Father of three, experienced cyclist and head brewer in training, Toivo “Tye” Kaija knows what it means to commit to a hobby or lifestyle…
“Living in Idaho, I mostly mountain bike now,” Toivo says. “If I had a brewery, the tagline would be 'Pace Yourself and all the beer names would be cycling themed. One such beer that I always have on tap is Lead Out Stout."
Speaking of commitment, Toivo first fell in love with homebrewing in the early 90’s. “By 2001, I had three young boys, so needless to say my time was very limited and I only brewed intermittently on the same old single pot system,” he remembers.
“I always wanted to upgrade my system to all grain, but there were always things that needed to take higher priority. Finally, I had the circumstances to make the necessary modifications, buy the right equipment, and plan a proper homebrew setup. I did a tremendous amount of research and finally settled on a Spike Solo+ due to the design and simplicity of the system.”
“My favorite feature of the Solo is the basket. The design is well thought out and once you get to know the system and how it works, you can really dial in the process. The cleanup is pretty easy, and I know everything is going to last a long time.”
“The combination of the Solo + the CF10 + the temp control/chiller has also been a game changer,” he says. “Now I can maneuver the flavor profile, the color, hop utilization and more before I get to the fermenter.”
At the end of the day, Toivo reiterates that it’s important to just have fun. “Yes, we get stressed about being off a point or two with a measurement, but just enjoy the experience. If you make a bad batch, just learn from it. That’s what makes progress,” he says. “It’s about enjoying something that can bring people together.”