Member Profile: Pat Finn

Cycling along Loch Ness

About Pat

Pat jumped right into all-grain brewing (after a year of YouTube research and then a learn to homebrew class @ Short Finger) for his first batch and has been doing so since 2016. He had a stint as an accountant after graduating from Humber College but shortly after decided that was not for him and went back to school to get his 2nd diploma in electronics engineering at Sheridan College. He now works as a wireless communications technician in a small company out of Kitchener. His wife Steph (usually) loves his beer.

What other hobbies or interests do you have?

I’ve recently started playing around with Raspberry Pi’s. In the past few months i have made an NVR for my home surveillance system, a network camera, a retropie gaming console and a car stereo running Andoid Auto.

I also enjoy travel, hiking, biking and snowboarding. I dabble with some video games as well.

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

Stouts stouts and stouts! I enjoy them all year ’round but I have started making more pale ales recently since my friends and family don’t share the same love for stouts as I do.

Mainly I prefer making lower gravity beers. I tend to keep them below 5% ABV if I can.

What type of system do you brew on?

I started brewing on a 3 vessel system with a couple homemade coolers for my HLT and mash tun but quickly replaced that with my Grainfather that I brew on now. The Grainfather is a compact all-in-one system. My favourite thing about this system is that I can brew indoors!

This system however does have some shortcomings that I’ve discovered. The boil is weak, the pump gets clogged quite easily, and the North American version of the connect controller fails quite often leaving you stranded during a brew day (I’ve had 2 connect controllers replaced already and I’m hesitant to use my 3rd controller as it’ll just break again. Original controller works just fine).

As a result of these shortcomings I am considering going the route of an electric BIAB system of some kind. We’ll see.

What is your favourite recipe?

Hands down its my Irish Breakfast Coffee Oatmeal Stout. Its a flavourful beer that is a low enough ABV that you can have a few after a hard days work.

What is the beer you wish you never brewed?

In my short brewing career I’ve only dumped one batch of beer (and drank a couple that probably could have been dumped) but like most other people I find I don’t regret any of my beers. I just use the errors I make as lessons on what not to do next time and go from there.

Pro tip: when going on vacation for a week in the middle of summer don’t turn your AC off entirely if you’re fermenting a beer while way. Unless you like the taste of fusel alcohols.

What do you wish to improve on in your brewing?

Lately I’ve been trying to brew simple recipes and try not to over complicate things. When I started brewing I got a little carried away with the ‘what else can I make a beer with’ mentality. I think its important to step back and learn from individual ingredients and not get overwhelmed with 6 different malts in a single recipe.

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

No tricks or hacks really. I just make a day of brewing (can you tell I dont have kids?).

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

Learn from friends, share your beer and ask for honest opinions, listen to homebrewing podcasts and just enjoy the hobby!

What’s the most useless talent that you have?

A few years back I was able to complete a rubik’s cube in less than 2 minutes.