Brewer of the Week: Jason Camerlengo
Home Town (City, State): Sharon, Pennsylvania
Homebrew Club: Thinking about starting my own. Nothing around here!
I've been a homebrewer since: January 2009
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?
Oh Lots! My false bottom came disconnected once right at the start of sparging so I had to put a trash bag around my arm and reach down into 154 degree mash and hook the thing back up to get things going along, that seemed to be the most comical of the bunch!
What got you into the hobby in the first place?
I took a trip to Seattle, WA where one of my uncles lives. I claimed I didn't like beer before going there, but only because I was only familiar with BMC. The brewing scene out there is incredible and he exposed me to a so many different styles while I was there, I especially took to Stouts and IPA's). I came home and got a homebrewing kit the next Christmas, hooked up with a couple of friends who were brewing, bought Jamil's Brewing Classic Styles and made a Belgian Dubbel that didn't turn out that bad considering! I did a few extract batches with steeping grains and my obsessive compulsive disorder kicked in and I jumped to all grain after 5 batches. My uncle John that lives close to me has been so incredibly supportive. He is the mastermind behind the construction of our Brutus system and keeps the thing running properly. Not to mention he lends out his garage and resources every weekend for me to do it...(I should also thank his wife for letting us get away with it haha). He's been with me on EVERY all grain batch I've done, as have other members of my family who help with bottling and cleaning and they allow me to keep this hectic schedule, and their labor is cheap, I just pay them in beer!
Does your significant other like beer too?
She was a BMC drinker before we got together. Now she knows all the styles and has a great palate! She really took a liking to the hoppiest of the hoppy beers surprisingly, I try to give her a hefeweizen or fruit beer and she says where's the Imperial IPA? While i don't think its make or break that the significant other likes beer, I do think its important that she understands and supports the hobby. Couldn't ask for more, considering I brew every weekend and am always making yeast starters or cleaning kegs during the week in between. She's very supportive, and thats important.
Are you going to the HBC? It sold out so quick this year you gotta be on your toes...
Unfortunately I am not. It sold out so quick I didn't even have a chance to get any entries registered for the competition. Oh well, next year. It's great to see that it sold out however, its a real testament to how much the hobby has grown, even in the short time I've been doing it.
What other hobbies do you enjoy, do they relate to homebrewing?
I am also a musician. I play drums in a rock band and guitar in a blues band. I play 3-4 weekends a month between the 2 bands. Music is my first passion and its a great release from the world. I try to keep myself as occupied as possible and find that having different things to focus on helps ease the stress of every day life. It's not homebrewing related but, like homebrewing, its a great outlet for creativity.
What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
Hefeweizen, American IPA's and Belgians.
What style(s) will you never brew?
I've brewed around 70 of the styles! I'll probably never do the flanders styles since I dont want to buy new equipment and dedicate solely to that style since I already have dedicated lambic equipment.
What was the first beer you ever brewed?
Jamil's Black Scapular Dubbel recipe partial mashed. Never did a kit. It turned out pretty good, belgian yeast is forgiving in terms of temperature so I was pleased with it.
What is your favorite beer recipe?
My own Hefeweizen and American IPA seem to empty out kegs the quickest.
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
Finished building my Brutus 10 a few months ago and my brew days have become much more relaxing. AS for one gadget I'd have to say my BeerGun, gotta love being able to bottle off 5 kegs in one day without much effort.
Describe your brew system.
Full blown Brutus 10 with converted sankey kegs running off propane with 24v honeywell gas valves. Its a joy to brew on.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
I do 10 gallons every weekend except for maybe 3 or 4 weekends a year. Gota give the other half some vacation weekends!
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?
hmmm...does Jamil and Gordon Strong and Randy Mosher count as someone famous? Id love to serve them some of "signature" beers and get quality feedback.
What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew?
I havent anything too exotic yet. Although Ive recently discovered powdered peanut butter thats fat free out there and am considering a peanut butter cup stout or something.
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
Always have my uncle with me. He can fix/rig anything!
Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer?
Does a heated garage count as outdoor?
List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite?
Heff-hefeweizen. Artificial Intelligence-AmIPA. Utter Stout-Milk Stout. Trouble's Brewin'-RIS. Fuggin IPA-English IPA using all fuggles(sorry Denny! I like em!)