It is a confounding occurrence when people are genuinely humble and speak openly about their mistakes. Sure, I like self-deprecating humor as much as anyone, but I don’t know that I’d always call it humble (or being humbled or posting that I’ve been humbled is more like it). But life is full of humbling experiences. Sometimes the humbling comes as a gentle corrective and other times it comes in form of an insidiously mortifying embarrassment. I can drink to that.
The truly shocking aspect is that we share these experiences with anyone—that we fully reveal the “man (or woman) behind the curtain.” Furthermore, there is redemption in that honesty because we learn from the mistakes and help other not to do the same or, more likely, share their gaffs with us as well.
A few instances remind me specifically of this reality. Granted, these are not humblings of the mortifying variety, but they are expressions of how great openness about our experiences can offer a chastised view of our self-defined and “perfect” reality. So, without further ado, let me share some brewing humilities I’ve read recently.
First, Jim from Beer and Whiskey brothers (well, Don really does it as well) have a great attitude of humility in that they allow themselves to show silly acts they’ve committed or brews that were too long delayed. Perhaps a messed up bottling or a broken hydrometer (I’ve done this) or bad method in yeast propagation that are all shared on Cramped Space Brew are great examples. I genuinely love reading stuff like this because I know what it’s like to fall down before I’m able to walk. I know what it’s like to drive after an ice storm and get vodka for my hydrometer. I also still know what it’s like to say something about beer related knowledge and not know the full story.
What about you? Any silly brewing mistakes or embarrassing beer moments? Trust me, I’ll be posting plenty in the future.
I’m glad I can be your example of people who are adept at screwing up in front of an audience. It’s a skill I’m proud of.
January 24th, 2011 at 7:29 pm
You’re the first person I thought of
It seems like every time I brew I make a mistake. I just hope not to continue making the same ones. It could be as small as a an off temp or forgetting to take a reading. Point is they happen and for the most part you can still have a great beer at the end. I have several posts up, stupid is as stupid does (http://www.simplybeer.com/blog/?s=Stupid)
Really homebrewing should be fun and if you can’t laugh at your mistakes, then what’s the point?
michael reinhardt Reply:
January 25th, 2011 at 1:53 pm
I guess you’re right about mistakes along the way. Personally, I’m happy if they’re not big ones.
People have always learned from their mistakes, and the coolest people (Jim excluded) are the ones who share them with others. Everybody learns, and that applies to everything I think – not just beer.
I think what Peter mentioned about laughing off brewing mistakes could take time to do. A person new to brewing won’t necessarily think an error is funny even though Peter might. That’s experience. The noob might get frustrated and give up instead! However, if he’s read Peter’s mistakes, or Jim’s (big mistakes), then maybe it is funny and he’s able to move on and laugh even.
Sharing is good, even if what you are sharing is not good.