I brewed a batch of beer last weekend and hit an important milestone. I filled up my brewing notebook, which means that I now have fifty brews under my belt. My first entry is dated December 30, 2012, so I've done these 50 batches in a little over 3.5 years.
I went through my notebook and tallied up the results by style:
14 IPA (single, double, triple, black, rye) 4 Cider 4 Pale Ale 3 Berliner Weisse 3 Saison 3 Stout 3 Wheat (American, Hefeweizen) 2 Blond Ale 2 Brown Ale 2 Porter 2 Russian Imperial Stout 2 Specialty Beers 1 Belgian Golden Strong Ale 1 Cream Ale 1 Kentucky Common 1 Mead 1 Other (Skeeter Pee) 1 Tripel
The two specialty beers were a Pumpkin Amber Ale and a batch of Butter Beer inspired by the Harry Potter stories.
Looking at the results above, you can certainly see my bias for hoppy beers, although they were fewer and further between towards the end of my notebook. As much as I love brown ales, I have only made two of them, and neither turned out very well, which is probably why I haven't made more of them. There are quite a few styles missing:
- Aside from my pumpkin amber ale, I haven't attempted a red or amber ale. I don't particularly care for that style, so I haven't attempted one.
- No real lagers. The closest I've gotten was my cream ale and kentucky common, both which used the White Labs cream ale yeast blend. I've had fermentation temperature control since almost the get-go, so that's not my excuse. It's been on my brew year's resolutions both last year and this year and I still haven't done one yet.
- Scotch ales. Just haven't gotten to one yet.
- Barleywine. Not sure I want to drink 5 gallons of barleywine. I should do a smaller batch, and consider bottline it so it doesn't tie up a keg
I'm not huge on Belgian ales, and when I do brew a Belgian I stay towards the pale, dry, higher gravity styles. I'm not a huge fan of dark Belgian ales (or at least not yet). I draw a distinction between Belgian beer and Saisons. I quite enjoy a good Saison, but only if it's not too close to Belgian in flavor/aroma. I'm quite fond of Wyeast 3711 French Saison yeast.
As much as I like to drink pale ales, I'm surprised to see that I only brewed four of them. I think that's because if I'm going through the motions of brewing a pale ale why not raise the gravity a few points, add some hops and call it an IPA?
Although I've made four batches of cider, I have yet to produce one that my wife enjoys. She likes sweet cider while I prefer dry cider, and everything I've made has been too dry for her. I need to try using a different yeast next time instead of the wine yeasts I've been using thus far.