Member Profile: Kent Rundle

About Kent Rundle

Outside of brewing, Kent is a restoration ecologist/program coordinator at Conservation Halton. In that role he works with landowners to develop water quality and fish and wildlife habitat improvement projects.

Kent lives in Rockwood, Ontario with his wife Laura and son Greyson. They have a German Sheppard/Collie/Lab X and 2 cats.

Kent’s been brewing for almost 5 years. His first batch was a 1 Gallon Brooklyn Brew shop kit which was a birthday gift from his wife. She regrets the decision…. just kidding.

What other hobbies or interests do you have?

In the winter time I love downhill skiing. I used to coach ski racing and now it’s just a passion. In the summer I play ultimate frisbee, mountain bike and get out camping as much as I am able (which is a lot less with a young child). Up until my son was born I would spend a 10-15 nights per summer on back country canoe trips.

Around the house I enjoy doing renovation projects and particularly like wood working and building things.

What is your favourite type of beer to brew/drink?

My favourite type of beer to brew and to drink is IPA. West Coast IPA, Black IPA, NEIPA… love them all.

What type of system do you brew on?

Kent’s brewing system

I brew on a 3 vessel, 2 tiered propane system on casters. I have one burner that I use to heat mash and sparge water and also for the boil. I use a chugger pump to move water up into my HLT as well as into my mash tun. The casters give me the freedom to brew on the driveway or stay in the garage.

Mash Tun – I have a 10 gallon Igloo Mash Tun with a false bottom.

Kettle – I have 2 kettles that rotate between HLT and kettle depending on batch size. One kettle is a 10 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker, the other is a 20 gallon SS Brewtech.

HLT –  My HLT sits on a $20 electric coil burner. I pump the water up to the HLT hot and use the burner to maintain the temperature. 2X4’s support the weight of the pot on the tiny electric coil.

Burner – I use a Blichmann Hellfire

Chilling – I have a stainless immersion chiller that I will use, as well as a plate chiller. I also have a home made copper immersion chiller (my original) that has become my ice bath coil if I’m really trying to drop the temperature for a lager.

What is your favourite recipe?

It’s hard to say. I tend to experiment and brew new things all the time. I suppose it would be some variation of my IPA/Pale Ale malt bill that is primarily 2-Row, with around 5% crystal (different degrees of roast depending on sweetness and colour I desire), 5% carafoam and I really like to include Vienna malt at levels between 10-25%.

What is the beer you wish you never brewed?

I brewed a pale ale with loads of sage and Bertwell hops. We had a bounty of fresh sage from our CSA and I liked the aroma so went for it. It tasted like a chicken marinade.

What do you wish to improve on in your brewing?

I’d like to do a better job at managing yeast. I currently build starters up to 2L and generally cold crash and decant, and then will sometimes build it up a second time. I would love to get a 5L flask to ensure I am pitching enough yeast, in lagers especially. I have dabbled in using the calculators, but have mostly been winging this part of it.  The areas where I feel I could do better is splitting my starters for future batches and learning to yeast harvest.

I would also love to learn more about electric brewing. Something that I would like to have is a HERMS or RIMS system, but I’ll need some hand holding to build a temperature controller for this.

Do you have any brewing tricks, or “hacks”?

As a parent it can be tough to fit brew days in. I generally fill the kettle the day before and pre-heat it well above my strike water temperature. It’s a bit wasteful, but the next day it saves me a good 20 minutes of heating time because the water usually holds well over 100F overnight.

If I can’t get a straight 4 to 5 hour time slot to brew I will mash out and sparge and then just leave the runnings sitting in my kettle for several hours until I can finish it up after bedtime.

What is your philosophy on brewing and what advice would you give to new brewers?

I like to be experimental and keep trying new things, but always have something I love to drink on tap.

My advice to new brewers 1) put your fermenter in a space that maintains consistent temperatures and 2) give me a call before you start piecemealing together a brew setup. I spent way too much guessing and slowly scaling up.

If the zombie apocolpyse hits, what brewery do you want to be stuck in?

Sawdust City in Gravenhurst, right after a fresh batch of Twin Pines has been brewed.