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General Category => Homebrewer Bios => Topic started by: BBShop10r on February 01, 2018, 07:48:43 PM

Title: Greetings from the Bold North
Post by: BBShop10r on February 01, 2018, 07:48:43 PM
Hey beer lovers!  I'm Jeff from the Minneapolis, MN area.  I've been a foodie and craft beer lover for many years -- I'd rather have 1 good beer than 10 tasteless macrobrews.  I was a Chemistry major in college, but ended up in the IT industry for the past 30+ years.  A good friend is a BJCP judge and homebrewer and he has been on me to give it a go for years.  I finally succumbed to his persuasiveness about a year ago.

I decided to stick to extract brews for my initial batches, to make sure I enjoyed it before I made big investments in gear.  I'm glad I made that choice as I've learned a lot about the basic processes and my brew/bottle days have been steadily getting shorter and less chaotic.  I've brewed 5 LME/Steeped Grain kits from Midwest Supplies so far and I've been very pleased with the results.  I did have to recover from a poor fermentation, but with some research, I was still able to get a good product, which felt good and helped me gain perspective.

I don't really have a favorite style to brew, but my tastes run more to the malty side of the scale.  I do like variety, so I tend to vary my drinking by season and mood.  My first batch was a simple Brown Ale, as a relatively easy and forgiving brew.  I brew intermittently and during warmer weather (see below and MN climatology).   I try to make my brew days a social occasion, inviting friends (either brewers or not) over to kibbitz, drink a beer or two...and of course add some extra hands to the process. 

Brew System: My first batch was done with a basic kit from Midwest Supplies.  Having learned from cooking and DIY projects that good tools really do make a difference, I quickly invested in a 10Gal MegaPot 1.2 and I'm really glad I did.  I brew on my driveway (wife doesn't want the malt smell in the house) using a turkey fryer burner I got for free.  I built myself a counterflow chiller using plans from the Internet, after borrowing one from my friend and Beer Sensei.  I've added plastic Big Mouth Bubblers for primary and secondary fermenters and I love those too (can you say easy cleaning?).  I bottle in bombers to cut the number of bottles in half.  Kegging is in my future when I redo my lower level and build in the bar with 2-4 taps.

Future plans: I'm planning to start all-grain brewing this summer, so I can have more control.  Thinking about trying BIAB.  At some point, I want to build a shed by my garage and include space for a permanent, heated, vented brewing space, so I can keep brewing year round up here in the frozen north.

I look forward to all the great info on the AHA site and in the forums.  I appreciate all of your willingness to help and look forward to participating more as I build my skills.  Cheers!

Jeff
Title: Re: Greetings from the Bold North
Post by: denny on February 01, 2018, 08:41:51 PM
Hi Jeff!  Welcome to the hobby and the forum!
Title: Re: Greetings from the Bold North
Post by: jpeets on February 01, 2018, 09:28:23 PM
Welcome Jeff
Title: Re: Greetings from the Bold North
Post by: klickitat jim on February 01, 2018, 10:24:32 PM
Welcome
Title: Re: Greetings from the Bold North
Post by: Robert on February 01, 2018, 10:30:26 PM
Welcome, happy brewing, and good luck with the shed and bar!  (An old friend of mine from Edina used to say your seasons are -20° winter, 110° summer, and spring and fall last 6 hours each.  Better put A.C. in the shed too!)
Title: Re: Greetings from the Bold North
Post by: el_capitan on February 09, 2018, 04:14:31 AM
Welcome, from a fellow MN brewer.  My coldest brewday ever was 4 years ago, I think.  It was -32 actual temp, with a windchill of -51.  School was cancelled statewide, so I brewed a Helles out in the garage and called it "Helles Frozen Over".  Had to put the propane tank in a large tub of warm water to keep the gas flowing, and the beer turned out great.  Cheers!