Member Profile: Dan Mills

 Dan Mills

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I have a degree in survey engineering and specializes in forensic measurements….long winded and technical way of saying that I take accurate measurements from photos and videos for use in legal cases.

What got you into homebrewing?

I have always loved procedural, technical and process driven things…(see occupation 😊 ). The process of making beer falls squarely into that. I had thoughts of opening a brewery, as many of us have had, and decided working on some recipes that the first step. I have given up the dream of a brewery for the time being but still am working on brewing and recipes.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of homebrewing?

The outdoors – I love the slower pace of back country canoeing as well as speeding things up investigating all forms of windy country roads on motorcycles.

How long have you been brewing and how many batches last year?

I have been brewing since early 2019. I started out strong with quite a few batches. Then the day job as well as an opportunity to help out as assistant brewer as at west end brewery (trying to learn the behind the scenes of brewery operations) got in the way of making as many batches for while. Then the latter half of 2023 got back into full swing with about a batch a month.

Do you have any favorite styles you like to brew?

I am not sure about a favorite to brew but beer is such a social thing I want to brew beers that my friends will enjoy coming over to drink or have random “porch beers” dropped off. I personally like drinking the UK and Irish types of ales and like brewing styles from those regions.

Do you have any certifications related to beer and/or homebrewing (BJCP, Cicerone, etc…)?

No certifications. I was involved in Brew Slam 2023 to see how competitions worked and may go through for BJCP certification as some point.

What kind of setup do you use?

I use a 3-in-1 system from Brewha Equipment out of Victoria BC.

What is the best beer you have brewed?

The first beer I ever brewed was a brown IPA all grain recipe that I had created. Maybe it is the nostalgia of first batch and romanticizing it but I have never been able to make the same recipe quite as good. More tries to come.

What is the worst beer you have brewed?What did you learn from it?

My first attempt at a Wee Heavy pushed the yeast a bit too hard and I learned a lesson about weird and wonderful flavours from yeast that feel you are abusing them. I research a lot more about yeast starters before the next batch.

What is a change you have implemented that you feel made a big improvement in your beer?

Yeast starters are you friend with higher alcohol fermentation!!

What advice would you give to a new homebrewer?

Research and sanitization…in that order. There are great resources out there to learn from others how not to make mistakes when you are starting. Once you get past the initial research stage, get brewing so you can learn from your own mistakes but make sure you are considering sanitization in every step of the way. You don’t want to make the otherwise perfect beer and infect it somewhere down the line.

What beer is your white whale, one that you've been chasing to perfect? 

I am happy with my Irish Red Ale recipe but I still want to get it dialed in and next level.

What is your favourite yeast, grain, and hop?

Maris Otter plays a strong role in many of the beers I like to brew, as does East Kent Golding hops. I am still unsure about a favorite yeast. I keep experimenting with that as I rebrew recipes to see which yeast I like best in certain recipes.

Do you have a name for your homebrewery?

Aliquot Brewing Company. It would do well in the Yellow Pages listings…Is that still a thing? Aliquot plays into my like of symmetry and much of home brewing is chemistry and aliquot parts.