Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Looking ahead...

Even though my most recent brew is a style of beer that is quick to mature, not all beers are like this (obviously). Today, I had a huge surge of inspiration as I look ahead at my brewing prospects. I already know that I really want to have an Oktoberfest/Märzen for this fall (either to bring to school or to have for fall break/Thanksgiving) and a winter warmer stout for winter break. Am I thinking too far ahead? Hell no. These types of beer require a bit more patience, as they tend to mature into godly nectar greatness over the course of a couple of months, so I plan to brew these in the summer months and then literally not touch them until their proper season. I am currently researching prospects for my Oktoberfest, but I have already formulated a recipe for my Christmas stout. This recipe stemmed from an idea I had when I first started reading Charlie Papazian's The Complete Joy of Homebrewing over a month ago, and I have recently planned out the brewing of said idea. First off, I am a big fan of Chocolate/Double Chocolate stouts, stouts that use bittersweet or bakers chocolate as an ingredient, in addition to chocolate malt, which is just a type of dark malted barley. Additionally, I am quite the fan of chocolate desserts etc that have chili peppers as an ingredient, as the spiciness compliments the chocolate beautifully. FURTHERMORE, Charlie Papazian is a big advocate of using hot peppers in beer, as apparently it can be really effective and delicious. Thus birthed my idea of the "Hot Chocolate" Stout, a winter warmer for the ages brewed with real cocoa and hot chilies. Hot damn, you might say. I am already unbelievably excited about it. Probably will brew it within the next month or two, then open it up after my fall exams are over and I start singing Christmas carols. So awesome.

In other news, I have developed another original recipe that I plan to brew soon (and also drink relatively soon) for a summer Belgian witbier. This one will no doubt be really delicious, and in addition to the traditional ingredients of orange zest and coriander, I plan to throw in some grapefruit zest and top it off with a sparkle of ginger, perhaps a few cloves as well. Look for this one in the summer--should be a real treat.

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