Thursday, June 7, 2018

Beer 'splosions!

Today, I nearly died.  

Let me explain:

According to the tags on my blog posts, I've been homebrewin' beer for nearly eight years now.  Gotta admit, I've lost enthusiasm for the process - for Goodness' sake, there's so many local craft brews available now, what can I do that's different - and for updating this blog for each batch I've brewed.  But I was still at it, off and on.

The last few batches have been, well, meh.  I've been following the same process and, frankly, to quote the great BB King, the thrill was gone.  But I hung in there, even though the last batch was over-carbonated and dang near un-drinkable.  Homebrew aficionados can weigh in all they want about the myriad of reasons why that happened and I won't care:  I sanitize, I use kits, I follow the instructions with the kits.  To do more would take what's left of the fun in the process and turn it into something awful:  work.

But I choked that batch down.  And recently made a new batch from a different kit.  Same results:  over-carbonation.  I could live with that.

Until today.  Forced to take a sick day due to tummy trouble, I still had manly chores to do and when I dragged bags of garbage to the garbage bins outside the garage, I found the remnants of a beer bottle, the top third of the bottle with the cap intact, on the garage floor.


A bottle of homebrew had exploded.

In all this time, that had never happened before.  Suddenly, my homebrewing world had been turned upside down.  I could trust nothing of what I had brewed.

So, carefully, like in all those scenes in movies where the bomb expert de-fuses the bomb - do I cut the green wire or the yellow wire only there were no wires to cut - I carefully de-capped each bottle of beer I had bottled 10 days ago - a total of 40 or so bottles - and sweated the outcome of each and every one.  The tension was nightmarish.  

I don't know if it was the tummy trouble or the stress of de-fusing 40 potential bombs, but when I was through, I was sweat soaked and about ready to collapse from nervous exhaustion.  But I was alive!  By golly, I was alive!

If I want to continue this hobby, it's clear it's time to replace my bottles and re-think my process.  But I'm a different man than I was eight years ago and while I don't doubt the urges of my younger self to, by gosh, brew my own beer, that fire has died.  Why not just go into my local liquor store and choose a six pack from a local brewery and be happy?

It's good to be alive.  

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