williamallenpepper

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Archive for the tag “microbrew”

RUINED

So the other night, I was merrily rolling along on a new batch of homebrewed – from a kit, but still – beer. Assembled the keg, checked the spigot, did the sanitation process, mixed up the wort, dump it all in, add the yeast. Wham, bang, boom. HERE’S BEE-

WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?!?! WHY IS THERE BEER ALL OVER THE COUNTER?!?!?!?!?!??!?!

$()$*%&*#()!_@_)$**(

Obviously, there’s a leak somewhere.

The spigot is leaking?

I CHECKED THE MOTHER#($*%*#()@)( SPIGOT!

Yup, it’s leaking.

#()$*(%&#()@()$()

That’s pretty much a verbatim transcript.

The spigot was either screwed in too tight or not tight enough and there’s no real way of knowing which. Beer keg spigots operate on the same principles of obfuscation that our elected leaders too. Ironically, both also make you want to drink. The fix required sticking my entire arm inside the keg to fiddle with the little rubber gasket thingy. That, of course, rendered the keg and the beer no longer sterile thus ending my latest foray into homebrewed delight.

$(%*(Z%()#_@_)@_)$*$()#_)@_)!_)#$*$()$_)@_)@@_)#()$*%*)%*(%^&%*$)(#@_)!@+

With knobs on it!

Maybe I was rushing to much and got careless. Maybe I should have paid a little more attention to the water on the counter during sanitation. Maybe the spigot is just f-ed up. Maybe it was just one of those things.

That last one is a killer, isn’t it? It was just one of those things. Don’t you hate it when something bad happens and that’s the best your friends can offer as consolation? You don’t want to hear that something just happened and it was no one’s fault. You want to hear that someone or something screwed you over. You were wrong. It wasn’t you. It was him/her/it/society/drugs/lightning/illness/Howie Mandel. Something, anything, but you or, worse, random chance.

So there it is. Whatever happened, I lost my beer and the time I spent making it when I could have, I dunno, been building ships for widowed orphans to sail to buy dry goods and slide rulers with which they could draft better maps to chart their course to dry goods much more efficiently. Or something.

Show of hands, or, better yet, show of comments, who has watched a project go up in flames (if it was literal flames, that’s even cooler) and wrestle with who to blame for it? Or maybe it’s not a struggle. You know damn well who to blame – YOU – and want to use my blog space to unburden yourself. Go for it.

Consider it my beer-soaked penance.

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BEER, ON TAP, OR AT LEAST ON MY COUNTER

image

Back in January, I took my first shot at brewing hard apple cider from a kit. It came out okay, but it wasn’t beer, which is what I really wanted. So then I got a kit for a “patriot lager”, mixed the wort, fermented and chilled. This week, I cracked open the first bottle. Looks good, doesn’t it? It is, but could be better. I’ve read adding boosters helps. Might try that with the next batch. Beyond that, wondering what my next homebrew adventure should be. Suggestions?

HOMEBREW UPDATE

So, for Christmas, I got a very simplified home brewing kit and mixed up a batch of hard apple cider. The stuff is pre-mixed, you just sterilize everything, mix it up, add the yeast and ferment. It came out pretty well. Bubbly. Tasty. Good stuff.

But it’s not homebrewed beer.

So.

For my recent birthday, I got a bunch of new mixes. Beer mixes. A variety of domestic and international brews. There’s a “patriot lager” fermenting right now.

I’m enjoying this new activity immensely. I hesitate to call it a hobby yet. Time will tell if this is a passing diversion or if it will stick as a part of me, like “Doctor Who” or my great passion for carving unicorns from old Ikea furniture.

At some point, I will get the bug to do a true homebrew: recipes, bags of grain, thermometers, the whole bit. I’m really scared about this. I fear you need a palate for this. Is it too yeasty? Too hoppy? Too, uh, chocolately? I don’t think I have a palate. Well, I do, but it’s a lazy bastard. I know if something tastes good to me, but damned if I can tell you why.

But still, I’ll be compelled to do a true brew someday. I know this will happen. And if I grow a palate and thereby survive the process, I’ll also know that what I have is not just a flash in the keg…er pan. It’s a hobby.

I look forward to that day. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stare at yeast fermenting and count the days until bottling commences.

It’s what I do now.

CIDER UPDATE

Ten days ago, I became a man.

Whoops! Not what I meant! Let me start again.

Ten days ago, I brewed my first batch of hard apple cider. It’s my first try, and it’s from a kit where there’s no science required. I just followed the recipe consisting of the prepackaged stuff provided in the kit. Still, I am quite excited about this. After fermenting for ten days, I tested the keg today and found the must (mixture) was sufficiently not cloudy and the taste test was good. So…it was time.

No, I don’t get to drink it yet. But today was a huge day anyway. I sanitized the bottles and caps, drained the keg into the bottles and proudly admired the results. Each bottle was a beautiful, golden amber, alive with the heady aroma of apple and the promise of good times to come.

So I show a bottle to my wife. All she can muster is, “Yep. Smells like alcohol.” She’s not a drinker (possibly her only flaw), so she doesn’t really get the excitement of making you own hootch. I, on the other hand, can’t wait.

But…wait I must. The must will be carbonating for a week or ten days or so and then, after a week or two chillin’ in the fridge, it’s off to the races! And by races, I mean sitting on the couch with a pint of my own homebrew watching movies.

“Who likes to rock the party? I like to rock the party.” – “Flight of the Conchords”

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