The question of what to brew next is a delicate one. I currently have 11 kegs, in two of which I am bulk aging mead of some kind. In eight of the others, I have, or soon will have, a batch of beer, including one beer I am similarly bulk aging (a dark Saison for the fall).
The seven other beers are not particularly being reserved for later, not being bulk aged, and they’re not all full — I have one keg with probably a gallon of RyePA left in it, and a Golden Strong Ale that is, really, about half a keg. (But at nearly 10% alcohol, I doubt I’ll drink it up soon, even if I give 500ml sample bottles to friends.)
This puts me in an amusing position, since I am supposed to brew up some beer for a party in a few weeks. The beer I have on hand is not necessarily appropriate for this party, so I’ll be brewing something new — not sure what yet — and of course, the fascinating question is, how to decide, and how to clear the keg space.
Beer-lovers out there are guffawing even now, but the fact is, I can’t just drink the kegs dry. Kegs hold 5 gallons of beer, and that’s not a small amount.
I will be having a few friends over tomorrow night, assuming I can get my gas tank refilled — it ran out the other day — and of course I will be decanting samples for a few people out of the emptier kegs. But production is way ahead of consumption chez Gord, and this is set to become an issue soon. I suppose it’s good news for when summer hits, and it’s too hot to brew often — I will be able to relax and enjoy what I’ve made, without fear of running out — but on the other hand, summer will be a time when I’m not as busy as usual, and while I plan to do a lot more writing, get some exercising in, and travel a bit, it’s also a great time for me to get some brewing done.
Ah well, I suppose I could always go back to bottling some batches. Bottles, I have, in numbers sufficient to handle a fair number of batches… though, as they say, when one begins to keg, one really does not feel like going back to bottling.
As for brewing plans, I am going to take it easy and do a Belgian Wit next. (It would be a double-batch, but I still haven’t set up a proper double-batch capable mash tun so it’s going to have to be a single batch.)
Following that, I think, probably a a parti-gyle with barleywine or a Belgian tripel from the first runnings, and a capped-mash for second runnings so I can make something like, say, a stout.
(In fact, I say first and second runnings, but what I mean is, a big mash to get me up to 6 gallons of barleywine-strength wort, and then a capped mash, plus some malt extract or sugar or whatever, to get me a nice moderate, roasty stout.)
We’ll see: once I have the Wit bubbling away, I can worry about what follows. The stout and the wit, though, could easily be ready by the party I’m brewing for, which is what I’m aiming at.
I simply must figure out a better way to store yeast, however: I have a ton of it accumulated in the communal fridge, in the lounge, in various states — mostly fresh-enough — but it’s taking up a lot of space! Had I a spare fridge, the whole door would be full of jars with samples of yeast in them.