For those of you that may not know in less than three months I'll marry the girl I fell in love with almost nine years ago. Jen and I decided it would be a great idea to brew a majority of the beer for the reception. Not only will it give a personal touch, but it'll save us some money. Ultimately, it's the perfect excuse for me to brew a lot of beer in the next couple months. So, for the past couple weeks I've been doing my homework and devising a plan of attack. I've decided to brew three different styles:
1. A light, easy to drink beer that will appeal to the masses... first thought here was a Kolsch, but the test batches didn't come out as expected. It wasn't bad, but didn't have the “wow” factor.
2. A dark, full bodied beer... I'm leaning towards either a porter or stout since I've had success with these styles up to this point.
3. Last, but certainly not least, a full on hop assault in the form of an IPA. This is my personal favorite style, so there's no substitute for this one.
The goal is to have everything brewed and ready to bottle by early April in order to give it enough time to bottle condition. What's that?!?! No, you read that correctly... I'll be bottling around 12 cases of homebrew. Crazy? Probably. Fun? You're damn right! Fortunately I've already de-labeled enough bottles for the occasion. With the hard part is out of the way it was time to stock up on ingredients. The great thing about linking up with brewers more crazed then me is that they buy in bulk.
You want hops? WE'VE GOT HOPS! Three pounds of citra, centennial and cascade to be exact:
You want grains? WE'VE GOT GRAINS! Over eighty pounds of domestic 2-row and imported pilsen malt to be exact:
The final piece of the puzzle was finding an inexpensive way to mill all these grains. Thanks to a fellow brewer Tom, I secured a pristine second-hand Phil Mill for a resonable price:
So, game on! It's time to roll up the sleeves and get to brewing. I've already put together a recipe and brewed an IPA. Based on the inventory above you can probably guess what it entails. I don't want to give too much away, but I can say it's being dry hopped in the secondary right now with a couple days to go. Not quite sure what's next, but I'll continue to make it up as I go along.
To be continued...