The day that Sherpa died, I had started to brew beer.
As you might imagine, everything stopped when we realized that he was going to have to go to the vet. I had water in the kettle moving towards boiling point and ingredients all laid out; that got put on hold. The rest of the day was difficult, to say the least.
After he died, the only thing to do was to continue with the work. Sitting around and mourning him wasn’t going to help anyone-although if I had decided to do that for the day, that would’ve been OK. However, I have found that when things go wrong, solace can be found in activity.
So I continued brewing pale ales because this year, that is what I am doing. The result was less than hoped for.
In one respect, I feel bad. I had hoped that this beer would be a tasty one, that it would be a way to remember a creature who had been very kind to me. That it got infected and poured a glass after glass full of foam makes me feel like I let him down. That’s not a very comfortable feeling.
It’s also a little silly, because he was a cat and cats do not care about beer.
On the other hand, I feel as though I can hardly hold myself accountable for doing less-than-exemplary work on such a difficult day. I did the work and on that day, that is what mattered.
There is also a bright side: the nose on this beer did have a distinct, although not very strong, nose of Galaxy hops. So I’m finally getting closer to a style of beer that resembles a pale ale.
Sorry it wasn’t this one.
Brew date: 4.23.16
1.5 lb Full pint
1 lb Vienna
Fermentables: 7 lb Extra LME
1 oz Simco, .5 oz Galaxy @60
1 oz Simco, .5 oz Galaxy @10
Yeast: Imperial barbarian (3rd use)
Secondary on 5/6
Added 1 oz Galaxy hops to secondary