The biggest news is that I attended the NHC in Minneapolis and had an awesome time. RAZE shared a shift in the Hospitality Suite with the Cincinnati Malt Infusers right before Pro Brewer's Night on Thursday, and then we had a booth set up for Club Night on Friday. I brought a keg of Bourbon Barrel Porter and a Belgian Pale Ale, and both were kicked. I met tons of fellow beer geeks, learned a lot at the sessions I attended, and sampled many, many excellent beers. It was well worth the trip.
I haven't been brewing as much as I'd like to, but I'm generally keeping the house in beer. I have a Barley Crusher now so I can buy sacks of base malt. Back in April I bought my first sack, a 55 lb bag of Belgian Pils, and used all but 4 pounds of it on a single day. I brewed a 10 gallon batch of Saison (using an overnight mash) that I split between 3711 and Brett C, a 10 gallon batch of Patersbier that I split between the Rochefort and Chimay strains, and a 10 gallon batch of Belgian Pale Ale, a DeKoninck clone that is now gone. All of these turned out great. I also brewed a 10 gallon batch of IPA with Summit and Amarillo that is on tap now and tasting really good, despite the fact that I accidentally left out 5 lbs of base malt. The first keg of this went into my new mobile kegorator that I took camping last weekend. I don't think I'll ever camp without beer on tap again!
I'm still slowly working my way towards upgrading my brewery. I just finally ordered a weldless fitting kit for my keggle so I can install a ball valve. I still need to get another burner and another pot for strike and sparge water, but those will have to wait for now. I'm hoping that once I get these things I'll be able to cut down my brew days since I'll be able to have multiple things going at once.
Finally, I'm starting to plan out my next several brews. I'm going to work on reusing yeast from smaller beers on some bigger ones coming up. On deck for next week will be Mike McDole's Pliny Light. I'm going to reuse the yeast cake from that beer on a Barleywine and possibly a Pliny the Elder clone. The plan for the Barleywine is to make a 10 gallon batch. I'll tap the first half around Christmas and then the other half will get some oak for longterm aging and will get tapped around Christmas 2011. I'm also brewing a 10 gallon batch of a Surly Furious clone to bring to the cabin in August. On the Belgian front, I'll be brewing a 10 gallon batch of Patersbier with WY3787. I'll use the cake from that on a 10 gallon batch of Dubbel or Belgian Dark Strong, the second half of which might see some cherries and oak.