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 14th blog in the series features Carl.
How did you get into homebrewing?
My cousin came over to England from the US to train to be a professional brewer, and convinced me to give it a go.
Current Set up: Grainfather for brew day, an SS BrewBucket for fermentation, and 2 Cornelius Kegs (or swing top bottles) for conditioning/serving
Best piece of homebrewing equipment you own: I think the SS BrewBucket has upped the quality of my homebrew, especially as I can throw it in a mini fridge (obtained for a tenner off Gumtree) and ferment at an ideal temperature.
Dream setup: Really not much different from what I have now. I would like to eventually be able to do an under-pressure transfer from the brew bucket to the cornies so there is no exposure at all to the outside post fermentation, but that’s really a nice-to-have for me.
What's your 'go to' style?: Tough question, there’s really not much I DON’T like! Guess if I was stuck on a desert island, I’ll take some big, bold Trappist ales.
How did the pandemic affect/change your brewing? I took full advantage of waterintobeer’s home delivery service during the pandemic. Definitely brewed more than normal taking advantage of being home for an extended period. Very much missed having friends over (especially on Saturdays and Sundays watching American sports in the afternoon/evening after a brew day).
Which beer that you brewed are you most proud of? My two most recent brews used hops sourced from right on my doorstep in Sydenham. I have a nice fresh simple pale ale in a corny, and a chocolate stout with fresh hops bottle conditioning. Very pleased with both.
What brews have you got planned in the next few months: Nothing officially planned, sounds like too much like admin for my liking! Likely a pale ale since that’s my go-to style, as I prefer well-balanced home brews.
Competitions entered/ placings: None, I’m happy to say, and don’t intend to. All about the enjoyment of it all, and sharing amongst friends and family.
Favourite beer of all time: Westvleteren 12
What breweries do you feel have pushed the envelope? Duration and Newbarns are my don’t miss here in the UK. Have never been let down by Kernel and nearby Brick Brewery.
What piece of advice would you give someone interested in starting homebrewing: Don’t get caught up in perfection! Don’t fret about getting perfect efficiency when starting. I still barely ever take gravity readings - just can’t be bothered. Tell your friends it’s 4-5 ‘ish (or whatever) and just enjoy the process
Best thing about homebrewing: The appreciation of knowing a creation from start-to-finish completely occurred under your own roof. And that after that first pint knowing that there will be plenty more to serve.
waterintobeer homebrew club takes place on the first Sunday of every month from 2pm.