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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Why Is the Floor Sticky?

About a month ago, I experienced my biggest homebrew disaster to date. It started like any other bottling day: I took a final gravity reading, boiled the priming sugar, prepared the bottles, and racked New Texican into the bottling bucket. I had to prop up the bucket just a little so my transfer tubing would reach the bottom, so I put it on top of a case of empty bottles, something I've done many times before. Racking went fine, and I moved the tubing from the auto-siphon in the carboy to the spigot on the bucket. I stood back up and was about to ask my husband to lift the bucket onto the counter (he's my muscle). Instead, what came out of my mouth, was "Oh no, no, nononono, shit!" as I watched a tsunami of beer flow across my dining room floor. It happened too fast for me to catch the bucket, and yet, it seemed like it fell in slow motion. I stood there in shock for a split second before both of us ran and grabbed every towel in the house to start sopping up the beer. I cried, I laughed, I bitched, I mopped (and mopped and mopped), and I bitched some more.

Losing the batch hurt, especially since I had such high hopes for it. Like every other brewing fail I've had, though, this tragedy taught me a few things:
1. I should probably buy some longer tubing. If my tubing was longer, I wouldn't have had to prop up the bucket.
2. Make sure the box I use to prop up the bucket is actually full. You see, the box I thought was full of bottles was actually missing a couple, and the empty part of the box crushed under the weight of the full bucket.
2.5. Better yet, don't use a cardboard box full of glass to support a 5-gallon bucket full of precious beer.
3. Putting a lid on the bucket would probably be wise. A lid wouldn't have stopped the bucket from falling, but it probably would have minimized the amount of beer that ended up on the floor.
4. Our kitchen/dining room needs better flooring than wood laminate, preferably something waterproof. I cringe whenever think about what it might look like underneath those floorboards.
5. I know A LOT of cuss words!

The good thing about being a brewer is that I can always make more. So worry not, my friends, I do have plans to revisit New Texican in the future. In the meantime, I have a couple other brews in the works. The moral of today's story: Mistakes=learning, learning=better beer

Love, peace, and hoppiness,

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