How will you grow or change as a home brewer this spring? How will you embrace your spring fever and channel it towards your brewing?
This spring is bringing much change to me as it is. Uncle Sam has finally cut my orders and is sending me packing back to Rhode Island for a year of school, and probably off to a place where brewing isn't possible after that. While that will put a serious crimp on my brewing progress, the positive side is that I will be in an academic environment for 10 months, which will be far more conducive to developing my skills.
Since I am moving I don't plan on brewing too much ( have two batches I want to make) this spring and anything I make needs to be in the bottle (or drunk) by moving day. So my "growth" this spring will not come from brewing so much as learning and doing things to make the most of my brewing once I move in July.
I'm going to start by reading and re-reading some serious brewing books, including Principles of Brewing Science by George Fix. Pretty involved, but I know I better understand things when I can break them down to the smallest possible level.
The next thing I plan on doing is really and truly learning to "taste" beer. To tell you the truth, I still get confused by notes, esters an everything else. I can taste malt. I can taste hops. I lack the refinement to pick out the rest; obtaining that refinement is good...because it means drinking beer, among other things. I understand Randy Mosher wrote a book on tasting beer that's very good, so I'll probably add it to my reading list.
The last thing I plan to do is build a kegerator. I. Hate. Bottling. I've come into a perfectly functional dorm fridge (one of the big ones that fits a couple of corny kegs) for exactly $0.00 and I plan to take advantage of it. At first I'd thought about modifying it to make a lagering fridge but that is way more tweaking and work-shoppy stuff than I'm used to. With readily available plans, this should be a good first project for someone who hasn't really done a big brewing do-it-yourself project before.
I said I was going to talk about schedules, too. I lied. Scheduling isn't growing. It's scheduling.