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-   -   Disaster Averted? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/disaster-averted-201946/)

Slowfro 10-22-2010 01:59 AM

Disaster Averted?
Hey everyone, need some soothing words of confidence, or the bitter harsh truth here. So I bail out of work early today to get cracking on a Pale Ale. I mash in, get within 1 (which to me with my equipment counts as hitting the temp), start the boil, follow hop schedule, hook up the immersion chiller and go inside to eat dinner. 15 minutes go by, I go check on the temp, dropping nicely. 15 more minutes go by, I check again, and my brew kettle is full. The discharge poly-flow somehow came off the chiller, spouting water into my wort.

Saving grace - wort is heavier than water. There was a distinctive layer of water on top of the wort, so I did my best to drain out just the water skimming off the top. I rush the wort inside to check OG (so p!$$ed I almost dump the whole kettle on the way in) and got an OG of 1.044, target was 1.050. Seeing the reading I pitched yeast and figured RDWHAHB, right? Has this happened to anyone? Here's hoping tonight wasn't all for nothing...

marubozo 10-22-2010 02:05 AM

Well, considering you've already pitched and have it fermenting, just let it ride and see how it turns out. The most likely outcome is that it's a bit lighter than the recipe anticipated, and depending on exactly what was skimmed, the flavor profile might be a little different. But in the end you'll still have beer.

It hasn't happened to me, but I'm sure others have had a similar experience before.

bad67z 10-22-2010 02:10 AM

I had a similar "event", plastic my Y connection had frozen and split. When I turned on the water I deposited a couple of cups of water into my wort. I had made a healthy starter, pitched it and still ended up with a pretty tasty California Common.

jfrostp 10-22-2010 06:17 PM

A similar thing happened to me a few months back, except instead of the tube coming completely off the pipe, the tube only got loose and spent 30 minutes spraying dirty hose water into my wort. My 5 gallon batch magically became a 5.5 gallon batch. I thought for sure that the beer would get infected or would have a strange flavor profile, but it turned out great. The ABV was lower than I had planned for, but I got more beers out of the batch!

ForRealBeer 10-22-2010 07:00 PM

It should turn out okay. If you like, call it "light beer" since your addition made you miss by six points! :)

tunoffun 10-22-2010 07:12 PM

I think your chances of everything being 'OK' are pretty darned good... not true to your recipe, but it will still be beer.

If it happened to me, I'd probably ferment at the higher end of acceptable temps to try to get the yeast population up before something else gains a foothold. Not saying it ever has or that this has worked... but it's what I'd try.

winvarin 10-22-2010 07:21 PM

early enough in the day. could you have just dropped it back on your burner and boiled back down to your target volume?

Slowfro 10-28-2010 12:30 PM

I had decent airlock activity at regular fermentation temps (this was low 60's) so hopefully things will be OK. I'll be transferring to secondary to dry hop this weekend so that will give me a better idea of where this stands.

Winvarin - there was no starting the boil again that night. For 1, I was nearing the end of my time for the day to get things done before I call it a night. Also I got pretty angry when I saw what happened so patience was not going to be my strong point. "F-it pitch yeast anyway and hope for the best" was my only thought. That and time for a beer...

Glad to know others have had similar things and still got good results. I'll drop an update this weekend after I check fermentation and start the dry hop.

Slowfro 12-06-2010 12:32 PM

So I forgot to update earlier, but this weekend I cracked into the batch. I had bottled back on 11/14, FG was 1.010 if I remember correct (notes are at home). So after a few weeks in the bottle I chilled a 6-pack and they were gone FAST. I'm not quite sure how, but by some miracle the APA tastes excellent.

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