February Featured Brewer
Each month we feature one of our brewers. This month, our featured brewer is Brandon Jones. Brandon is Red Earth's highest ranked BJCP Judge with the rank of National. Brandon is a former REB President. Here is a little more about Brandon and his craft beer journey.
Occupation: Aerospace Engineer
Years Brewing: 11 years (July 2010)
What are your favorite styles to brew? I prefer lower alcohol styles, and have an affinity towards lagers. I brew a pretty wide variety, but the styles I keep coming back to are American Lager, Helles, Pilsner, Märzen, and Irish Red.
What got you into brewing? I had talked about making beer for years, but never really tried until my wonderful wife, Julie, bought me a starter kit for our anniversary. After the first beer, I was hooked!
Current Brewing Rig: I am currently running a 3 vessel HERMS system that I designed and built myself. For fermentation, I have 2 Spike CF10 unitanks and a homemade window-unit glycol chiller for temperature control.
What Brew Day Rules do you follow? No alcohol until the wort is in the fermenter.
Most influential brewing tip you learned: Geez there are so many that come to mind, but probably a quote I heard listening to the Session on the Brewing Network. "Any brewer is capable of making a great beer once, but a great brewer can make that same great beer every time." Having consistent, repeatable processes that yield predictable results will take your brewing to the next level.
Your tip for new brewers just getting started:
1. Have fun, it's just beer.
2. Get some kind of temperature control as soon as possible.
3. Stop looking for recipes on the internet. Get a copy of Brewing Classic Styles or Modern Homebrew Recipes, find a straightforward, simple recipe, and brew it multiple times. Once you are comfortable with the basics, you can tackle anything.
4. Seek out other good brewers and surround yourself with them. Ask for feedback and listen to what they say. Good feedback is incredibly hard to come by.
What’s on tap at your brew house right now: Pre-prohibition American Lager, red wine, and sparkling water.