Brewer Bio: Ron Bilotta
Me at New Glarus last year
Who Are You (please include a picture): Ron Bilotta, AKA “metronbrewer”
Home Town (City, State): White Bear Lake, MN
Homebrew Club: I have not joined one, yet
I've been a homebrewer since: I brewed a few extract batches many years ago, but got back into the hoppy, I mean hobby, in December 2009. Brewed 16 extract batches and then jumped into All-Grain, coming up on batch 94.
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share? Nothing major, running out of propane, boil overs, leaky mash tun.
What is your favorite style(s) to brew? IPA
What style(s) will you never brew? Nothing definite at this point, but any style that I don’t particularly care for probably will not get brewed.
What was the first beer you ever brewed? How did it turn out? Northern Brewer “Steller Tois” extract kit. It was good. My palate sure has matured since then.
Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great? Nope, most of my mistakes have been “oops’s” and they turned out ok.
What is your favorite beer recipe? My house IPA in development is pretty good; Greg Muller’s “Racer 5” clone is tasty as well. My wife and I took a keg of that down in about 3 weeks. People really like the BVIP from Denny as well.
Are you a BJCP Judge? If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging? Not a judge.
Do you have a good beer judging story you'd like to share with the rest of the homebrewing world? Not a judge.
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc? I think Brun’Water has probably helped me the most in taking the taste of my beer to the next level.
Describe your brew system. Denny’s Cheap-N-Easy cooler, aluminum kettle on propane. I am in the process of turning my downstairs workshop into a brew-house, and converting to electric.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)? Probably 20-25 batches per year.
What is your favorite malt? Why? I use a lot of Rahr Pale Ale malt for the versatility.
What is your favorite hop? Why? Centennial, I just like that flavor.
Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast? My favorite yeast is probably US-05, just due to the convenience.
Do you have a good homebrew club story you'd like to share? Not in a club.
What haven't we asked that you would really like to answer? Not really a question but my wife and I took a “Beercation last year. We visited, New Glarus, (the hard hat tour), Capital Brewing, Ale Asylum, Minhas Brewing, and the Lazy Monk. I’m really looking forward to my first National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids this year!
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him? I’d love to give Denny Conn, Martin Brungard, Brad Smith, as well as most of the people on this forum a beer, just to thank them for all the help they’ve given me.
Can you send a picture or two of some labels you've created for your homebrew? I keg pretty much everything so no labels.
What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew? I don’t really use anything unusual. I’m a bit boring that way, but I like my beer to taste like “beer”.
Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients? My laptop is named “Centennial”
How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions? I’ve only entered one, the 2013 Minnesota State Fair. I did not medal but was very happy with a 30.50 for my first competition. While I’d like to win a medal, someday, I’m not really brewing to compete.
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with? I brew with my wife.
Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer? Currently an outdoor brewer.
List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite? I usually just name my beers by their style, pretty boring I know.