56 | Autumn 2021 | ontapmag.co.za MEET A HOMEBREWER Clint Breen, East Rand, Johannesburg Q: When and why did you start brewing? A: I have been homebrewing for nine years now. I started with brew kits for about three months and then dived straight into all grain. I had tasted some homebrew from a friend and thought “this is interesting…” Q: What’s the best beer you have ever made? A: Probably my Belgian dubbel. I bought a bottle of Hertog Jan dubbel, mainly because of the very cool looking ‘porcelain’ bottle it came in. I drank the beer the same afternoon I purchased it and was blown away by the smoothness, the overwhelming aroma and taste. I immediately decided that I needed to brew this beer and researched recipes for weeks on end. I made my own candi sugar and brewed the beer. It was everything I was looking for in a dubbel and have brewed the beer several times since. Q: What is your biggest brewing disaster? A: On what was probably my third or so brew on the Grainfather, I burnt my whole hand which took months to heal. Drinking and brewing at the same time was the cause. Since that episode, I don’t touch a beer while brewing, only cracking one when the final cleaning is done. Q: Describe your system in a sentence (or two) A: I’m blessed with two systems; a 30-litre Grainfather and a 70-litre HERMS system. The HERMS system I bought from a guy who lives around the corner from me. He and a mate had commissioned the build but never got to brew on it since the mate moved to Australia. Since I have a decent amount of space (converted double garage) for a brewery I could go full out to get a decent size system going as well. Q: Do you have any brew day quirks or traditions? A: When I take pH and SG readings (pre-boil) I add a shot of whiskey to the hot wort sample (about 150ml) and drink it. It’s my good luck charm for a successful brew, known as the “brewer’s secret”. Q: What would be your ultimate clone? A: Definitely a Duvel Tripel Hop (and just to be picky, the Cashmere one). Q: What is your main brewing goal? A: Just to have a smooth, relaxing brew day with a good end product for everyone to enjoy.