Know the Homebrewer: Sindre Ingebrigtsen - PLAATO

Know the Homebrewer: Sindre Ingebrigtsen

We are pleased to have Sindre as a part of this this blog series! In "Know the Homebrewer", we will interview one passionate homebrewer every week. Sindre talks about boiling hands, Schwarzbier and much juicy, hazy stuff!


What or who got you into homebrewing? When was it?
After I discovered craft beer it was a sort of natural next step for me, and after Googling it a bit I found that Nøgne Ø sold 4 liter home brew kits of their most famous beers online. Kjetil Jinkun himself delivered my first kit at my door, and after that I was hooked and quickly ordered more equipment and I´ve never looked back since. This was in 2012.

Can you tell us an interesting story about homebrewing?
Not too interesting, but a cautionary tale, you should get some good brewing gloves! I once lost a pot of boiling water during brewing that hit my hand and I lost half the skin on that hand. I was lucky to get to the emergency room fast, and my hand has healed nicely, but now I always use a pair of thick brewing gloves, thick water repellent pants and good shoes when dealing with the hot side of brewing.


How is brewing a social thing for you? Do you like brewing with others?
I will usually travel to our family cabin to brew alone, it's a way for me to straighten out my thoughts and have some quality alone time just focusing on the process and relaxing. However once in a while I´ll brew with some friends as a social thing as well and that's always great fun. Other than that I´m lucky to have a many excellent brewers as friends, so whenever I have a question there's always someone to ask.

What advice would like to give to other homebrewers?
Experiment! Experiment with malt, hops and specially yeast. In the beginning of learning it might be wise to try out some kits, and maybe get your technique down, learn (and sometimes fail) how to clean properly, brewing and to get the fermentation right, but as soon as you feel confident that you can brew a good beer the sky's the limit. And if you feel ready or willing to compete, get some honest friends to taste your beer, or do a proper beer tasting course. Learning to pick up on off flavors is key to getting better, that and taking notes, so you can go back and fix errors later.

Hop hop hoppy

What is the best beer you ever made? And the worst?
One that stands out is an old school berliner Weisse I brewed about five years ago. Malt bill was 2/1 wheat and pilsner malt, decoction mash, 90 min boil with a couple grams of Saaz hops, then I sat it in the basement to ferment with White Labs - Berliner Weisse Blend WLP630 in a glass carboy I inherited from my grandfather. It sat for about 6 months and came out incredibly fruity and balanced sour. I just found a few bottles of it a while ago and by now it has gotten even better. I actually brewed another batch recently I hope will turn out as good as the first!

I regularly dump my brews if I´m not happy with them, probably about one in ten, life's too short for bad beer :)  


Tell me about your favorite styles to brew
That has to be the beers I most like drinking! I really love Schwarzbier, it's a style there's not too many commercial examples to pick up in Norway, so I really enjoy brewing that.

Tell me about your brewing plans for the future
As everyone else I might get some more nerdy equipment, but to be honest I'm pretty happy with how things are now, so I'll probably keep it the same for a while.


What is your experience with Kveik?
I have brewed some five or six batches of different kveik beers. It´s a real fun and interesting thing to work with, but I have only used four different stains so I´m just a novis in the field.  


What equipment do you use and why?
I use a Speidel Braumester 20 liters with a built in cooling jacket. I really love it as it makes the mash, boil and cooling a breeze. The only minus is that it only takes 6 kg of malt, but then again doing a double mash isn't too big a hazel, and 95% of what I brew is 6% or lower. For fermentation I use 30 liter plastic buckets wrapped in 5 m electric heating cable that I stick in an old small refrigerator and I use an Inkbird to control the temperature. For lagers I love using the Plaato airlock as well, combined with a wifi controlled Inkbird I can change the temperatures just when it's the right time.

For serving I use Cornelius kegs, I find it faster and more consistent than bottling, and if I need some bottles I just fill them with a Beergun.

Sindre´s kegerator setup (Pics taken right before it was completed)

Are you satisfied with that or are you thinking about upgrading?
I am pretty happy right now as I don´t have a dedicated brewing space it´s all easy to move around. I have had my eye on a canning machine, but that will have to be for a later day.


How are your experiences with PLAATO Airlock and PLAATO Keg? What do you think of being able to share the hobby with wifi-connected devices?
I was lucky enough to have tried some of the prototypes of both products, and I really love both products. As I mentioned earlier the Airlock lets me properly control my fermentation, helping me achieve a better final product. And the Keg helps me fill my Cornelius kegs properly, shows me when I need to plan a new brew, and can save you a lot of money in detection of a leak from your gas tank.

Do you have an unpopular opinion about homebrewing?
I think too many homebrewers talk shit about the large macro breweries. Now I agree that the way some of them sometimes do business could be frowned upon, but making a clean and easy drinking lager with no off flavors isn't easy. So before you have even tried doing so, I don't think you are in a position to say their product is bad.


Any closing thoughts?
Just hope every Norwegian home brewer reading this will check out my podcast, Bryggekast, and give it a good rating! :)

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