Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain Rain, Go Away

I planned all week and dug out my equipment, but the weather would not cooperate with me.

One of the hassles of having a small condo is the association. They are like Rhinoceros in two important ways, they can bully you with their threatening posture and they fear fire. I could understand banning turkey fryers since it equates to a dark age weapon of sorts (when filled with hot oil and a potentially explosive frozen fowl), but a cauldron of boiling wort won't explode any time soon. Even if it boiled over, it would never burn; aside from leaving a huge sticky spot in the yard there would be no appreciable damage.

Why do I bring this up? The size of my condo necessitates an outdoor boil and the association forbids it. This would be a problem save for the fact that we just rented a studio for my wife; it has a parking lot near a hose, which is as close to ideal as I'm likely to get (mooching off of a rented space). Hose-water is no good for beer, but I can just buy 5 gallons of deer park at BJs and use the hose for cleaning/chilling.

After overcoming these obstacles and after 5 months, I was finally able to start my outdoor brewing. I went to Princeton Homebrew, bought a Red Ale kit, new hydrometer, new crystal thermometer, and another copy of "The Brewmaster's Bible."

As an aside, Beer stores are more like the hobby stores of yore. It is the entry point to a whole community of brewers; shopping there is never boring and is often enlightening. People who only buy mail order are really missing out. How much fun is a train set in your basement if you're the only one who sees it? After chatting with the owner and another customer named Nate for about an hour we finally agreed that beer could solve all the world's problems and I said my farewell. I was re-energized and ready to start. With rose colored glasses, I stepped out and looked at my car which was now soaking wet. Drat.

I texted Gene hoping he would say rainwater would not contaminate my brew, but deep down I knew. I'm not risking a $39 kit and all that time just to end up with vinegar. I hope I find some time next week!

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