Your name(s): David Schumacher
Your brewery’s name: SchuBrew
Location: Northland – Zona Rosa area
Number of years participating in the Festival?
This will be my 6th year!!!
When did you start brewing? What got you brewing? How frequently do you brew?
I started brewing in 2010. I had a couple co-workers at Cerner who were homebrewing and I thought it sounded fun. My wife ended up getting my a kit from Midwest Supplies for Christmas that year and the rest is history. I think after the first two extract batches I quickly moved to all-grain brewing. My Homebrewing hobby quickly escalated. I brew a lot. It really depends on the time of year but I would say I brew several times a month. I’ve been known to brew 3-4 batches in a weekend. I like to keep my fermenters full and I’m always looking to brew new styles and try new things.
Describe your brew system.
I’ve have probably have gone through 7 different systems throughout my homebrew journey so far. I started simple with a stove top, then moved out to the garage with a burner and a cooler, got really complicated with different 3 vessel systems, then I eventually discovered BIAB (Brew in a Bag) After several successful BIAB batches I took it a step further and went EBIAB (Electric BIAB) and purchased the Brew-Boss System. The Brew-Boss is a 15 gallon Kettle with a stainless mesh basket that uses an electric heating element and chugger pump to recirculate the mash. It comes with a unique controller that has an app you can run from a tablet to control precise temperatures and the pump. I love it. First I can brew inside out of the elements, its really easy to clean and a typical batch only takes me about 3 hours, but mainly I can brew so damn consistently now. With my system, I’ve got a few barrels, a couple fermentation chambers, kegerator, motorize mill, and lots of other fun toys.
How did you come up with your brewery’s name?
I’m not very good with coming up with names at all. I remember trying to come up with something creative based on some of the other things I like and nothing was very good. Then my Dad said SchuBrew has a nice ring to it. Its been SchuBrew ever since and I’ve learned to embrace it and own it. SchuBrew is who I am now.
What is your favorite style of beer to brew?
I like all styles. I’ve had the most success with IPA’s. I like trying new hop combos and the market is always putting out new hops to try. I’ve been really getting into Lagers lately. There is something about having just an easy drinking beer.
What was your first beer you ever brewed? Did it turn out? My first beer was a Dry Irish Stout extract kit from Midwest Supplies. The only mistake I made was I didn’t know to fill up my airlock with any liquid. So after the first 24 hours I didn’t see any bubbles and thought something was wrong, possibly bad yeast. So I discovered Bacchus homebrew supply store and went and bought a extra pack of yeast. When I opened up the fermenter I realized it was fermenting and discovered you have to fill your airlock with liquid to see bubbling. The beer turned out fine from what I can remember. It tasted like a Guinness stout which I was happy with. Now that I’ve learned a lot and a certified BJCP judge I would be curious to try that first batch again.
Do you have a homebrew disaster you’d like to share?
WEAR SHOES WHEN YOU BREW!!! Seriously boiling hot wort is not pleasant when poured onto bare feet. Since I can brew inside I sometimes roll out of bed to start a brew session and may or may not still be in my pajamas. I don’t know how I made the mistake of opening up a valve with no hose attached but I did and boiling hot wort landed on my feet. The blister was the size of a runny egg. I really try to wear proper shoes and gloves when I brew now.
Do you have any homebrew related projects that you’d like to share?
I am close to finishing up a 3 year Lambic/Gueze project. I got a 30 gallon Oak Barrel from my friend Kevin that he was done with. I got a few homebrewers to help me fill it up with a Lambic. We have pulled the beer after one year to fill it back up with more. and now have 3 years worth of Lambic to start blending and fruiting up for various versions. Some of this might show up at this year’s festival.
I’m hoping to actually start a new local club with the only goal of producing Lambic and sour beer.
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that helps make brewing better/easier?
Go to HomeBrew Club Meetings. We have some great clubs in Kansas City. Its the best place to get “REAL” feedback about your beer. You get to try other people’s beer. Can’t tell you how much inspiration and ideas I get from attending meetings. Its really taken my beer to a whole new level. Become a BJCP judge is another thing that has really made me become a better brewer and just overall better at evaluating beer. I’ve learned how to identify off flavors and more importantly how to avoid and fix them. Use brewing software. Its a great tool to be able to predict how your beer is going to turn out and the ability to take notes so you can learn from your brew session. My favorite gadget is having a large sink in my brew space. Its awesome to be able to have a close water supply for brewing but also a nice area to clean equipment, glassware, and dump crappy beer. Such an underrated piece of equipment.
Anything unique participants at the festival can expect if they come by your booth?
I always try to have a theme every year. This year I’m planning on offering collaborative beers that I’m going to do with some of my favorite hombrewers. I already will have some of the Lenexa Wine Barrel Project to serve, Michael Wells and I are hoping to have a Barrel-Aged EIS Quad, I’m planning on having some sort of EPIC IPA available. to name a few.. I always say I’m going to just a do a couple but you know I will bring a lot of different things.
Have you won any awards/competitions? What is the best prize you won?
Is the Pope Catholic? I would call myself a competitive brewer. A majority of the beer I brew is for competitions. I’ve probably at this point have over 70 medals, 2016 was a very good year for me. I was awarded the High Plains Brewer of the Year!! High Plains is a circuit of competitions where you score points throughout the year. I’m pretty proud of that. I was in the top 10 for the Midwest Homebrewer of the Year. I also made it back to the Finals of the National Homebrew Competition. I’m hoping I will hear my name this year at Finals.
Do you have any plans to go pro?
Yes, but I don’t really want to run a business. I’m looking for someone who wants to run a business and have me do all the brewing. So if you know of anyone send them my way. Ultimately would love to partner up with someone who already has an established restaurant and would like to have craft beer on tap in the Northland – aka Platte County. I would want the ability to brew whatever I want and do lots of one-offs . I don’t want to have a place where we just brew the same standard 4 beers I want to push the limits and have the freedom to be unique. I don’t really have a time frame but my wife has agreed that when the kids are done with high school we can down size the house and possibly buy a building. That is less than ten years away.