Monday, January 31, 2011

Icky-Icky Pooh

Beer is chemistry.  While I don't brew, I know  how it works from a  chemical standpoint.  Soooooo many damned variables.  Every now and then, things go wrong. In a perfect world, I would think a brewer would catch the problem before the product goes out the door.

In a perfect world.

The world is not perfect and my would-be-newest beer was not either.

A good friend scored a six-pack of the Brownhoist Nut Brown Ale from the Tri-City Brewing Company.  Can you see a problem with my picture below?  (For the record, I was tootin' around with long exposures and black-and-white tricks.)

Unless your head is in a beer bottle of your own, you probably saw the foam oozing out of this one, right?  

Maybe you are thinking that I shook the bottle before I opened it.  No.

Maybe you are thinking that I slammed down the bottle after I opened it.  No.

A big whiff and a small swig confirmed my suspicion.   Sour. Like vinegar.  Granted, in some beers, this is what you want! But not here....

After opening  three other bottles, I knew what was going to happen, I so I grabbed my rig and took the shot you see.

Boy and girls, repeat after me - infection.  That would be spelled i-n-f-e-c-t-i-o-n.  

In a nutshell, as the hops and grains are boiled and cooled, the  goo, called wort, is sterile. The brewer then dumps in the yeast of choice based on the recipe.  Well, every now and then, an uninvited guest ends up in the wort.  Your recipe goes out the window!  The unwanted bacteria run amok and ruin everything as they eat the sugar that the yeasts were supposed the devour.  Bad bad bad.  Sanitation is key for a brewer.  It is, in a sense, like an operating room - clean is key.

Mind you, I am not really complaining here.  I did my beer drinker's duty and contacted the brewer.  If I hear back, I'll let you know.

I am doing my best to support local brewers! I hope they get the problem fixed! 

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