Yesterday the girlfriend-person and I had our housewarming party that I probably should’ve had back closer to October when I bought the place, or in May when she actually moved in with me. Whatever. The party is neither here nor there (much like it’s revelers’ sobriety), but it did serve as the backdrop for my latest homebrewing fiasco.
Before I go any further, I do want to say this: homebrewing (brewing, in general) is part-science and part-art. Let’s pause a moment to mourn the death of my pride after dropping that cliche. … But it actually is true, as much as these idioms can be. The science part is easy to see: mash temperatures, hop addition times, fermentation temps, rests, et cetera. Being a yutz, this is where I tend to screw up. The good news is that you don’t need to be a good scientist to make a good beer (though I wouldn’t mind having a Bill NyePA).
Anywho… So I thought it would be fun to do some homebrewing with a bunch of my friends around. Greatness and Will (and other friends without websites) both got in on the action, helping to stir the mash and pour the hot liquor (water). It was good fun until I broke the cardinal rule of homebrewing, which is basically: don’t get drunk. Drinking a few beers is fine, of course (RDWHAHB). But I’d been drinking since before the guest arrived and I wasn’t about to stop, so by the time the hop additions came I was a little more Cliff Clavin than Carrie Nation.
I actually think I managed to get the hop additions correct (there were 4 for a 90 minute boil: 60, 30, 5 and 0). My real coup de grace came when it was time to transfer from the kettle to the carboy. This was my first time with my new carboy and instead of doing the sensible thing (using a siphon to transfer the wort), I decided to use a funnel and managed to spill beer all over my kitchen. The girlfriend-person was not pleased. I also managed to pour my stir bar into the carboy when pitching my yeast.
I left the carboy in the dining/brewing room through the night and moved it to the basement around 11 this morning, so it got a chance to ferment at close to 78 degrees for a few hours, which probably wasn’t great but I used San Diego SuperYeast because I figured it’d have a better chance of surviving the higher temps without too many off-flavors.
Sure enough it was bubbling this morning and again this afternoon in the much cooler basement. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how “Suicide By Hops” turns out. Until then…