My wife is usually pretty happy when I brew beer because, due to my messiness, I have to mop the kitchen floor after each of the several steps in the process. I think it is only right that I take care of my duties and I can’t think of a woman who would not be happy with her husband mopping the kitchen floor!
Last night I was at the bottling stage and as always I had planned on mopping up the few spills and drips that are common to the process. Well, the task of mopping morphed into a industrial clean-up due to an unusual string of clumsy moves on my part! The mess started small and manageable. My 6 gallon priming tank that you can see in the picture below, had a loose connection at the outlet spigot….I didn’t check it before I began to fill the tank. The drip was slow…I attempted to turn the spigot to tighten I but to no avail. I really needed to hold the inlet side, now under about 3 gallons of beer, in order to properly tighten it…..I opted to manage the very small quantity dripping with an absorbent towel….no big deal. I did not want to potentially contaminate the beer by sticking my arm in the brew.
The first bottle to be filled was the 6L plastic mini-keg bottle from my Tap-a-Draft set-up. I got it filled and set off to the side as I switched to filling the 12 ounce bottles – 29 of them! The 6L bottle sat with the chilled beer in it and developed a wet surface due to our humidity and the condensation on the outside. (Note: I had crashed to temperature to 34 degrees F to drop out the sediment and help clarify the beer)
Once the glass bottles were safely filled I decided to pick up the 6L bottle and dry it before moving to the location I use while the beer conditions. I wanted to make sure that it didn’t slip out of my hands…….noble thought but poorly executed. Beer weighs about 2.2 pounds per liter or 1 kg per liter. ( Just gotta love the simplicity of the metric system!) That would be 13.2 pounds or 6 kg! I was amazed at how high it bounced the first time it hit the tile floor. The second bounce had me in motion to capture the precious container, filled with my lovingly crafted beer. At age 62 I was just a little too slow. I captured the container when it hit the tile floor the third time, popping the cap off and spraying beer across the kitchen floor. I did manage to slap my hand over the opening after at least a 12 ounce bottle’s worth covered the kitchen floor. (355 ml)
I had no idea where the cap had shot off to and hollered for some help….I tried not to look my wife in the eye when she saw my predicament! I needed that cap and had to ask for help…..well, she found it off into the dining room on the carpet. My tragedy was growing. The cap had broken but fortunately I had a spare in my kit in the kitchen and a bowl of sanitizing solution to dip it in before capping the bottle. I think I saw a look of disgust on her face, not sure though…..as she gave me some very specific clean up instructions!
When we were first married some 30 years ago, we found fun things to do while the floor dried after mopping…..She wasn’t in the mood this January 14th of 2014. I was nearly done with the mop up when “Murphy’s Law” kicked in…As I was moving some things out of the kitchen I bumped the graduated cylinder holding the sample I collected for checking the final gravity – I had read and recorded the gravity so that wasn’t so bad, but I did lose half the sample….I wanted more of a taste. My other fear was breaking the hydrometer but I was quick enough this time to catch it before it hit the tile floor.
After mopping, wiping down the cabinets, cleaning the rugs and counters I managed a taste test. The aroma is great and the bitterness is nice….Now I just have to be patient for a couple of weeks to allow the beer to condition and mellow.
I am so glad she loves me!
Drink Local and Drink Responsibly
Give up your keys when asked!