Brewer of the Week: Alex Green
What got you into brewing?
My little brother started homebrewing before I did. When I'd help him out, I realized that he was fairly lax on procedures and recipes, yet still made a decent tasting beer. I figured that if I applied a little more structure to the process and science to the recipe formulation, I could make beers that taste awesome—and they do! (usually)
Are you affiliated with a homebrew club?
I am a member of Johnson on Tap, the Cornell University MBA beer appreciation club.
How long have you been a home brewer?
I have been brewing since the Summer of 2009.
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?
I brewed 20 gallons of a Barleywine in four different batches. With an ABV expected to be over 10%, it produced a huge krausen during primary fermentation. Unfortunately, I was using an airlock instead of a blowoff hose, and the airlock got stuck with hop particulate. This caused pressure to build up inside the fermenter and when I pulled the airlock off, it exploded in my face and shot hop gunk everywhere. Lesson learned.
What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
Pale Ales - such great opportunities to take this simple base and make unique creations!
What is your favorite local craft brewery?
The Ithaca Beer Company! Not only do these guys make fabulous beers, but they're really cool to hang out with. They have a homebrew section of their brewery and are always willing to shoot the breeze about new styles, what works and doesn't work, etc. Always over a cold one of course.
What was the first beer you ever brewed? How did it turn out?
I brewed a gratefruit-infused, dry hopped Pale Ale. I called it Old Man Florida, because it reminded me of the grapefruit tree in my grandparents' backyard in Clearwater. Delicious and perfect for an early autumn afternoon BBQ.
What is your favorite beer recipe?
I make a pepper-infused Pale Ale called the D'Artagnan that's really special. It's a refreshing beer with a SLAP! of hot pepper spice at the end that makes you want another drink. It was inspired by a green chile ale I tried once at Amica's pizza in Salida, Colorado. If you are ever in the area, give this place a try, it's awesome!
Are you a BJCP Judge? If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?
Not yet, I haven't really had the time to study, but I do use the BJCP resources and style guides all the time. Thanks BJCP guys for all your work!
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
My homemade wort chiller. Life is so much easier with it.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
I brew about six times a month, about 30 gallons typically.
What is your favorite hop? Why?
Centennial, it has a nice American hop punch. The Simcoe is becoming my new best friend though. I really like the floral and citrus notes that hover just above a new beer.
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?
I'd give Sam Calagione the D'Artagnon. Maybe he'd give me a job...
What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew?
I put a slight amount of spicy BBQ sauce into one of my rye-based recipes to give it a woody, southern kick. It turned out awesome.
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
Depends on the beer and time. If it's something new and exciting, I'll get a bunch of friends over and we'll make a learning event out of it. Otherwise, when I'm brewing a production batch, I've gotten the process pretty locked down and can brew by myself while I study.
List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite?
My favorite is the Papa Cherry, a cherry Wheat. The others include: Blitzen (a Christmas Ale), the (S)Mocha Porter, the FernBock, Halloweiner, KickStart (spicy pepper Rye), Old Man Florida (grapefruit Pale Ale), D’Artagnan (Slap!), the Tom Lager (an ale-based Lager).
Do you have a mentor or someone you think the world should know about? Or, tell the homebrewing community a little bit about yourself so we can get to know you! Post some background info on the AHA Forum under the Hombrewer Bios category, and that person may be selected as the next Brewer of the Week.
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