Friday, June 20, 2008

Speed Cleaning and Blokes

I reported in a previous article that I had done a very noble and blokey thing and cleaned out a sizeable proportion of my personal wardrobe. You may recall that this was not due to any over abundance of clothing or due to the onset of spring. The purpose of this exercise was to allow the expedient expansion of the Beer Bloke Brewing Empire because it gave me the beer storage space needed to get on with the next few batches.

But cleaning is not necessarily something that comes as second nature to a bloke. We are hunter gatherers, we are warriors and protectors and we are fixers and tinkerers. That is to say that we can provide food as long as someone will clean the barbie afterwards, we are more than capable of matching an opponent on the sporting field or in the trivia ring and we can pull a seemingly efficient appliance apart and break it down into the sum of its parts then put it all back together, minus three screws and a combobulating valve and let it sit in the shed while we go to the shop and buy a new one before the missus discovers that we stuffed the old one.

Cleaning is something we need to learn. But it is not necessarily something we can be taught. It is definitely not something we want to be told or forced to do. What we really don’t need are newly released books about cleaning that are as popular with womenfolk as $100 haircuts, manicures and celebrity marriages.

You may have become aware of this series of Household Bibles that have exploded onto –and right off –bookshelves around the country. They are the product of a national radio talkback show which was so popular that the theories and helpful hints on cleaning your house became a best seller. Or three. They are ‘Spotless’, ‘Speed Cleaning’ and ‘How to be Comfy’. If you haven’t heard of them, find out quickly because I guarantee that your other half has already discovered them and is studying them up and is probably already putting together a ‘cleaning kit’ as we speak. This kit is designed specifically to crush the male spirit.

This is not to say that blokes don’t know anything about cleaning at all. As a homebrewer I have had to develop good cleaning and sanitation practices. As a beer drinker I have had to develop good beer glass cleaning habits. You may not know it, but there is a CLEAN glass and then there is a BEER CLEAN glass. A ‘beer clean’ glass will have not a single bubble sticking to the inside surface of the glass. Stay tuned for a full one day lecture series on how to clean your glasses, how to care for them and how to pour beer into them. I assume because you are reading this that you already know how to drink the beer.

Back to the books. I have decided that in order to survive whatever challenges Mrs Pilsner is encouraged to throw down as a result of reading these books, I need to know a little about the philosophies and systems they espouse. I don’t need to know how to clean the entire house in only fifteen minutes a day; I need to know what the book is telling her I can do in fifteen minutes a day. Knowledge is power and power over this book series might just save me and my beer and my brewing equipment.

Based on this philosophy I am reading these books and making a decent attempt at pretending to agree with or at least understand their concepts. Some of the basic principles are just pretty much common sense while some of the hints and tips are downright bizarre. Any book which recommends spoilt milk as a natural cleaning product has obviously never smelt spoilt milk before. And the nonchalant way in which it describes the procedure for producing spoilt milk is even more amusing; ‘Leave milk in the sun until it has developed solids – do not attempt to use until the milk is rancid and solids have formed.’ Just like that! And this is supposed to be a safe alternative to chemicals!

I don’t suppose that there are any stains that can be treated with beer. I know of plenty of stains that can be created by beer.

Anyway, the lesson I am quickly learning is that my brewing space needs to uphold the appearance of being clean and tidy and ordered if it is to remain intact – and in the house. I also realise that I need to contribute to some elements of domesticity so that the hobby can flourish. Then, one day, it will outgrow the house completely and I’ll have a small commercial brewery of my own.

Until then...

Prof. Pilsner


Anonymous said...

I'm from the Young Ones School of cleaning.

What's domestos? - I ask without trying to sound sarcastic.

This sounds to me like the Professor is being dragged away from his core business - beer and all things ale related - unnecessarily.

Has the good Professor considered a full size "clean and orderly wardrobe facade" placed in front of the brewing operation?

Perhaps Mrs Pils could be bamboozled by a large photograph that had the appearance of a clean wardrobe...

this would surely uphold the appearance of clean and tidy.

Beer Blokes said...

Since writing this piece I have actually solved the problem somewhat. On the weekend we installed our new laundry cupboard system - at least it presents itself as such!?! Stay tuned, post in progress where all will be revealed; literally!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Pils,

Today Jeeves and I were underneath the house, attempting our 85th and final episode of decluttering. Searching with headlamps for more junk to pile on our hard-waste collection, we discovered a mysterious crate in a forlorn corner under the house, labelled:


Clearly I was not going to open it unsupervised. Scrambling into daylight, we approached Dr. Lager for explanation.

It turns out to be a long-lost slab of vintage home-brew "BEAST", the original Pilsner-and-Lager special. Proof positive that a little concerted cleaning can have positive effects. Dinner tonight was Roast Lamb, spuds and BEAST.

CHEERS! It goes down very well indeed 18 months later!

Love, Mrs. Lager

(PS. Dinner/Lunch here while the Lady Pilsners are away? We'll save you a Beast for comparative testing...)

Beer Blokes said...

Thank You Mrs Lager,
Your offer is gladly and gratefully accepted. Not only shall I sample some aged Beast, but I shall also bring around some ... wait for it, are you sitting down? Good. Some Number One, Original, First ever effort,Guaranteed Genuine,Thomas Coopers Lager !!! Our very first brew! I cracked one the other night - then had one of the lagers - and it has really matured well. Will bring over some of the recent brews as well so that you can mature it under the house for a few years after you forget about it!
P.S. You can call me Professor Pilsner!