By Ryan Holt
After years of brewing on a stove top, Ryan H. ditched that and upgraded to a 20-gallon Spike Trio system.
I got into homebrewing back in 1996. My brother and I were living in a small apartment in East Long Beach, CA and he came home with a homebrew kit. Those first few batches on the stove top didn’t turn out too good, but we drank them anyway.
After college, I moved to Oregon and finally had a garage where I could spread out and start doing some brewing of my own. I brewed extract batches for the first year and then slowly added equipment so that I could brew all-grain beers. This is where things really exploded. I entered competitions and started winning.
In 2017, I figured it was time to step up to the next level, so I converted a space in my garage for an electric system and glycol chilled conical fermenters. I built a custom table, installed 220 power and ventilation, and pulled the trigger on a 20-gallon Spike Trio System. Switching from propane burners to electric elements was a real bonus and has been pretty rad for brewing consistency; and being able to control temps and pumps from the control panel is really convenient.
My brand, Old Standby Brewing, is a trusted and reliable resource in the community. I’ve donated all the proceeds from thirsty folks in my community to local charities in the Pacific Northwest.
Beyond the main four, beer is the main ingredient that brings people together. It’s also been a great way to expand my brewing knowledge, meet new people, and give back.
My advice to new brewers is to start small, keep it simple in the beginning and try to improve with each beer you brew. Use quality ingredients and equipment. And of course, involve friends and family because brewing beer with good people is really the best part of Brew Day