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Old 08-04-2008, 03:35 AM   #1
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Default Brewing Sucks!

OK, not really, but I had one of those days. Brewing a Bavarian weizen, first attempt my first sparge seemed awfully low in terms of volume, then realized the ground under my feet was "squishy". Forgot to close the valve on my bucket .

So I start again, bringing my sparge water up to temp and my thermometer dies .. I press one telling myself that my brewing forefathers/mothers brewed without thermometers so I can too.

Its now done and chilling in the fermentation fridge so hopefully, barring any further disasters, I'll get it pitched tonight and be drinking it in about 3 weeks time.

GT

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Old 08-04-2008, 03:55 AM   #2
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Did you dip your arm in the mash to determine if it was at the right temp like our forefathers?

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Old 08-04-2008, 04:25 AM   #3
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Well you pulled it together thats all that counts. My day was similar, was brewing Yuri's thunderstruck pumpkin. Anticipating a slow sparge and possibly stuck mash I threw in a couple big handfuls of rice hulls into the mash and began mixing with my new cordless/paint mixer. As I began to voraluf a large amount of grain and hull came out. I figured I might have pushed some grain through the FB with the drill/ mixer. My pump and hoses clogged. I took apart the pump cleaned it and the hoses, and began voraluf again. same thing happened. scratched my head and grabbed my other pump so I wouldn't be wasting as much time and cleared the hoses. This time I figured manual voraluf, and began draining 1/2 gallon at a time and returning it to the top of the mash. I had to clear the valve with a coat hanger a couple times. 1 hour later and it was finally clearing. Got about 2/3 of the runnings when it stuck. I removed as much of the wort from the top of the mash getting a fair amount of grain with it and dumped to the collection vessel. I cleaned the mash tun figuring another handful or two of hulls to act as a filter bed and I would rerun it to remove the grain and husk. Thats when I found the problem. The FB had collapsed. This wasn't a cheap one it was supported in several areas. When it collapsed it put the drain valve above the false bottom. I cleaned it all and positioned the FB so the only portion that wasn't collapsed was on the valve side and proceeded to finish the brew. I took a WAG on preboil and finished volume(7.5) and continued the brew. What started out as a 10 gallon batch turned into a 7 gallon batch. Then while kicking myself about the FB ordeal forgot to refigure hop and spice amounts for the new volume. I spent 8.5 hours on a brew that should have taken 6 tops, lost 3 gallons of wort, and had to clean most of the equipment several times. the silver lining here is that my WAG was pretty accurate, to the point the both preboil and OG were within .02 of estimate. It should ferment pretty quick since I had made a stepped up double starter. Here are some pics of my customized FB.


well this will force me to get the keggles up and running since I wont be brewing this week. I could fix it but it will be even weaker and I have the 9-9-09 barley wine coming up.

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Old 08-04-2008, 04:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerthirty View Post
Well you pulled it together thats all that counts. My day was similar, was brewing Yuri's thunderstruck pumpkin. Anticipating a slow sparge and possibly stuck mash I threw in a couple big handfuls of rice hulls into the mash and began mixing with my new cordless/paint mixer. As I began to voraluf a large amount of grain and hull came out. I figured I might have pushed some grain through the FB with the drill/ mixer. My pump and hoses clogged. I took apart the pump cleaned it and the hoses, and began voraluf again. same thing happened. scratched my head and grabbed my other pump so I wouldn't be wasting as much time and cleared the hoses. This time I figured manual voraluf, and began draining 1/2 gallon at a time and returning it to the top of the mash. I had to clear the valve with a coat hanger a couple times. 1 hour later and it was finally clearing. Got about 2/3 of the runnings when it stuck. I removed as much of the wort from the top of the mash getting a fair amount of grain with it and dumped to the collection vessel. I cleaned the mash tun figuring another handful or two of hulls to act as a filter bed and I would rerun it to remove the grain and husk. Thats when I found the problem. The FB had collapsed. This wasn't a cheap one it was supported in several areas. When it collapsed it put the drain valve above the false bottom. I cleaned it all and positioned the FB so the only portion that wasn't collapsed was on the valve side and proceeded to finish the brew. I took a WAG on preboil and finished volume(7.5) and continued the brew. What started out as a 10 gallon batch turned into a 7 gallon batch. Then while kicking myself about the FB ordeal forgot to refigure hop and spice amounts for the new volume. I spent 8.5 hours on a brew that should have taken 6 tops, lost 3 gallons of wort, and had to clean most of the equipment several times. the silver lining here is that my WAG was pretty accurate, to the point the both preboil and OG were within .02 of estimate. It should ferment pretty quick since I had made a stepped up double starter. Here are some pics of my customized FB.


well this will force me to get the keggles up and running since I wont be brewing this week. I could fix it but it will be even weaker and I have the 9-9-09 barley wine coming up.
My simple stuck sparge doesn't seem so bad now. That sucks.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:22 AM   #5
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Beerthirty, how did that happen?! how much grain did you have on that thing anyway? That doesn't look like it's any bigger than the FB's for a 10 gallon cooler. I figure 22 to 23 lbs max would fit it one of those. Is it really old? Is your mash tun something that get's constantly heated and not a cooler at all? That's just amazing to me!

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Old 08-04-2008, 07:16 PM   #6
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It had 22 lbs of grain, 3/4 lb of rice hull and 7.5 lbs of pumpkin on it. There was 1.2 quarts per lb of grain and no extra for the pumpkin. It's 15" FB in a 50 quart pot. Ya it old but with that many support legs it has always been flat. I only heated it after the mash stuck because the temp was dropping below sparge temps. If you look at the legs they are all bent in the same direction. I think that I sideloaded it while trying to stir the thick mash that was gooied up by the pumpkin. I might have used to much rice hull and that could have helped plug it all up when the pumpkin sludge settled onto it. Not really sure.

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"I've got a fever... and the only prescription is, MORE CARBOYS!"
primary- Tangerine Dream, SWMBO slayer,
serving- amber ale hop experiment #6, Roggenbier, apfelwine
planning- Cru?
conditioning- 9/9/09 barleywine
Drink water?... Never, fish fornicate in it.--- W.C. Fields
Most problems can be solved with the proper application of force.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:04 AM   #7
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Still seems an amazing thing to me. The only positive I can take out of this for you is that you have to be doing some heavy duty brewing to collapse a FB. Absolutely amazing!

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Old 08-05-2008, 08:17 AM   #8
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Got Trub? - That sucks, but you know: Bridges built to last eons collapse, Dams break, Levies break, Oceans dry up and people die.
I just hope you save the damm beer! Now stop whining and tell us how it taste in three months.

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