“Reeb” and the Dunkles Hefeweissbier are currently on tap in the basement. They both turned out quite decent.

The former had a beautifully bright hop character to it which has, unfortunately, diminished somewhat. But it is still a very drinkable pale ale with lots of wonderful biscuit and bread character from the Maris Otter English malts. Its aroma is wonderfully strong with fresh hops and the flavor has taken on a distinctly grassy Goldings note (despite being bittered with Chinook and dry-hopped with Amarillo, the Goldings flavor hops dominate the character). The bitterness is nice and balanced.

The latter has turned out nicely rich in character. I’d liken it closer to a “wee” Weizenbock than to a normal Dunkelweizen. It’s potent character comes from chocolate wheat malt, Munich malt, and Belgian Special B in the mash. At the same time, it has a nice wheat character (I love to use torified wheat to accentuate this) and the usual cast of “weizen” fermentation by-products: clove/spice phenols and banana esters. Despite its big flavor, it is also refreshing and drinkable.

I brewed Hump’s Black Kriek on Sunday. The intent was something like a Cherry Porter – lots of chocolate and strong with tart cherries. I achieved a mash efficiency that was much higher than expected (nearly 80%), so it will have even less bitterness than I originally designed for it. It’s practically finished in the primary already and is anxiously waiting for an addition of over 5 pounds of sour cherries (tomorrow, hopefully).

Next on the list: Hump’s Brain Bludgeoner Double IPA. I’ve managed to stash away some extra hops left-over from my past several batches and trips to the homebrew store, and I’m hoping to acquire three more ounces of super-high-alpha hops later this week. The resulting brew should be big and hoppy as hell. This will get cooked up sometime in May.

Also sometime in May, I’ll foray into my first all-grain batch. Since I haven’t yet upgraded equipment to handle a proper amount of grain, I’ll be making a teeny beer – both in strength and in volume. Hump’s Itsy-Bitsy Bitter will only weigh in at 3.2% alcohol by volume, and I’ll only be making 3.5 gallons of it. Depending on how well (or how poorly) that goes, I may decide to expedite the purchase of necessary equipment to make every future batch an all-grain batch. But I’m currently expecting to continue to produce brews with only 25-50% of the fermentables coming from grain and the rest from extract…