May Featured Brewer
Updated: May 3
Each month we feature one of our brewers. This month, our featured brewer is Dan DeKalb. Dan has won numerous awards for his beer, and collaboration brews with various breweries. He even has a collaboration beer on tap at Beer Is Good Brewing Co. Here is a little more about Dan and his craft beverage journey.
Years Brewing: 12
What are your favorite styles to brew? English Ales
What got you into brewing? A friend invited me to help him brew an extract kit.
Current Brewing Rig: I use the Blichmann Top Tier that I won at an REB silent auction (I was told it had been donated by one of the owners of Vanessa House). The boil pot doubles as a hot liquor tank. I use one pump to lift hot water to the mash tun and additional water to the sparge bucket later relying on gravity for everything else. I mash with an IGLOO style water cooler. I use a BSG bucket for the sparge water later becoming the fermenter having utilized the sparge water as the final sanitization.
What Brew Day Rules do you follow?
1. Wear my REB shirt.
2. Start very early in the morning.
3. Listen to jazz.
4. Make notes on EVERYTHING and track everything in spreadsheets.
5. Check pH and gravity at every stage.
6. Hook the wort chiller to a garden hose and lawn sprinkler. There’s no sense in wasting the water at the curb. Besides, the sod loves warm water!!!
7. Except for a splash of bourbon on 4 ounces of the initial running from the mash, no alcohol consumption until the yeast is pitched.
Most influential brewing tip you learned: “The most important ingredient is patience.”
Your tip for new brewers just getting started: Ask lots of questions and lean on your fellow brewers for input. Brewers are incredibly supportive of each other. Even during competitions, brewers want everyone to brew fantastic beer. I believe this is done with the anticipation you will eventually be sharing your beer!!!!
What’s on tap at your brew house right now:
1. Old English Ale
2. English Porter w/ Maple
3. American Pale Ale
4. Oktober Fest
5. Cravin’ – Vienna Lager (BiG Taproom Release)