Recently at the 2018 HomebrewCon, Greg Young, from Roseville, California was awarded the Samual Adams Nikasi Award and even BETTER used, the beer he brewed featured Mecca Grade Pelton Malt! Read on to learn more about Greg (as told by Greg), how he got started in home brewing AND receive his award winning beer recipe!
Greg Young and his daughters. (Photo by @edgyzebraphotography)
I grew up and currently live in Roseville, California with my wonderful wife and am the proud father of two beautiful girls. I enjoy motorsports and anything competitive. I grew up riding and racing motorcycles since I was 5 years old and
have always enjoyed the mechanics and engineering of working on my motorcycles, bicycles or anything else I could take apart and put back together (sometimes for the better, sometimes not ☺)
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was my first craft beer and it blew me away. It was so much more flavor forward than the BMC beers that I had before. I remember almost not wanting to drink it because it was so much bolder than I was used to, but I couldn’t waste a beer, especially something that only came in 6 or 12 packs, not the 30 I was used to haha. I ended up finishing it and at the end the flavors mellowed out to me and I really started to enjoy the great malt and hop flavors, so I grabbed another Pale Ale. I was hooked from there.
I would go to Chico, California for motocross and sprintcar races and used to stop at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and marvel at the copper kettles shining through the giant front windows and the massiveness of their operation. I loved trying everything I could. I think because of their size, it never even crossed my mind that beer was something you could make at home.
Christmas of 2015 my wife and her parents got me my first homebrew kit from MoreBeer. I remember being shocked with myself, that after all these years of enjoying craft beer, I never thought to find out if you could make beer at home. I ended up buying John Palmer’s “How to Brew” book that next day and read through it front to back a few times. I wanted to go into my first batch with an understanding on the process and what I’m trying to accomplish with each step. After reading that book and before I even brewed that first batch, I knew I was all in. I ended up buying a water cooler and converting it to a mash tun and immediately decided I was going to bypass extract brewing and go all grain. I figured that was the way it is done at the breweries, I was going to do it that way from the beginning.
I brewed my very first batch at the end of January 2016 and was immediately hooked. The process and the science (or at least what I could understand at that time) immediately sucked me in and consumed me. I went all in, borderline obsessed, reading and learning everything I could to figure out how to not only make beer, but make quality beer.
I entered my first competition in April 2016 at the Alemeda County Fair with an Amber Ale recipe that I put together based on info I could find about the style and examples. That beer ended up taking 2nd, which immediately hit my competitive nature and it was game on from there.
Greg Young brewing beer at home.
Information on NHC Finals winning beers
I brewed two lagers. One was an American Lager (Category 1), and the other was an International Pale Lager (Category 2), otherwise known as a Mexican Lager. Both beers had adjuncts, but other than that, were completely different. I wanted to focus on brewing these lighter style lagers to really challenge myself on my process. As everyone says, there’s nothing to hide behind with these styles.
Focusing on high quality ingredients, process, and techniques, I started brewing these two beers at the beginning of 2018. With a solid foundation of fresh quality ingredients and focusing on my fermentation practices, I think these two beers really shined.
With the Mexican Lager, I used a base of Mecca Grade Pelton malt with some flaked corn. Pelton provided a fantastic malt complexity that I haven’t been able to find in other malts. It adds this dimension of an ever so sweet biscuit background with some rustic personality. It really blew me away the first time I tasted the raw barley and knew it would be the perfect base for this style.
Recipe- “Hayden’s Lager” - Mexican Lager
OG: 1.048 Soft Water
FG: 1.009 5.2 Mash PH
SRM: 2.8 148* Mash Temp
IBU: 21 White Labs WLP940
Boil Length: 90 minutes Pitch cold, freerise to 51*
80% Mecca Grade Pelton
20% Flaked Maize
90 min - .10oz Tettnang 1.3IBU
60 min - 1.15oz Tettnang 14.3IBU
5 min - .60oz Tettnang 1.5IBU
5 min - 2.00oz Saaz 4.2IBU
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Hayden's Lager- Mexican Style Lager