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Dec 3, 2002

Kraputnik Soviet People's Stout

Why “Kraputnik?” Because so many things just went Kraput. While in my airlocked primary fermentation bucket, it kicked up such a head that pieces of hop leaves got caught in the airlock, causing the lid to blow off (a not uncommon occurrence in homebrewing). A few days after I managed to successfully tame the froth-over, the sewer drain in my basement brewery backed up, leaving a 3-ft. wide pool of fragrant gray water. I quickly moved my fermenter upstairs. The rest of the procedure was incident-free, except that when bottling, I broke a bottle for the first time. Then in July, while letting it age, the beer “swelled up” in the heat and one bottle exploded.

The label was designed in imitation of the poster art of the Soviet Union, with great care taken to match those drab poster colors, complete with an aged paper background (if I could only have gotten that old coated paper with the sulfury smell). Verbiage was courtesy of the Translation feature of Sherlock in Macintosh OS X! Odd thing: when I submitted the phrase “Drinkers of the World, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your sobriety!”, it couldn’t provide a Russian word for “sobriety.” Here’s a .txt file of the recipe.

This label design was an “Editor’s Choice” in BYO Magazine’ 2003 Homebrew Label Contest.