Meet a Green Bay Racker: Steven Stary

1: Introducing: Steven Stary

  1. When did you join the Rackers and what got you started?

I got started making wine about 2017. I’d been looking at the two apple trees in our backyard for years thinking about it and finally decided to have a go at making apple wine. The first attempt was a failure, but I definitely learned from it.

  1. What do you brew (beer, wine, cider, etc.) and how is it packaged and served?

I primarily make wine, sometimes mead if the mood strikes me or a good deal on honey comes along. I’ve made beer a few times, but that’s not my main interest. I bottle everything because it’s easier with the space I have.

  1. How long have you been brewing and describe your brewing system?

I’ve been making wine, meads, and beer for about 6 years now. Everything is still done on a relatively small scale in my kitchen. 6 gallon batches are the biggest I do, but I often have a few going at a time.

  1. Where do you brew?

In my kitchen, just because that’s where there is a big sink and some space. I’d be happy to be in the basement, but there is no sink there at the moment. Maybe someday.

  1. How often do you brew; is there a certain schedule you have or is it by season?

I’ve almost always got something going. In the Summer I’ll make something using the 150 year old rhubarb plant from our garden. In the Fall I’ll make an apple wine. If some other kind of fruit or honey comes my way I’ll find something to do with it. I’ve been working on Chilean juice buckets for the last few years too.

  1. What aspects of your hobby would you like to improve upon?

My current goal is to produce a really good “big red” wine. I like a dry red with bold flavor, but can’t quite get there yet. I’ve been experimenting with tannins, oak, and even malolactic fermentation. I’ve been improving, so it’s only a matter of time and experimentation.

  1. What advice would you pass on to others considering this hobby:

Just go ahead and get started. Start with a kit, or start with a good recipe. (And actually follow it the first time you use it.) If you don’t know something, ask or even google it. There are a lot of resources to help homebrewers. It’s easier than you think. The yeast do most of the work. And be patient. Sometimes it takes time for the yeast, the additives, etc. to do their thing. Don’t get discouraged by failure. Learn from it how to do better next time.

  1. What have I forgotten to ask, is there something else you’d like to share?
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