The Lord's Favorite Homebrew Club

John O’Shea.

November 2015

Project Description

Home Town: Killaloe, Co. Clare, Ireland (Yep, The Ireland)

I’ve been a homebrewer since: May 2013

Do you have a homebrewing disaster you’d like to share? One of the first batches of beer I tried to brew was a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout clone. Since I had a bunch of mint growing in the yard I decided to try and turn it into a Mint Chocolate stout. Sounds great right? That is when I learned that you do not add crushed mint leaves to your beer. Nope, tincture is the way to go.

What is your favorite style(s) to brew? Saison, I love taking a really simple grain bill and letting the yeast provide that incredible “Belgian” taste a aroma.

What style(s) will you never brew? At the moment anything that required lagering. Just not set up to do that yet. Would like to eventually have attempted every style. Not sure if I brew enough to do that with the new BJCB guidelines though.

What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out? A partial mash brown ale kit from the beer nut. It was one of the best beers I have ever had. At least it was then, if I could go back and try it now I would probably think very differently.

Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great? Great might be a step too far, but had a Belgian golden strong get really badly infected in secondary. It was pretty much undrinkable, but decided to bottle up a case and see what happened. It turned out to be pretty drinkable, not great but drinkable, which I never expected given beer that went into the bottles.

What is your favorite beer recipe? Basic Saison. Pilnser, Munich, Wheat and Caramunich malt. 25 ish IBU’s and a saison yeast. Still working my way through different yeast strains but so far my favorite is the seasonal Belgian Saison III (WLP 585) from White Labs.

Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you’ve found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc? Just bought a carbon block water filter. Not really a trick or gadget but it’s so much easier than having to remember to pick water up prior to brewing.

Describe your brew system. Pretty basic.14 gallon coleman rectangular cooler with a bazooka screen attached to a ball valve for a mash tun. 7 Gallon Kettle for heating lauter and sparge water and 16 gallon kettle for boil. It works pretty well, but having to lug it out of the basement every brew day is a bit of a pain.

How frequently do you brew? I try to brew twice a month.

What is your favorite malt?  Why? Maris Otter. Really love it in British and Irish style beers. Can’t say Pilsner, even though I love brewing Saisons. Having to do 90 minute boil can be a pain and extend the brew day.

What is your favorite hop? Why? Don’t think I have one really. I certainly like hops in certain beer styles, but most of my favorite beer styles are not very hop forward.

Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast? No, I would like to begin banking some yeast strains in the future but I am still at the stage of trying different strains out.

Do you have a good homebrew club story you’d like to share? It was actually our current president Clay Turnbow that invited be along to my first meeting. I was picking up some ingredients at the Beer Nut and started chatting to Clay. He mentioned that he was in the club and that even though the meeting the next day was technically a members meeting I should come along. Since then I think I have only missed two meetings, one for my wedding and the other for NHC this year.

What haven’t we asked that you would really like to answer? Is Guinness really better in Ireland? The answer is yes. I never drink it outside of the Emerald Isle.

If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him? From the beer world probably Jamil Zaniasheff. I have learned a lot from his shows on the Brewing network and I am trying to work my way though his book “Brewing Classic Styles”. I know he likes a good malty sessionable beer so maybe a Special Bitter.

What’s the most unusual ingredient you’ve ever used in a brew? Fresh mint.

How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions? Never entered a competition. Still need to brew a good beer.

Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with? Usually alone. Have done a couple of brews with friends.

Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer? Outdoor, great for spring/summer/fall. Not so great for winter.

List some of the names you’ve given your beers. Which is your favorite? I don’t usually name my beers. My creativity does not stretch that far.

Project Details

  • Client John O'Shea
  • Date October 29, 2015
  • Tags Member Profiles
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