Who Are You (please include a picture):
@SouthHouseBrew Home Town (City, State):
Indianapolis, INHomebrew Club:
(No Club Affiliation)I've been a homebrewer since:
2007. Before my senior year of college, I was an intern with a -bunch- of downtime. I found John Palmer's "How To Brew" on the internet, and read the entire 1st edition on a computer in a cubicle. I cashed my last paycheck, bought a kit, and starting cranking out batches with one of my roommates in our 8-man house's kitchen.Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?
The next summer, I brewed my first lager: a Boston Lager clone. I used our kegerator to ferment and condition since all but myself and another guy had left for the summer. After brewday, I set the fridge and went home for a few weeks.
In the meantime, the lone house inhabitant decided that he preferred his freedom to common 21st century amenities and quit his job. Bills went unpaid, electricity was shut off, and my poor lager was left to condition around 90F.
The roommate also had no money for beer, so he resorted to scooping out mugs of my buttery Boston Lager. He continued to suffer through the bucket until it developed a taste he described as "taco bell vomit".
A known serial beer burglar, he never bothered mine (or our roommates') beer again.What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
Sour beers. I love experimenting with new yeasts/bacteria, new techniques for maintaining mixed cultures, and new processes for achieving new flavors. I also love to blend (even though I'm not great at it).
A close second is IPA. I crave IPA more than any other style, and I love always having (at least) one on tap!What style(s) will you never brew?
Black IPA - this is a style I will never understand. Why, Pacific Northwest, WHY?! Or maybe "who?" is the better question. WHO spilled Schwarzbier in a perfectly good IPA?
Same goes with "Belgian"/"White" IPA...What was the first beer you ever brewed? How did it turn out?
My first beer was an Oktoberfest. It was an old kit fermented with Nottingham, I believe. My buddies liked it, I hated it.
I am grateful it didn't turn out because it pushed me to learn more about brewing.Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?
Last summer, I was brewing an IPA on a really nice day and my neighbor came over. More interested in BS'ing with him than brewing, I noticed I forgot every hop addition about 5 minutes after knockout. I added all the forgotten hops to the wort at around 170F, pretty much writing the beer off.
To this date - best IPA I've ever made. Now I add "the KO + 1 beer" addition to every IPA.What is your favorite beer recipe?
The recipe for the IPA above:
11.5 lbs Briess 2-row
3.0 lbs Weyermann Munich I
1.5 lbs Briess Wheat Malt
1.0 lbs Briess Victory Malt
1.0 lbs rice hulls
Water: RO, Adjusted to 300ppm sulfate
FWH: 0.75 oz Apollo (18.6% AA), 0.5 oz Centennial (8.7% AA)Are you a BJCP Judge? If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?
Its on my to-do list!Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
Fermentation control is the most important "trick" a homebrewer can learn. I use a dorm room fridge, a brew belt, and a 2-stage love controller.
I think my cold side techniques are important in the quality of my IPAs:
- at least 4oz per 5gal hops in the whirlpool
- Appropriate cell count from starter
- low pitch temp (62F), raising the temp 1 degree/day after 48 hours
- dry hop at the tail end of fermentation
- at least 3oz per 5gal dry hops, 2 days MAX contact time
- Immediate transfer to keg after diacetyl rest/dry hop time
- Exhaustive purging of keg and transfer equipment
- Keg hop warm, uncarbonated (same rules as dry hop)
- slow, cold carbonationDescribe your brew system.
MVP: Small fridge with 2-stage controller.
15gal Gott Cooler, 15gal stainless kettle with ball valve, Banjo Canjun Cooker, March pump for mash and wort circulation, immersion chiller, PLASTIC BUCKETS (I love 'em!)How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
At least twice per month, working towards 3-4 times per month.What is your favorite malt? Why?
Weyermann Munich I - my favorite way to add depth to a recipe without using caramel malts or adjuncts. I use at least a portion of Munich I in nearly all of my recipes.What is your favorite hop? Why?
Cascade. For an IPA, its like the salt in a flavorful dish. It intensifies and unifies hop flavor and aroma.
It also complements styles that would clash or be clobbered by newer, more intense varieties: Kolsch, Saison, American wheat, brown, and Pilsner!Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast?
If I had a "house" yeast, it would be the mixed culture I keep for my sour beers. Though it changes with time, it is mostly dominated by dregs from Upland, Jolly Pumpkin, Goose Island, and The Bruery.
For clean beers, I normally use 1056 or S-04.What haven't we asked that you would really like to answer?
"Will we see you at NHC this year?"
YES - I can't wait, it will be my first!
I'm also speaking on my experiments with creating and maintaining mixed cultures for sour beers. Come and geek out with me!If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?
I'd serve up some brew to Anthony Bourdain. I don't think I'll get a more honest face-to-face answer.
Plus he seems like a good guy to have a few beers with.
I'd probably offer him a few of my sours and my IPA. Great food beers.Can you send a picture or two of some labels you've created for your homebrew?
I've never made labels. I'm an engineer, which means I'm artistically challenged!What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew?
My most unusual ingredients are usually weird yeasts and bacteria - wine yeast, sherry flor, wild bugs from over-ripe fruit, wine lees, and unpasteurized apple cider.
I also like to put my own touch on "normal ingredients": toasting oats, grain, and oak, soaking oak in spirits (wine, port, rum, bourbon). Not terribly EXTREME, but I think its the small amount of effort that makes a difference. Kind of like a restaurant making their own bread for sandwiches and using the leftovers for croutons.Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients?
My two dogs are named Cooper and Murphy.
Best part: my wife still thinks SHE named the dogs...How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions?
Three: One for a Bock, one for a Flanders Red, and one for a Tripel conditioned with wild yeast and bacteria.Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
Mostly alone, but occasionally I'll have a friend or neighbor stop by. They usually leave around clean up time.Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer?
Outdoors!List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite?
"Monks Gone Wild" - Tripel w/ wild yeast and bacteria
"Murphinator Doppelbock" (a tribute to one of my brew-pups)