“I have loved beer and found brewing fascinating for a long time. I started brewing at University, as a lot of people do, with malt extract kits. But I would always take things an extra step - begging hops from local micro breweries to add flavour to my kits.
This passion, and the fact I was always bothering the brewer in the attached brew house, led to a spell working at the Fat Cat, one of Sheffield’s finest real ale pubs. It was here I developed an interest in really good bottled beer – now generally termed craft ale. I can still clearly remember my sense of awe on tasting one beer, which claimed to be produced using the best of the first harvest of grain and hops. It was strong, delicious and intoxicating!
Some time later a friend got into ‘traditional’ home brewing. I was eager to try but, being a new Dad and living in a small house, knew that my buying the full set up would not make me popular at home. So I asked in my local home brew shop whether I could brew all grain beer in smaller quantities on my stove at home. The chap working there basically told me there was no point in even trying.
This was like a red rag to bull! Logic told me there is no real difference between a boiler and a pan and history taught me that beer was always brewed this way before it was commercialised and commoditised.
So I looked around the world and researched novel approaches to this, the oldest of sciences. I amalgamated ideas from Australia and the US, I combined traditional methods with modern materials and research to create a process that retains the best of brewing heritage whilst being as efficient, quick and ecologically friendly as possible.
My first brew using this system was a well hopped IPA. I took a bottle of it into the home brew shop for 'my muse' to try. I left it with him. On going back in some weeks later it was extremely gratifying to see how much it pained him to tell me that he felt it was one of the best five beers he had ever drunk!
Since I started developing this idea some similar systems have appeared in the market. This is wonderful as it shows how widely spread the passion and interest in brewing your own fine craft ale is. I believe however, my system has significant benefits over it’s competitors.
My process, founded on cutting edge brewing science, dispenses with the need for force cooling the hot wort (what beer is called before it is fermented) in favour of natural cooling. This allows the process to be easier, quicker, simpler, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than more conventional approaches and, in fact, produces better beer.
After developing my craft ale kits I wanted to share them with friends. The response was always incredibly enthusiastic and led me to look into marketing them. A small team of fantastic people came together to help me with this project, and enable me to bring Big Ed’s Craft Ale Kits to the market."
Big Ed, 2014