Full Bio: Matt Westlake
Former/Occasional Homebrew Consultant
Matt has always been fascinated with the science of food but discovered his love of craft beer while in culinary school and then brewing a couple years after he graduated in 2005 with a 'wort in a bag' kit. He enjoys crafting new recipes and working with interesting grains and ingredients. And he definitely obsesses over new brewing projects like double pipe counterflow chillers and ten tap kegerators. He now brews with a single tier HERMS system utilizing three 16 gallon kettles and often makes up to 20 gallons per brew.
Favorite Styles to Brew:
His favorite beers to brew are the Saison/Farmhouse styles. He feels like saison brewing is more of a process with a family of beers, as opposed to just one specific style.
Matt has medaled at several local competitions including the Bluebonnet Brewoff and a 1st place at Iron Mash 2013 with a Blackberry Sasion. He also took Best Of Show at the 2011 Pantegofest Homebrew Competition. After which Franconia Brewing Company produced and distributed his winning Witbier, And that was his second pro-am beer. His first was with Zio Carlo's with Austin Jones (now Chimera Brewing Co.) and it went to GABF. Most recently he was awarded MasterBrewer for 2014 in The Cap and Hare homebrew club.
Worst Brew Day Experience:
His worst brewday experience was having to scoop out 35 lbs of hot mash to reaffix my false bottom which shifted enough to allow all the grain to get lodged in my dip tube. After which, putting all of the mash back in to finish an already 6 hour brewday.
What Are Your Favorite Store Bought Styles Were Someone to Bring You a Gift (HintHint):
Matt will gladly accept anything from Jolly Pumpkin and Founder's. Or you know, anything else.
Matt says the number one thing that improved his beer was fermentation temperature control. Whether you are using frozen water bottles or a fancy glycol controlled system, controlling and maintaining your temperature during fermentation is the key to a well crafted beer. Otherwise, you are just leaving your beer up to chance.
Also, no beer will ever taste as good as one you brewed yourself and it really doen’t matter what others think of your beer as long as you like it