For no reason, other than I felt it necessary, I took a quick inventory of my homebrewing ingredient stocks the other day and realised that I have a fair amount of hops and grains that I rarely use or even think about using. For example, I have packets of New Zealand hops, Pacific Jade and Motueka, various fermentables such as rauchmalz and D2 Belgian Candi syrup, and of course a few packets of lager yeast waiting for an inevitable cold snap and impromptu lager brewing session.
I am getting to the point with my brewing where I have to start thinking about February and beyond. I don't drink during January and so the next batch of beer to be made will be something for the dying days of winter before I brew my annual lime witbier, which next year will have some oats in it for the first time. The question then is what to brew for the end of winter?
I want to use the New Zealand hops, that's a given at the moment. Also, I have some Briess Special Roast malt knocking about, which I find gives a beer a lovely tangy, sourdough kind of thing, and I will likely get myself a packet of Wyeast 1028 London Ale (the Worthington White Shield strain from what I have read) to do the business on the fermentables.
Will the beer have a definite style? Probably not, but I think a little playing around and using up ingredients is in order...