What advice would you like to give to other homebrewers?
Advice? Like make sure you shut the valve on your kettle before you fly sparge into it and walk away for 10 minutes? Yea that was a mess. Always have some spare DME on hand - you're going to miss your gravity readings from time to time. Get a spare hydrometer - at some point your going to drop it just before you're about to take a reading? We all make mistakes - learn from them and relax. It happens.
What is the best beer you ever made? And the worst?
Let's start with the worst. I occasionally like to use fruit in my recipes (home made puree) and initially the fruit will sink to the bottom of the fermenter before eventually rising to the top. I remember checking on my Brew Bucket during fermentation and I mistakenly let some oxygen in. Since the top of the fruit was above the beer and was exposed to oxygen, it got infected and ruined the entire batch - it was a dump.
I've enjoyed a lot of beers but one I liked making and consuming the most might be my Oud Bruin that I had sit in a small rye barrel for 6 months. That was delicious.
Tell us about your favourite styles to brew?
I love making sours - whether it's quick kettle sours or longer term mixed fermentation beers. I love making them all. NEIPA is my nemesis - I've been searching and tweaking my recipe for years looking for the right combination of everything.
Tell us about your brewing plans for the future?
With the COVID-19 lockdowns the last couple of months, I've been trying to brew as much as possible. Not that we need an excuse but there's not much else to do anyway. I've been filling all my kegs and brewing as many longer term sours as possible to put them away for souring. Now that that's all done, I need to start planning out my summer brews. Hoppy beers, sours and fruit beers are all beers I need to start planning for.
What is your experience with Kveik?
Absolutely zero. I've read a lot about the style and I find the history fascinating but I have yet to brew with Kveik yeasts.
What equipment do you use and why?
I started out like most people with some kits, extract and partial mash then within a few months I moved to all grain in a cooler mash tun. This winter I've had the good fortune of being able to build my dream brewery in my basement. I bought a 15 gallon Spike Brewing system and have about 10 brews under my belt on it. Took a bit of time to get the hang of using the equipment but I love it - and it looks great. I have a couple of SS Brewtech Brew Buckets and a new glycol chiller.