Sunday, 16 January 2011

Meet The Homebrewer : Sean Ayling

Homebrewer/Mad Scientist
Meet Sean Ayling, Husband, father, Cricket enthusiast, *patenter of all-in-one incontinence body suits, and homebrewer.
He first home brewed back in the 80's when he used his dads old Boots brew kit and in his own word the results were spectacularly mediocre and after and after a few attempts he packed up.
In 2009 with a single income household and three kids, some money saving was required and Sean decided that brewing his own beer was cheaper than buying it from Tesco's, every little helps I suppose!
His first brew kit was a brupak Colne Valley kit and was a million miles away from what he'd brewed on some 25 years earlier.
Inspired by people like Eddie Gadd, Kelly Ryan(was Thornbridge, now Epic, NZ) and Evin O'Riordan(Kernel) between March 2009 and March 2010 Sean tried 49 different brew kits, nearly one a week! During that time he'd tried all sorts to make the most out of the kits, including changing the yeast, dry hopping and adding a hop tea! Once he'd decided he'd gone as far as he could with the kits he finally bit the bullet and set about making his own boiler, mash tun and immersion chillers so he could go 'all grain'. He achieved this with the help of the homebrew community and Eddie Gadd of Gadds Brewery in Ramsgate who donated some bits and pieces for the kit and his first 'all grain' brew was an all pale malt beer single hopped with Amarillo. Since then he's gone on to make 20 all grain brews and admits that roughly a third have been undrinkable, a third have been ok and 3 or 4 he's been really pleased with. Which brings me onto the beer.
Whispering Bob, 6.7% abv, Original Gravity - 1063.
recycling done right!
Poured out of a Brewdog Punk IPA bottle(gotta love the recycling aspect of homebrewing), great carbonation, deep amber in colour, the nose is reminding me of the Caledonian 80/- I had at the football yesterday, very clean smelling, quite 'Kentish', must be the water I guess because a lot of beers from the neck of the woods smell and taste like this.
So, how does it taste? like beer innit! There's some warming booziness on the palate, it's very bitter but not in a bad way, actually in a very refreshing way, maybe some Pineapple & Watermelon in there, little bit of toffee but the bitterness kinda cuts right through it. Really love this beer! It's really drinkable, completely belying it's abv, dangerous stuff, but you know me, always living on the edge, putting myself out there for my art! Note : something Sean forgot to mention on the blog about the Whispering Bob was that it's dry hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo(50/50)
Apparently one of Sean's projects is oak ageing a dark beer this year. If it's anywhere near as good as the Whispering Bob, it'll be great! He's taken inspiration for this one from the Lovibonds guys who's Dark Reserve  was a great success at The Rake last year.
Seans viz top tip, in just this morning is, drink homebrew, your hangovers are fewer and of lesser magnitude! Hmmm, not sure about that one. Pretty sure about the Whispering Bob though! More Please!!
You can follow his progress on his blog where you get the ins and outs of homebrewing.

*an in-joke, apologies.

4 comments:

Sean Ayling said...

Thanks for those kind words. As soon as I can get my hands on some more Simcoe I'll be brewing another batch. I think it was the Carapils and Aromatic malt that made the difference.

Rabidbarfly said...

More than welcome, good to see you last Sunday, looking forward to next batch!

Sean Ayling said...

Was talking to Pete Brissenden today and decided that, whilst waiting for the Simcoe to hit the UK shores, I might experiment with different hop schedules; perhaps Warrior, Centennial, Columbus, Herkules etc.

Rabidbarfly said...

yeah mate, it's all bout experimentation!