Thunder Volcano

Boundless enthusiasm for something stupid

Archive for the ‘Homebrewing’ Category

Groin-Grabbingly Exciting Tales of Homebrewing

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I moved into a new apartment recently, and had to brew a beer for a homebrew competition the day after my move lest I miss the deadline (I ordinarily wouldn’t have cared that much about the competition, but it’s run by friends of mine, and I won an award* last year).  On top of all that, I’d slept at a friend’s place the night of the move, so come Sunday afternoon the only things in my entire apartment that were set up were my brewing equipment and my kegerator.  We still had a couch standing on end in the living room, and my mattress was in a separate room from my bedframe, but at least I could brew and drink.

But I digress.  My hot liquor tank is just a Gatorade cooler with a moderately shitty ball valve, so to get the last half gallon of sparge water I need to pick up the cooler and tilt it forward.  I was talking to somebody as I did this, so I didn’t notice that the hose had somehow (for the first time in like seventy batches) slipped off the barb on the ball valve causing hot water to pour all over the place.

Anyhow, the moral of the story is: I burned my dick.

*Most Blatant Disregard for Contest Rules

Written by Baron Volcano

08/25/2010 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Homebrewing


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When I was trying to become a brewer, I got a couple different versions of basically the same question: what made you want to become a brewer? (this question comes up less now, being largely replaced by an expectant “do you get free beer?”)  I don’t interview well, so my original answer was probably just a bunch of stammering.  But it occurred to me the other day that I have a very concise answer to that question: Waffles.  Waffles are the reason I’m a brewer.

It all started back when I was graduating high school.  A friend and I were planning on taking a trip around Europe shortly after graduation.  I have yet to be able to replicate the elegant simplicity with which we planned that trip – our entire plan was “let’s go to Europe”.  When pressed for details/plans by those with (rightful) concern for our wellbeing, we elaborated by way of naming at random most of the western European countries we could think of, generally along the lines of: England, France, Holland, Germany, and Italy.  We pared down this list to something a little more realistic, but at some point added Belgium because I wanted waffles (when telling this story to a coworker, he made a comment about how our decision to go to Belgium was on a lark.  That’s largely the case, but it ignores one simple fact: I really fucking like waffles).

It was during our time in Belgium that I had my “aha” moment about beer, though I doubt I realized the gravity of the situation at the time.  The first time I drank Westmalle Tripel, I had two simultaneous reactions: “this stuff tastes amazing!” and “I am getting fucked up from drinking this”.

During the intervening years, I devoted my time to trying to drink at least one of every beer ever made.  Then, for my 21st birthday, I received two gifts from my parents: a homebrewing kit, and a desk chair.  Only then was I really able to pursue my two hobbies: sitting and drinking.  I eventually moved past the phase of “it’s much easier to get hammered on fancy beer”, but suffice to say the rest of the story isn’t all that interesting.  Or at least, I’ve been rambling enough that the rest can wait.

Written by Baron Volcano

06/14/2010 at 2:33 am