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Old 05-03-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Worst. Brewday. Ever.

Yesterday was my last final for my second year of vet school. As a celebration, a classmate of mine and her boyfriend decided to get together and brew up 2 11gal batches to split. The first was an ESB, and the next was and English IPA. Now last time we got together my family all ended up coming over and causing a huge commotion and just really interfering with our brewing.... So this time I had no one planned to come over and it was going to be a nice relaxing brew session....

We had planned to get started at 12:30, but due to misplacements of phones, people getting lost, and all around miscommunication, we did not get started until almost 3:30. Half way through the first mash my wife calls saying that she had locked her keys in her office and needed me to come pick her up. Meanwhile my brother in law calls at the same time wanting to come over and help me work on my car. I leave the sparge to my friends and go pick up the wife. Apparently she is a little peeved at me when I pick her up because even though she knew for 2 weeks we were going to be brewing, I just happened to be brewing and drinking when she loses her keys. Go figgure.....

We start the boil on the ESB and get the strike water going for the mash on the IPA. Trying to use a pump to drain the boil kettle through the CFC, for some reason it takes FOREVER to get it going. You would think fluid would drain down hill to prime the pump, but noooooooo. We finally get the ESB in carboys and turn our attention to the IPA when the fun begins....

It gets about time for the mashout, so we hook up the pump to recirculate the mash while the burner is going. Somehow I end up turning my back for a couple minutes, and the mash temperature somehow gets up to 208! I do some emergency panicking and cool the mash down with some cool water pretty quickly. On inspection, the pump had sucked up some grain and clogged, so the bottom of the mash just got superheated. I take the pump apart and flush the hoses and try hooking the pump up again, but no flow out of the mash tun. We end up dumping the mash into a cooler and find out somehow my false bottom ended up flipping a 180 inside the tun. How this is possible, I have yet to figure out.

I get the mash tun squared away and taste some of the runnings. I could not detect any astringency, so as a group we decide to go ahead with the brew and call it an impromptu decoction mash... Get the first runnings into the boil kettle and go in for the first sparge, and well stuck again..... dump the ash tun into a cooler a second time, and yes, the false bottom was upside down, AGAIN!

Finally get the boil going and it comes time to hook up the pump to try and sanitize the CFC, and it wont go. Take it apart and it is clogged with grain a second time. the boil comes to an end, and the CFC is still not sanitized. We end up extending the boil an extra 15 minutes to sanitize the chiller. To make up for the loss of aroma hops, I end up tossing a couple extra ounces in toward the end.

So here it is, a day later, and the kitchen is a mess, I still have dirty equipment, and one of the taps on my kegerator is clogged....

Hopefully this streak of luck will end soon...

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Old 05-03-2008, 08:04 PM   #2
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[QUOTE=deathweed] Apparently she is a little peeved at me when I pick her up because even though she knew for 2 weeks we were going to be brewing, I just happened to be brewing and drinking when she loses her keys. Go figgure.....
QUOTE]


Why would you do such a thing, you bad bad person!

Just kidding man, sorry to hear about the troubles.

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Old 05-03-2008, 09:20 PM   #3
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Yeah, well, sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. Sorry for your troubles.
On the other hand, at 9 pm last nite, I decided I felt like brewing Dudes Lake Walk APA again. Everything went as well as it could have and I managed 88% efficiency, to boot!

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:46 PM   #4
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Hehe...Being a somewhat recently graduated VMD, I would say that homebrewing will bring you greater solace than the emergency panic procedure.

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"Don't worry, Relax, have a Homebrew"

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:47 PM   #5
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I leave the sparge to my friends and go pick up the wife. Apparently she is a little peeved at me when I pick her up because even though she knew for 2 weeks we were going to be brewing, I just happened to be brewing and drinking when she loses her keys. Go figgure.....
I'm guessing you haven't been married long enough to realize that when anything goes wrong, it is of course, your fault.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:53 PM   #6
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oh and leave the kitchen cleaner than when you started is a good hint!

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:55 PM   #7
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My brew day tomorrow is canceled.
I have been working for the last seven days straight and was going to take 2mrw off. Kids in childcare, wife working. Smallest kid got a cold yesterday and will not be going to childcare, will be staying at home with me. I don't really mind as she is fun at 12 months but my plans are f0rking shot. Plans of mice and men and all that

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Old 05-04-2008, 12:01 AM   #8
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My brew day tomorrow is canceled.
I have been working for the last seven days straight and was going to take 2mrw off. Kids in childcare, wife working. Smallest kid got a cold yesterday and will not be going to childcare, will be staying at home with me. I don't really mind as she is fun at 12 months but my plans are f0rking shot. Plans of mice and men and all that

Those are great days for making some apfelwein. I always seem to make that when I'm jonesing to brew, but cannot for childcare reasons.
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:04 AM   #9
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Those are great days for making some apfelwein. I always seem to make that when I'm jonesing to brew, but cannot for childcare reasons.

This I shall do. I was planning on building some kit for a tower system and using grain for the first time and was quite excited but apfelwien it is
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:21 AM   #10
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Those are great days for making some apfelwein. I always seem to make that when I'm jonesing to brew, but cannot for childcare reasons.
What a fabulous idea. Man, if you folks ever get to age some of this stuff past 6 months. Whooooooo Man, is it awesome!
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