From the HBD Archive
From: fiz@lamar.ColoState.EDU (Frank Willis)
Subject: John's Monster
Date: 1992-03-26 21:14:50 GMT

Reply to John's Monstrosity

John's singular account of a recent batch of homebrew gone
sour struck a chord of familiarity with us. We also have
experienced a similar sensation while brewing. Here's our story.
About a month ago, we cooked a batch which used 4 lbs pale
malt extract and 3 lbs honey (named Honey Logger). We decided to
try Wyeast's Bohemian Lager yeast in the original exploding
package, which did. We became justifiably concerned about the
ruptured yeast package and transferred the contents to a sterilized
ziplock baggie, brewed the wort and pitched the yeast the following
morning and waited, and waited, and waited. When no sign of
fermentation was present 2 days later, we repitched the yeast using
a package of dry SuperBrau yeast we just happened to have.
Later that day krauesan was blowing out the tube. The
following day the fermentation appeared to be subsiding and we
removed the blowout tube for use on a batch of Seat-of-Your-Pants
ale. The next day, we made a pilgrimage to the fermenting room,
which also doubles as a homebrew storage area and furnace room, for
a bottle of homebrew and a chat with our yeast and discovered the
Honey Logger had become a mini wort volcano, spewing krauesan out
through the airlock. We replaced the airlock with a blowout tube
and had a homebrew. Shortly thereafter, several friends were over
for a 'tour of the brewery'. An Irish friend with a liking for
Quinness took one whiff of the Honey Logger airlock and said
without hesitation, "I'd say ya named the wrong one the
Seat-of-Your-Pants". Our Honey Logger had an aroma that was enough
to make a hog farmer blush.
We became concerned, had several more homebrews and watched
our concoction merrily bubble away. After 3 weeks of gut wrenching
fermentation, our precious Honey Logger now has a wonderful mead
fragrance and no trace of the 'ode de hog farm'. We bottled it
last night and were pleasantly surprised by a very tasty, very dry
In the 'The Complete Joy of Homebrewing', Charlie recommends
not using more than 20 percent sugar in homebrew. Interestingly
enough, the Honey Logger and your 'Monstrosity' both used over 40
percent honey/sugar. Could this be the reason for the undesirable
Our advice (for whatever its worth) is this. Be concerned if
you really must, but above all relax, have a homebrew and just call
this batch 'Monstrosity Ale'. If it turns out to be any good
(which I think it will), send the recipe.
* *
* Bear-Wire Brewing Co. *
* Ft. Collins, Colorado *
* *
* Frank Willis *
* and *
* Al Miller *
* *

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