Brewer Interviews are back! After a longer than anticipated break due to the world turning upside down our blog series interviewing some of the brewers from our homebrew club is back! Hopefully this will 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 ninth blog in the series features Tim Quinlan.
How did you get into homebrewing?
I started home brewing on the August bank holiday 2017, the hobby evolved from a life-long love of beer and the fact that I spent my last 2 years of living in London living in close proximity to some of the best craft beer shops, breweries and of course Londons only home brew shop, waterintobeer!
I bought my first 1 gallon kit after enjoying a few beers during an evening at WIB. I did a UBrew course which was a birthday present. That was great for some hands on experience and then reading John Palmer’s How To Brew I was ready to plan my first brew day and finally use that kit I bought. The beer turned out good enough to keep going.
I brew on a Grainfather G30, it's a convenient and compact system. I ferment in a 30L Fermzilla all rounder with a heat pad and insulation jacket, it's a budget fermenter that is capable of performing oxygen free transfers of the beer to a serving keg or bottles.
All my beer is served on draft out of party taps, I have a simple under counter fridge that has 2 corney kegs and a Co2 bottle.
Best piece of home brewing equipment you own?
The one thing I couldn't do without is the Tilt digital hydrometer, being able to monitor fermentation any time and not have to take samples or open the fermenter is super convenient.
Dream set up?
What home brewer dosen't dream of having their own micro brewery or brewpub? Living the dream!
What's your go to style?
So difficult to pin down to one style, because drinking certain beers at certain times in certain locations with good company will always give you great memories.
When it comes to my own brewing I like to keep my beer under 5% to keep it sessionable. Between my two kegs I like to have two opposite styles of beer to enjoy - light and dark or hoppy and malty.
How did the pandemic effect/ change my brewing?
The start of the pandemic was around the same time I found out I was going to be a father for the first time, work paused for a while so I had a lot of free time on my hands!
I got to delve into lots of brewing podcast, read lots of brewing books, I managed to learn about water chemistry in brewing and that has really elevated my home brewing.
By the middle of the pandemic when my son was due to be born I knew I wasn't going to have as much free time as before, so I managed to change my set up and get into kegging, It cut out the amount of time I used to spend bottling, It's a really nice upgrade and it's great to be able to pour a perfectly formed pint and have more time for other things.
Which beer that you brewed are you most proud of?
I brewed a collaboration beer with Esther from WIB brew club - it was a kveik black IPA with Chinook and Simcoe. The beer was good considering we had never brewed a black IPA before and the beer was well received at brew club.
What brews have you got planned in the next few months?
A NEIPA, I've had a little break from brewing them. At one point every other brew I did was a NEIPA, trying to nail down the style, I still have lots of Sabro and Galaxy hops in the freezer.
Another crack at an Urquell style Pilsner too - the last one I brewed was too light in colour and needed more malt character.
I have the ingredients at the moment to do a Boxcar Dark Mild style beer as well.
Competitions entered/ placings?
Three years ago I entered Brewcon with a British gold ale that received alright feedback and then there was the Lager than Life comp, I entered a maibock that had a few issues!
I've not entered anything since, the organisation and the costs of entering and postage puts me off. one day! They are funthough and give you a goal to aim for and it's always fun to have a judge critique your beer.
Favourite beer of all time?
Rochefort 10! It's such a lovely beer, this beer reminds me of holidays to Belgium and Netherlands.
What breweries do you feel have pushed the envelope?
I admire breweries that have a lot of varieties of styles on their tap list - I like to see classic styles and less popular styles being revived and elevated, along side the modern favourites.
What piece of advice would you give someone interested in starting homebrewing?
Do some preparation on your process for a smooth brew day, try to do some of the key steps as best you can - good sanitisation practice, controlled fermentation, good packaging, you'll be surprised how decent your beer will be.
Best thing about home brewing?
I love formulating recipes, I like doing research on styles, compare some recipes I can find, I'll try a few tasters and then try to formulate my own recipe, I’m eager to brew once the beer looks perfect as a recipe.
It's always a pleasure sharing home brew with others!
Cheers Tim! waterintobeer homebrew club takes place on the first Sunday of every month from 2pm onwards.