A lengthy update…

Since I have been kind of challenged by the Mop, I thought I would take the time to write a longer than 140 character update.

What is it about the spring classics that find me making Belgian/Flemish style beers?

Last year, around this time, I made a Belgian Golden Strong called “Duivel de l’Arbre” or “Devil of the Arbre” in honor of Boonen’s decisive move at Paris-Roubaix in the forest of Arbre.

This year, I rebrewed the BGS as well as made a Saison, another beer that comes (generally) from that area on the French/Belgium border.

Let’s start back at the beginning.

March with the passing of a new anniversary for me. My “brewversary”. It has been more than one year that I have been making beer.

In 12 months I brewed 14 5 gallon batches of beer (Ok 13 batches of beer and 1 batch of hard cider).

Here is what I made (in order):

  • IPA
  • Belgian Golden Strong
  • Kolsch
  • Helles Bock
  • Coffee Stout
  • Oktoberfest
  • Schwartzbeir
  • Irish Red
  • Dry Hard Cider
  • Brown Porter
  • Saison
  • Summer Bock (2nd batch)
  • American Pale Ale
  • Belgian Golden Strong (2nd batch)

Not bad for a year’s worth of work. 70 gallons of full strength alcohol in a state where they charge an arm and a leg for it at the liquor store.

This year, I have designs to almost double the amount I do. The goal of this is to improve as fast as possible. I am redoing most if not all of the batches I did last year (you can see above that I have already started that process in the bock and BGS).

I want to correct technical mistakes of certain styles that I did incorrectly last year (wrong fermentation temp of the bock and kolsch). I want to do split batches to see the differences yeast make. Already with the Saison, I have split the batch and bottled half as brewed and bottled half with wild Brettanomyces (more on wild yeast another time).

Tangent: The Watcher has a guest week going on and the latest guest posted about yeast today. Kinda stole my idea. More on that later, with the wild yeast.

        Nested Tangent: I stole the Tangent/Nested Tangent idea from Watcher.

And I want to get to a level of consistency whereby I can make a style of beer to the guidelines and know what I am doing.

Here is my brew calendar for my sophomore year:

February        Saison / Summer Bock* / APA
March                BGS* / Kolsch
April                Wheat / Cal Common – Jason’s Yeast / Pilsner
May                Oktoberfest* / Coffee Stout* (split batch) / Sarah’s Pils / Sarah’s Stout
June                Sarah’s APA /
July                Nut Brown Ale / Schwartzbeir*
August        Dunkelweizen / Xmas Beer
September        Shiner Clone
October        Irish Red*
November        Porter*
December        Pilsner

And I have published it on google docs here if you want to see it be update:


I had originally planned to do 24 batches and brew 2x per month. But my family asked me to make the beer for my sister’s wedding in July so I added 3 batches to make 27 this year.

Now. All that is great, but without pictures, it is all a little drab and flat, no?


First Temperature controlled batch.


Yeast Washing


First batch in the kegerator


Active yeast starter

More to follow. And you can see in the schedule that there are openings for new styles, so feel free to make suggestions.

I think I am going to make a Flanders Sour in honor of George at Paris Roubaix: #ReasonsGeorgeDidntWinParisRoubaix

There mop 601 words for you.


| April 7th, 2010 | Posted in Uncategorized |

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