Monday, September 27, 2010

Brew through the pain

Oorah! I brewed this week! I re-brewed the ever-popular ATOTB #2: Clean Blonde Ale. Brewing went by flawlessly. I'm particularly excited about this batch because it will be the first batch that I've brewed twice, and I'm curious to see how close it will taste to the original. In a perfect world, the beers would be identical (and I'd have millions of dollars... and married to the woman I am now [Brownie points! score!]), but alas, we will see.

Kudos to my brewing system as well, during mashing I fell asleep on my back porch, only to be awaken by my timer telling me it's time to mash out. Mash temperature was kept perfectly within +/- a degree. I also learned that once my mash gets up to temperature to set the controller about 2 degrees below target and it will regulate the temp perfectly. I plan on brewing again this week, and I think I'm going to re-brew ATOTB #3: Pilsen Blonde Ale, since the first one came out so badly. As a matter of fact it came out so badly, that it will be my first dump. It's not even drinkable. It tastes like liquid rye bread. I like rye and all, but this stuff is gross.

My follow up to brewing is my recent encounter with B-Brite.

The past month has been particularly damaging for me. I tend to be very careful, but recently it seems I've either been unlucky or someone's out to get me. The important thing to note here is that I'm OK! That note is particularly for my parents when they read this, cause they might come across some things that I might not have told them. Earlier this month I got shocked by 120V. Awesome. Then 220V. Even better. Cut myself shaving. Great. Showered myself in sparks and popped a breaker. Whoopie. And I'm almost certain I stubbed my toe more often then usual.

All my pain came to a pinnacle this week when my dog got to the container of B-Brite. I had purchased said container from my local homebrew store because I felt that maybe my keg cleaning standards were not quite up to snuff, maybe leading to some off flavors. Well the contained sat on my counter for a few days where my lovely pseudo-golden retriever Sam found it and brought it into the bedroom. There were some chew marks around the lid, and a few specs of B-Brite on the bed. I imagine he started chowing down and got a taste of the cleaner, promptly stopping after tasting the delightful sodium percarbonate. If you're not familiar with this substance, it's used in eco-friendly bleaches, and probably the most notable substance, Oxy-Clean (THE POWER OF OXYCLEAN)!

I got said percarbonate in my eye.

I picked up the tub, still closed from the bed spread, and brushed the few crystals of B-Brite off. One crystal jumped up and landed right in my eye. My lord. It hurt. My eye began burning and went numb at the same time. I blinked and ran to the bathroom mirror and tried to clean my eye out. When I pulled my lid down I saw the crystal sitting there on my lid. I pulled it out, and when I could see again in a few seconds I went to the kitchen where I placed the tub and read...

"Caution: Avoid contact with eyes. For eye contact, immediately flush with copious amounts of water. Remove contact lenses if applicable and continue flushing for at least 15 minutes. Get medical attention"


Back to the bathroom. I ripped out my contact and threw it on the counter and began to run my eyeball underneath the sink. Then I jumped in the shower and sat in the corner wallowing in self pity while I irrigated my eye like the settlers growing corn. Oddly enough, irrigating your eye also hurts. Meanwhile my wife kept looking over me, and whenever I stopped washing out my eye she would say:

"Has it been 15 minutes?"
"Do you want to go blind??"

No, no, I did not want to go blind. I did mention however that with one eye I could still be an engineer, and play video games. Which she promptly counter-pointed that I wouldn't be able to play tennis again (depth perception is important in tennis).

The story ends well. I can still see. I was hoping that maybe I'd see better, but no. I mentioned to the wifey that I think it almost hurt as much irrigating my eye than the actual B-Brite itself. She wondered if it hurt worse than the time I got ben-gay on my *ahem* personal area (another time, another story). I said,

"Taking out the fact I was worried about never being able to see out of that eye again, no, it didn't hurt nearly that bad."

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