June 1, 2011
I'm the sort of brewer who rarely makes the same thing twice. I've been hopping around from style to style, recipe to recipe, technique to technique ever since I started brewing. That's been great, I feel like I've covered a lot of ground, learned a lot of basics, had a good time. I'm also the sort of brewer who often measures things in handfuls, tosses whatever is lying around into the mash or into the boil, and takes a cavalier approach to using wild yeasts. Also fun, and less work.
But my brewing wanderlust is starting to wind down. After a crazy tea beer, a couple dozen 1 gallon experimental mead batches, a coffee porter, and a very lackluster IPA I've taken stock of my booze supplies and am somewhat dismayed. Where is the stuff that I actually want to drink a bunch of? My cellar probably has a few hundred bottles of homebrewed beer, wine, and mead and there's only a handful of stuff that I'd say I'm actually proud of, or that I think is the best it could be.
But rather than despair I've decided to buckle down and brew some seriously good beer. I have challenged myself to brew a single recipe for however long it takes until I feel it is the best that it can be. For that recipe I've selected a simple one that shouldn't be too hard to get right and I won't get tired of drinking: the all-grain version of Dead Ringer Ale. No fiddling with addition times, malt bill, or yeast, just working on technique. Avoiding aeration, pitching ideal yeast cell counts, dialing in mash temperatures, all the good basics of real brewing. I will post with results as I go. To better beer!