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Old 07-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #1
BlindFaith
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Default Worst Brew Day Ever

Decided to brew a basic Brown Ale yesterday just to get another beer in my pipeline. It was nothing special and I expected everything to be pretty plain. Boy, I was wrong.....

First I noticed that the screws on my clamps for my strainer were rusted. I decided to let it roll, but when I added my boiling water to get my tun ready for mashing, the brass plug and clamp came off. So, I had to stop what I was doing, run to Lowe's and get some more.

Next, as I was putting the new clamps on, I accidentally knocked my quart sized Pyrex measuring cup onto the driveway. CRASH!!! I had to stop and clean that up (SWMBO wasn't happy either).

I then checked my initial SG after my first runnings and had HORRIBLE efficiency. 11.5 lbs of grain with 2 gallons of first runnings and my SG was at 1.055. I was pretty pissed because I know it was the crush from my LHBS as I have figured out my water and process and had been getting pretty decent efficiency lately.

I had to do some math, cut the batch to 4 gals instead of 5, cut my hops back, and add some DME at flameout to get my target OG (which was 1.055 and I got 1.053, so I was happy with that).

Also, when I was racking to my carboy from the kettle, a damn fly decided to crash bomb my wort. I panicked (the wort was a cool 70 degrees then) and dug him out with a sanitized spoon. So now I have that to worry about too.

Just a bad day overall man..... What was your worst brew day?

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Old 07-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
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Sounds like you spent a day of troubleshooting, and pretty damn effectively I would say! Nice job, even though I'm sure it was exasperating.

My chronic problem is forgetting to put the wort chiller in at 10 min or so, as well as adding Irish moss. I've probably got less than 50% efficiency on those 2 alone (and by that I mean I forget over half the time)

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Old 07-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #3
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I hate flies. I was outside brewing all day yesterday and the flies were out in force.

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Old 07-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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I did my first Hochkurz decoction mash yesterday. It started off with not having closed the valve in the mash tun after rinsing and preheating it. And of course I only noticed after I put all my grains and strike water in. So I had to add some more grains and water at my best guess. Then, of course, all the decoction volumes that Beersmith told me to use were insufficient to bring the main mash to the next temperature and I had to repeat the first decoction twice. Then during boil a severe thunderstorm hit but luckily I brew under a pavilion that kept most of the rain away. I finished when it was getting dark outside and miraculously hit my FG and volumes spot on.

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Old 07-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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I did a brew yesterday and my PVC manifold decided to come apart while I was doughing in.

Still managed a 77.33% brewhouse efficiency despite having to empty out the MLT into several smaller containers and then dump it all back in after I fixed the manifold.

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Old 07-08-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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Although it was a bad day, there was no lag time in the start of my fermentation. I checked it about 2 hours ago and a healthy krausen has already formed. I did use a starter, so that did help.

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Old 07-08-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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Ive had those days they suck! Good for making it through though.

The biggest mistake i make, almost every brew day is forgetting to heat my sparge water with 20 mins left on my mash. I usually mash in the cooler and then go do some other things like clean up or what not. Then i get back and realize i have no water ready...not the worst problem to have though i just stir it up and let it sit an extra 15-20 mins.

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Old 07-09-2013, 07:36 PM   #8
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My worst brew day was when I dropped my aluminum turkey friar pot full of 5 gallons of hot wort when attempting to move it to an ice bath. The garage was covered in an sticky mess and the aluminum pot got a hole in the bottom, not to mention the burns on my ankles. I now have a SS pot with an immersion chiller and ball valve. No more lifting for me.

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Old 07-10-2013, 04:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaltyWalty View Post
My worst brew day was when I dropped my aluminum turkey friar pot full of 5 gallons of hot wort when attempting to move it to an ice bath. The garage was covered in an sticky mess and the aluminum pot got a hole in the bottom, not to mention the burns on my ankles. I now have a SS pot with an immersion chiller and ball valve. No more lifting for me.
That is the worst I have heard so far outside of maybe dropped carboy stories. I use keggles, so moving it around isn't too difficult.
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