After spending eleven days in Austria in April, I have been itching to brew a Munich Helles. This is the standard style of beer served all across Bavaria and Austria; if you simply order a beer, you'll be served a Helles. My only problem brewing a lager is, my fermentation fridge sits in my garage, which is ridiculously hot during the summer. That little mini-fridge has no problem keeping my ales at 60-68* in the summer, but it really struggles to cool a fermenter down to 45-50* when the garage is 105. I found that with a fan blowing on the condenser coil the fridge was able to cool down to around 50*. With that sorted out, the brew day commenced.

After some friends and I tore through the better part of the Pliny clone I brewed, I'm short an IPA on tap. At the moment there's still some of my Ruination 10th Anniversary clone left, but it turned out a bit sweet, and it's a sipper for sure. I want something hoppy but drinkable, so I'm brewing a tweaked version of my Hop Knot Clone. I absolutely love the grain bill for Hop Knot, as well as the yeast character. The hop character is also fantastic, but I want to try to throw some CTZ in the recipe to see how it tastes with some of that dank/resinous quality that CTZ has.

It's been a good while since I've brewed anything malty. Everything I've made for the past five months has been pale other than the Black IPA I made. Even though it's really hard to imagine the cooler temps of fall when it's July in Arizona, I'm going to brew an Altbier in anticipation of the cooler fall nights. I really didn't stick to a specific style for this one (Dusseldorf or Northern German), and I'm using decidedly American ingredients for this batch. Which makes this beer sort of an American Altbier.

It's finally here, time to brew my 2012 edition of Nuclear Penguin. This beer started off a little over a year ago when I brewed a clone of Dogfish 120 Minute. It turned out pretty awesome, and despite all the tedious work that batch required, it was really fun. So after the beer was done, tasting delicious, and aging gracefully in bottles, I starting thinking about brewing it again. But much like Sam and crew did on Brewmasters, I went back to the drawing board, and thought about what I wanted this beer to taste like. I didn't necessarily want another 120 Minute clone, but rather a 15%+ ABV IPA that was more of a blend of Pliny the Younger and 120 Minute.

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