The Zen of Dumping Bad Beer

I had such high hopes for this batch. On Sunday, I dumped them down the drain...

I've brewed about 35 batches of beer during the last six years. It has always been hard for me to enjoy my beer for what it is. Rather, I always think about what I intended. Most of the time, there's a difference. Sometimes big, sometimes subtle. But I always notice it. It's funny, because friends who drink my beer have no preconceived notions and seem to enjoy drinking my beer far more that I do.

During my six years of brewing, only two batches have been undrinkable. One was a sour cherry ale that turned to vinegar. The second was this imperial stout. It was my homebrew version of Kate the Great from Portsmouth Brewery. I brewed in back in November 2014, and bottled it six months later. It don't know exactly what went wrong with it. It didn't carbonate fully, but worse was its odd oily mouthfeel. A friend described it as the worst beer ever made. He was right, and I respected him for telling me the truth.

Anyway, I held onto the batch hoping that a miracle might happen and it might magically evolve into something drinkable. Every few months, I'd crack open another bottle, but it tasted just as nasty as it did before. What went wrong? Was it because I overshot my mash temp by 3 degrees? Did I not rehydrate my priming yeast correctly? Were the planets not in the proper alignment? I don't mind a wasted batch if I can at least figure out what went wrong. But after wracking my brain for over 18 months, I found no answers.

So I decided to let go. I dumped the rest of my stash down the drain. You know what? It felt good! As my crappy beer swirled down the drain, it made me appreciate my good batches. Which fortunately, far outnumber the bad ones...

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  1. Both of my first two homebrews (a long, long time ago) met the same fate. We at VB have dumped a couple of big batches. Always the right thing to do.

    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one. For your dumped VB batches, were you able to figure out the reason for the fail?


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