New Orleans, Louisiana
I've been a homebrewer since:
March of 2007
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?
I once made the mistake of not measuring the gravity of a beer before bottling. As it turns out the fermentation was far from over. With the added bottling sugar, I had bottles exploding for several days while I was out of town. I came home to a sticky, glass-laden mess all over my kitchen. I made an attempt to salvage what I could, but ultimately opened the rest of the bottles in the back yard (some of which sprayed several feet in the air). I look back on this with a smile and am very happy for the lesson of patience.
What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
I brew almost entirely ales. These are fairly evenly spread between American, English, Irish, and Belgian varieties. In the almost four years of homebrewing, I have only repeated a few recipes. When it comes down to it, my favorite style could be defined as "experimental."
What style(s) will you never brew?
Never? I didn't think I would ever brew an American Pilsner. I did just that a month ago. This brew was then dyed green for St. Patrick's Day in order to have a "festive" beer for some of my friends with closed minds as far as the world of beer goes.
What was the first beer you ever brewed? How did it turn out?
My first batch was a Cream Ale kit from Brewer's Best. I loved it, my roommates loved it, I was hooked.
Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?
My first Double IPA turned into a Belgian Double IPA. I relaxed and had a few too many homebrews on brew day, causing me to skimp on sanitation a bit. The Belgian yeast from a previous batch survived the rinsing of the carboy and put the brew into a whole different direction than intended. I was lucky it turned out so good, I have been trying to recreate it since.
What is your favorite beer recipe?
My favorite is an ever-evolving recipe for Vanilla Cream Ale. It is a session-type beer that is basically a Blonde Ale with an ounce of vanilla added at different stages.
Are you a BJCP Judge? If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?
nope, but I want to be.
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
I've recently started brewing all-grain beers on a single 12gal kettle. This is inefficiently accomplished by using my bottling bucket to hold the wort for a few minutes while I clean the grains out of the pot.
Describe your brew system.
I use a 12gal kettle on a Top-Tier floor burner for 5gal batches. 3 carboys, immersion chiller, outdoor-guerrilla style brewing at its best.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
I've been brewing a solid 2 a month for the last year.
What is your favorite malt? Why?
Roasted Barley. I love the toasty, biscuit-like flavor it adds to even the simplest of brews.
What is your favorite hop? Why?
Willamette, Mt. Hood, and Cascade are the three. All are versatile and light on the tongue with an impeccable aroma/flavor. Not to say Chinook or Simcoe don't make an amazing IPA.
Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast?
California Ale, Pacific Ale, or Euro Blend are used in most of my beers because they let both malt and hops shine. Belgian varieties are my favorite to play around with (I am currently fermenting one with Belgian Ardennes and a lambic blend porter).
What haven't we asked that you would really like to answer?
Why did you join the AHA?
To expand my brewing knowledge. To get pub discounts. To attend rallies (Saint Arnold's on Feb. 27th). Finally, to have a community of fellow brewers at my back every time I fill a bottle or even drink one.
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?
Vanilla Cream Ale
- It is from Mr. P's books that I learned to brew. It would be the least I could do to give thanks for such an influence in my life.
Can you send a picture or two of some labels you've created for your homebrew?
No cool labels to date, I use name tags. "Hello My Name Is Jumpin' Juniper"
What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew?
A twig from my next door neighbor's live oak fell in my kettle last week. Should add some good ol' southern twigginess to my Oatmeal Stout!
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
I've recently convinced two of my friends to start brewing, so they usually come over to help out (and I with them when they brew). I live with my girlfriend, she and I have brewed several ciders, meads, and gruits together. She loves when I make IPA's so she can get a smell of every bit of the hops before they join the boil.
List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite?
Easy-Peasy IPA, WhyNottaWryRye, Jumpin' Juniper, Bottled Buddha, Red Raven, and Devil.
Angry Belgian Imposter is my favorite name, it is a 10-11% honey-brown Belgian that really sneaks up on you and knocks you over.