Knights of the Mashing Fork

A Very Sad Brew Day

Started by brewboy, Feb 20, 2017, 01:29 PM

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Three weeks ago I got up early and finished brewing a Stone Pale ale clone that had been mashed in the night before. My intent was to add all of the last minute hops after an hour and a half boil and at a reduced temperature of 200F. This is a Stone brewing technique as described in another post here. I was going to whirpool at this temperature for 1 1/2 hours. I was about a half hour into the whirlpooling when I got a call from my Mom regarding my Dad. He had fallen (back on the bed, not the floor) and was disoriented. 
As you may or may not know, my parents live in a double wide mobile home, on our property, but down the hill from us. My wife and I jumped in the truck  and headed down. Sure enough, my Dad was in bad shape, so we called an ambulance. Now it takes a half hour to get to us out here, so in the mean time my wife stayed with him. I drove back up the hill and set the temperature to 170F and changed clothes. I was planning to ride with him to the hospital and I figured that by the time I got home, I'd lose too much wort to evaporation.  
It's about a 45 minute drive to the hospital and during that time his blood pressure, which was very low when the the EMT's arrived, improved with the IV they put in him during the trip. They got him checked into a room quickly and began blood work, x-rays, etc. The doctor pulled me aside and told me that he had pneumonia and an infection that appeared to be moving into other organs, possibly going into renal failure. For that reason, he was going to admit him to the ICU for observation. They now had several IV's hooked up to him and he appeared to be doing well. He was bitching about the comfort of the bed and for having to stay overnight in the hospital. He had seen his primary care doctor the previous Friday and they started him on some antibiotics and steroids. He seemed to be improving, until Sunday morning. They also did blood work and this infection didn't show up then. 
A nurse came into the room and told me she was going to take him down to get a CT scan before getting him into the ICU. She said that I could wait in the room or go get something to eat or drink. I decided to get a snack, but changed my mind and headed back to his room. I wasn't gone long. When I turned down the hall, a gurney with people all around, and one guy on top giving CPR, came rolling down the hall at a fast pace. I found a little area to get out of the way, but when they passed, I realized it was my Dad on that gurney. I followed them into a room where the doctor told me he had gone into cardiac arrest. There were now a dozen people around him taking turns giving CPR, shots, defib, etc. They worked on him for over 20 minutes, at which point the doctor asked me if they should continue. He said if he was to come back, and that was unlikely, he would probably suffer neurological effects. I told them to stop. I lost my Dad. 
He had turned 95 on the 23rd of January and I was sure he would live to be 100. He smoked a good part of his life, drank what he wanted to, ate what he wanted to and even survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was some 25 miles inland when the attack occurred. His ship the USS Tennessee, took some hits, but was protected by the USS West Virginia. Unfortunately, on this Sunday, January 29, 2017, the odds caught up with him. 
My wife and Mom were waiting for my Dad to get checked into a room before they headed up to the hospital. I called my wife before my Dad passed and asked her to remove the hops and turn off the whirpool pump. I told her to cover the kettle and leave it at 170F to prevent infection. It was much later in the day before I got home, cooled it and pitched the yeast. I figured it was gone and really didn't care anyway. Last Friday, I racked it to a couple of kegs. It's actually turned out very well with lots of hop flavor. Last night, I raised a few in honor of my Dad. 

Sorry for the long post, but it felt kind of good to write about it. That said, words can't describe how much I miss him. He taught me so many things during my life, everything from woodworking, auto repair, hunting, fishing, you name it. If you still have either or both of your parents, call them tonight and tell them you love them. You might not get another chance. Now I have to go get a towel and dry off the keyboard.  


Our most heartfelt sympathies from the Randolph household.  You are right David.   I need to take a few minutes and call my folks. 

Sir Hops A Lot

So sorry for your loss... 


Thanks, guys.

Sir Vorlauf

It's always interesting to hear about people's amazing lives and everything they've seen and done.  It sounds like he truly experienced life and I hope we can all say the same when that time comes.   You did the right thing which, as I've learned, is rarely the easy thing. 
Brewers must have an intimate understanding of the physics of heating and cooling, the hard science of enzymes and fermentation- and then forget it all to achieve a gut-level Zen instinct for the process.

Sir Grist

So sorry to hear about your loss.  


Dave, So sorry you lost your dad. Sounds like he lived a good life. Just know his spirit watched over and ensured your brew came out for an enjoyable memory.


Thanks, again, to everyone for your kind words.


Dave, that's awful.  Fortunately, you were able to spend lots of time with him over the course of your life. 


Sorry to hear this bad news Dave..........I know I'm way late. 95 is a pretty good run buddy my dad made 74. I hope you have been well. CLB


Thanks, Steve. Yeah, 95 was a good run, but I have to tell you, I'm not looking forward to Father's Day this year. 
How are things with you? Still making hot sauce?


Good to see you post CLB.  How are you doing these days?


Who the heck is Steve?  :what?:


Sorry to hear that Brewboy. I hope you're doing well, man. As well as you can, at least.


I'm doing okay, but I (we) sure do miss him. Thanks for your kind thoughts..

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