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Brewing Beer with the Seasons

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 October 2016 at 11:54
I tend to be time/place-oriented, and I like the idea of seasonal brewing, for a lot of reasons. I am sure that a lot of it goes back to my rural up-bringing, being tied to the Earth and the cycles that move her.

This might sound silly, but I forced myself to brew at a rather furious pace this past year so that I could "synchronise" my planned upcoming brews with the seasons. I finished brewing the last of my "summer" beers in September (they are either just being bottled now, or will be in the coming week or two), and am ready to start several beers for fall and winter. My hope is that by next spring, I'll hit my stride and be able to keep with the seasonal pace.

Having said that, this does not mean that I'll be totally tied to the concept; if I come across an interesting beer that would be "out of season," and still have the means to try it, I probably will. But still, for me, it is a neat idea.

Here's an interesting article that I came across on this subject:

Quote Create Your Own Seasonal Beer Brewing Calendar

Posted on September 26, 2016 by David Ackley

At certain times of the year, some styles of beers just taste better than others. An imperial stout in summer and a hefeweizen in winter seems equally out of place. But you can’t well wait 'til December to brew your imperial stout and hope that it will be ready by Christmas.

Enter: a seasonal beer brewing calendar.

Due to the nature of brewing, it’s important to do some planning and scheduling if you want to drink your beer during a certain time period. Plan on at least a month or two of “production” time before your homebrew is ready to drink. With high gravity beers and lagers, you may need even longer. That means if you want to drink your Oktoberfest in October, you should start brewing by mid-August at the latest. A seasonal beer brewing calendar will help you to plan this out.

The information below isn’t meant to be an end all resource – you’re welcome to brew and enjoy any style of beer any time of year! There will be a lot of overlapping of beer styles depending on your tastes and time constraints. But for the occasion when you want to pull off – for example – a summer ale for the summer, a seasonal beer brewing calendar can be very helpful to keep you beer styles on schedule.

Year Round Beers!

These beers seem to work well any time of year and are good options for year-round “house” beers. Consider them for any month on your beer brewing calendar.

Pale Ale
IPA
Amber ale
Pale lagers
Pilsner

Brew in the Winter (for Spring drinking)

In anticipation of those long, final months of cold, brew a bock or an Irish stout. Irish stout (as well as Irish Red) will also come in handy on St. Patrick’s Day. Imperial stout and barleywine are often aged for 9-12 months, so this is a good time to get a start on next year’s vintage. Consider putting these beer styles on your beer brewing calendar for fall brewing. Get started on a spring ale or Maibock so they’ll be ready when the weather starts to warm.

Irish Red
Irish Stout
Bock
Barleywine (for next winter)
Imperial Stout (for next winter)
Spring Ale
Maibock

Brew in the Spring (for Summer drinking)

The summer season is high time for lighter colored ales and lagers, from pale ale and Kölsch to pilsner and witbier. Unlike the previous group, these beers do not need much, if any, aging at all, so they can be put on the beer brewing calendar closer to the time of anticipated consumption. The warmer weather also lends itself to brewing some Belgian ales that can tolerate higher fermentation temperatures, like saison and bière de mars.

Cream Ale
Pale Ale
IPA
Summer Ale
Kölsch
Hefeweizen
Witbier
Light Lager
Pilsner
Saison
Belgian Pale Ales
Bière de Mars
Gose

Brew in the Summer (for Fall/Winter drinking)

Darker beers, such as brown ale, start to hit the spot in the fall. Pumpkin beers are popular around Halloween and Thanksgiving. To make sure it’s ready for Oktoberfest, plan on starting your Oktoberfestbier by mid-summer to allow for a long, cool lagering period. You can start an imperial stout or barleywine in the summer and still have several months of conditioning to make sure it’s ready for winter.

Brown ale
Pumpkin beer
Oktoberfestbier/Marzen
Vienna lager
Imperial stout
Barley wine

Fall (for winter drinking)

By fall, you should be enjoying your Oktoberfestbier and pumpkin ale. Get a jump on some darker beers to get you through the winter, such as stout, bock, and strong Scotch ale. Start some holiday spiced ales so they’ll be ready in time to give away as gifts. If started in the fall, you should be able to pull off a batch of imperial stout or barleywine by winter, though the longer they can age the better.

Strong porter
Stout
Bock
Dopplebock
Dunkelweizen Shop Brew Kettles
Strong Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
Imperial stout (last chance)
Barleywine (last chance)
Holiday spiced beers

http://www.eckraus.com/blog/seasonal-beer-brewing-calendar


Once again, nothing about this is set in stone or a fixed rule. For instance, I am set to brew an American twist on a Belgian Witbier (Think Blue Moon - in fact, I am going to name it "Blauer Mond)". This probably should be considered a "summer beer," but I like the idea of enjoying it in the fall, with the turning leaves and shortening, blustery days.

Anyway, I thought I would throw this out on the table, and see if anyone else had some thoughts on the concept.

Ron

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 October 2016 at 12:06
In addition to the above-mentioned "Blauer Mond," my own upcoming fall/winter beers are (in no particuar order, at this point):

Pecan Pie Amber Ale
Bourbon Dubbel
Chocolate Maple Porter
Peanut Butter Porter
Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 February 2017 at 11:04
Having brewed those beers, plus a Root Beer Stout, Cranberry Wheat and Das OtterWeizen over the past few days, my upcoming plans for brewing include:

A straight-up English Pale Ale
A straight-up American Pale Ale
Another brewing of Edelweiß

Sooner or later, I will also attempt a Maibock in the near future, as winter winds down. It probably won't be in time for May, but that's no big deal. I also need to attempt my interpretation of Kentucky Common Ale and Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Cream Stout.

I'd like to get these beers done before the end of July - when I will be meeting up with a friend in South Dakota who introduced me to Buffalo Sweat - but we'll see how it goes....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2017 at 16:20
Since my last update, I've brewed a batch of Das OtterWeizen and two batches of Edelweiss; however, my American, English and Kentucky Common Ales are on hold so that I can brew two batches of Grapefruit Honey Ale for a friend who is refinishing the stock on my new (to me) Herter's Model U9 in .22/250.

Once these are done, I'll be back on schedule, brewing those mentioned above as well as looking at a few summer brews.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2017 at 12:12
With the "seasonal" concept in mind - a combination of brewing WITH the seasons as well as brewing FOR the seasons - I came up with this list of upcoming "goals" for the brewing year (not necessarily in any order within the seasons):

Quote Ron's Seasonal Brewing Goals


(Remainder of) Spring

Grapefruit Honey Ale (x2)
Kentucky Common Ale
Amerikanisch Pale Ale
Englisch Pale Ale


Summer

Basic Saison
Basic Wheat Beer
Rose-Cheeked and Blonde
Smoked Cherry
Bruxelles Blonde
Citrus Wheat
Peach Cobbler Ale


Fall

Basic Brown Ale
Fall Saison
Honey Sage Seasonal
Klosterkirche Weizenbier
Oktoberfest
Pumpkin Dubbel
Smoked Wheat


Winter

SchwarzWälder Braun
Bruxelles Black
Basic Porter
Basic Stout
Buffalo Sweat
Winter Wheat
Blauer Mond


These aren't set in stone and only represent a sketchy plan, but I'd like to give all of them a try, and possibly others, as well.
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