|Paulaner clone, gusher|
By Steve Siciliano
I've been in this business long enough to hear a horror story or two—a slippery carboy is dropped and five gallons of precious liquid oozes across the basement floor; a fermenter stashed away in a bedroom closet erupts like Mt. Vesuvius and the brewer comes home to an irate wife standing menacingly over a pile of krausened-soaked clothes. There are tales of massive boil overs, just-opened bottles gushing like oil wells, and sparges stuck worse than a tax-reform bill in congress.
Anyone who brews beer or makes wine has or probably will someday encounter such difficulties. But we homebrewers and winemakers are a tough, resourceful lot, not so easily dismayed or deterred. We lick our wounds, do whatever it takes to win back the good graces of our significant others, and climb back on our hobby horses. My own horror story involves drain-pouring the contents of two five-gallon carboys. What started as wine metamorphosed into something with the distinctively unpleasant odor of nail polish remover.
Got a horror story to tell? Share it with us. Write it up in the comments section below. There’s a community of brewers and winemakers out there who can relate, and who are explicitly capable of commiserating with your misery.