Sunday, 8 September 2013

-- A weekend of home-brew --

Things have been looking dire of late. I was quite depressed this week as it looked like we had royally fucked up the 70/-. The first three bottles opened were like Mount Vesuvius, erupting all over the ceiling and the bench tops. Way too much sugar, way too much carbonation.

What had we done wrong? One theory was that a failure to stir the sugar syrup into the second keg had resulted in a lack of priming sugar evenly spread throughout all bottles. Two explosions in the priming fridge was enough evidence for this theory to be validated.

But then as we started to open more bottles and they started to look like Lime-Spiders, our paddle-maker Michael Mules suggested that maybe we didn't let the fermentation finish properly. Maybe the beer was continuing to ferment in the bottles and was creating a Tour-De-France Champagne explosion waiting to happen.

But ... but ... but ...

We had measured the gravity ...
We had measured the priming sugar ...
We had all the levels correct ...

And then ...

I opened four bottles of 70/- this weekend and all of them were flat. No bubbles, no head, nothing.
These bottles had not seen any priming sugar at all.

This was making me even more sad.
So I opened some Oatmeal Stout ... and as I did, one of these bottles exploded in my hands.

And then the next one was flat. And so was the next one.

There was a pattern developing, and it wasn't pretty.

So off I trudged to Carwyn Cellars to purchase a Saturday afternoon six-pack of IPAs. I spoke with Ben, a bit of a home-brew enthusiast, and explained the situation. He put us straight. We weren't stirring the beer enough before bottling. His word was enough for me.

So what to do? Open all the bottles and tip them down the sink? I had three more Oatmeal Stouts left. These were the last three home-brew beers I had.

Fuck it, I'll put them in the fridge.

The first one -- flat
The second one -- way too flat.

And then, a rainbow appeared through the dark clouds.

The final one. The last Home-brew beer in my house. I poured it, while downstairs in the cellar, contemplating the new Liberal Government.

And it was perfect! A deep, rich colour. A head about 2cm deep, that carried all the way down the glass. Delicious, deep, dark flavours.

There is hope.

1 comment:

  1. At least you got to the bottom of it. The trouble with learning lessons in homebrew is that the penalties are just so damn harsh.