This one is brought to us by Amateur Hour, our good friend Erik Baldwin. Enjoy….
Home Brewing is a Lot Like Fishing
(And other observations of mildly compulsive pleasuredrinkers)
In the same way that a lazy parent bribes an annoying child with candy to stay quiet during an important phone call, the Beer Blotter Crew bribes me with promises of public exposure to keep my fingers out of the sparge during the brew process.
Act One: The Dedicated Amateur
Amateurs like to speculate. From our position, hovering like fruit flies around the rotting tomato of professionalism, we’ve learned that the best way accomplish any goal is to slightly modify expert instructions by adding our own clever shortcuts. Flying in the face of safety, logic and tradition, the dedicated amateur can turn even the simplest task into a labyrinthine convolution of do-overs and back pedaling. This is evidenced clearly in the homebrew process.
“Wow, that looks pretty lumpy” (Poke the sparge with my car key)
“That’s not sanitary. You could contaminate the entire batch”
The dedicated amateur knows the best way to deal with a contamination issue is to hope for the best.
“Nah, It’ll probably be ok, my car keys are pretty clean, as far as car keys go. I drive a BMW”.
Act Two: Yeah, I’ll be back in a minute
Anybody who’s ever brewed beer at home knows it’s a waiting game. Waiting for water to heat up, waiting to add grain, waiting for wort to cool down… Bah. The dedicated amateur recognizes these gaps in productivity as opportunities to drink beer somebody else has conveniently brewed for you.
Because of repeated and prolonged absences during the brew process, much of the amateur’s understanding of how beer is made is gleaned from questions ex post facto.
“So, did you guys add the hops yet?”
“No, we’re just sanitizing the kettle right now.”
“Oh, for sure, yeah. Let me know if you need anything, I’ll be inside for just a quick second.”
(2 hours pass)
“Boy, that malt really smells good, when are you going to add it?”
“That’s trail mix. I brought it to snack on.”
The dedicated amateur, above all else, knows better. When he sees someone struggling at a simple task, such as seating a cork firmly into a carboy, he is more than willing to do it right for them.
“Damn, this cork isn’t fitting right.”
“Here, let me try it.” (plop) “Yeah, no, it doesn’t fit. Somehow it fell right in. Is that a problem?”
“Get the hell out of here.”