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Zoot Horn Rollo

The clown college of Beer Brewing

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    So yesterday I decided to brew my first "recipe". Howling Red Ale; I've done three brews before this what could go wrong? Well, heres a rundown....by the end of the process I felt like I should have put on some grease paint, some baggy pants, a rainbow wig and floppy shoes, and tried to sweep up a spot light up with a broom. Truly a comedy of errors.

 

   First off, I noticed that my LBK was more than a little funky from the last brew. So I need to clean it. Not thinking at all, I dump in a buttload of pink "Soft Touch Palmalive" and blast away with my high powered sink wand. Tweny minutes later, I'm finally convinced that the keg no longer smells like a stripper pole at Dirty Dan's. So I install the spigot (at least I have properly sanitized this) and much to my future horror leave the valve in the "open" position. Fun times folks, fun times.

 

    Now off and away to the brewing, I got my LME, HME, STP, and XYZ's all lined up. Problem is...I can't find my hop pellets. But my dogs have. My wife assures my that although the package was found under the sofa, it has been uncompromised. So, secure in the knowledge that all is right in the brewing universe, I read the directions and promptly put a gallon of spring water to the boil. Not 4 cups but 4 quarts. I was a chef throughout most of the 1990's and I know that you always read the recipe...twice. Doesn't matter, heat water long enough and it will boil, but by then my son has come back with some take out and dumps it all on my prepped counters. Argghh! No problemo, I sanitize again and cuff the young hoodlum smartly about the head and shoulders. You gotta be strong but fair with your parenting.

 

  Time to prepare the wort. I pull the pot off the heat, toss the bag of hops into the water and open up the can of HME. As I'm pouring the warm version of adult kool-aid into the water, my wife notes that a chunk of the soggy paper from the HME can has fallen into my pot of nascent wort. Point to remember...remove that label before opening the can. Okay, fish out the paper and continue on to the LME softpack. "Umm...honey have you seen the knife that I sanitized to open this"? "Yeah...I put it away. I didn't want you to cut yourseft".  Two options present themselves; teeth or poultry shears. I dump the shears in to the sanitizing solution. Pull em out and they promptly fall apart. Well, in my defense, I can assure you all that I do brush regularly.

 

     After finally getting all my ingredients into the pot, I politely allow my better two-thirds to mix thoroughly. Love is all about sharing. Man, that pot is big and hot, then I remember to add the cool water from my fridge into the LBK. Remember a few paragraphs back what I said about the valve postion of the spigot? My lovely wife of twenty seven years sweetly informs me that I'm flooding the countertop. Sweetly translates to the decibel range of about 200. Amazing what can be accomplished in a matter of seconds with a sponge and the glare of a fairly pi**ed off Jamaican woman motivating you.

 

    Finally time to pour the wort into the LBK. Hey, I'm a pretty big dude but, it's a heavy stainless steal pot full of molten wort and I'm trying dump it all in without spilling any. Have I already mentioned the efficiency of sponges and Jamaican curses? Works a charm, trust me. Finally, with my Little Brown Dividend full up to the designated level, I decide (wisely) that mebbe, just maybe, it's too hot to pitch the yeast. At least I'm golden here. My culinary experience,along with the tools of my former trade, allow me to let the wort cool to 70 degrees and so, finally (once again opening the packet with teeth) pitch the yeast, cap the barrel and rack the beast.

 

     I won't say that I haven't ever cocked up something else in so many ways;however, in some ways home brewing is an intimate and personal endeavor. After reading more than a few posts on this forum, I am humbled by the knowlege and sense of shared pride that it's members demonstrate to each other. And I'm sure you will all agree that despite all the errors and miscalculations, beer is a fairly hearty beast and hopefully this batch will age from a rather ungainly fledgling into a brew that will spread it's wings and soar to the heavens. Or at least straight down into my awaiting gullet. Anyway, if you made it this far, thanks for reading.

 

Best, Zoot

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You're the only one to ever screw up a brew.  I've never heard of anyone leaving a spigot open.  Clearly this hobby isn't for you, we are all perfect and don't make mistakes.

 

Oh, and loud Jamaican women scare me.   :lol:

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    Hey Sgueegeethree, not to brag or anything but I once got lucky with a Penthouse Pet....hmmm...it was the 70's, maybe it was just a pet. Anyway I know that this is a safe place to post and that no one here will judge me for any past indescretions. Right guys?.....guys?....anyone out there?

 

Best, Zoot

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I have also left spigot open on one occasion, but at that point is should be only water in the LBK.  :o

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So you store your hops in the couch and we both visit dirty Dan's,

 

We need to read a bit more to find out how this beer comes out. LOL

 

Nice Forum essay, Bottoms up!!

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"One of the college neighbor girls came over in a panic and asked if I knew how to brew beer.  I replied yes and asked how stout she wanted it..."

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Sounds like this may turn out to be an outstanding brew! (or then again "Rotgut) I made beer?

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I've left the spigot open once.  I was pouring water in and thinking to myself..this sure takes more water than I thought.  I finally noticed the counter was a lake.  Then I put 2 and 2 together...lol

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I have just bottled my third batch myself and I can say with all honesty that I have committed three of these mistakes myself.

  1. Some of the label fell into batch 1 (American classic)
  2. Spigot was left open in batch 3 (Biwitched Amber Ale)
  3. Miscalculated water to boil (batch 3 – figured it out early)
  4. (Bonus) did not stir wort before adding yeast (batch 3)

  So far, batch one was great.  I won't know about batch 3 for another 3 and half weeks. Opening batch 2 next week (Oktober Fest), but didn’t have any issues with it. Hopefully it will turn out as well as batch 1 did.  Screaming babies have taken part in one of my brews.  A cat tried to get in on another one. I am yet to enrage my wife while brewing, but I am young… there is lots of time for that.

 

I guess every beer has its story.

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I have just bottled my third batch myself and I can say with all honesty that I have committed three of these mistakes myself.

 

Spigot was left open in batch 3 (Biwitched Amber Ale)

 

I guess every beer has its story.

 

Insert Bruce Jenner joke here.

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