Monday, October 23, 2006

All My Heroes Are Dead...

Ivan Illich (pictured at left, channeling John Cassavetes—also dead—via some random legerdemain of the lens), Guy Debord, Pierre Bourdieu, Bertrand Russell, Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Charles Baudelaire, Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, the list goes on. Dust, all of them. Jean Baudrillard’s still sucking air and pumping blood, yes, well, fine, and believe me, I’m grateful, but he’s pushing 80 now, so how long can that last? And who will rise up to fill the deepening void, to illumine the inky abyss?

Dead or dying all too soon, alas...

But the yeast lives, for now, resurrected this evening in the body of my Broken Cherry Stout (speaking of inky entities) by the gentle racking to the secondary, a glass carboy that, for all its notorious shortcomings, I love to death purely for its nostalgic qualities (and gas impermeability). Yeah, it’s fragile and heavy and cumbersome to clean, yes, exposed it lets in sunlight to poison the brew, and okay, dry-hopping in it is a pain in the ass. Still, few things instantly embody the essence of homebrewing like the sight of a carboy. So it will remain in my lineup. (And an old pillowcase with a hole cut in it becomes an excellent carboy condom against that intrusive sunlight.)

Stout is looking good, thick and rich and so chocolately, like black tar smack or liquid obsidian, redolent of Victory’s Storm King Stout, something that may change as the cherry puree lends its essence to the mix during the alchemy in the secondary. Two weeks in the carboy, another two in bottles (most of its life spent in glass houses), and then it’ll be ready for pouring. Of course, an ale this complex deserves some aging, which it’ll get if I can stay away from it long enough to let it fully mature. This one is too late for the Bliss, but I'll try to keep a bottle around for next year. That is, if it's as good as it smelled this evening.

No comments: