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Old 12-11-2011, 09:01 PM   #1
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Default I'm dumb, therefore I'm soaked...

After completing another all-grain yesterday (Belgian Wit) I was thinking back on my brewing experiences to date. It occured to me that most of the mistakes I've made in brewing were a result of stupid ideas that ultimately resulted in me getting really, really wet. I thought I'd share with you guys to see if I'm the lone idiot or if others have had similar strokes of non-genius...

All-Grain Idiotic Event #1 (Wit #1)

1. Got done with the mash and decided to move the grain out of the MLT immediately (couldn't wait for it to cool for some reason)

2. Had the brilliant idea that the best way to accomplish this was to dump all the hot grain into a garbage bag and carry it to the trash can (10 feet away).

3. Made it 3.5 feet towards said trash can before the garbage bag swelled up like a water balloon and subsequently exploded hot grain all over my garage floor and myself.

4. Sat, soaking wet, and stared at the literal "hot mess" on my garage floor and thought to myself "what did I just do?"

5. Watched my brother (nice enough to help me brew that day) break his sandals and nearly wipe out as his feet stick to the flypaper-esque floor while trying to clean up.

6. Cue the fly swarm...

All-Grain Idiotic Event #2 (Wit #2)

1. Bought a new copper immersion chiller that has vinyl tubing leads secured to the copper with cheap plastic hose clamps.

2. Hooked up chiller to hosing and got ready to chill my wort after the boil.

3. My wife was nice enough to help, so she went around to the front of the house (I brew in my garage) to operate the faucet.

4. Ready to chill, I say "turn the hose on!" and watch as the water starts to cycle through the chiller.

5. Immediately the vinyl tubing on the outflow hose of chiller blows off and starts spraying 200 deg water all over my garage and myself.

6. I yell "Off! Off! Turn the hose off!!!!" to which I hear "What?"....

7. Finally get the situation under control and re-attach vinyl tubing to chiller, this time tightening the plastic hose clamps.

8. Get ready to chill the wort again and, timidly, yell to my wife (back at her post) "turn the hose on...a little bit"

9. It seems to work fine, so I get cocky (I want this wort cool!) and say "turn it up!"

10. Repeat steps 5 and 6.

11. Switched to stainless steel hose clamps.

All-Grain Idiotic Event #3 (Dubbel)

1. Decide I'm going to do a little "green brewing" and hook up another garden hose and sprinkler to the outflow hose of my chiller.

2. Water will go from one garden hose, through the chiller and associated vinyl tubing, then out the second garden hose to water the lawn.

3. Start the wort chilling process with the improved chiller from AGIE #2.

4. Notice a leak at one of the vinyl tubing connections and decide that the cause is the hose clamp not being tight enough.

5. Tighten hose clamp while being squirted with 200 deg water.

6. Vinyl tubing on that side suddenly swells up like a balloon and pops, spewing more hot water all over me, the floor, and in my wort ("Off! Off! Off!"...."What?").

7. Decide that the problem lies with the fact that the vinyl tubing I'm using isn't able to handle the heat of the post-chiller water (despite the fact that it has worked fine in the past).

8. Replace vinyl tubing with high-temp silicone tubing.

9. Start chilling again with confidence.

10. Repeat step #6, but replace the word "vinyl" with "silicone".

11. Befuddled, I realize that the garden hose going to the sprinkler has been kinked the whole time. That was the only reason the chiller hoses were exploding.


General Lessons Learned

1. If I brew, I will get wet.

2. My first solution to a water explosion will never work.

3. I need to get a hose faucet closer to my brewing kettle, or vice versa.

4. Our family needs more walkie-talkies (reference Brian Regan skit).

5. My wife is the most patient person on the planet.



Has anyone else had similar issues?

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Old 12-11-2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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Lately my mistakes have all been linked in some way to kegging. Yesterday I had fun moving the tap from one pressurized keg to another. When I did this, leaning over the keezer, the poppet on the old keg didn't close and so, the beer that was in there (English Barleywine) started spewing out and pretty much went everywhere

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:01 PM   #3
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For similar reasons, I put valves on the hose end before going into the chiller.

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:14 PM   #4
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Default Brilliant...

That is a great idea, I'll do that for sure next time. Any special valve you use, or just a general one from Lowe's?

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:20 PM   #5
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Nothing special. They will have them over by the hoses and I think they run like a buck and a half. If you attach and detach the hoses a lot you could buy the hose QD's from the same area. If you put the female end on the hose it will stop flow when you pull it apart. I used to use those until the Mrs. kept running the QD's over with the truck.

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:27 PM   #6
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I have a similar faucet arrangement (other side of the house) and the quick disconnects do make things much easier.

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:34 AM   #7
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Thanks for the LOL - You are officially Dubbel Wit-less !

I've done some of the same, spray myself with IC hose things when I first started - a right of passage. I do however let the grain cool down before tossing, figured that one out without incident. But recently I've produced some really bad beers with varying problems, like scorching or mold in the fermenter so I'm not a happy brewer in the second half of 2011.

Hopefully things will improve for all of us!

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by November View Post
For similar reasons, I put valves on the hose end before going into the chiller.
Agreed. I have a little cutoff valve before the chiller so I can control flow speed and stop it all together if needed. Also get male and female hose fittings soldered to the ends of that chiller. Much easier to deal with that way.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:52 AM   #9
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I brew in my kitchen and use a hose that attaches to a fitting on my sink. It makes it easy to clean carboys, pots, etc. Pretty standard.

At least one time, everytime i brew, i forget that the hose is attached and turn on the water, spraying myself in various places.

If its not that, then i forget im filling up a bucket or carboy and it spills all over the floor and subsequently my feet.

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:59 AM   #10
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I only get wet when cleaning everything at the end of brew day. After buying my wort chiller and only two weeks later realizing I need to brew outside on a propane burner (full 5 gallons won't boil in a 10 gallon Blichmann on my stove) I saw the immediate need to get longer tubing for the drain portion. My garden faucet is close but there's no drain except in the basement so I needed a 20' hose run. I ordered some vinyl tubing and it was thin and cheap, not like the thick vinyl the IC came with. So I ordered the high temp silicone tubing - works awesome.

Before putting the IC in the kettle I always run water though it first to make sure there are no leaks, been perfect the whole time now no leaks or any problems.

Guess I'm lucky, or have the whole brew day plan more regimented. My worst brew day disaster, and really my only one, was falling asleep while filling the sink with chill water, before I started using an IC and brewing outside. The sink overflowed and the wife luckily caught me quickly - there was a power strip behind the microwave!! Earlier that night I also boiled over for the first time. Since then none of that has happened and I make sure it doesn't.


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