Some quick facts!
Name: Aaron R.
Where he is from: Williston, Vermont
Spike Brewing equipment owned: 30 gallon Spike kettle and a variety of kettle accessories. Prior to that I had a Spike 10 gallon kettle. On my wish list is a 1BBL Spike conical.
Homebrew club: Green Mountain Mashers
Years brewing: 5 years
Brewing setup: Mega BIAB (large batch Brew in a Bag)
Favorite beer to drink: Mixed fermentation / barrel aged / and fruit beers - (and often beers that combine all those elements)
How he got into homebrewing: I was looking for a hobby that would let me flex my creativity, yet also require me to respect the science aspect too. I also wanted a hobby that has just the slightest touch of taboo, because that keeps it a little more exciting, because for lack of better words, that's how I like to roll. Homebrewing seemed to fit the bill!
How has Spike Equipment helped elevate your brew day?
My Spike kettle has been there for all of my very special projects - filling oak barrels for long term sour projects, club brews, and more. The kettle and accessories look and feel like quality equipment, and I am a man who appreciates nice things once and a while!
If you could give advice to a brewer that was just starting, what would you tell them?
Start small, create a foundation of knowledge and experience, and then grow. Add temperature control to your setup as soon as possible.
What brew equipment upgrade made the most impact on your brewing?
A fermentation chamber with full temperature control was really impactful.
What is one homebrewing story you love to share?
In a recent Brew Your Own Magazine article, I mentioned a story about brewing 28 gallons of golden sour wort in my garage, on my Spike 30g kettle, when the temperature was 18F ("feels like" was 8F). It was so cold my propane tank kept freezing and I cut the boil short, which wasn't a good idea, considering I was using floor malted pilsner which is a little more prone to DMS. Days later when I went to move the fermented beer to an oak barrel, it tasted like cream corn and vegetables from DMS. What I didn't tell the world is that I bubbled a whole tank of CO2 through that beer and then let it age in a barrel for one year with a large mix of microbes, and after a recent sample, it's shaping up to be a fantastic sour beer!
Learn more about Aaron by visiting his website: Ritchiebrewing.com