What does your homebrew year look like?

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Asherweef

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Hi all,

Just looking for a bit of inspiration on when and what you brew at different times of the year. Do you have any set routines and what do you line up and how far in advance?

We tend to mix up our year with sloe gin when the sloes are right and blackberry whisky (plus whatever else we can infuse) over the Summer. I'm trying to fit some beers in here as well (kit or allgrain). I'm thinking of arranging the bonfire treacle stout at the late Summer so that it's good for November, maybe Festive Ales in October for Christmas and perhaps some lager kits around about now.

What do you tend to do or do you not have a routine?
 

MickDundee

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I don’t have a schedule as such. I just think of 4 or 5 beers I’d like to make, buy in the ingredients and brew when I have time. I’m not a massive fan of anything darker than a California Common or Vienna Lager so I don’t tend to brew dark beers for the winter and pales for the summer or anything like that.
 

Cheshire Cat

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I just try and alternate the following styles
1. British bitter
2. IPA
3. Lagerish beer
4 wheat beer
5. Belgium ale
 

An Ankoù

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The year has quite distinct brewing seasons for us: starting in the winter when the temperature drops we like to get the lagers and Pilsners on as they take ages to come into their best and should be ready for the summer. When it gets really cold and wet and windy, the brewery which is set up on the terrace goes away for the winter and all sorts of smaller volume experiments get done on the cooker. March, the kit comes out again to catch a quick Pilsner and start on the ales and stouts. July, August and most of September are too hot for brewing outside and the tap water takes ages to cool the beer as it, too, has warmed up. So even with the advent of kweik, not much gets down in the Summer. Two weeks hold in October and then back to a mad rush of brewing for Christmas. We don't have any temperature control so brew according to the seasons. Our dedicated fridges are reserved for hops and yeast.
I only make two wines: elderflower in may or June and elderberry later on. The blackberries all go in the jam. I make a five gallon batch of mead every 4 or 5 years. I love meas but usually forget I've got any, which is just as well.
Forgot to mention cider as we didn't make it last year as the apple harvest was rubbish. Hoping for better luck this year. October-November.
 

darrellm

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I have a fairly loose schedule
  • After Christmas brew lager because the house it at it's coolest, 12C in the north-facing bedroom if I turn the radiators off
  • Mar-May flat out brewing enough stock to keep me going through summer
  • June-Aug stop brewing, too hot (no brewfridge) and too much risk of infection (been there)
  • Sept-Dec pick homegrown hops, dry them, realise there isn't enough room in the freezer to store them so start to brew with them
 

Harbey

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I'm rotating between IPA, wheat, trad bitter, the odd stout, and then the occasional saison or sour. I certainly brew more dark beers in winter but I've never done a lager. Definitely need to sort that out next winter when the weather is cold enough.
 

Drunkula

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A shambles. I don't go for any of that eat or drink with the seasons tripe and just have what I want. That includes meals and if it means cooking more than one thing then I do it. Some of my friends plan their meals for the week - I'd hate that.

Aaaanyway, even if I decide what to brew the day before I'll start it and by the time the mash is going I'll have forgotten that I need to work out the water profile so might have to throw everything in the boil. Half the time I haven't even worked out what hops to use so I'm scrabbling through the freezer and then working it out as it gets up to temperature.
 
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Asherweef

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Thanks guys, interesting to note the different approaches and I think I'll follow the advice for lager over the Winter. Perhaps a little too late now noting the weather we have been having?
 

HarryFlatters

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I've brewed a Kolsch, a Munich Helles and an APA so far, plus an experiment with what I hope will be a hard seltzer. No idea what to do next, probably another 80/- or Edinburgh Gold clone if I can find a good recipe.
 
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