This blog is about my adventures as a homebrewer.

Around 2009 I found my taste in beer changing considerably. Fed up with freezing cold Guinness and the same old fizzy, yellow macro-piss I started exploring the incredible world of craft beer. I started off with delicious English ales like “Old Speckled Hen” and “Spitfire” but I was soon captivated by the taste of hops. Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn and Brewdog became my favourite beers and I found myself craving the sort of aggressive, hoppy beer that the American craft breweries do so well.

I wanted to start homebrewing for years but apartment living and a lack of space prevented it. This changed when I moved into a house. Armed with a 25 litre Young’s fermenter, a big spoon, 2 cans of Muntons Gold IPA and no f’ing clue, I started homebrewing in 2010. I spent a full year modding Coopers kits but I started getting frustrated with the hit & miss results I was getting. The problem with kits is that you just don’t know what goes into them, so it’s challenging to modify them and predict the end result with accuracy. I also realised I was getting better results when dry-hopping, steeping grains and using premium yeast (not kit yeast).

These days I’m doing mostly partial mash recipes. My system is set up for mashing about 3kg of grain which normally requires me to add about 30 or 40 percent malt extract in order to bring my brew length up to around 20 litres. It’s a good batch size for me. I’ve also been doing a few small batch all-grain beers using the “Brew In A Bag” method. I’m still doing lots of experimentation with beer styles at the moment, but I’ve nearly always got a hoppy American ale on the go.

I’m chomping at the bit to go fully all-grain, but storage space is an issue for me at the moment, and I don’t want to add to the already huge mountain of equipment I’ve amassed since 2010.

I regularly post on Jim’s Beer Kit, Beoir and the Irish National Homebrew Club forum.

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homebrewing & craft beer

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