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James Jefferson


Where are you from? Decorah, Iowa

What is your favorite brewing topic to talk to customers about? Everything yeast - stuck fermentations, fermentation characteristics, the devilish details and more

What was your biggest brewing blunder? Forgetting to clean and sanitize my chiller. A double whammy guaranteed to give a wild yeast infection

What movie have you watched the most times? The Thing.

What was your proudest moment in your fermentation history? Getting a medal on the only beer I have entered in contest.  It was the third beer I ever brewed.  Oh, and getting to work here.

Why do you brew? Brewing is a complex hobby that provides challenges and rewards, never gets boring as I try new ingredients, processes and equipment, and satisfies my curiosity for all things microscopic.  Home brewing also provides me with an endless supply of fresh beer, which can make all the difference in flavor.  If you've had a home brewed IPA, you know what I'm talking about.

When did you start brewing? I started brewing shortly after turning 21(go figure) while getting my degree in Microbiology.

What is your brewing system? 10 gallon Polarware and a SP-50 burner.  Steelhead pump, shirron plate chiller and a few of every plastic and glass fermentors we sell.  I currently use a bucket mash tun with an insulated jacket but am upgrading to a 15 gallon boil kettle with edelmetal burner and my 10 gallon pot will become my mash tun.  Bit of a science nerd so I have plenty of lab equipment too.

What is your favorite style of beer for drinking and for brewing? Anything with rye has a special place in my heart and I like to have a keg of something sessionable on hand.  Every year I brew a breakfast brown with apples, oatmeal and brown sugar.

If you could share a beer with anyone throughout history, of even fictional, who would it be? Ironically most of my favorite historical figures happened to be teetotalers.  I think Alexander Flemming and I would enjoy sitting down to a pint and a dram.

Where do you spend your non-brewing time? Sleeping, eating, breathing, or planning the next brew.   I like to read, bike, play tennis/softball, and go on cribbage playing bar crawls with the lady.

Who are your three favorite musicians/bands? Ween, Modest Mouse, and everything else that isn't Country or pop.  Taylor Swift fails on both counts so that is my least favorite topic of conversation if you get me on the phone.


Read James' Short Pour article:

Hopped Up & Bitter: So Many Hops, So Little Time…