Tuesday, April 03, 2007

That's Just Swell

After being gone nearly a month in a part of the world with mediocre (at best) beers, one of my main objectives in life revolved around getting my kegerator operational again. I had an empty keg from Speakeasy Brewing lying around so I decided their beer would work nicely to welcome my kegerator back into operation.

It’s not that easy to get Speakeasy kegs. You have to go to their brewery in the lovely and not-at-all gang infested Bayview section of San Francisco on Fridays between 4pm and 8pm. Not a small task for someone who lives and works in Oakland, gets off at 5:30, and has no desire to fight Bay Bridge traffic to get to SF on a Friday during rush hour.

Oh, but Prohibition Ale is so very tasty. One of my top 5 beers. Maybe even top 3.

I persevered. I worked from Tim’s house in SF on Friday, and then left to Speakeasy to exchange my empty keg (and $50) for a full one. Since Sunday was the gluttonous event known as the Belgian Beer Dinner, I didn’t hook the keg up until Sunday night, and then poured only enough to clean out the hoses. The point here, which will be sadly relevant later, is that the keg remained almost completely full.

Forward to Monday evening. Christen and I walk through the front door after work and the first thing I notice is that it smells like beer in the house. Lots of beer. I’d say it smelled like a frat house, but it smelled like good beer (not Natty Light) and the underlying scent of vomit was missing. As the kitchen is in the back of the house, if I’m smelling beer at the front door this cannot be good. Trying not to panic I head to the kitchen where my worst fears are realized; there is beer all over the kitchen floor.

The kegerator is essentially a fridge slightly larger than a dorm fridge with a cylindrical tower attached to the top. This cylinder holds the tap handle from which the nectar of the gods is dispensed. This cylindrical tower no longer pointed to the heavens but now lay on its side on top of the kegerator. Due to its incredibly crappy design, it must’ve fallen over (perhaps nudged by one of the cats), and in the course of landing its valve opened, spilling all 5 gallons of my precious Prohibition Ale uselessly on to the kitchen floor. Now there is a goddamn LAKE of beer in the corner of the kitchen. I was using a rolled up beach towel like a broom and sweeping WAVES of beer out the back door. While crying. (Jason was a big help cleaning up. I guess that what he gets for harassing me non-stop until I finally accepted his invitation to come over and drink my beer).

So much beer hit the floor the beer made its way under the linoleum, between the planks of the sub floor, and was dripping on to the dirt under the house. Mother loving crap.

How long do you suppose my house is going to smell like beer? 3 months? 6 months? 2 years? I don’t swear much on this blog, but…Fuck.

And now all my CO2 is gone, too, because, after ALL 5 GALLONS (did I mention it was a full keg?) of beer spewed out, the open valve did nothing but vent CO2 into the kitchen. Opening the kegerator revealed a frozen mass of beer and ice. You know how paintball CO2 cartridges freeze over when they’re empty? The same thing happened inside the kegerator, but with a 5 lb tank of CO2. You think it’s hard to get a keg of Speakeasy beer? Try getting a CO2 tank filled on the weekend.

The kegerator company (Avanti) has been good so far. They’re sending a replacement cylinder, although, it is probably of the same crappy design. Compensation for my lost beer, CO2, and perhaps damaged floors could be far harder to obtain.

That was my Monday.


mumbly said...

This may not help, but this happens to everyone in some form.

Mine was a batch of ale fermenting in the closet. It got a bit overactive, managed to plug up the airlock with hops and yeast, built up pressure and then became that Mentos/Diet Coke video.

My Dad's was more similar to yours, but it was a 15 gallon keg. He fermented in his keg and was supposed to vent it every day or so, but forgot. Pressure built up, burst the seal on the keg, emptied 15 gallons onto the ceiling of our utility room. We had a pool back there. My Mom basically said, "You can continue brewing or I can stay." That was his last batch. He was very excited when I decided to brew.

Scott said...

I think this may be karmic payback for sneering at the camera at the Belgian Beer Dinner. To make matters worse, I'm pretty sure most homeowner's policies have beer spillage exclusions.

Tate said...

As a fellow keg owner, I think the only reasonable response is to sell or kill your cats.