Here we go again! Another edition of the Brew Crew this time with the Brew Dudes.
1) Who are the Brew Dudes? Is it 1 or 2 dudes?
2) When/Why did you start brewing?
Mike started brewing in 1998. John started brewing in 2005. We love craft beer, craft beer pubs and craft beer events. By becoming homebrewers, brewing beer has taught us a lot about what gives craft beer its diversity and character style-to-style. We enjoy the DIY aspect of homebrewing and tinkering with ingredients.
3) When/Why did you start blogging?
Our blog started up in August 2007 as a tool to learn and share information about homebrewing. We are passionate about the hobby and we wanted to be a part of the larger homebrewing community. This blog is our attempt at reaching out and being a part of it.
4) What/Why is your favorite recipe/style to brew?
John: I don't have a favorite yet. I am still trying to find it.
Mike: My favorite recipe is for Ordinary Bitter. The style is so unassuming, yet very fulfilling; fulfilling to drink and to brew.
5) What is your brewery set-up and how did you piece it together?
John: I have a propane burner along with a 9 gallon brew kettle with a spigot on it. For my mash tun, I have a unconverted cooler that I use a large steeping bag to remove the grains from the wort.
Mike: I have a converted keg for my primary kettle and a second 10 gallon stainless pot for heating water or boiling smaller batches. I brew on two propane burners in my garage. I use a converted igloo 50QT cube cooler with a stainless braid as a manifold. I am a batch sparger.
6) What is your favorite technique to use? *Could be all-grain, partial mash or extract*
John: I am partial to partial mash…since that is what I can do with my set up without any issues.
Mike: All-grain, however I have been experimenting with the occasional extract brew lately to explore yeast strains.
7) What brewing technique do you want to learn next? (mashing, hopback, kegging etc.,. maybe one you've created) *same as above*
Mike: No, I am going to master Lagering. OK OK...cold fermentation.
8) Do you brew self-sustainably and/or organically? Explain?
John: I would like to grow my own hops. I don't think I will be growing and malting my own barley any time soon.
Mike: I try to brew with water savings in mind. I currently use an immersion chiller, but I constantly monitor the water flow to keep chilling rate at a maximum. I also capture the first 5 gallons of hot water and mix it with PBW to have for cleaning.
9) What is your favorite blog(s) to read? (Doesn't have to be beer related)
John: Liquorsnob.com is a good one.
10) Are you a member of a homebrewing club or American Homebrew Association?
John: I am not a member of AHA yet.
Mike: I have been a member of the AHA for the last three years. I also have the occasional group brew session with some local members of the Brewing Knowledge Base brewing forum. (Great guys over there)
11) What is your favorite local brewery(s) to patronize?
John: I like to go to Gritty's when we are in Portland, ME. The Boston Beer Works are ones I frequent often.
Mike: Gritty's in Portland ME and Watch City in Waltham MA.
12) Is it hard to find brewing ingredients in your area?
John: We don't seem to have a problem finding stuff.
Mike: There are three shops within 20 minute drive from my house. One is only 5 minutes from my office. Also after Al Gore invented the internet its been even easier to get stuff from online vendors.
13) Are you a White Labs Lad or Wyeast Wise Guy?
John: I would say that I have used White Labs more often than Wyeast….but that's not due to any conscious preference.
Mike: I started as a Wyeast guy because I though smack packs were cool.. Then I transitioned to WhiteLabs because....I thought it was cooler to use a starter from a vial.