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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Massively sucky brew day.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
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Default Massively sucky brew day.

Just need to vent.

Brewed 10.5 gallon batch of witbier last night. Rounded up on my strike water volume and strike water temp was a few degrees high.... 152 mash turned into 156 until I could stir it back down to 152 (took 1/2 hour).

Even though I had fermcap-S right there, I for some reason didn't plan on putting it in until I reached a boil. Naturally I boiled over when the boil started.

On recent batches I've noticed if I kill the flame when adding the first hops, I can avoid the excessive foaming and boil over without frantically stirring. Well I guess I felt like frantically stirring and having another boil over, because that's what I did for some reason.

Never thought to use a bag for my coriander, chamomile and orange zest, so of course that plugged the pump somewhat for whirlpooling, chilling and pumping to the fermenters (2 6-gal buckets). So since its was transferring slowly, I allowed my wife to distract me the cake she was making. I came out to the garage to find the first bucket overflowing onto the floor in a huge puddle. When it was all said and done, I lost 1.75 gallons of awesome smelling and tasting wort.

Fortunately I sprayed star San all over the end of the transfer hose to the fermenter, so I'm hoping it being submerged will not contaminate the wort.

This batch is either gonna be terrible (infection) or legendary (Murphy's law considering the lost volume). RDWHAHB, right?

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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Hopefully it turns out fantastic and you can put this behind you. I don't think the hose will hurt anything since you sanitized it. Another thing I have done almost 7 gallon boils in my 7.5 gallon pot. One thing I do is skim the protein off the top, before the hot break hits, and that has helped with boil overs. But once it is almost to the hot break, I lower the heat quite a bit.

I decided to convert a keggle now though, I don't like pushing the limits that much

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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Yeah, I have no excuse, I was boiling less than 13 gal in a 15 gal boilermaker. (Last batch I oversparged, LONG story, and I had to boil down 14.75 gal in that 15 gal pot. FermcapS saved my live there.)

Really this is from not having brewed in over a month and being rusty.

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:22 PM   #4
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I learned on here to quickly bring down the mash temperature, stir in a few ice cubes. Worked well for me.

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:23 PM   #5
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It will be great. You'll win an award. When you go to accept it and they ask your secret, all you'll be able to say is, "uuhh..."

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
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I use fermcap. But I also have a spray bottle of water I keep next to me during the boil. When foam comes up I just spray a bit right on top. Works like a charm.

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Old 06-14-2013, 03:02 PM   #7
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OK, so lots f good boil-over advice here. Any special tricks for not overflowing the fermenter and losing ~15% of your volume?

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Old 06-14-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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There's only one solution: Stop your wife from baking. It's way too risky.

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Old 06-14-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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On the bright side, this wasn't your first ever brew. You may have given up brewing and taken up baking with your wife instead!

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Old 06-15-2013, 02:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyedoctodd View Post

152 mash turned into 156 until I could stir it back down to 152 (took 1/2 hour).
Next time - measure out a half gallon of cold water. Add a little at a time until hitting temperature. Then - subtract 1/2 gallon from your sparge volume and add what water you didn't add to your mash to your sparge water. In the end - all volumes equal out.

Easy and quick way to bring down your temp. 5 minutes - tops.
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