“Confessions of a Crafter” is a new, recurring feature, on the Resource website brought to you by our friends at ThePropStylist.com. Taking you on an exclusive inside look of what happens when a hobby gets turned into a business. We hope to inspire photographers, stylists and any other creative individuals that aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty in the pursuit of doing what they love.

Photo © Timothy Voytek

So what do you get when you take a former chemistry teacher, a few metal tubs, a burner and a craving for a good brew? This is not another scene from Breaking Bad but a story of a father of 2 turned Home Brewer in his Westchester community.

Meet Ed Godek, a Chemical Engineer living in Westchester, NY and a professional Craft Brewer. The moment you meet Ed, you can’t help to notice his immense enthusiasm for his craft and his craving to brew delicious beer.

 Photo © Timothy Voytek

When walking through his back yard, you come across his towering hops plant twisting their way up a trellis, a patio table topped with about 3 custom Igloo coolers, a propane tank and a 15-gallon pot, this is where it all begins.

Photo © Timothy Voytek

Taking roughly about 6-7 hours to do a full batch, each measurement and temperature reading are crucial. There is a crucial need to be on point, since the smallest difference in amounts can change the taste and quality of your beer altogether. With a lot of standing around and maneuvering of bins, the brewing process is not an easy task. The end result, however is sure to make all that time spent worthwhile. Whether you may be interested in pursuing your own hobby as a brewer or you may just enjoy a cold one, here are a few tips from someone that knows how it is done.

Photo © Timothy Voytek

What made you decide to start brewing?

About 21 years ago in Hoboken, my wife bought me my first Craft Brewing kit for Christmas. As a chemist and a guy that enjoyed beer, what could be better? Of course, back then it was not such a trend as it is today. With resources being limited, it made it much harder to actually brew. During that time I continued to brew on and off, but never fully committed to it.

When did you fall in love with crafting your own beer?

Around 2007 I officially started up, committing fully to brewing and growing my craft.

What do you love about beer?

Crafting a home brew fulfills my cravings for a good beer. As a nerdy chemist, I love to deconstruct complex beer. Like a chef, my pallet has adjusted through time with tasting a beer and knowing what hops are present – a sort of art form you could say. I am still mastering the process, but am always open to put my skills to the test with other brewers.

Any special blends you enjoy mixing up?

I enjoy brewing Dark IPA, Irish Reds, and American Wheat. Throwing around entertaining names such as a Sweet Blonde, Bitter Brunettes, and a Dark Knight.

What advise can you give other potential crafters?

Start small and simple, you don’t need a lot of money to make a good beer. I am currently brewing at a commercial rate but started in my kitchen. If your first batch doesn’t turn out how you preferred, give it a second chance, you might have missed a step. It is all about trial and error to build the recipes that you prefer best.

A few extra tips..

If are not sure how you should start, check out one of the many sites and books that can help you brew better and find recipes. One of my favorite’s is basicbrewing.com and The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian.

It is key, to always remember sanitation is important, don’t cross contaminate your stir tools and pots.

Photo © Timothy Voytek

For an industry that is so diverse in its products, your competitors are more of a part of a community then competition. However don’t get that confused with the quality, it is all about the brew. It is an industry that builds its reputation based off your first sip of that cold beer.

With his passion for brewing and his unique recipes, Ed hopes to start up his own brewery in the near future. I would have to say Ed is on his way, with his bold flavored dark brews. They are truly something to crave. Cheers!

 

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