Since starting Beer Utopia I have met a lot of great people in the beer world, and twitter has now let me connect with some other beer bloggers devoted to good beer. Meet DJ, he is an avid home brewer and runs the beer site www.fermentarium.com
I’m a avid homebrewer and winemaker who hails from Denver Colorado. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible, because I was using the wort in a can with fleishmann’s yeast. I stopped making beer a year after turning 21, but restarted later after graduate school. Grad school filled all my free time, and when it was over I didn’t want to go back to watching TV. I picked up homebrewing again to fill the time occupied by school. I now make beer and wine which is very popular in my neighborhood.
My day job is working as a software engineer. I’ve been programming computers since I was 10. I first learned BASIC on a Sinclair computer and I’ve been programming ever since. I currently work as a software engineer consultant, but I have hopes to eventually quit my day job and open a craft brewery.
2) how long have you been blogging?
I’ve been blogging for several years. I had a personal blog which lasted from 2003-2005, but I never updated it regularly. I started Fermentarium in July, 2007, and it’s been going strong since. It is much easier to write about something you are passionate about.
3) what made you start blogging about beer, what was your “ah ha”moment?
I wanted to write more about making beer because I wanted to understand brewing and winemaking on a deeper level. The best way to truly know a subject is to teach it to someone else. I had also seen several blogs with incorrect information, like the tongue map or potassium sorbate, and I felt I could add more science to the homebrew blogosphere. I also enjoy talking about beer and wine, news, events, history, etc. A home brewing blog seemed like the perfect fit.
4) What are your top 5 favorite beers at the moment?
Blue Moon (it’s a guilty pleasure)
5) As an avid home brewer what is your suggestion for someone starting out?
To not worry and just dive in. Make sure you use a one step cleaner like StarSan, but don’t worry too much. There is so much emphasis put on sanitation it tends to scare people. The reality is you are trying to out compete wild bacteria with your yeast. If you create a good starter for your beer, it will be difficult to ruin the beer. As long as everything is dipped in a StarSan solution and you create a good starter, your beer will turn out well.
6) What home brew of your own are you most proud of?
I really like my Märzen recipe. I think it has a great malty taste, and it’s been very popular at my neighborhood’s annual Oktoberfest parties.
7) What are your goals for http://www.fermentarium.com this year?
My goals for Fermentarium this year are 1) more advanced articles about homebrewing beer and wine and 2) consistent episodes of Inside Fermentarium. I’ll continue to post style articles with recipes, general homebrewing tips, reviews and alcohol news.