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Old 03-03-2009, 05:35 PM   #1
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Default Year Round Brewing Schedule

Greetings! I'm wondering if any of you have any type of "schedule" for brewing different types of beers. For example, summer is a perfect time for the light, session types of beers such as Cream Ales and Steam Beers. I was wondering if you guys wouldn't mind giving suggestions for each season such as spring, summer, fall, and winter. Also, I know that some of those winter beers such as the Christmas specialties need more time to age in the bottle, so if you could break it down into when to brew/when to drink that would be awesome.

Just looking for good ideas for the next batches. I've been looking around at a bunch of different breweries and what they offer in different seasons, but wanted your 2 cents as well... Thanks!

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Old 03-03-2009, 05:53 PM   #2
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I don't have a full year's experience but I imagine that this summer I will be brewing beers that can tolerate higher fermentation temperatures, like belgians, I guess. Maybe a time to try out fruity beers as well.

Winter is definitely the time to do lagers unless you want to invest in a fridge. Dunno how cold it gets in the basement in Cleveland, but around here it can get in the low 40's which is adequate for lagering... my lager attempt didn't work out so well but that was due to the film of failure on top of the thing when I pulled it out of the basement...

I imagine I'll be doing some hoppier beers around harvest time as well. I have access to limited supplies fresh hops, and will probably make a harvest ale.

And don't forget that october is apple picking season. Great time to get some high quality cider from your local market, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Old 03-03-2009, 05:54 PM   #3
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Not so much so far...but this year has taught me how important temp control really is. Lately I've based my brew schedule on the temperature of my basement-doing what I can, when I can. This winter, I've done a few lagers with hybrid yeast so as to take advantage of the temp in the low-mid 50s in my coldest corner. I wish I liked hefes more, but I plan on more Belgians and maybe a dunkelweizen in the summer when the temp is in the upper 70s and above.

Mixed in there are standard ales, that have a wider temp range. I also try to mix it up and not make similar styles in a row..I also try to stagger it with beers I know SWMBO will like.

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Old 03-03-2009, 06:24 PM   #4
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+1 for ciders in the fall. i also try to age them about a year so i can enjoy them in the fall as well.

this winter i made a couple strong brews that i'll try to keep around til next, one barleywine and one tripel. i'll also do a few high gravity brews throughout the year with an eye toward keeping them for hibernation time.

in the summer it's all about hefe weizens for me. drink em young, no advance planning necessary.

i'll do stouts, pale ales and ipas any time of year.

a word of caution to those who do belgians or hefes in the summer though. those yeasts are known and prized for their ester profiles, and warmer temps do mean more esters but it's very easy to let them get away from you.

remember the warmer the ambient temp, the faster the fermentation, which itself raises the temperature and speeds fermentation more. before you know it the esters can get way over the top and fusel alcohols can become a problem. if a fridge is out of the question, i'd definitely look into a swamp cooler or other DIY chilling option. keep em under 70 for the first two days of active fermentation at least, then let em warm up at your discretion.

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Old 03-03-2009, 06:53 PM   #5
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try this http://www.homebrewtalk.com/1050297-post5.html

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Old 03-03-2009, 06:59 PM   #6
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I am at the whims of my basement, but it works out well. Starting in about late December, my basement gets around 55-57 degrees. So from then until about the start of April, I brew Cali Common, Kolsch and Altbier. Which is great because these make great Spring beers. Then come spring time I start to warm up and I brew a bunch of Blonde, Hefe, Wit, fruit beers etc that are great during the summer. In the summer I brew a bunch of English and Belgian beers and I drink those throughout the fall/winter and the cycle starts again.

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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Ridge... Thank you very much for that link to the list of beers to brew and when to brew them. I'm sure other people in the forum will love that link as well. Honestly, that may even be good enough for a sticky! Thanks a lot guys and keep brewing!

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:46 PM   #8
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No problem. Glad I could help.

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