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Bread & Sourdough

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Smoking Meat



About Me

UPDATE 2024:  I'm still brewing 2-3 times a month on my Brewzilla system, and I'm really enjoying how easy that setup is to use.  I'm a lot less active in the local homebrew clubs and event than I used to be, but I try to make it to a few meetings and events each year to catch up with old (and new) brewing friends.  Cheers!









Magazine Articles

Being an avid homebrewer for several years, I've been approached by a few people who find me through this site or our local Ames Brewers League page to do brewing articles and other beer related projects.  Here are a couple magazine articles I have been involved with that provided a way to let the local community know more about what it's like to be a homebrewer:


The Brew Code - SIR Magazine - 2012

I was contacted by an Iowa State University student about doing an article about my brewing process and our local brew club (Ames Brewers League) for one of his journalism classes in the spring of 2012. He was interested in checking out the brewing process and what it takes to start homebrewing.  He ended up coming over for a couple brew days and did a great job writing the article.  It was published in a student-run magazine called SIR, which was put out around the time of Viesha.


Be Better at Everything: How to build a killer kegerator - Des Moines Register - 2013

 The majority of the traffic that comes to my site seems to be related to my Chest Freezer Kegerator page, so I believe that's how the author of this article found me.  It was fun meeting with him and discussing how the kegging system worked and just how easy it was to build one yourself.


Homebrewing Background

I've been brewing beer at home since March of 2005.  I started out with an equipment kit from Midwest Supplies and one of their easy 30 Minute Wheat recipe kits, which contained a can of hopped extract and some DME.  After brewing several batches, I got sick of bottling so much beer.  I was a college student at the time and needed to keep myself stocked up, so I decided to get into kegging.  I built my Sanyo Kegerator and had it up and running in no time.  Since I no longer had to bottle whole batches of beer, I started brewing more often.  After awhile of brewing inside, I decided to buy a turkey fryer setup and move my brewing operations onto the porch.  That allowed me to do full-wort boils and produced cleaner beer without having to worry about hop utilization or scorching wort by doing concentrated boils.


I never really considered going all-grain while I was living in apartments due to the space limitations, so that came later after I purchased my first house.  I converted a cooler into a mash tun and bought another pot to use as my hot liquor tank.  After the move to all-grain, I was brewing a ton of beer as you can see from the beer log in 2007.  I also decided that 2 beers just wasn't enough to have on tap.  After researching the topic online, I decided to build a chest freezer kegerator and document the process so others could benefit.  I've gotten a lot of good feedback from the various forums that I post on (Northern Brewer, Brew Board, etc.).


At one time I was an active member of three homebrew clubs: (the Ames Brewers League (ABL) and the Iowa Brewers Union (IBU), and the Raccoon River Brewing Club.  The Raccoon River Brewing Club has since disbanded.  As time went on, I had less free time for multiple clubs, so I mainly attend IBU and Ankeny Area Brewers Club meetings when I can.  I joined the Ames Brewers League when I was still in college at Iowa State University and continued for the next 10 years.  During that time I held several officer positions including President several times, web master, and events coordinator.  After college, I took a position in the Des Moines area and decided to check an IBU meeting, and I was hooked after that.  The IBU is a larger club than the ABL, so I was able to meet a larger number of brewers to bounce ideas off of.  I enjoy attending beer club meetings, sharing my beers, getting feedback, and sampling other brewers' beers. It gives me an opportunity to help some people with their brewing, as well as learn a few things myself.  All the clubs have a wide range of members from those just starting out to seasoned brewers who have been at it for years.


I became a BJCP Certified beer judge in 2009.  When I got my results back, I was only 2 points away from receiving a National level.  Oh well.  I most likely won't take the exam again since I don't do much beer judging anyway.  I usually judge a couple local competitions each year and call it good.


Update 12/29/2020 - I'm still brewing and attending beer club meetings (virtually), but much less of both than I used to as you can see from my Beer Log.  COVID-19 has really put a damper on in-persom meetings, but the beer clubs still try to get together virtually so we can all share beers and chat.   Lately I have been brewing a lot of hop flavor-forward IPAs, darker beers, and I've started making hard seltzer (MikeClaw) as well.  I don't brew as many sour beers as I used to, but I still enjoy the process and need to start back up again so I can get in a cycle.


Contact Information:

I always enjoy talking with fellow home brewers or those who are interested in the hobby.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please feel free to contact me.


Contact Information:  MikeYoungHB at gmail.com

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