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February Member Spotlight

The Yeast Whisperer.. HAMSfather of Funkiness… there’s nothing too wild for this guy to tackle. Let’s meet Scott Trefethen (all dressed up in time for Valentines Day!)

What’s your day job?

I’m a Sales Engineer working for Centurylink. I design Telecom and IT solutions for large companies in Florida. I’ve been in the Telecom and IT business for about 40 years.

When did you start homebrewing?

I started brewing about 7 years ago with my buddy Eric. Our first couple of brews were Mr. Beer. After the first couple batches I threw the instruction book away and I was hooked. Soon after that I started brewing all grain and never looked back.

When did you join HAMS?

I guess I started attending about 4 years ago off and on and I’ve been attending meetings pretty consistently for about the last 2 years or so..

What got you into brewing? My buddy Eric got a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas and it was all over.

Where do you like to brew?

I used to brew out by the pool, like Fred but, things changed and now I brew out in front of the garage.

Where do you ferment & what size batches do you brew?

I do 5 gallon batches

What kind of equipment do you use?

I have a 10 Gallon Igloo cooler for a mash tun. My boil kettle is a stainless Bayou Classic and I use a Blichmann Hellfire Burner. I have a homemade 50 foot counterflow chiller for cooling. Everything is gravity fed….no pumps.

Love it? Hate it?

My system is really simple and, because of that, it’s really easy to use but, you have to keep an eye on everything. There’s no automation. I would love to someday, have my own brew sculpture with automation. However, for the money you can’t beat it.

Do you have a “pet name” for your setup?

Yes. It is call Franken Brew because it’s cobbled together from a bunch of disparate parts.

Favorite styles to brew? Why?

I’m really into the wild / funky ales now. It’s a whole new flavor palette available to you, as the brewer. They are more difficult to control but, that’s part of the challenge and the fun.

Tell me about your best batch ever.

I think the Berliner Weiss I brought to the meeting several months ago really hit the mark. Everybody seemed to enjoy it and it was technically spot on.

How about your worst? The worst ever was that wild ale that I brought a few months ago that got oxidized. I knew it was bad and had poured it down the drain but, wanted to show the club what badly oxidized beer tasted like….MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Advise to other/new Homebrewers?

Two things: Learn classic styles. When you get several classic styles down pat, it’s a good indication that you’ve really refined your brewing “chops”. At that point, when you want to move into more complicated and creative

directions, you will realize a higher percentage of success.

Keep it simple when you’re just starting out. When you start brewing all grain, get a couple of simple ales under your belt. That way you will have your process perfected by the time you want to brew more complex recipes.

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