Well, here’s a first which puts me in with a part of home brewing tradition and folklore I’d rather not be noted for having achieved. Exploding beer bottles – Yikes! (Hmmmmm. “Exploding Beer Bottles” would be an excellent name for a band.)
Back in the day, prohibition that is, the goal was to make alcohol. Brewing beer was the easiest and fastest way to do that. Stories abound of beer bottles exploding like popcorn in cellars, the result of covert brewmeistering in clandestine operations. In those dark times the knowledge for how to brew beer was, shall we say, an oral tradition passed down by anyone who managed to collect an audience. Inconsistent strains of yeast better suited for baking bread than brewing beer were used. Quality and environment control were at the mercy of the brewmeister’s patience. No one engaged in this practice had a biochemistry degree to help them through the subtleties of dealing with temperamental strains of yeast.
So what’s my excuse? I have a biochemistry degree. Actually, I have two of the darn things. Plus over 20 years of home brewing experience. Hard to say. That the bottles are uniformly over carbonated doesn’t suggest a poor distribution of priming sugar. A review of the notes by both my brew partner, Chris, and myself doesn’t reveal anything unusual. We certainly gave both the primary and secondary fermentation steps plenty of time, even for a stout. Me thinks a problem with the yeast. Something to follow up on with the yeast supplier.
But then, there is the potential terrorist angle. However mind bogglingly impossible the odds and chances that al-Qaeda, the Talibandidos or the Middle of the Road Progressive Isolationist Weekend Radicals had a hand in this, I would be remiss if this possibility wasn’t chased up every possible tree. Because one of those trees just might possibly potentially happen to be the right one to bark up at. I will, of course, need DHS money to follow these leads and fund multiple batches of decoy beer in order to bag the bastards. Neither can I dismiss the real possibility this is yet another strike of George Bush’s International Conspiracy to inconvenience me. I suppose a true Patriot would stay awake at night with a baseball bat guarding his beer against these threats. That or lobby for a law to guarantee Constitutional protection for my beer. Yeah, that will do it. Than I can sleep at night knowing there is a law to protect my beer.
Ah, well. This will all make more sense after I’ve kicked back and enjoyed a couple of home brews. Actually, for security reasons, I had better enjoy this batch as soon as possible. For now all the bottles from this batch are safely stashed in the refrigerator. Putting the chill on the yeast should stop any further pressure buildup and if any of the bugs decide to blow the frig should serve as an adequate blast container. Certainly better than the spare bedroom closet. What a mess.