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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Something always goes wrong!
View Poll Results: Will I ever manage a disaster free brew day?
Someday... 21 75.00%
Not a chance. 7 25.00%
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:05 AM   #1
murphyslaw
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Default Something always goes wrong!

Made my 7th batch today, 5th all grain, Ed's oktoberfest ale. For the first time I felt like I knew what I was doing. I didn't have to refer to my computer or books and could just brew. I got a great rolling boil for the first time and my best efficiency yet (83! normally around 65-70).

Then its time to cool it. I have an IC that I made myself, and I combine that with an ice bath in my sink. I use cold water until the IC gets the wort down to 100 or so, then use the ice, since the IC usually slows down significantly at that point. Also, buying 7 bags of ice at almost $2 a pop really increases the cost of each brew. I live in a city apartment, and since I've got the ice bath in my sink, I dont really have anywhere for the water to exit. Usually I fill pots, switch and run to the bathroom, a total mess. But not today! I got a 25 foot tube to run all the way to the bath tub, no more mess!

That is of course, until the tube explodes, showering me and my apartment with hot water. Totally took my IC out of commission. There was no way I was getting it down to 70 with what I had, so I had to run to the store and get more ice.

The tubing running to my tub was a slightly smaller diameter than what I normally use and what was on the other connections (faucet to pre-chill, pre-chill to chill), so maybe more water was going through than it could handle. Maybe it was the temperature of the water after it runs through the wort, but I thought these tubes are supposed to withstand that.

I was so close to a relatively flawless brew day! Maybe next time......

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Old 09-07-2009, 05:37 AM   #2
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Are you stirring the wort while using the IC? That will dramatically reduce your chilling time and save some cooling water.

I would also not bother with an ice bath while you are using the IC, just put the kettle on a trivet next to the sink and run your water right down the sink drain. No need for a long hose. If you still want an ice batch after you get what you can from the IC just disconnect the IC and make you water/ice bath in the sink and move the kettle into there. Also, run the IC output straight into the sink drain so you don't heat up the sink if you are planning an ice bath after the IC.

You really shouldn't need the ice bath though; the IC should be able to get 5 gal down close to the faucet water temp in less than half an hour with stirring.

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Old 09-07-2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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The problem us that after running water all day, my water temp isn't very cold. The ic gets it down to 100 really quick, then takes about 10 minutes per 10-15 degrees. And it flat out won't go below 80. The combo does the job great.

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Old 09-07-2009, 02:32 PM   #4
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I have a similar issue being in Florida as the tap water is 80+ during the summer. When I started AG last year, I bought a cheap battery operated pump and put it in a cooler of ice water and it pumped the cold water through my IC. Worked OK, but I resorted to buying a pre-chiller and letting that sit in the ice water while connected to my IC and it seems to work OK, although it still takes 45 minutes to get the wort down to 70.

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Old 09-07-2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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Gotta roll with the punches. I still have stuff go wrong a lot of times. Part of it is just having enough experience that that particular problem has already happened before or just being able to quickly problem solve on the spot.

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Old 09-07-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
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Are you distinguishing between "disaster" and "mildly amusing brewday hijinks"?

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Old 09-07-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappers View Post
Are you distinguishing between "disaster" and "mildly amusing brewday hijinks"?
+1 on the hijinks

I consider a disaster one where 1) the batch is ruined or *significantly* different from what I had planned in not a good way (i.e. infection) or 2) where I get hurt enough to require something more than a bandaid or asprin.

Having to spend more time to clean up stuff isn't really a disaster, it's just fudge time you need to build into your process next time. Might be the water hose breaking this time, might be splashing ice water down your front side when putting the pot into the sink next time, or having to pick up 1/3 gallon of wort off the floor thanks to a leaky connection.

If the beer makes it through the entire process and to your mouth in decent shape and with no blood, shards of glass and/or burned flesh, it's winner winner chicken dinner!
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Old 09-07-2009, 04:31 PM   #8
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Nobody got hurt and the brew survived...sounds like a successful day!! WOOHOO!!!

I must be a boring brewing because I've never had any of these things happen to me.

Question: So when are you installing that ice machine in the kitchen?

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