So, I had mentioned getting a beer kit back in July and hoping to brew it this winter. I’m sure you remember. Nod your head. Well, I finally got to brew!
It’s an Irish Stout from Midwest Brewing. I love stouts, porters, and IPA’s. So obviously I was excited to get this going down. I got a kit for $60 for my birthday in July. It had most everything, except a Carboy. If you don’t brew, you don’t know what that is. In a moment you won’t forget it (a CARboy is not a more culturally relevant or up-to-date COWboy). Also not included was a 5 gallon stainless steel pot.
So my father-in-law was kind enough to let me borrow said Carboy. I was super excited to go pick it up. He told me that it’s been in storage for a long time (outside storage shed), so it will need some serious cleaning. So the other morning after dropping my son off at day-care, I went to go grab it at their house from their front porch. It looked pretty dirty, dust was to be expected, but the roach poo all over it, though not surprised, I wasn’t excited about that find for cleaning purposes. You see, Carboy’s NEED to be COMPLETELY UTTERLY SPOTLESS in order to not get the beer funky. Sterility is KEY for making good beer. If you were to leave it to open air, it would get ruined.
As I put the two carboys he so graciously lended me into the back of our CR-V, I decided to look at the bottom of the Carboy to see what all the black stuff was in there, it didn’t look pretty at all. Funk and junk and something that looked like a wad of hair or something. It was sick looking.
So as I peered deep into the Carboy from the opening at the top, I noticed something peculiar. What is that black thing down there? It looks kind of like….A DEAD FREAKING MOUSE.
“…..WHAT?!” I said to myself. “No freakin’ way!” And then I laughed for a while, and enjoyed some banter with my in-laws over text messages about how ridiculously gross that was to have in the Carboy that I would like to brew beer in.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. I went back home and first thing I did was put the carboy’s outside with the intention to clean them COMPLETELY. I mean these things had to get douched. I’m talking more douchery than a frat party. They’re not cheap, so I didn’t want to waste it, but I may have to get a different one. Anyway, the water spigots were frozen still. So I decided to wait till the day warmed up.
My friend Dustin came over and we started brewing. He brought a pot, we went to the brew store to get supplies; thermometer, a giant bottle of sterlizer, a book (the Complete Joy of Home Brewing), and w/e else. Very cool store to see…. We mashed up the grains, brought the water to 155F, dropped the grains in like a tea-bag, pulled them out, put in the liquid yeast malt, dropped the hops in, and brought to boil for an hour.
During that hour, I decided to see if I could wash the Carboys since the spigots had time to heat up. So I start cleaning it, it’s gross. So I fill it up w/water and leave the hose running. I come back after a couple minutes and dump it. It takes a while. The rat came out…Mmmm tasty.
Well, I knew I’d have to do this several times. So I do it again, then again. About the 3rd cleaning I see something else in there. I’m thinking ok, that must be the wad of hair that was down there. It finally decided to come out. Well, I look at it as it falls out, and it’s AN ENTIRE BABY POSSUM.
Not really. But it was ANOTHER DEAD MOUSE. I was in disbelief. Poor meeses. They probably went in smelling beer, but nothing was in it and then fell into a hole they could never climb out of. Drowning in beer would’ve been a much happier death.
Needless to say (of course) we now have a name for my micro-micro brewery called Double Rat Brewing. Pretty awesome, I know.
The other Carboy was totally fine, btw. No dead animals yet. Both are soaking in a bleach solution for the week. But in 5 weeks, we should have a great, mousless stout.
After we put in the final hops, we cooled the wort down quickly using ice, and stirred it up. Hopefully the ice is good and bacteria free. Then we put it in the primary, air-locked it, and put it in a dark closet. Now we wait till next week.
At the end of the day, Dustin and I went to a restaurant for wings and Bell’s Double Cream Stout, which was awesome. Great day.