The Lord's Favorite Homebrew Club

Sean Landis.

July 2016

Project Description

imageHome Town: Draper, UT

I’ve been a homebrewer since: I started brewing around 1987, but took a 25 year break. I started brewing again in ernest in the summer of 2012.

Do you have a homebrewing disaster you’d like to share? I’ve blown the lid off of a few buckets because I failed to use a blow off tube. I’m coming to the conclusion that I should just use them all the time because I’ve had 1.050 OG beers blow their top.

What is your favorite style(s) to brew? I’ve brewed about 30 different styles and I can’t say I have a favorite. I like variety. I do find my tastes vary seasonally though. Lighter beers in the summer, darker in the winter.

What style(s) will you never brew? I hesitate to say ‘never’, but I am not a fan of smoky flavors.

What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out? I honestly can’t remember, but I suspect it was a pale ale or an amber ale. My second was a kick ass stout. Both were LME based.

Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great? Not that I can recall.

What is your favorite beer recipe? Just like favorite beers, I don’t have a favorite recipe. I’m fond of the easy ones though.

Are you a BJCP Judge?  I am not.

Do you have a good beer judging story you’d like to share with the rest of the homebrewing world? Every time I’ve judged, I’ve really enjoyed it. I learn a lot, I get to know my fellow judge more and, so far, most of the beers have been very good. 

Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you’ve found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc? Being around so many good brewers, I tend to take advanced practices for granted. Obviously, solid, repeatable processes are key. So is cleanliness and sanitation. I really like using Beersmith software to design my beers. I think it is crucial for any home brewer to get onto all-grain brewing, and designing his or her own beer as quickly as possible. 

Describe your brew system. I use a fairly standard 5 gallon system with a 10 gallon cooler as a mash tun. I do all my brewing on the stove. I both bottle and keg. I have enough equipment to have about 5 beers in process at once. 

How frequently do you brew? Lowest rate is about once every five weeks, highest, every week. Maybe 15 to 30 times a year.

What is your favorite malt?  Why? I try to use the most appropriate malts for the beer style. On my todo list is to try to zone in on brands of malts I prefer. However, I don’t want to be disappointed by sketchy availability, so I try to be flexible. I tend to favor North American grains.

What is your favorite hop? Why? Again, I choose the hops that I think are best for the style I am brewing. When brewing hop-forward beers, I do like Cascade as a base flavor hop. I’ll mix in others as necessary.

Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast? I probably use California Ale yeast most. It attenuates strongly and drops out clean. It’s highly alcohol tolerant so I can brew big beers with it. I’m planning on experimenting with CAY in styles that traditionally use other yeasts. I also like French Saison yeast as it is less finicky than it’s Belgian cousins. I don’t yet have sophisticated enough temp control on the warm side to deal with high-temp fermentation well.

Do you have a good homebrew club story you’d like to share? I really enjoy talking to other, more experienced brewers. Our club is blessed with many very good brewers with different ways of doing things; not to mention several professionals. I also enjoy the group events such as Big Brew Day and barrel fills. The education presentations are great for distilling a lot of info into a ‘what you need to know’ understanding of a topic.

What haven’t we asked that you would really like to answer? Some LDB members may not know that I’ve been trying to get a brewery open over the last year and a half. We’ve gotten close a few times, but still are no closer. Although it has been frustrating, I have learned so much while pursuing this dream.

If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him? I brewed the White House Honey Ale recipe once and enjoyed it. Then I converted it to an all-grain recipe and that was good too. My middle daughter suggested I make it hoppier and that was even better. This may be the beer most enjoyed by others. I’d like to share it with President Obama and see if he likes it better than his house honey ale.

Can you send a picture or two of some labels you’ve created for your homebrew? I don’t have any home brew labels, but you can see a few of our brewery labels here:

What’s the most unusual ingredient you’ve ever used in a brew? Licorice root in my Imperial Stout. I make a mean Raspberry Wheat Ale. I use whiskey-soaked oak chips in my ‘barrel aged’ beers. Nothing too unusual.

Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients? No, but I have a beer named after my daughter. Amie’s Honey Ale; she suggested adding hops, which made a terrific improvement.

How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions? Somewhere around 10 medals, and a second in best of show in the Beehive Brew Off. 

Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with? I mostly brew alone, but I always welcome the company.

Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer? I brew in the kitchen. I hope to dramatically upgrade my brew system so that I can brew outside, in the garage, or in a ‘brewhouse’. 

List some of the names you’ve given your beers. Which is your favorite? No favorites, but…

Bishop’s Storehouse Stout, General Conference Saison, Golden Devil Ale, Hidden Peak IPA, Old Prophet Barleywine, The Root of All Evil Imperial Stout, Sassy Flamingo Raspberry Wheat Ale, Slot Canyon Pale Ale, Twin Peaks Doppelbock, and Uncommon California Common, to name a few.

Project Details

  • Date July 1, 2016
  • Tags Member Profiles
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