Home Town (City, State): Plainfield, CT
I’ve been a homebrewer since: Nov. 2014
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you’d like to share? I wouldn’t say I have had a “disaster” as of yet. I have had my share of boil overs and spills. But I feel I have been pretty lucky so far.
What is your favorite style(s) to brew? I have been chasing Red IPA for a while. My latest batch that I did for the Real Home Opener competition is probably my favorite so far. I like to brew different batches to try the different styles and figure out what goes into a good one. I have about 3 recipes that I have brewed multiple times.
What style(s) will you never brew? Right now any lager. I don’t have the capabilities to get my fermentations cold enough. But I wouldn’t rule anything out. I like drinking everything, why not try to brew it.
What was the first beer you ever brewed? How did it turn out? Like most people I made a Brown Ale extract kit. The beer itself was ok, I brewed 2 more batches before I even tasted it. I was immediately drawn to the process. Even if my first brew day was 8 hours long.
Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great? I almost always feel like I have made a mistake. Timing, temperature, no starter etc. But this is mostly because things didn’t go as planned. I haven’t dumped a batch yet, hopefully I can keep on that trend.
What is your favorite beer recipe? My friend and I make a Strawberry Rhubarb Saison that goes over really well with most crowds. Not too many people are making that flavor combination. It even took gold at last year’s Beehive Brew Off.
Are you a BJCP Judge? If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging? Not a judge at this time but am looking to take part in the exam sometime soon.
Do you have a good beer judging story you’d like to share with the rest of the homebrewing world? My first time judging was at this last year’s Beehive Brew Off. I was one of the lucky judges that got to judge Fruit Beer (Mostly Jalapeño Ales), Mixed Fermentation and then Wild Sour Beers back to back. I could not really taste much by the end and my brain was just fried trying to pick out the individual flavors.
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you’ve found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc? I used to be a Brew in a Bag brewer. This is by far the cheapest and easiest way to get into all grain. The process is fairly easy and the added equipment is a $5 bag.
Describe your brew system. Right now I have a 10 gal. Mashtun with a 7 gal. Hot Liquor Kettle and a 7 gal. Brew Kettle. 1 burner to do all the heating. I finally figured out all the quirks of this set up with my last batch since switching from Brew in a Bag. Hopefully I can keep the “smooth” brew days going.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)? I try to brew 2 times a month. This last month I brewed 3 times though to get back up to speed after taking over a month off.
What is your favorite malt? Why? I like pale 2-row. It makes up the majority of most of my grists and you can’t go wrong with it. I have been experimenting with honey malt lately as I try different Honey Ale recipes.
What is your favorite hop? Why? Lately some of my favorite beers I have made have used Ahtanum. It has a nice balance between citrus and earthiness.
Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast? I try to use Wyeast American II for most beers as it seems to work well overall. Though with the variety of beers that I have brewed I usually just go with whatever the recipe I use calls for.
Do you have a good homebrew club story you’d like to share? Homebrew Convention last year was a great time. There were about 9 of us there, we got to meet John Mallett(Author of Malt and Manager of Operations a Bell’s Brewing), I may or may not have walked out of a brewery with half a sack of malt and we pretty much drank all the beer in San Diego and the surrounding breweries between the airport and the convention hotel.
What haven’t we asked that you would really like to answer? Yes, this is my natural beard. No, the beard is not compensating for the lack of hair on top of my head.
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him? I would love to give my beer to President Obama. When I first heard that he used the honey from the White House hives to make his own beer that really made me think harder about starting homebrewing. I would either give him my Red IPA or one of my meads.
What’s the most unusual ingredient you’ve ever used in a brew? I haven’t gone too crazy on ingredients just yet. I get pretty scared about not liking a beer and having to dump it.
Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients? Kids… that’s a good one.
How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions? So far I have won a Gold for my Strawberry Rhubarb Saison and a Bronze for my Strawberry Cinnamon Mead.
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with? I mostly brew alone because it is hard to make schedules work for when I want to brew. I like having friends come up with styles they would like to try and then have them help me brew them.
Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer? Now that I have a bigger set-up I brew in my garage with the door open. It can get pretty cold in the winter, but I need beer in the winter too.
List some of the names you’ve given your beers. Which is your favorite? I used give interesting names to my beers but lately I just go with a description of what they are. Some of my old favorites are; Beard Dropper DIPA, Double Rubber Amber, Fuzzy Snavely Peach Hef, Milkstache Stout, Puffy Pants Vanilla Porter and Scarlett O’Hale-Yeah Red Ale.
Can you send a picture or two of some labels you’ve created for your homebrew?
- Client Mark Imre
- Date May 1, 2016
- Tags Member Profiles