You may have already tried Sean's pilot batch brew back in February during one our Meet the Brewer nights. Like many of our homebruers we've posted about on this blog, Sean began pursuing the hobby in school before becoming a pro.
When did you start homebrewing?
I started homebrewing in college with a friend that had a malt extract Hefeweizen kit and invited me to assist. The beer came out with a ton of sediment and we packaged it in 3L plastic bottles. It tasted ok, but was just the beginning for more ideas.
What got you interested in homebrewing?
I started drinking craft beer and met some guys from a local homebrew club at a beer festival.
What's in your carboy right now, or on the horizon?
My next homebrew will either be a chocolate peanut butter milk Porter or my tried and true Dry Irish Stout aged on Kéan Arabica coffee beans. I'm also considering doing a wheat session IPA ... So many ideas, so little time! I don't currently have anything fermenting in carboys because I keep very busy making wort at The Bruery.
What was your biggest disaster?
I tried to take an Altbier and freeze off the water to strengthen the beer and experiment with the flavor results. The result was an unpleasant meaty flavor from the residual frozen yeast in the beer.
Do you have a, "Whoa it was super cool this one time this thing happened!" moment you can share?
I had some very rewarding and tasty results from making a wet hopped Pale Ale with Columbus hops that I grew myself. I also had great results with a Saison and a Blonde Ale brewed with some newly released hop varieties from Hops Direct.
What advice do you have for a new homebrewer?
Put together a simple hombrew system on which you can achieve consistent results and make sure it's easy to clean. The most complicated/expensive homebrew systems are not required to make great beer. Fermentation temperature control would be a much better area to invest your money. Also make sure your wort chilling methods are adequate enough to achieve the desired knock out temperatures during the hot summer months. Overall have fun and don't be afraid to try new ingredients and techniques!