2014 Recap Part I

Now that I’ve posted about every batch of beer that I brewed in 2014, I’m going rehash all of them again. Just a quick recap of each batch with name, style, brew date, label and a quick summary of my overall impression of the batch. I’ll split this into two posts, the first one being here, obviously and the other one coming tomorrow. After that, I will finally explain my plan for the blog moving forward and then get to it. Speaking of which…
N.E. Maibock
Style: Maibock
Brew Date: January 8
I was very happy with the way that this beer turned out. It was a super malt bomb owing that to my second (and first successful) decoction mash and the addition of melanoidin malt.
AmyNi-Kolsch2014 copy
Amy Ni-Kölsch (2014)
Style: Kölsch
Brew Date: January 14
This was a huge disappointment. The 2013 batch was so good that I brewed a second one a couple months later, but in 2014 the beer picked up some sort of soapy off flavor. I actually still have quite a bit of this waiting to be dumped when I get around to it.

Berlin(er Weisse) (batch 1) and Ich Bin En Berliner
Style: Berliner Weisse and Raspberry Berliner Weisse
Brew Date: January 22
My first experiment into sour beer was very successful. It lead to more experiments but I think this first batch is still my favorite and the raspberry version may be Amy’s favorite thing that I’ve ever made.
Old Old Man
Style: Old Ale
Brew Date: January 26
The last batch of beer I brewed before obtaining my water filter was also one that I let age for a good long time. I am happy with this beer overall, but after all those months in the carboy, the difference caused by the filter on subsequent batches became more obvious. I still have some of this, but that is on purpose.
Mount Hoodie (2014)
Style: Amber Lager
Brew Date: February 4
My second batch of Mount Hoodie was disappointing. A problem during brew day caused the gravity to be way too low which I responded to by adding some extract, which required more water and minimized the hop character. The beer was actually quite enjoyable but was not a good representation of what I was going for.
Maggie Moo’s Cocoa Cream Stout
Style: Chocolate/Milk/Oatmeal Stout with Wheat
Brew Date: February 11
Dark and smooth. I loved this beer. The one issue I had with it was that the little bit I held onto slowly became over carbonated.
Elkland Golden Lager
Style: Premium American Lager
Brew Date: March 19
This was the second iteration of this beer and my first beer to place in a competition. I got second place in the light lager category at the Mount Hope Brew Fest. Substituting rice for my usual corn was a good experiment, but I’ll be going back to maize this year.
Table Cat
Style: Session Saison
Brew Date: March 26
I love this beer. I will be making a lot more of it this year. I finally got my fifteen gallon kettle and the next batch of this will be one of the first to take full advantage of that. Hoppy without being bitter, light and dry without being too thin and super low alcohol without any loss of flavor. The perfect Summer Afternoon Beer.
Elkland Amber Lager
Style: Amber Lager
Brew Date: April 1
Elkland Amber Lager was kind of a mixed bag for me. I liked it at first and got positive reviews from family members, but the more of it I drank the more I noticed how much inappropriate fermentation character it had. Which lead straight into Elkland Amber Ale a few months later.
Green Eye
Style: Rye Pale Ale
Brew Date: April 21
A disaster. The soapy off flavor from this year’s Kölsch was back and multiplied in this beer. I have only choked a few of these down and it is likely to eventually be the closest I’ve come to dumping a full batch, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I have determined the issue most likely came from an off brand cleaner I used on the carboy and I’ve committed to spending the extra money to use Star San and PBW only on all equipment from now on.
Berlin(er Weisse) (batch 2) and Macto Lango
Style: Berliner Weisse and Mango Berliner Weisse
Brew Date: April 27
My second Berliner Weisse was enjoyable. A bit more sour with a bit lower alcohol, it is probably closer to authentic. The half with mango nectar added is a bit divisive inside my own head. It is either extremely refreshing or it reminds me of a urinal depending on my mood. It is never as bad as that sounds, though. Definitely unique but I’d like to try again with real, fresh mangos some day.
Sydney Rae Session Rye
Style: Roggenbier
Brew Date: May 13
I brewed this for my eldest niece’s twenty-first birthday. It is lighter in color and lower in alcohol but otherwise a fairly traditional Roggenbier. I enjoyed it, but feel like I didn’t have much. It was a smallish batch and obviously a bit of it was given as a gift. I’d like to try a fully traditional Rogenbier at some point.

Single Hop #3: Saaz and #4: Galaxy
Style: American IPA (plan)/Strong Ale (actual)
Brew Date: May 20
This was kind of debacle, but the results were not so bad. These were meant to be IPAs to showcase these two great hop varieties. Both versions end up with a lot more malt character and a lot more booze than I intended, though. The hops didn’t shine like I wanted, but the beers were still pretty tasty. The Galaxy batch had some great, fruity hop character, it was just joined by the malts and booze. The Saaz batch had no distinct hop character as those Noble hops are much more delicate and just couldn’t compete with the other flavors.
2014 PROOF
Style: Strong Ale
Brew Date: May 27
Are you sick of hearing about this one yet? This was a huge project and it remains a huge beer. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but I have to admit that I’ve only had about five of them. It is actually intimidating to open at 17.7% ABV beer. Most nights just don’t seem worthy of this beer.


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