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Brewing Beer to Welcome Baby

With our baby two months away from being born we decided that it was time to brew some good beer to enjoy once the child is finally here. My wife hasn’t had a beer in quite a while so she got to pick the style. She is quite a hop-head so she wanted an IPA, but she also likes really dark beers so we got a beer kit that is both hoppy and dark – a black IPA. I went down to the local home brewing supply store yesterday and picked it up, and I am quite excited about it. Check out what this beer contains (this is an extract beer kit):

Beer Ingredients:

-1 pound of specialty grains (1/4 lb Wyeremann Carafa III, 1/4 lb Chocolate malt, 1/2 lb Briess Caramel 80)
-9.15 pounds of Dark malt syrup (3.15 pounds boiled for 60 minutes, 6 pounds late addition – 15 minutes left in the boil)
-1 pound of corn sugar, late addition

And my favorite part, the hops:
-1 oz Summit (60 min)
-1 oz Chinook (15 min)
-1 oz Centennial (10 min)
-1 oz Cascade (5 min)
-1 oz Centennial (0 min)
-1 oz Cascade (dry hop)

This should be a great beer! There is going to be a lot of information to keep track of with this beer, so I will make sure to keep plenty of notes in my brewing journal (I use this one) in case I want to repeat the beer later.

Have you ever brewed a “welcome baby” beer? What type of beer did you make?

Scheduling Your Beer Brewing for 2014

If you are brewing beer for a special occasion you need to plan ahead quite a bit. Saint Patrick’s day might seem like it is pretty far off when snow is just starting to fall, but brewing a good stout for the holiday can take a while. If you try to rush it or don’t give the beer enough time to ferment, mature, or carbonate you are not going to have a very tasty result.

Below are the dates of many popular beer-drinking holidays (in the USA)  in 2014 and the dates you would need to brew if your beer is expected to take, six weeks, two months, three months, four months, and six months. Start planning your beer brewing for the next year now!

St. Patick’s Day: March 17, 2014
6 Weeks Out – February 3, 2014
2 Months Out – January 17, 2014
3 Months Out – December 17, 2013
4 Months Out – November 17, 2013
6 Months Out – September 17, 2013

Memorial Day: May 26, 2014
6 Weeks Out – April 12, 2014
2 Months Out – March 26, 2014
3 Months Out – February 26, 2014
4 Months Out – January 26, 2014
6 Months Out – November 26, 2013

Independence Day: July 4, 2014
6 Weeks Out – May 21, 2014
2 Months Out – May 4, 2014
3 Months Out – April 4, 2014
4 Months Out – March 4, 2014
6 Months Out – January 4, 2014

Labor Day: September 1, 2014
6 Weeks Out – July 17 2014
2 Months Out – July 1, 2014
3 Months Out – June 1, 2014
4 Months Out – May 1, 2014
6 Months Out – March 1, 2014

Thanksgiving: November 27, 2014
6 Weeks Out – October 13, 2014
2 Months Out – September 27, 2014
3 Months Out – August 27, 2014
4 Months Out – July 27, 2014
6 Months Out – May 27, 2014

Christmas: December 25, 2014
6 Weeks Out – November 11, 2014
2 Months Out – October 25, 2014
3 Months Out – September 25, 2014
4 Months Out – August 25, 2014
6 Months Out – June 25, 2014

New Year’s Eve: December 31, 2014
6 Weeks Out – November 17, 2014
2 Months Out – October 31, 2014
3 Months Out – September 30, 2014
4 Months Out – August 31, 2014
6 Months Out – June 30, 2014

Do you have any beer brewing planned for 2014 already?