Dec 31 2009

Barlow Brewing 2009 Homebrew Year in Review

A friend of mine did this sort of year-end wrap up on his blog, and I thought it was cool and decided to do one of my own.  For the hardcore homebrewers out there, or those who are trying to break into the ranks of the pros, my list is modest. But the number of batches and gallons I did during 2009 feels a bit absurd to me as a guy trying to hold down a job and a family.

Anyway, an interesting review for me, and I’m sure it will inform my 2010 brewing.

– Number of Batches Made – 20
– Number of Gallons Made – 119
– First Brew Day – 1/3/2009
– Last Brew Day – 12/5/2009
– Number of Beer Batches – 18 (14 ales and 4 lagers)
– Number of Cider Batches – 2
– BJCP Homebrew Competitions Medals Earned – 3 Gold, 5 Silver, 5 bronze, 1 Honorable Mention, and The Dominion Cup Plato Award (Best All Around Brewer)
– Batch with Highest Alcohol – 11.21% – American Barleywine “Wendigo”
– Batch with Lowest Alcohol – 3.8% – Mild “Sonic Death Monkey”
– Average Alcohol Across Batches – 6.49%
– Favorite Brew – “Cleopatra Jones American” Brown ale (Big, hoppy brown ale riffing off McDole’s Janet’s Brown ale)
– Favorite Brew (Runner Up) – “Fritz the Cat” American Wheat ale (a 50% wheat American wheat beer hopped only with Amarillo hops, a Gumballhead clone)
– Favorite Brew – “Stupid Sexy Flanders” Flanders Red (Sours are tough to brew and age, but this Flanders Red aged was on French oak, Pinot Noire and the Roeselare blend was amazing)
– Worst Brew – “Hop Surge” American IPA (It fermented out too low, and I added malto dextrin to bring it back up. Just ended up sweet and gross)
– Worst Idea That Turned Out OK – “Bombay the Hard Way” Coconut Curry Hefeweizen (I thought this one might end up a carbonated marinade, but it did well and won a medal or two.)
– Best Idea That Turned Out Just OK – “Bad Yama Jama” Sweet Potato Ale (It was a good beer, but I should have cranked up the spices and potatoes a bit more)
– Favorite Name – “Stupid Sexy Flanders” (The Simpons are always an inspiration)
– Approximate Amount of Grain used in 2009 – 287.45 pounds (average of 15.97 lbs/brew)
– Approximate Amount of Hops used in 2009 – 56.89 ounces, or 3.55 pounds (average of 3.16 oz/brew)
– Biggest Equipment Upgrade – Converted a 15 gallon keg into a keggle (brewpot)
– Biggest Trend – Sour Ales – Batches Brewed – 4
– Biggest Trend (Runner Up) – Oak Aging – 4 batches aged on French oak