Customer of the Month – Andrew McArthur

Andrew McArthur

Brewer’s Names: Andrew McArthur

How long have you been homebrewing/winemaking? I’ve been brewing since the summer of 2012, which was when my brother introduced me to the hobby.

What are your favorite styles to make? I enjoy brewing them all but recently have been really enjoying brewing variations of classic styles with other ingredients added, such as Coffee Vienna Lager, Mexican Chocolate Stout, Vanilla Coffee Cream Ale, and Spicy Apricot Blonde.   

Are you a member of any brew clubs or organizations? I’ve been a member of the Aurora City Brew Club (AC/BC) since its inception in 2014. The club meets in The Brew Hut classroom at 6:30 on the first Sunday of each month. Check out the club’s website for more details or visit an upcoming meeting to learn more!

Have you won any medals or awards? I’ve won a number of medals, the most memorable being the pro-am for The Brew Hut Competition with my Vitalogy Russian Imperial Stout. After winning the pro-am I had the opportunity to brew the beer at Dry Dock – North Dock, as well as attend the Great American Beer Festival award ceremony and see my beer served at the festival.

Describe your brewing system or equipment (Provide a picture if possible) For the most part I’ve been using the same equipment that I learned to brew on from my brother in 2012… converted water cooler mash tun with false bottom, outdoor propane burner for the boil, and plastic fermenter buckets. However, just this year I’ve finally upgraded my fermentation to a Grainfather conical with a glycol chiller.

What piece of equipment or brewing process has made the most difference in your beer and/or wine? Without a doubt setting up a closed transfer process from the fermenter to keg has made the biggest difference in my homebrew quality. This allows the beer to transfer between vessels without being exposed to oxygen. I used to rack from the fermenter bucket into the open key using an auto-siphon. My beers seemed to be negatively impacted by contact with oxygen during the process.  I now instead use a CO2 pressure transfer to push my beer out of the fermenter into the “liquid out” post on the keg.  With this new process, there has been a noticeable improvement in my hoppy beers in particular.

What other fermented beverages have you made? I’ve made quite a bit of kombucha and cider over the years and have even gotten my mom into the act of fermenting her own kombucha regularly now.

List of any other hobbies or interests. I’m usually listening to Pearl Jam (often while brewing) and have competed in the U.S Air Guitar Championships on more than one occasion (2013 Denver champion).

Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself? Instead of a brew dog, I have brew alpacas!