2017 was a bit of a slump for me in terms of homebrewing: my keezer broke (and was unfixable), I was generally too busy with work, and didn’t really have that much motivation. Due to a broken keezer, I had to dump beer, and I brewed some terrible beer afterwards which I also had to dump. I also dumped some aged beer, such as my Berliner Weisse Starkbier, because the vinegar note was just too strong on it (not an Acetobacter infection, but a contribution of Wyeast 5335 which can produce acetic acid). Also, I noticed that my beer taste has changed a bit over the last 2 years, so brewing overly hoppy stuff just isn’t for me anymore.
So over the course of 2017, I developed the idea that I wanted to refocus my homebrewing efforts, develop my skills and improve my knowledge. A pinnacle in homebrewing is certainly lager brewing, and since this is actually the kind of beer we drink most in our household (there’s always a crate of Augustiner Helles or Edelstoff in), I decided to exclusively brew lager beers for the whole year of 2018.
Thankfully, my father got us a commercial refrigerator as an (early) Christmas present, which now not only functions as a beer fridge, but also controls fermentation temperatures quite well. I already have one batch of Helles currently lagering in there, so I actually kind of already started with this new year’s resolution, but in any case, I plan to stick to it at least until December 31, 2018. I also have the ingredients for two more beers ready to go: one of them will be the historic Vienna Lager I kept blogging about in the past, with the right ingredients, OG, FG, attenuation, hopping rate, and mashing regime. The other one is the Helles recipe which I crowd-sourced for fun through Twitter polls back in October.
My other new year’s resolution for 2018 is a matter of procrastination. In late 2016, I published a German-language e-book about historic beer styles. After that, I started working on an English-language e-book about historic German and Austrian beer styles. It’s been a lot of work, I went through an incredible amount of sources just to find out all possible details about classic German beer styles, some of which are practically extinct. Unfortunately, I also hit a bit of a rough spot where I wasn’t really happy with the detailedness of some of the styles that I had researched, and where I generally wasn’t motivated enough to continue working on it. But hey, that’s why I decided to self-publish, right? No advance money, no deadlines, no pressure from publishers.
Therefore, my plan for 2018 is to finalize the book and publish it within the first 3 months of 2018. I think I’m actually pretty close, it may require a few finishing touches here and there, and maybe a less robotic writing style (that’s what you get when most of the writing you’ve done in your professional career is technical documentation), and it should be presentable enough. Should I not keep this new year’s resolution, you’re free to call me out on it!