Published: Oct 06, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Oct 06, 2012 03:35 PM
For some people, do-it-yourself projects arent limited to repairing a deck or replacing a kitchen sink.
Some local folks bring their DIY skills to beer-making.
About 40 or 50 beer enthusiasts gather at least once a month to share home-brewing tips and taste-test brews, said Greg Steiger, social chairman for CARBOY (Cary, Apex, Raleigh Brewers of Yore).
When one of their own, Jarrad Wilkinson, was seriously injured in May when he fell off a ladder, CARBOY members rallied around him and his family. A fundraiser held in August at Triangle Wine Company raised over $15,000 for Wilkinson, who is now confined to a wheelchair.
Here, Steiger, of Holly Springs, talks about his fellow beer-club member. Q: What is Jarrads involvement with CARBOY, and how did you feel inspired to help him?
Jarrad and I joined the club about the same time, three years ago. He is the VP of education, and he has taken a very active role in organizing educational activities for the club.
When Jarrad was painting his home, he fell off a ladder and fractured his back on a raised garden bed. He is paralyzed from the waist down, but he is able to work at his job in IT.
We knew that we wanted to help him, so several members of the club donated time and skills, including one of our members who is a licensed contractor, to remodel his bathroom to make it handicapped-accessible for him. Q: Tell me about the fundraiser at Triangle Wine Company.
We meet on the fourth Wednesday of every month at Triangle Wine Company, so one of our members, Glenn Waters, took on the mission of organizing a silent auction of many different beers back in August.
We had competing bottle shops who donated bottles of beer, (and) breweries donated kegs of beer. We got donations from California, Iowa and the Northeast. We got somewhere between 200 and 300 bottles from all over the world, the rarest probably being the Pliny the Elder bottle from the Russian River Brewery.
Everyone over 21 who came to the event got a wristband, and we gave out over 350 wristbands. We raised over $15,000 to help Jarrad. Q: How do you plan to help Jarrad in the future?
We are working with him to design a system where he can continue his hobby of brewing.
What makes home-brewing so unique is that we simply use a smaller version of what professional breweries use; we just make about five to 10 gallons at a time. Q: How do the CARBOY members help each other improve the home-brewing process?
We purchase a lot of raw materials, like bulk grain buys and bulk hops buys to keep costs low.
We also visit breweries and speak with the brewers to gain tips about how to get better. Breweries are willing to share recipes with homebrewers; there are magazines like Brew Your Own and Zymurgy that print recipes and tips. They estimate that there are about 1 million homebrewers in the United States.