Brewers spotlight March 2017


A monthly Q & A highlighting one of our club members, there brewing experience, how and why they started brewing as well as there methods and favorite homebrews.
This month’s spotlight will be focussing on SSOB club member and President, Neil Petersen.

Q: how long have you been home brewing?

A: Well I started brewing back at the end of college, an ex-girlfriend wanted to brew so I got her the basic setup for Xmas. So I guess I have been brewing for about 10 years off and on.

Q: How/why did you get into homebrewing?

A: Once my ex and I started brewing, I wasn’t even really into beer yet, I got hooked and became super interested in the process and science. I have a degree in Botany and so it just made sense, beer is just water and different plants so simple but complex. And I love chemistry so that all lends itself to brewing.

Q: what is your prefered method of brewing and why?

A: I love all grain brewing, going from the basic ingredients to a finished beer is really interesting for me.

Q: Can you describe your equipment set up and how it works for you?

A: I live off the grid so I like equipment that is basic and doesn’t have lots of moving parts. That being said I have a three tier system that I brew on which is all done by gravity, the only energy input in to the system is the propane to heat the liquor tank. I use three 15gal kegs as my HLT, Mash tun and Boil Kettle to brew 10gal batches.

Q: Do you have a favorite yeast type or strain?

A: I think yeasts are really where you get a lot of variation in beer. So most of the time I like experimenting with different strains, I usually split my 10gal batches into two different batches with different yeast. I have really been getting excited about trying mixed fermentation.

Q: Dry or liquid yeast?

A: I typically use liquid yeast but have had great success with dry yeast as well.

Q: Do you/have you ever used a yeast starter?

A: I don’t usually create a starter, I am a procrastinator so it works better for me to just pitch the yeast straight on the wort. I don’t feel like this really adds much time to the fermentation.

Q: What is your source of water for brewing?

A: Being of the grid in Round Mountain I use spring water which I have never really tested but I assume has more than enough minerals for happy yeast as I have never had any problems in the past few years using this water.

Q: What are your favorite style’s of beer?

A: I love just about all beer, dark beers hold a special place in my heart as well does a good session IPA but if I were forced to pick a large style I would say my favorite are sours/mixed fermentation beers. The complexity that these beers display is just staggering!

Q: What are your favorite styles to brew and why?

A: I work at Woodys Brewing Co. as brewer so now a days I don’t have much interest in brewing standard beers. So I have been heavily getting into experimental ingredients and mixed fermentation. I am really excited for spring to try some spontaneous fermentations! I am just about to bottle my first sour beers that are almost a year old already!

Q: Could you share one of your favorite homebrew recipes with us?

A: West Coast IPA

American IPA (14 B)

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 10.00 gal
Boil Size: 13.44 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
End of Boil Vol: 11.44 gal
Final Bottling Vol: 9.25 gal
Fermentation: My Aging Profile

Date: 02 Oct 2016
Brewer: Neil Petersen
Asst Brewer:
Equipment: Stainless Kegs (10 Gal/37.8 L) – All Grain
Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 79.2 %
Taste Rating: 30.0

Taste Notes:


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
24 lbs (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 84.2 %
2 lbs Caramunich Malt (40.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.0 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 15L (15.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.3 %
1 lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.5 %
0.75 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 6.5 IBUs
0.75 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 11.8 IBUs
0.75 oz Galena [12.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 14.7 IBUs
0.75 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 5.0 IBUs
0.75 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 9 9.0 IBUs
0.75 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 10 10.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 0.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 1.6 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 13 1.9 IBUs
4.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 0.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.074 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.022 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.8 %
Bitterness: 62.1 IBUs
Est Color: 9.1 SRM

Measured Original Gravity: 1.071 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.020 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.7 %
Calories: 243.4 kcal/12oz

Mash Profile

Mash Name: BIAB, Full Body
Sparge Water: 13.35 gal
Sparge Temperature: 168.1 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE
Est Mash PH: 5.64
Measured Mash PH: 5.20

Total Grain Weight: 28 lbs 8.0 oz
Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Target Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Acid Addition:
Sparge Acid Addition:

Q: Share a funny or interesting brewing experience.

A: Way back when as new brewers my ex and I had brewed a beer but didn’t really know anything about blow off tubes etc. So about a day after pitching yeast we are hearing this really loud bubbling, not a big deal so we go to bed, the carboy is cranking away in our closet mind you. At about four in the morning it sounded like a gunshot went off in the closest, this we cannot ignore. We find much to our dismay that the airlock was violently blown off and hit the ceiling, this was the chill part. The not so chill part was the massive amounts of foam and hop bits that were spewed all over the entire closet including our clothes. So after about two hours of cleaning we decided to get an early breakfast before work, this experience also got us to think about using a blow off tube at the beginning of our fermentations!

Thank you Neil for taking part and sharing with us. If any one would like to be featured in an upcoming spotlight just let me know.

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