Bottles, bottles everywhere, but we have no beer to drink

It’s hard to deny that this beer making may have gotten a little out hand. Today, we brewed up another 5 gallon batch, bringing our total output to 15 gallons in just a few weeks. That may seem a lot, mainly because it is, but we really want to learn the process and come to terms with it before we put everything off to the side and lose all this experience.

We do actually learn quite a bit every time we make a batch. We’ve made some slight mistakes along the way and we are bound and determined to overcome them. Besides, turning your kitchen into a makeshift lab on the weekends is always fun.

The truth of the matter is, we’ve brewed a couple of dark beers and I wanted something lighter so we got a Belgian Wheat. And since we had it, temptation got the better of me and I had to make it. I mean an unused beer recipe is quite distressing. We can have none of that.

I think we got this one right. There were no boilovers, our timing was excellent, our time to cool down the wort was super short, the color was good, so I think this might be the winning batch. There was a strange side effect though. We celebrated our success by heading out for chicken wings and when we got back about an hour a half later the fermentation was already starting. There was a pretty thick head of foam in the carboy and the airlock was starting to bubble. About an hour later the airlock was bubbling nearly out of control. It was a constant stream of escaping gas and you could hear it from the next room. By 11pm I thought the whole thing was going to explode. I really did. I thought it was building up so much pressure that the airlock was going to shoot out and I’d have a beer geyser on my hands, and on my carpet.

In a bit of a panic I called Theo and asked what I should do. I got the rather unhelpful reply of "pray". I was hoping for something a little more action oriented. Never the less I kept watch over this bubbling cauldron as it filled with foam and the liquid swirled around like a typhoon. I was at the ready to open the front door and toss it on the lawn. And then weep at my loss. But it didn’t come to that!

The next morning it was still bubbling just as ferociously. I thought for sure there was going to be a mighty boom, but much to my excitement it finally settled down. It hasn’t exploded, it hasn’t bubbled over, it hasn’t ruined my carpet. A good time had by all!

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