I started home brewing in 2011. Whilst I have had experience brewing with an actual working brewery, I had never taken it upon myself to brew any of my own. I only managed two brews in the second half of the year and they were really just my trial run's but I was so pleased with them that I am going to set down a bit of a brewing plan for 2012.
First up will be a Simcoe dry hopped Ruby Red IPA (name suggestions welcome) which I think will probably take my FV up to early Febuary if I kick off soon. Nothing particularly fancy here, no extra ingredigents and just a regular ale yeast but I think it will be a good spring beer which is hopefully when it will be taking shape in bottle after a few weeks conditioning.
When the FV is ready for action sometime in early-mid Feb I will be going for my first ever beer using a lager yeast. I figure that even although I do live in Scotland I probably shouldn't leave it too much later in the year before attempting a lager yeast without some decent cooling equipment. So a Kolsch it will be. Nothing challenging but a good beer to stick away and forget about about for a bit until our (hopefully) very hot summer comes along.
Next up (probably not till April) an I/APA hopped with something big and tropical (I haven't decided what yet). I brewed an IPA as my last beer of 2011 and it was great but I thought it was a little darker than I wanted it to be. This beast will be golden with a tropical nose and a decent amount of carbonation. If I get bored of my Kolsch on those long hot Scottish summer days (ahem) I can always switch to something more hoppy.
Next up I want to do something with a bit of fruit but this will be totally dependent on how hot the summer is. I don't plan on having a FV full of beer and fruit if we do actually get a decent summer. No extracts, no concentrates, REAL fruit. Probably something like pink grapefruit or blood oranges. I will likely have to ferment with an ale yeast unless I invest in some better cooling but I might go for one of the fancier yeasts rather than the usual one I buy.
I figure that with my own life, university work, my job and other commitments that should take me up till the end of the summer. With the uncertainty of what I will be doing after graduation its probably silly for me to plan any further ahead than that right now but winter will probably see me drinking home brewed Nespresso Stout (probably not the cheapest way to do it I know) and if I get a bit braver maybe an Imperial Stout.
Any suggestions for names or ingredients are more than welcome. Have a great 2012 whether you are a home brewer, a beer drinker or you stumbled upon this site by accident.