The promise of translucence

edited excerpt from a chat

—First thing I did when I got back from D.C. was wash all my empties. Because bottling beer is complex enough without having to worry about cleaning all the bottles yet. If they’re already clean, all they need is a soak in sanitizer solution.

See, brewing is a great motivator.

—Heh. So you have a basic set of bottles which you reuse all the time?

—Yes. They’re brown. Too much light can spoil beer.

—Do they have the cloudy shoulders that come with age and jostling?

—I don’t think so. They don’t get jostled much.

—I think all the soft drinks and beer bottles in the various African countries I’ve been to have that.

It shows up more on bottles with a curvier shape and darker glass. Maybe yours don’t have a shoulder.

—Maybe not enough of one.

—Have you ever collected sea glass?

—Only rarely. I don’t get to the sea much, you know.

—Ah, your loss.

But you know what I mean, all rubbed and opaque but with the promise of translucence.


—So if you jostled your beer a bit more (which I don’t recommend, obviously) then you’d get well-worn beer glass with the same quality ’round its shoulders.

If you put sea glass in your mouth it becomes more jewel-like, but only until the spit vanishes. But it tastes of salted sun.

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