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Curious how far in advance everyone plans their brews

hullo all

I’m trying to keep myself from the ‘whoops, that beer is ready to go into secondary but I have no bucket available’ problem I’ve run into before (solution - buy new bucket. win win). I’m just racking to secondary when necessary for additions or longer term fermenting, but I do have a few of those coming up (winter warmer and peat porter)

I just set up a brew/rack/bottle plan that takes me thru mid May, and I’m wondering if there is anyone else out there who plans in advance? If so, how far out do you plan? Any particular advice to help remove room for error while leaving some flexibility for shiny distractions that you simply must brew next? I’m the type of person who will happily make lists and ‘strategic’ plans for fun, so I want to make sure I don’t go overboard with the planning.

My goal is to have something in the buckets as often as possible, and to brew a blend of ‘quick satisfaction’ beers and ‘long term’ cellaring beers (bottled 6 mo or more before drinking).

I have 5- 61/2 & 4-5gal fermenters, 14 cases 12 0z bottles and 3 pop kegs. I have a along term list, that gets altered, but I get a wild hare moment and brew something the next day. That being said I started small much like you. I got excited about this hobby, and naturally evolved thru time to where I am today. You are on your own road to discovery, but I would say to dream of the future with both a wide-angle lens and a long one. This is a great site, full of great ideas and answers, and someone else will chime in, be assured.

I typically brew two 5.5 gallon batches a month. Brewing at this interval keeps my kegerator full (4 taps + a picnic tap) and one in primary. I typically do my bigger beers in the fall and winter along with most of my lagers. Ales are brewed throughout the year. My wife is a big fan of pale ales, IPAs and blondes. I typically always have one of those on tap for her to drink. Brewing does slow down for me in the summer though, due to the South Carolina heat. Best advice I’ve ever received — “Keep the pipeline full”!

yup, me too.
I have 3- 6.5 gal and 2- 5 gal and 2- 3 gal carboys and tons of bottles.
this way I can always have a few beers going.
I have a dedicated calendar that I use to plan…
I plan for trips (2 golf trips coming up), for competition (state fair next) and special events (Mom beer-lover 80th birthday coming up).
I plan around yeast too. I often make 3 beers from one yeast, going bigger with each one.
I plan seasonally, now thinking about good spring summer beers.
I also plan for when I’ll be out of town, making sure a beer won’t need attention for however long.
I brew more in the winter, less during golf season, but that may change as I become a more efficient brewer… and it’s really nice to have home-brew after a round of golf!

I also plan around style, I have an alt ready to drink, a brown ale ready to bottle, a few ipa’s in bottles, so now I’m ready for more IPA.

the best thing to do is have plenty of carboys/buckets.
keep the pipeline full!

I usually plan a couple ahead because I like to reuse yeast. I have 2 keg fermenters and 4 serving kegs. I try to keep at least 1 fermenter full. It seems like 2 beers will kick at once leaving my pipeline small. I hate when that happens. But I need more kegs and another chest freezer to solve that problem and that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Occasionally I’ll get the urge to brew and throw a recipe together on the spot on a weekday. I love weekday brewing. Really gives me something to look forward to while I’m at work.

I plan ahead, usually by seasons.
Fall- alts, cider, brown ales, porter.
Winter- lagers
Spring- Irish Red and Stout to be ready by St. Pattys, then another brown and/or Scottish ale
Late Spring/early summer- get ready for summer, usually a cream ale or Blue Moon clone for relatives, and an pale ale for myself. Maybe another Brown.
I tend to knock off brewing during the heat of June- August.
That’s my general plan. I do throw ‘spur of the moment’ brews in there if I see I’m running low of a particular favorite, or want to try a particular style. This past December/January I did a Belgian Triple that’s superb and a Belgian golden that’s meh…
From thinking stage to actually brewing tends to be a couple weeks. I research, plug #s into a program(brewtoad), change things up several times and get supplies, then brew when the time is right.
I’m only a little more than 2 years into this odessy and am gradually accumulating recipes that I like. I suppose eventually I’ll have a set rotation of 8-10.

Planning? So far I’ve just KISS’d the problem (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). My first batch I followed the extract kit directions and threw out the yeast cake at the end. Then I got a little smarter and hammered out three kits right in a row on the same yeast and ignored the directions - 2 weeks in the primary, 2 weeks in the secondary and bottle it (two Irish Stouts and a Brown). Took a couple weeks off (had the itch to brew more though). I had intended on waiting longer but…

Wednesday will be two weeks in the primary for my first attempt at BIAB all-grain, my own recipe of an American Amber Ale. I’ll rack it to the secondary and I’m planning a Partial Mash Brown for the same day. I’m thinking of doing an IPA after that, which due to the recipe will require some attention in fermentation so there will be a break in my brewing again. Unless I get another fermenter. No worries though, I have about 4 cases in the basement right now and I’ll have another 3 aging by the time the IPA is done. My real concern is about having enough bottles. Wish work would pick up so I could just get a kegging system… :cheers:

When a keg is empty it is time to order some ingredients, unless it is winter and then I just buy “commercial research beers”.

Some times I plan a brew a few weeks out, some times I just wing it a do one with little to no planing. I buy hops and base malt in bulk and keep a few pounds each of several different specialty malts and some dry yeast in the fridge.

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