Brewer of the Week: Tristan Laszweski
Let us introduce Tristan Laszweski. Tristan has been brewing for 9 years now and is extremely enthusiastic about his brews. Like many homebrewers, he started out with his first kit and got hooked. Now, years later he finds himself striving to make the best beers he can, with a focus on all grain lagers and pilsners.
When did you start brewing?
What got you brewing?
I read an article in the local paper advertising a brand new homebrew shop in Stevens Point, WI (Point Brew Supply). I stopped in one day and talked to the owners, Marc and Katina, who got me eager to homebrew after patiently explaining everything involved. I took home a box of goodies which included all the usual brewing paraphernalia, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale extract clone kit and John Palmer's "How to Brew." Marc wrote down his home phone number on a card and told me to call if I had any questions.
When did you know this was no ordinary hobby, it was an obsession?
When I started brewing all-grain in 2009 and found myself managing 5 simultaneous fermentations and scheming on how I could brew again.
When did you join the AHA?
I joined the AHA in 2009 before buying the tickets to my first NHC.
What is your "white whale" beer (the beer you'd hunt to the ends of the earth for, and possibly die trying to obtain)?
The barrel fermented Pilsner Urquell that you can only find at the brewery. Some day, some day!
What is your favorite local craft brewery?
I'd have to say, even though it's not that local, Bell's Brewery is my favorite and Three Floyds is a close second.
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?
Not really a disaster, but Roggenbier. Despite a three hour beta-glucan rest brew day still took 10 hours with lautering at a trickle. The beer was great!
What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
I love brewing lagers. Czech pilsner is my favorite style with American Pale Ales being a close second.
What style(s) will you never brew?
Scotch ales, not a fan!
What was the first beer you ever brewed? How did it turn out?
It was a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone and it was great to me at the time! After making the jump to all-grain brewing, I wonder what I would think if I tasted it now?
Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?
None that I can remember. My mistakes turn out like mistakes!
What is your favorite recipe based off of a commercial style?
Moose Drool Brown Ale Clone.
Are you a BJCP Judge? If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?
Not yet, but I'm planning on taking the course.
Have you ever been to any competitions or entered your homebrew into any competitions before?
Yes! Last year I entered my first National Homebrew Competition where my Blonde Ale advanced to the final round. I also entered a Czech Pilsner in the 2009 Upper Mississippi Mash Out Competition and received second place in the Pilsner category.
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
I use a bucket heater and timer to get my water ready overnight. I can mash-in when I roll out of bed!
Describe your brew system.
The Rig of POWER. Keggle, 62 quart rectangular cooler aka The Cooler of Dreams.
How frequently do you brew (times per month or year)?
3 times a month
What is your favorite malt? Why?
Vienna baby! It's really malty.
What is your favorite hop? Why?
I love Saaz because of its floral profile.
Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast?
Favorite yeast is WLP830 (German Lager).
If you could share your homebrew with any celebrity, who would it be?
Patrick Stewart from Star Trek
Do you belong to a homebrew club? Do you have a good homebrew club story you'd like to share?
I belong to M.A.S.H. (Marshfield Area Society of Homebrewers). Our club is quite special due to a generous brewmaster, Travis Skroch at The Blue Heron Brew Pub. Our club formulates a recipe based on the season and we help Travis brew it. It's then released on tap at the pub for sale to the public. When it runs out we brew a new recipe!
Is there any advice you would like to give to new homebrewers?
Brew all the time! The more you brew the better you get. Be a sponge and soak up all the information you can get.
What is a beer style that is underappreciated and/or could take off given the opportunity and exposure?
Gratzer is one of my favorite beers. It has such a unique flavor profile and is very drinkable! It's totally worth the time investment to smoke your own wheat malt!
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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