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Old 09-24-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
SnupDave
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Default What mistakes have you made?

I'm a new member to this forum, and I'm interested in getting started. I've been reading some threads, and they've been really helpful and informative. But one thing that I haven't seen is a compilation of mistakes that people make. I've found that knowing what NOT to do can be just as useful as knowing what TO do.
So, for those of you with more experience at this, what mistakes have you made? What equipment did you buy that you never use? What techniques did you try that ended up completely failing? What have you done, and then said to yourself "Well, I won't be doing THAT anymore?"

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Old 09-24-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
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Well, I guess I will be the first to admit that I have made mistakes. I think my worse mistake was not filling my carboy all the way up once. The mead oxidized and the colour went from a beautiful reddish purple to a light gold. Not that it wasn't beautiful in itself, it just wasn't what I wanted or expected. I have since started keeping bottles of traditional mead to top off low levels in carboys.

Another one you ask? Hmmmm, not keeping track of my equipment. I inadvertently purchased 2 different racking canes at different times, but that ending up working out well because they ended up being different sizes. Now that I have several 1 gallon demi's, I can use the small racking cane.

Or how about not labeling your carboys or bottle? Anyone besides me ever done this? You think you will remember but then the colours change and all of a sudden you have 3 carboys that all look the same?

Come on folks, I know I am not the only one who has make mistakes. So cowboys up y'all...........
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:37 PM   #3
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During bulk aging I let the airlock dry out, letting the mead oxidize slightly.

I've added energizer to an active ferment in a jug without degassing, it resulted in a sweet tasting eruption in my kitchen.

My biggest mistake was on my first mead, it tasted off so I dumped it all out before letting it age past 6 months.

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
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Here's a few. I also have let my airlock drop below the line, various sanitation infractions, bottled one day only to find out i didn't have any zorks, over backsweetened by jugaling the jar of honey...

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:43 AM   #5
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My worst two:

Racking to a bottling bucket with spigot open. What is that noise the sounds like water running on the floor, oh SH!T.
Second, before it happens to you (because it will), get a blow off tube for your vigorous fermentations. Beer belongs in the fermenter, not on the ceiling!

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:57 AM   #6
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Yes. Racking to a bottling bucket with the spigot open. That was a hot, sticky mess. Literally.

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:44 AM   #7
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For my first mead, I did not understand how yeasts and fermentation worked... it was a recipe for a 5%-ish mead, so naturally the yeast could tolerate a whole lot more than that. So every time I back sweetened the fermentation started again... and again.

Another time, I forgot about a mead and it sat in primary for a year and a half. That in itself wasn't so bad... except the airlock had, for some reason fallen off or something... smelled like gasoline at the end.

Botteling unfinished mead, luckily it didn't exlode. Half of the mead bursted out all over the place though when I opened it.

A mistake a make every now and then, forget to check if a spiggot is closed or not before filling the fermentation/botteling bucket. >.<

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
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my mead mistake, not racking to a clean jug and waiting for all the lee's to drop after racking off the bulk, i racked and bottled and now my first mead experiment is ok until you stir up the sediment that got in the bottles (has a nasty flavor).

It was only my second batch ever of any fermented beverage it's quite the learning experience now i rack off the bulk and stabilize then rack to sweeten then rack to bottleing bucket after making sure no fermentation pops up again if i sweeten

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Old 09-25-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone, this is exactly what I was looking for.

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Old 09-27-2012, 04:22 PM   #10
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Lacking a blow off tube and not having enough headspace. Transferring to secondary I had sterilized the night before thinking it would be fiiiine. Not labeling bottles, even after sampling one to figure out what things are. Not writing down my gravities in my notebook then losing the random scraps I wrote on. Watching a movie while racking and transferring 5.1 gallons into a 5 gallon carboy. Drinking things that should have been forgotten for another six months. Bottling too early. Renting too small of an apartment. Not keeping an eye on my yeast inventory and lacking a $1 packet that is sortof important. Not wearing long pants and good shoes when collecting wild fruit. Putting honey in the fridge. Trying to brew before other plans the same day. Starting a primary fermentation before a heat wave.

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