In this blog series, we'll be interviewing some of the brewers from our homebrew club to give you an idea of what got them into brewing, what they're currently experimenting with and to hopefully inspire others to take the leap into brewing their own beer at home. The 13th blog in the series features Dale.
How did you get into homebrewing?
A friend bought me a little extract kit to make an IPA for my thirtieth birthday - I made it, it wasn’t bad… Then I made a couple of 5 litre Brew in a Bag recipes (all grain) on the hob and used the Grainfather at WIB once or twice!
Current Set up:
Grainfather G30, Pressure Fermenters and Keg (with a counter pressure bottler for easy bottling) and a very cool floating hydrometer…
Best piece of homebrewing equipment you own:
Hmmmm… probably a pressure fermenter, allows me to get away without having great temperature control during the summer months, when keeping things sub 20 becomes almost impossible
I have almost everything I could want, if I could justify it I’d get a glycol chiller and run a tighter ship in terms of temperature control.
What's your 'go to' style?:
As a go to style, I probably play around with hoppy beers more than anything else, although I play around with hop styles you wouldn’t generally find in those beers - trying to avoid all the big US hops, and find stuff closer to home which can still give punchy flavour! Bramling Cross brings out a fantastic blackcurrant flavour!
How did the pandemic affect/change your brewing?
I was on hiatus - I was living in a flat with a couple of people initially and then in Kenya for a good while. I came back to brewing a year ago - when I received the Grainfather as a birthday present!
Which beer that you brewed are you most proud of?
Hoping that the next one will be the best every time.
I’m really pleased with the Black IPA that I’ve just brewed using one of the newer British hops, Harlequin. It went down well at the last wib Home Brew club.
What brews have you got planned in the next few months:
I’m going to make a punchy “Dubbel IPA” using Belgian Yeast. So heavy hop regiment with Belgian Yeast, thinking of adding some candi sugar in as well to bring out some more Belgian flavours
Competitions entered/ placings:
Well, the one competition that I entered lost my beer - so nothing to report here (although, the BIPA is going into Brewcon this month)!
Favourite beer of all time:
No pressure… I think the beer that I enjoyed a lot recently is Funky Fluid’s Leviathan - a Coconut Imperial Stout. Reckon you could pour that stuff on ice cream to amp up your dessert!
What breweries do you feel have pushed the envelope?
I think it’s tradition here to say The Kernel - they’re brilliant - and know how to make a low ABV beer taste full!
As a result of Brew Club I’ve developed a taste and appreciation for sours and breweries doing stuff in that space - Vault City do some really interesting stuff (Carrot Cake beer was a winner), then Little Earth Project and Pastore are two more in the UK worth mentioning!
What piece of advice would you give someone interested in starting homebrewing:
Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise… And keep the fermentation temperature as consistent as possible!
It’s quite addictive as a hobby, which means it's enjoyable - come along to Brew Club and ask questions, benefit from everyone's experiences and enjoy a drink!
Best thing about homebrewing:
Drinking something you’ve put together, and having beers that are made to fit your taste. I also like sharing beers, and seeing people’s surprise that it is actually nice!
waterintobeer Homebrew Club takes place in the shop from 2pm on the first Sunday of the month.