Fathers Day 2011, Chandra purchased a Williams Sonoma Home Brew system as a gift. She thought it would be a fun project for Steve and their then teenage son, Steven Jr. As it turns out, it was a REALLY FUN project and Steve caught the home brewing bug! He then started brewing up a storm in the garage. Moving from a small 1 gal jug to a 5 gal bucket to a 15 gal system. In no time at all, this Hobby grew into a full fledged business idea. Once Steve mastered brewing on his 1.5 barrel system, there was no stopping him. The concept for CALLSIGN was conceived one afternoon in one of these many garage brewing days. Steve, a 27 year Air Force Veteran , was brewing with his good friend and co-founder Morris, also a 17 Air Force Veteran. On that day they both happened to be reminiscing about a plane that had just crashed. They both had flown in that plane on previous missions and knew the crew that was lost. They decided to dedicate this Brew to the Crew of Shell 77. And the mission and concept of CALLSIGN BREWING was born.
It wasn’t long before he got hooked with brewing. Steve started building up his equipment. Just like everyone else, he bought a turkey fryer from a local hardware store and borrowed the propane tank from the grill, then stared making all grain kits from on-line brew supply stores.
Over time more and more home brewing equipment was purchased and the batches got bigger and bigger. Each time beer was brewed, lessons were learned and recipes were created.
Once Steve grew to a 1.5 barrel system his greatest accomplishment was building this Electrical Control Panel from Scratch. It was the most expensive item purchased to date and it was his baby. It turned out to be great practice for the Grand Daddy that needed to be built for the 10 Barrel System.
After building the Control panel, he had a 1.5 bbl boil kettle and bought 2, 25 gal vessels for the other two pots. The 25 gal pots didn’t last long after discovering the true potential of the electric control panel. He ended up upgrading to 45 gal vessels for the hot liqueur tank and mash-ton. He also bought 3, 17 gal fermentors and 2, 60 gal fermentors. He had so much time and money invested into this, it was the point of no return.
Here is the mash-ton and hot liqueur tank. I’m sure you noticed that he has a lot of thermometers. He very particular about temperature ranges. There are even electronic thermometers in the bottom valves. Proper temperature control is key to a consistent flavor and damn good beer.
After everything was finished, this is what it looked like.