Our latest homebrew: Penicillin Ale

They say that any day brewing is a good day.  I couldn’t agree more (well, except for all that pesky sanitizing—that can be a real bitch).  However, a good day brewing can go sour.  And for us this weekend, it did.

Dead yeast?  Nope.  A broken carboy smashed all over our apartment?  Nope.  A boil-over volcano that dumped hot, syrupy mess all over our stove top?  God, I wish.  No, my friends, we were bested by a biological enemy.

Watch our video to see the thrilling conclusion…let’s just say its best to use fresh ingredients.  Oh, and refrigeration.  Refrigeration is important.  Especially when your NYC apartment is hotter than Havana on an August afternoon.

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19 Responses to “Brew Day Gone Bad…”

  1. Ben Simons says:

    That might be the saddest thing that I’ve ever seen. I’m weeping openly right now.

  2. No doubt, Ben. My cheeks are only now dry to the touch. It took me a good hour to finally accept our fate and toss it all.

  3. David (pampdog) Palmer says:

    bummer. i assume mold makes for bad tasting beer? some of the beer i sample at new belgium tastes like mold. did you ever discern what happened?

  4. Wow! I weep with you! probably the saddest homebrewing moment caught on film, although I didn’t see the tears as you were pouring the wort down the drain. I’ve never seen mold on a bucket of extract before, it must have been really old.

    There is always next time!

  5. Well, embarrassingly enough, David, we left the ingredients sitting out in our kitchen for a couple of months. So what happened, you ask? I was a jackass. That’s what happened. I don’t care how busy I am in the future, if I got beer ingredients waiting to be brewed, its time to brew. Fresh is key.

    My guess is that we would have been fine after boiling the heck out of everything but it would most likely taste like a funky mess. Didn’t want to take the time to ferment, bottle and then wait to find out. It was a hard pill to swallow.

    The New Belgium mold beers, eh? Not sure what they would be…you remember what styles they were? Could be some Brettanomyces beer

  6. Yes, Peter, I think by the time I poured it down the drain, the humor of it all had taken over. What I didn’t get on film was the dejection, the heartache and the sorrow. I wish I had a shot of me just staring at the malt for a good minute hoping I was seeing things…

  7. Lynsey says:

    Tragic mate. My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time :-(

  8. Thanks, Lynsey. We are now accepting liquid condolescences via US Mail. I thank you for your care and attention at this delicate time.

  9. Daniel says:

    Rhizopus Stolonifer rejoice!

  10. Daniel, had to google that one….”black bread mold”, eh? For those of you who don’t know Dr Dan, it only makes sense he’d be fixated on the mold. Why he would side with it, however, befuddles me….and a former homebrewer at that!

  11. Brian says:

    My deepest regrets. Go all-grain my friend and you won’t have this problem. Not that much more involved and the beer will turn out so much better!

  12. Brian, wow, I hadn’t thought that was possible in my tiny apartment, but I see you live in Brooklyn. Don’t I need a massive burner, an even more massive kettle and a backyard to get up to my tinkering with all-grain?

  13. Kevin says:

    awwww man, that sucks but I think it is still better than my shattered carboy on my first brew. I’m still trying to find the courage to make that post with the pics of my broken carboy.

  14. wow, Kevin, what happened? Use a cork instead of an airlock?

  15. Chris says:

    David, I went all-grain last year and never looked back. And I live in a tiny apartment in the East Village. It’s totally doable and totally worth it!

  16. Nice, Chris. How many gallons are you doing in each batch?

  17. Chris says:

    I’m at three gallons right now. I could do five, but I didn’t realize it until I brewed my first three-gallon batch and realized the capacity of my new brewpot. Luckily, the three gallon carboy fits better in my apartment… which, by the way, is conveniently located directly between Hearth and Terroir!

  18. Scott says:

    Damn Dave, that video was heart wrenching! Fuckin extract

  19. Matt Hendry says:

    Old liquid malt extract can be a problem but if you keep it refrigerated and check the use by dates it will last for 2 years without darkening .If you keep it for months on end in a hot location its never good .

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