Features and Publications
- The Brewing Network Sunday Session radio show (Apr 3, 2011, 'The Electric Brewery')
- The American Homebrewers Association (May 2011, 'Pimp my System: The Electric Brewery')
- Brew Your Own magazine (May-Jun 2011, 'Homebrew Drool ystems')
- The New York Times (Jun 23, 2011, page D1, 'Need a Six-Pack? Hit the Basement')
- Brew Your Own magazine (Nov 2012, 'Tips from the pros' column, article on electric brewing)
- ElectronicProducts.com (Mar 2012, 'Fundamentals of building an electric home brewery')
- Brew Your Own magazine (Nov 2013, 'Ultimate Brewing Man Cave')
- Ottawa Citizen (Nov 21, 2013, Homes section, 'Basement beauties')
- Huffington Post (Feb 2014, 'The 19 Coolest Things To Do With A Basement')
- Prime Living magazine (Jul-Aug 2014 Food & Wine issue, 'The Gentlemen's Room / Man Cave')
- Ottawa magazine (Oct 2014, 'How-to: Blow $50K in beer & wine')
I've been brewing on and off since the late 1980's, first with malt extract kits (with mixed results) and then later with 100% wort kits that required no boiling at all. I stuck with the no-boil kits for some time as they produced excellent beer (as long as you ignored the instructions). Bored with the limited styles available in kit form, in the fall of 2008 I decided to spread my wings and graduate to an all-grain setup where I could be 100% in control of the final product.
My all-grain brewery had to meet the following criteria:
- 100% electric for indoor brewing
- Safe, easy, and enjoyable to use
- Not limit the brewer in any way
- Provide extremely repeatable and consistent results
- Use industrial quality parts that last (all stainless steel, limit the use of plastics)
- Use standard off the shelf parts to ensure long term serviceability (limit the use of special/proprietary parts)
After failing to find a commercially available setup that met these criteria, I decided to design and build my own from the ground up over a 12 month period between 2008 and 2009. Pictures were taken throughout so that I could eventually document the whole process.
Like many first time all-grain brewers the inaugural batch was a hoppy American IPA, brewed on August 21, 2009. It turned out perfectly.
Brewing for me is not about saving money, it's about the art or craft of making beer and being able to call it my own. This is one of the few things in life where I can point to something and proudly say "I made that".
I've never run into any issues or problems with my Electric Brewery setup. I've never had a stuck sparge, missed a target gravity, had over/under temperature issues, or had clogged valves or pump priming issues. This setup just works. This allows me to focus my attention on recipe creation instead of worrying if the equipment will work correctly. Because of this I really look forward to the days when I brew. Isn't a hobby supposed to be enjoyable, after all?
I hold a degree in Electrical Engineering and spent 7 years designing plant floor process control systems used by operators at a manufacturing assembly plant. One of the systems was featured on the cover of the March/April 1999 issue of 'Manufacturing Automation' magazine.
As a kid growing up, I remember sticking bare wires and other things into electrical sockets when my parents weren't looking. (Seriously).
I've also had a deep love for movies and home theater since the early 1980's and have been the editor of CurtPalme.com Home Theater since 2006. I've written many home theater guides including the popular ChromaPure Grayscale & Color Calibration for Dummies (a free guide that helps you get the absolute best picture out of your TV or projector).