Father’s Day 2011 – It began with a Williams-Sonoma Home Brew system as a gift, just a fun project for Steve and his 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 gallon jug to a 5 gallon bucket then to a 15 gallon system. In no time at all, his 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 had both flown in that plane on previous missions and knew the crew that was lost. They decided to dedicate that brew to the crew of Shell 77. Thus, the mission and concept of CALLSIGN BREWING was born.
It wasn’t long before Steve was hooked on brewing. He 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 he started making all-grain kits from online 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 grandaddy he built for the 10 barrel system Steve uses today.
After building the control panel, Steve had a 1.5 bbl boil kettle and bought two 25 gallon vessels for the other two pots. The 25 gallon pots didn’t last long after discovering the true potential of the electric control panel. He then upgraded to 45 gallon vessels for the hot liqueur tank and mash-ton. He also bought three 17 gallon fermenters and two 60 gallon fermenters. After Steve had invested so much time and money, he had reached 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. Steve is 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.