the most part, I think this is a good thing, with the exception of the now ridiculous crowding at the gym.  In this spirit, I decided to set a  brewing resolution this year - to massively increase the amount of session beer that I brew.

The term session beer should be familiar to readers of this blog.  While definitions vary, the concept is that session beers are flavorful low-alcohol brews that allow people to consume several pints and still get home safely.  Session beers are historically prevalent in most brewing cultures, which makes sense given their lower cost in raw materials and aging time.  But, their production has been limited here with the United States craft beer movement focusing on anything Imperial.  From the homebrewing perspective, session beers can be harder to make well.  The flavors of a session beer have to be balanced carefully, as with lower alcohol concentration, the beers can seem watery or insipid.

For these reasons, including the ability to drink several pints and the challenge in making them, my 2013 Brewing Resolution is to make two out of every three batches of of homebrew based on session beer recipes (66%).  For these purposes, I define session beers as those with 4.2% ABV or lower.  Practically speaking, this will be difficult unless I only include the beers I am making just for myself, rather than for summer parties or homebrewing club competitions.  But, I think the goal is possible and I am already starting lay out recipes to try.

Wish me luck, especially given that the first beer I brewed in 2013 is a big Belgian tripel that will likely weigh in at over 9% ABV.



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