One of my Pursuit of Abbeyness XII brew-day posts received a spike of traffic from the Homebrew Talk forum. I went and eavesdropped on the discussion.
With an odd 3.7kg of Pilsner malt in my cellar and a three-month-old Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II in my fridge, it was time to brew up a small portion of the beer style I return to most often - the Strong, Dark Abbey Ale.
Making an ale that may require as long as a decade to reach its peak causes a brewer to mull over more than just the way a beer is put together. Thinking in decades makes the ageing of a beer analogous with the ageing of a man.
As the autumn equinox passes and the nights draw in, thoughts turn to Christmas ale, spice in beer, and the spice of life.
The most common advice that experienced homebrewers offer to first-timers is, “Try something simple.” So I set my sights on one of the most admired beers on the planet.