I’m an amateur brewer with a passion for making all kinds of beer (and drinking it!). I juggle this with my other hobbies of photography, cycling, hillwalking, gardening and travel.
Since I live in a top-floor one-bedroomed flat with my wife, I am very short of space for brewing, and I can only read with envy of those lucky enough to have garages to brew in and store beer, and space for converted fridges and chest freezers to store chilled kegs of beer or have fully temperature-controlled fermentations. See my equipment page for what I use to overcome these challenges. To anyone who thinks they can’t do all-grain brewing at high standard in a small flat- well, you can! At least in Scotland, where the ambient temperature is usually not too high even in summer, and regulating a small raise in temperature is easy.
With a background and PhD in biology (though I now work in IT), I love finding out more about the science behind the brewing process and hopefully using this to improve my own processes, or at least understanding them. There is so much dogma and passed-on lore in homebrewing that has little empirical basis, and as a pragmatist who wants to get things done effectively without unnecessary faffing around, I applaud efforts to bust some of the myths. One of may favourite sites is www.brulosophy.com, which has taught me so much.
The other thing I like doing is using the glut of summer fruit from the garden in beer. So far I’ve used blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, and elderflower.