Recipes: The Dreamer & Red Devil

Keys to Latchkey Brewing’s West Coast IPA & Home Brew Mart’s red-letter amber

SAN DIEGO BEER NEWS By Brandon Hernandez

s part of our San Diego Homebrew Summer program, every Monday between now and the end of August, San Diego Beer News will publish homebrew-scaled recipes for beers professionally produced by craft breweries throughout the county. This week, the craft occupants of Mission Hills’ Mission Brewery Plaza, Latchkey Brewing, are sharing the recipe for their most popular beer, a West Coast IPA dubbed The Dreamer. Meanwhile, Linda Vista’s Home Brew Mart is journeying into the underworld, revealing the basis for an amber ale called Red Devil that was developed by an HBM employee who went on to open his own operation, BattleMage Brewing. It’s yet another week of awesome homebrew recipes and pro-brewer generosity. Scroll down for the stories behind these beers as well as recipes from the source.

The Dreamer West Coast IPA

Q&A with Latchkey Brewing Head Brewer Anthony Beach

Why did you decide to share this particular recipe?

We chose The Dreamer because it showcases a new-school approach to the beloved West Coast IPA style. It’s also our most popular beer at the moment and can be found both on-draft and in cans all throughout San Diego.

What are some tips you have for homebrewers?

The biggest challenge for homebrewers is healthy fermentation. I would highly recommend investing in a good wort-aeration stone and oxygen tank that will allow you to either aerate inline as you transfer/knockout to your carboy/fermenter, or more likely, to be able to submerge your aeration stone into your carboy after transfer is complete in order to oxygenate your wort for 30 seconds to a minute before pitching your yeast. I’d also highly recommend making a yeast starter the day prior to brew day or at least 12 hours before you plan to pitch your yeast.

Please share a memory from your homebrewing days?

My first homebrewed batch of beer was brewed on an all-grain homebrew system that I bought from Morebeer with my very first paycheck working in the craft-beer industry at Hermitage Brewing. I brewed a Pliny the Elder clone that I also bought from Morebeer. I can’t recall specifics form the brew day as it was nine years ago, but I do remember taking copious amounts of notes and worrying that I Was doing everything wrong. I found out that I actually had done nothing wrong at all. On the contrary, I may have even done very well. After two-plus weeks of worrying through the fermentation and dry-hop, followed by a few days of second-guessing my carbonation method in the corny keg, I took my beer to work at Hermitage, with the plan to have the head brewer at the time, Steve Donohue (now the owner of Santa Clara Valley Brewing) and the lead brewer, Greg Fillippi, try the beer and give me their feedback. We ended up having a nightmare of a packaging day at the brewery and Greg and Steve had a long day on the brew deck as well, so it wasn’t until ten-plus hours into the workday that I mustered up the courage to ask them to grab a pint from my corny when they had a free moment. I remember like it was yesterday, being at the keg-washing station pulling clean kegs off after the seven-minute CIP cycle had finished. I turned around and saw Steve walking out of the cold box with my keg. I went back to washing kegs, pretending like I wasn’t fixated on them and that keg. At next glance, they were pouring the beer into glasses. The carb looked good from where I was standing, but I couldn’t keep looking at them. My fear was outpacing my anticipation. By the next time I turned to look, they were drinking it and they seemed to be nodding in approval. The feelings I experienced at that moment are indescribable and they had yet to even talk to me. I tried to play it cool, so when I got done washing kegs I walked over to Greg and Steve, who were still standing around the keg and drinking the beer, and asked for their feedback. They didn’t hesitate to immediately start fucking with me by making gross faces and pretending to be dumping the beer down the drain. Once I realized they were messing with me, they gave a good laugh and then gave their glowingly positive feedback. They were shocked that it was not only my first all-grain homebrew batch, but my first-ever homebrew. In hindsight, I owe a lot to Greg and Steve for that feedback, and in reality, they could have simply lied to a young, passionate guy. Either way, I’m grateful and will continue to pay all that I’ve learned forward.

How did homebrewing lead you to want to make brewing your career?

My first homebrew batch and the positive feedback that I received from it are the reasons why I’m here today, contributing to San Diego Homebrew Summer as a credentialed professional brewer. Homebrewing made me.