Tuesday, September 23, 2014

life of a homebrew wife.

It occurred to me during the following interaction that I am a full fledged homebrew wife... Please, let me illustrate what I mean. 

Me, as I am washing the dishes after dinner: "Are you going to do a yeast starter soon? I can hand wash the Erlenmeyer flask if you're using it, otherwise I'll stick it in the dishwasher." 

Mad science lab or just our kitchen counter? 

As soon as the words "yeast starter" and "Erlenmeyer flask" fell effortlessly from my lips as I performed a seemingly innocuous task, I realized that I had crossed over from "person who knew a lil' sumpin sumpin about beer" to "Homebrew Wife." 

Now let me just take this moment to remind you of the roots of this little hobby. Once upon a time, we brewed our first batch of beer and it was so fresh and new and exciting! We watched the boil like little hawks, we stirred the grain with such care, we marveled at the hop addition! In just about a year, R has brewed (with some help from me and from others) 35 batches since that first recipe! And since that first Irish Red Ale, this hobby has grown into a major passion. And I realize that even though I'm not the brewmaster, I've gotten sucked in to the homebrew cult and as I caught myself speaking the lingo, I realized I was drinking the hoppy kool aid. 

Suddenly, I looked around my home with fresh eyes. The decor around our home is less Crate and Barrel and more barrel aged. 

Once in a while we do laundry in our main beer cellar. I've used arrows to help point out the things in our laundry room that are not laundry and are in fact beer. We have another beer cellar that I sometimes hang coats in and a third cellar that we also let guests sleep in. It's nice to be able to use our cellars for multitasking. However, when it comes to the brewing equipment, that gets housed in a room that non-homebrewing families refer to as a "garage". Our cars sleep in the driveway so as not to disturb the brew process. 

If you do find yourself as a guest in our production brewery/house, don't be alarmed at the gurgling and bubbling coming from behind the shower curtain in our guest bathroom. This is a slow week, so there is only one batch fermenting, but I have pulled back the shower curtain, ready to take a relaxing bubble bath, only to find up to three of these little fellas gurgling back at me. Cool dark places are a fermenting beer's favorite place to hang out, so unfortunately, my bubble baths get the boot while the beer gets the prime guest bath real estate. 

You might be thinking, what do they do with all this beer they make? Well, we drink it of course! (And it's seriously good.) But, as any Homebrew Wife knows, I had to draw a line in the grain when it came to storing the beer that was ready to drink. When I realized we had no room for milk and eggs in our fridge because of beer takeover, a second fridge was procured and everyone was happy. 

That doesn't mean the main fridge is off the hook. It houses yeast in varying states. Currently, this California Ale yeast is waiting patiently to become an IPA. And next to it is a yeast that has already realized it's destiny as a white wine blend. (Hey, we're not discriminators of fermented beverage in this home!) 

Even though it means my house looks a little like a package store and even though I have to balance around fermenting carboys to do a load of laundry and even though I have to sweet talk my husband into hauling out the fermentors so I can take a bubble bath, (which he does with no complaint because he's a good Brewmaster and husband) I gotta say I don't mind that of all the hobbies he could have picked up, he chose this one. 

At least the perks are delicious! 

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