Tragedy

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Tuesday January 25, 2005.

When I turned 21, I got a great gift from my parents. A homebrewing kit. Not a stupid punkass kit you would find at Macy’s or something, but a real life bad ass homebrew kit. I loved it. I brewed for about 6 years, then stopped because I had to get ready to move and I didn’t want to move with a batch potentially getting ruined. Also, when I moved, I tossed out the old refrigerator we had in the garage, in which my kegs lived, and had to wait until the arrival of a new outside cooling unit to keep the beer at its optimum temperature. That happened about a month ago, as my mom got rid of an old refrigerator, which, to my benifit, already had a tap handle built into the side. They got rid of it top make room for their new kegerator, which dominates. Also, for Christmas this year, a good friend gave me a gift certificate to the above-linked shop. Nice.

Saturday, Christy was doing something with The Girl, The Boy was gone, so I had the day to myself. I went to the shop, and bought these items. Many I had to buy as a result of the ones I had getting old and not being cleaned for a long time. Others are the actual ingredients for the batch of beer I was about to make. All of the items made me incredibly happy. I was about to be brewing again.

I started my boil, which I chose to do inside because of the really freaking cold temperatures outside. The boil, which normally actually gets to boiling in about 15-30 minutes on my outside burner, took about an hour. At that point, I added the malt and waited another 30 minutes to reach boiling again. Then came the hops. It was going really well. No boil-overs. That’s a new thing for me. I usually lose half a gallon of wort (pronounced “wert”) each batch from boil-overs. As the boil finished, 2.5 hours after starting, I prepared to strain the hops, cool, and add yeast to get that bastard fermenting. I poured the wort into the fermentation bucket, grabbed my copper coil (used to push cold water through the hot wort to speed up cooling) and headed for the back yard.

As I got outside I hit some of that demonic snow that has piled up with the recent onslaught of storms and cold weather. I lost my balance and fell. So did the wort. I lost it all. I was devastated. I had been so excited to brew, spent my entire afternoon/evening doing it, then lost the product. This one is different from having a batch explode. That happens. But this one was all on me. I freaking fell down. What a moron. Sure, maybe it was the fact that I had too much to drink while brewing, but I remember that fall clearly as avoidable if the stupid snow hadn’t been there. I blame the weather. Actually, I blame George Bush, but let’s not get into why. And to top it off, the wort didn’t just spill, it spilled back through my back door and into the house. And what’s right next to the door? The washer and dryer. It went all under those things, which meant I had to clean it up. What a bunch of shit. I’ll be brewing again, and this time I plan to have safety measures in place. Mainly I plan on not drinking.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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