Customer of the Month – Mark Korich

Mark Korich

Brewer’s Names: Mark Korich

How long have you been homebrewing/winemaking? Off and on for 10 years. I took some time off since my wife is not big on beer and kids got in the way, but after inheriting a nice basement bar draft system, I got back into it.

What are your favorite styles to make? I really enjoy drinking and brewing New England IPAs.  The science behind biotransformation and early fermentation dry-hopping is really intriguing.  Other than that, I’m all over the map and have brewed everything from a blonde to a bourbon barrel-aged stout in the last 2 months.

Are you a member of any brew clubs or organizations? No

Have you won any medals or awards? I’ve only entered a single competition (still awaiting results) because I keg my beers and have always struggled bottling off the keg while preserving carbonation.  I’ve recently purchased a true counter-pressure bottle filler so I intend to enter more competitions.

Describe your brewing system or equipment (Provide a picture if possible) I took a (legally obtained) 1/2 barrel keg and converted it into a propane keggle so I’m using a  “brew in a bag” method right now.  I’ve drilled the proper holes for a thermocouple and heating element (1650W) and have done a trial as an all electric system.  As it gets cooler and I don’t want to spend time outside, I’ll be using it as an electric system.  I’ve also purchased a PID temperature controller which makes it easy to set it and forget it (maybe cheating but allows me to multi task).

What piece of equipment or brewing process has made the most difference in your beer and/or wine? Most definitely my DIY spunding valve.  I don’t yet have good temperature control other than simply using the unfinished portion of my basement so making lagers has been difficult.  With the spunding valve, I can use lager yeast at ale temperatures under pressure.  It essentially allows me to set a pressure I want on a corny keg, typically 5-8 psi, and let it ferment.  The best part is that in the end, I can do a pressure transfer to a serving keg and avoid any oxygen exposure.

What other fermented beverages have you made? Hard cider for my wife, but since I’m limited to only two taps in the basement I’ve kicked that habit 🙂

 List of any other hobbies or interests. I love to hike and ski. Especially now with younger kids, it gives me an opportunity to put one of them in the backpack and get a real workout.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself? I am a first-generation American.  My parents are immigrants from Kenya, where the only (safe) beer to drink is their national lager, Tusker (aptly named after the elephant who killed the brewery’s owner). Maybe someday I’ll start a craft brewing movement in Kenya.