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Old 11-01-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Worst brew day ever

Ever have one of those brew days that just didnt go right from the start? That was me on Sunday.

It was my first wit in a long time which I was really excited about. I've been tinkering with decoction lately so I planned a protein rest (using flaked wheat, not wheat malt so this was supposed to help). Took out about a gallon and a half of wort to raise to boiling. Ran into the house to grab something, came out and smelled a distinct burning smell. CRAP! The bottom grains of my now boiling decoction were burnt to a crisp.

Figured it would be a total waste to stop now, so I just added my decoction back to my main mash to step up the temp from my 122 to 154. Only problem was, temp only went up to to 140. CRAP! So, I pulled half a gallon of wort, boiled it quick, added it back to the mash. 142. Pulled another half gallon and boiled. 146! CRAP!

Pulled bout a gallon and a half. 146 (yes, after a thorough stirring in of 1.5 gallons o boiling wort, my mash temp dint up at all). Throwing my brew day totally off and not wanting to have a thin-bodied wit, I threw caution to the wind, boiled 2 gallons of water, and finally upped the mash temp to 152. Still no target, but screw it, I'm done.

I sparge as normal. And surprisingly, after adding an additional 2 GALLONS of h2o not planned on, I get the perfect volume in my boil kettle (roughly 9.5 gallons were used to get 5.5 in the fermentor).

Crazy freaking day. At the end of the day, though, my overshot my OG by .002 so I was pretty much spot on despite my snafus. I still hate that my efficiency when using heavy concentrations of wheat is so low (65%), but at least I'm planning on it!



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Old 11-01-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
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You know, it's been my experience that the worst brewdays (2nd degree burns on my chest, a flood in the house, burned grains) make the best beer!

I've had a few brewdays recently that went like clockwork, and it felt like something was totally wrong!

If I hit my temps exactly, don't have trouble priming my pumps, don't get a stuck sparge, don't have a boilover, and don't spill water over 90% of my laundry room, something just doesn't fill right!



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Old 11-01-2011, 08:09 PM   #3
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My last one was pretty bad as well. It was the first one where a friend and i started drinking from the beginning, so no surprise that there were screw ups.

It was an imperial oatmeal porter. I forgot to put in the oats. I remembered as i finished pulling the first runnings. So i threw in 2 lbs of oats in with my sparge water and let it sit for half an hour at 168f. Of course i got a stuck sparge after something that stupid. I also realized afterwards that someone messed with my thermometer and my mash was actually at 159 instead of 154. Now fermentation is stuck at 1.040 from 1.080.

Dont drink and brew...

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Old 11-01-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
You know, it's been my experience that the worst brewdays (2nd degree burns on my chest, a flood in the house, burned grains) make the best beer!
I'll agree with that, some mistakes turn out to be great inventions/innovations. I also have had a couple "disastrous" brews (although they sound insignificant compared to Yooper's) that turned out great.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass07
My last one was pretty bad as well. It was the first one where a friend and i started drinking from the beginning, so no surprise that there were screw ups.

It was an imperial oatmeal porter. I forgot to put in the oats. I remembered as i finished pulling the first runnings. So i threw in 2 lbs of oats in with my sparge water and let it sit for half an hour at 168f. Of course i got a stuck sparge after something that stupid. I also realized afterwards that someone messed with my thermometer and my mash was actually at 159 instead of 154. Now fermentation is stuck at 1.040 from 1.080.

Dont drink and brew...
No way a 159 mash temp left it at 1.040. Look at biermunchers outer limits ops.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:00 PM   #6
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No way a 159 mash temp left it at 1.040. Look at biermunchers outer limits ops.
Even if 2 lbs of oats were "mashed" at 172 in a 5 gallon batch?
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:56 PM   #7
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Ipa, not ops. Stupid phone.

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by seabass07 View Post

Dont drink and brew...
Whoa, whoa, whoa...let's not get crazy here! RDWHAHB right?

I've never not drank while brewing. A couple times it was just a little much, and a couple of those times I made a mistake. Oh well, I've only really had two bad batches of beer ever, and only one that was undrinkable. Just try to limit yourself. Like "Alright, I'm not having one until I get the boil going." Whatever works for you.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lowtones84

Whoa, whoa, whoa...let's not get crazy here! RDWHAHB right?

I've never not drank while brewing. A couple times it was just a little much, and a couple of those times I made a mistake. Oh well, I've only really had two bad batches of beer ever, and only one that was undrinkable. Just try to limit yourself. Like "Alright, I'm not having one until I get the boil going." Whatever works for you.
True. The problem was that i started from the beginning. So by the time i was doughing in, i was on beer #3. By the end of the mash i was on #5.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:45 PM   #10
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Pics of the burns please.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
You know, it's been my experience that the worst brewdays (2nd degree burns on my chest, a flood in the house, burned grains) make the best beer!

I've had a few brewdays recently that went like clockwork, and it felt like something was totally wrong!

If I hit my temps exactly, don't have trouble priming my pumps, don't get a stuck sparge, don't have a boilover, and don't spill water over 90% of my laundry room, something just doesn't fill right!


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