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Old 09-12-2011, 01:39 AM   #1
bengerman
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Default worst.brew.ever.

brewed the "Pride of Raubsville" today...
kinda.

went to the LHBS. boutght Maris Otter instead of UK 2-row.
no Target hops, so I bought Fuggle (per their sub chart)
so, got to mashing, then was reviewing procedure.
crud.
forgot the demerara/turbinado sugar. nothing proper to sub at home, so i subbed for 5 ounces dark brown sugar (just a shot in the dark there.)

nailed the dough in temp.

tried to rack another beer while mashing, and the temp got crazy. went to check and it was at 169. Fvck.

chilled it with some ice., then had a hard time holding temp the rest of the mash.

20 min before the end of the mash, my thermometer breaks, so i have to go on with a candy thermometer. (with markings every 5 degrees. awesome)
(before you say it... all of this bit was before opening the first beer of the brew)
finish the mash and sparge with no further incedent.

start the boil. hot break turns into a boilover.
get it cleaned up,start the timer, and throw in the wrong hops (EKGs set for flameout instead of the 60 min fuggles)
they get a little damp but not soaked, so i pulled them back out. toss in the fuggles. continue the boil as normal.
at 15 min, i throw in a whirlfloc tab. turn away and it triggers a massive boilover.

finish the boil, short of my intended volume.

cooling takes longer than i hoped, then i had to top off with boiled and cooled water, adding more cooling time.








on top of it all, i was watching the seahawks game while brewing, and they got absolutely SLAUGHTERED.

I know i need to RDWHAHB, but there are none to be had for about 4 weeks.

so, in the meantime, tell me your terrible brewday stories.

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Old 09-12-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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Oh, sorry. We got some wort from Bells Brewing on Saturday and on Sunday brewed up a nice, strong stout, and an experimental SMaSH. Everything went well (cause Bells did the mash for us!) and had some tasty HB that BrewerinBR brought over and then went in and had Beef Stew and watched the Lions win over Tampa.

Some days it just goes your way!

(But hang in there, it will get better)

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Old 09-12-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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My worst day brewing turned out one of my best beers ever.

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Old 09-12-2011, 03:41 PM   #4
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Great topic. This is not the same as the other thread I watch ("what are some of the mistakes youve made where the beer still comes out great").

A few years back I built my PAWS recirculating heat infusing mash system. Once I had used a few times to work the bugs out, I decided to make a complicated step mash Hefeweizen. Since I was recirculating the mash, I could set the step temperature on the PID and walk away, right?

The first step is the protien rest and I guess you have to be a beer geek to understand why this is funny. The protien rest will actually cogulate a good deal fo protien from the malted and unmalted wheat which is most of the mash. As I was waiting to set the next step in the mash I noticed that the recirculation was getting slower and slower.

As I reached the next step in the mash profile and set the temp to 138F, the entire system gummed up. Now no wort was circulating through the pump even though I had used at least a pound of rice hulls. As I'm frantically trying to un-jam everything by starting and stopping the pump, underletting the false bottom, etc., I had forgotten that the heating elelment is now trying to raise the temperature. The temp probe is sitting in stationary wort while the heating element goes into near meltdown temperatures, boiling the wort in the infusion chamber. The smell of smoke redirects my attention from the stuck mash to the heating element as it begins to vaporize the small amount of hefeweizen wort in the chamber. I disabled the heating element but the pressure in the system now blew back hot steam into the mash tun and sprayed the underside of the carport with thick, hot mash that then rained down on me. (The sytem has since been redesigned to prevent this)

Time to institute "Plan B": I drag out the old turkey fryer/extract brewpot and perform a "decoction mash" on the remaining steps. I put decoction mash in quotes because I had no calculations and no experience. I was working blind and on guess-work.

The boil went without incident, but fermentation... not so much. The Ranco controller on my fermentation chamber lost its mind and the fermention went from 65 to 85 in a single afternoon. I stuck with it and the beer came out "okay", but was a bit phenolic (can you say banana and clove fest!).

I hope to never repeat this brewing process.

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Old 09-12-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
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I was doing a back to back double batch, one 5 gallon and one 10 gallon, I had 2 keggles, 2 turkey fryer burners, everything set up, only snag was only 1 mash tun, so it was mash one while trying to prep and organize for the second.

I start the boil on the first batch (10 gallon) I clean the mash tun, hose it out and bring it into the house to fill with some hot tap water to prep for mash 2, I spot a huge frothy head on the keggle through the window and dash out to stave off the impending boilover (the kitchen sprayer is running in the kitchen full blast to fill the tun).

I get the boilover under control with minimal loss, the dog decides to look into the wort on the cobblestone and singes his side getting too close to the burner, shoots off into the yard almost knocking the folding table over that had all my hop additions etc on it.

In dealing with all this the kitchen is filling with water and is now flowing into the dining room and down the hall into the master bedroom.

I freak out and shut off the water and grab the mop bucket and mop. Thinking quickly I take advantage of the situation and pour some fabuloso cleaner into the flooded rooms (all tile thank God) and start to clean up the mess.

Wife calls a few minutes later to see how things are going and to let me know that she is on her way home I tell her I am making use of some free time to mop the floors and let it go at that.

Both beers turned out great, no further brewday issues. I played dumb as to why the dog smelled burnt, and also played dumb to the fact that the dishwasher that played its part as a waterfall backdrop now only works when on "pots and pans" and only with the "high temp scour" and "heated dry" selected.

Looking at getting a new dishwasher soon because it keeps melting/scorching anything made of plastic we put in it.

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Old 09-12-2011, 06:07 PM   #6
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I missed my mash temp by 2 degrees, once.


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Old 09-12-2011, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450
I missed my mash temp by 2 degrees, once.

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
I missed my mash temp by 2 points, once.


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Fixed that.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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The pride of raubsville recipe will turn out great using marris otter and fuggles hops. I base a lot of my simple bitters off of that recipe. The only thinng I see that you did that I'm not sure will be quite right was sub brown sugar.

Good luck though.

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Old 09-13-2011, 12:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlg5039 View Post
The pride of raubsville recipe will turn out great using marris otter and fuggles hops. I base a lot of my simple bitters off of that recipe. The only thinng I see that you did that I'm not sure will be quite right was sub brown sugar.

Good luck though.
yeah. i wasn't sure either. we'll see, though.

the good news is that the little yeasties are chompin away like crazy right now.
more good news! pulled a sample of another brew (the proto-porter) and it is amazing. so excited for it to be bottled and carbed.
color is way off from modern porters, though.
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