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Old 09-12-2007, 12:34 AM   #1
McCall St. Brewer
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Default Adventures in brewing...

Well, my first three AG batches went off very smoothly, so I suppose it was time for me to become overconfident. I was cruising along this afternoon, making a slightly modified batch of EdWort's Haus Pale Ale. Everything was going great, hit my mash and sparge temps almost on the head. My setup had always worked flawlessly before. Today, though, I got ready to start recycling my wort, turned the spigot and ... nothing. Turned it off and back on again. Still nothing. Stuck sparge? No way. Something should have come out, maybe even just a little? No, zip. Nada.

So. Dump out all the mash into a big kettle and here's the problem: the little hose from the false bottom to the spiggot had come loose. I put it back on and carefully, very carefully, put everything back in. Turned the handle and... STILL nothing!

Okay... remaining calm. Everything back out and into the kettle again. This time, I did what I should have done before I even started. I inspected more closely and found the the spiggot was clogged with some old grain. Cleared it out and put everything back in one more time. In the clear now? No way. Forgot to turn the doggone valve off before putting everything back. Hot wort all over the kitchen floor! (Dog had a nice treat licking it up).

Okay, STILL calm. Mop the floor. Finally start sparging. Everything seemed to go well from that point. Got the wort in the carboy, pitched the yeast and had everything cleaned up 5 hours after I started. Hopefully tomorrow a.m. we'll have a nice ferment going.

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:43 AM   #2
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Well, we all have those kind of moments. I bet you learned a few things that'll make your future brewing experiences that much smoother.

Here's one I added to the annals of bad brewing mistakes. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthre...796#post223796

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:44 AM   #3
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Do I really want to make the leap to AG?


It all wound up in the Carboy and I am betting that you will have a nice Fermentation going on tomorrow. Atta Boy.

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:51 AM   #4
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You are just paying your dues, no way around it. Some of mine were stuck mashes thrown off the deck into the yard.

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:57 AM   #5
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To me that sounds like an adventure. What I keep telling myself is that any bacteria or any "dirty things" will die off in the boil so the Mashing and Sparging don't have to be anally clear of any such thingies. However I am still very clean about the process. Stuck Sparges can result from what you describe, and some from just grain cloggege. When it happens to me I usually give it one big stir and let settle for a few then batch sparge and viola. Howeve, I never had a valve issue. From stories like this I usually check the valve three times before I put my grains in just to make sure (anal I know but it satisfies my doubts).

No doubt you will have a great beer! Just remember the issues when you are drinking it later this year and have a laugh over a great brew!

Let us know how it turns!!

- WW

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