Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fermention Friday (March) Round Up

As Rob from Pfiff! pointed out, there is a similarity between this month's Fermentation Friday topic and that of January's ‘brew year’s resolutions’...

"I'm a bit reluctant to admit, I feel like we've been here before... ...But while there's an outward similarity in this month's topic to the recent resolution-themed round of Fermentation Friday, our host for this month's carnival does seem to be searching for a slightly different angle, one pointing towards the notion of spring as rebirth, with a vernal air of optimism rather than the stern, dutifully resolute promises made in the winter." - Rob

I suppose spring really is a second chance to change things, and start anew... An opportunity to keep the annual promises we all make to ourselves... Or perhaps a chance to fine tune those promises and make more realistic goals for ourselves...


When I came up with this topic, I was starting to feel the need for spring, coming off two months of fighting back-to-back colds and coughs and the winter blues along side my wife and our now 8 month old son. The harsh New England winter was not especially kind to us. I gained a few too many pounds, banged my head against too many proverbial walls at work, and lost my steam for some of the more enjoyable things in life, like home brewing. But it's time to emerge from my cave...


When we "sprung forward" and re-set our clocks, it was like a switch was clicked in me... I so desperately needed that spring wake up, to enjoy the longer days. I was looking forward to re-energizing myself in every area of life, including my home brewing...


Rob, you may be on to something... I suppose New Years resolutions could be skipped and spring promises could be made in their stead...


With that said, here's my Fermentation Friday round up...


Andy from Rooftop Brew is embracing the laws of nature this spring, well at least one... He hopes to harness gravity to make his beer more efficiently and to make more time for his child. As a relatively new father myself, I can relate. Talk about spring, inventive thinking, creativity and a child... Good stuff!

dedicating his spring to lighter American, Belgians and Alt-biers and stockpiling the required ingredients like a family of squirrels... All while getting ready for the local BJCP exam. Good luck!

, also from justanotherboozeblog, is wondering what happened to beers connection with religion and spirituality. His goal is to bring a little of that back, along with a healthy does of tongue-in-cheek humor, I assume... B, check out my take on beer and Christianity some time. We don't all think beer is the work of the devil, quite the opposite actually...

Jake over at northerntable.com, now confident in his brewing basics, is focusing on water chemistry and mash PH this spring as he continues to grow as a home brewer.

Travis from CNYbrew.com has the right idea about re-energizing his excitement about home brewing, ditching the snow boots, and enjoying some social evening brewing and beers with his neighbors. A great way to spread the joy of home brewing and take full advantage of those beautiful spring nights.

Mel over at Bathtub Brewery also saw the similarities with January's FF, but in the end I think she really got where I was coming from on this... I think this quote says it all, "I become crazily optimistic and happy-go-lucky...It’s amazing what an effect winter can have on our bodies and attitudes!" Along those lines Mel and Ray will be making some more thirst-quenching brews for enjoying on their balcony in the warm evenings of the season.

Steph over at beerandfoodlove
shares my excitement about the warm weather and the end to those winter blues. She's building on her successes in hop growing she experienced last year and going full speed ahead taking full advantage of the warm weather and brand new back yard! Good luck and keep us posted!

Adam from beer bits 2, the man who started it all in regards to Fermentation Friday, is looking forward to brewing outside, frequent get-togethers in his neighborhood, and his growing hop harvest in his backyard. He's also thinking of taking the plunge, head first, into all grain brewing. Apparently it's all my fault... ;-)

Jason from brewing the perfect beer is a busy man... In between training for a triathlon and brewing a couple special batches of beer for his friends' wedding, he plans on perfecting his APA and my Brown Session Ale recipes and becoming more fiscally sound with his brewing efforts. Bottom line, better beer for less, something I think we can all agree on these days.

Bull over at Man O'War brewery is shipping out soon for some training and then after that for some time over seas I assume. Bull, I take it you're in the military too? Tip of the hat to a fellow member of the service. With all of this excitement on the horizon, Bull will be doing less brewing but more reading and learning. He hopes to strengthen his understanding of the brewing process and to achieve a more sophisticated pallet through reading and of course hands on research... He also plan on building a kegerator, very cool...

GISBREWMASTER over at A World of Brews struggled with this month's Fermentation Friday. He's not much for seasonal concerns, but intends on brewing more under 4% ABV beers for the warmer months, to achieve lighter and more refreshing beers.

Rob from Pfiff, struggled to write his post, not because it seemed like a redundant FF topic, but because spring fever had struck him. None the less, he made us all a little more well read, and decided to give "The Homebrewer's Garden" a read and try his luck and growing his own garden... some day... It was much too nice out to read...

And then there's my own meager contribution to Fermentation Friday: I plan to try out some beer making software and start creating my own recipes, wish me luck!

Did you miss the boat with this month's Fermentation Friday? Just post a link to your post in the comments of this post!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

How I will grow as a homebrewer this Spring


I had high hopes of blazing my way through the novice stages of home brewing and already being up to my eyes in all grain brewing, original recipe developing and brewing contest winning. Truth be told, I'm not there yet, nowhere near there yet...

For all intents and purposes, I'm still a beginner. I'm stuck in that stage where I'm just happy if my beers come out half-way decent. While I did buy that cooler in the hopes of building a mash tun, I'm still a recipe kit home brewer, minus one batch that didn't come out so great.

So, now is the time to grow and change, but going all grain is still a little too much for me at the moment. I'll stick to extract and grain steeping for the moment. I need to crawl and walk before I sprint. To that end, I think I'll start by trying out some home brewing software and developing my own recipes. After all, Spring is really all about creating something new...

The ability to say I made my own beer recipe will feel pretty good. And I think the resulting education will teach me quite a bit about beer. It's time I've moved on from kits and really started making MY OWN beer...

So keep tabs on me through out the rest of 2009, and share my recipe developing adventures. What could possibly go wrong?!? I know, I know, "Relax, don't worry, have a home brew..."


Check back tomorrow (Sunday) for the Fermentation Friday round up... If you still haven't posted yet, you still have time!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fermentation Friday: Embrace Your Spring Fever

Spring has sprung, well almost...


I'm proud to be this month's host for Fermentation Friday.

March is an interesting month. It's a time of transition and change from the cold unforgiving temperatures of winter, to the comforts and beauty of Spring. As the seasons change, life seems to be renewed, the wild life awakens from their Winter slumber, flowers bud and things begin to grow, the snow melts and streams start to swell. And home-brewers recapture their back decks and open garage bays, hobbyist embrace that feeling of growth and change and make leaps and bounds in their craft.

Perhaps you're like me and want to make that jump from brew kits and borrowed recipes to brewing up your own original recipes... Maybe you want to plunge head first into all grain brewing... Or maybe you're well past that stage, but you've gotten stagnant and want to try something new, exciting and innovated... Perhaps you want try your luck at so called "extreme brewing" or maybe you want to embrace Spring and start your own hop garden...

So, this month's Fermentation Friday topic is, "How will you grow or change as a homebrewer this Spring? How will you embrace your Spring fever and channel it toward your homebrewing endeavors?"

Post your contributions to this month's Fermentation Friday, and then add a link in the comments of this post on March 27th. Then check back on March 28th for a round up of all the Fermentation Friday posts right here at homebrewbeer.net...

Fermentation Friday was started by Adam over at Beer Bits 2, and it’s a chance for all homebrew bloggers to sound off on a singular theme at a set date - the last Friday of each month (check out Adam’s post explaining the origins).

Popular Posts