I am originally from New Jersey, but my mom is a Cranston native, so I have been coming to RI. Before settling in RI I spent 4 years in Philadelphia and 4 years in Boston where I studied French Horn. I moved to Providence in 2007 and began brewing a few months later. I had been a craft beer lover for a while and decided to try it myself, so I bought myself a Mr. Beer kit. Two brews in, I decided to move up to 5 gallon extract batches and then to mini mash. I was enjoying the extract beers I was making, but finally got the push I needed while listening to an episode of The Sunday Session on The Brewing Network. The guest was Michael “Mufasa” Ferguson, the brewmaster for the BJ’s Brewery chain, who said “if you weren’t mashing your own grains, you aren’t making beer.”. While I don’t agree with this statement, it did push me to build a mash tun and start doing all grain brewing in my apartment’s small kitchen with electric stove. My first 2 all-grain batches were actually served at my wedding! Looking back this was insane, but the Irish Red and blonde ale turned out great and were all received by the guests.`
Since going all grain I have slowly simplified my setup. I did many years of batch sparge with my cooler mash tun and a few years of Brew in a Bag, but now I brew using a Brewer’s Edge Mash and Boil all in one electric system. It is a great little system that fits my brewing and lifestyle well.
I am really into brewing session beers with a majority of recent brews being under 5%. A recipe I have been playing around with and tweaking recently is a nice easy drinking pale ale. I tweak this a bit every time I brew and usually single hop with a different variety each time. Current version below:
- 7# base malt (I am currently using Malting Company of Ireland Irish Ale Malt)
- 1# Weyermann Munich 1
- 1# Simpsons Golden Naked Oats
- .5 oz Amarillo 30 minutes
- .5 oz Amarillo 10 minutes
- 1 oz Amarillo flameout 15 minute Whirlpool
- 2 oz Amarillo dry hop
I adjust my water using the Bru’n water spreadsheet Pale Ale profile and adjust pH with either acid malt or a dose of 88% lactic acid.