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Old 08-15-2010, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default Worst effing brew day

First, I miss my temps by about four degrees because I forgot to account for the extra pound of rice hulls in my grist. Second, after taking first runnings, I pour in the water for my batch sparge and start to stir. I notice a random (large) set of bubbles come up near where the manifold connects to the outlet hose. When I go to sparge, I get a chunk of grain and then nothing. Turns out the manifold slipped out of the outlet and the whole thing got jammed up. I couldn't put the sucker back in because of the foot of 170F water between my hand and the outlet hole. So, I tried just scooping and pouring the grain into a colander over the brew pot. As you might guess, not ideal and the whole pot was filled with little pieces of wheat and barley. Ended up just scrapping the whole session because my frustration was so high.

Argh!

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Old 08-15-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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Don't give up man! I started off the day with blowing my circut breaker because I had the idea of increasing my 1500w element with a 2000w. I thought of giving up. It put me several hours behind my ideal schedule grant it. I emptied the water from the HLT, replaced the element, refilled, and started over.... finally 3 hours from my initial plan mashing time I am now 38 minutes into mashing. I had to take a walk, and talk my self into brewing. After all, if it was easy everyine would do it - however, that being said, everytime I brew there is always an issue which make me second guess too.

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Old 08-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #3
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i can understand that feeling. i have yet to scrap anything, but i can see me doing the same. what's your manifold setup like? Is it something you could probably upgrade and avoid for future sessions?

i keep cheesecloth around just to have. you could have, as an alternative to dumping, ran it all through the cheesecloth to filter out the chunks and add a bunch of other junk to it and pretend it's a different style. hell, most people who've had my homebrew wouldn't know a Belgian from a Blow-Pop.

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Old 08-15-2010, 04:44 PM   #4
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Ahh memories. How much sweat fell into the wort?

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Old 08-15-2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bentpirate View Post
Don't give up man! I started off the day with blowing my circut breaker because I had the idea of increasing my 1500w element with a 2000w. I thought of giving up. It put me several hours behind my ideal schedule grant it. I emptied the water from the HLT, replaced the element, refilled, and started over.... finally 3 hours from my initial plan mashing time I am now 38 minutes into mashing. I had to take a walk, and talk my self into brewing. After all, if it was easy everyine would do it - however, that being said, everytime I brew there is always an issue which make me second guess too.
absoloutely! Every brewday since i went all-grain and using whole leaf hops instead of pellets i've had issues. most recently was dealing with the spent hops post-boil and trying to fill the fermenter without getting leaves in the carboy. i treated myself to a brand new Kettlevalve and Kettlescreen.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:59 PM   #6
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You know, it's actually funny. This is the first really bad session. Maybe I was getting cocky and this is karma telling me to stay on top of the process.

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Old 08-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #7
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I had a similarly bad brew day on Friday. So many things went wrong - but I kept the brew. I decided to name it "Train Wreck Stout" because the brew day was such a train wreck.

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Old 08-15-2010, 05:14 PM   #8
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Even though your brew day may suck, the beer may not.

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Old 08-15-2010, 05:15 PM   #9
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That's extra crappy, sorry to hear about that. But there are some things you could have done, or can do in the future, to fix these problems:

Quote:
Originally Posted by heywolfie1015 View Post
First, I miss my temps by about four degrees because I forgot to account for the extra pound of rice hulls in my grist.
Before adding your rice hulls, put them in a strainer of sorts and run hot water over them. First, rice hulls are typically pretty dirty so you want to run the water over them until it runs clear. Second, you missed your mash temp because your hulls were room temperature; the hot water rinse will not only bring them up to temperature (or close to it), it will also allow them to absorb the water and not reduce your mash volume.


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Second, after taking first runnings, I pour in the water for my batch sparge and start to stir. I notice a random (large) set of bubbles come up near where the manifold connects to the outlet hose. When I go to sparge, I get a chunk of grain and then nothing. Turns out the manifold slipped out of the outlet and the whole thing got jammed up. I couldn't put the sucker back in because of the foot of 170F water between my hand and the outlet hole.
Pfft, who cares about 3rd degree burns? Here's a simple and somewhat awesome solution. Get a trash bag or something you know won't leak, put your arm in it and fill it up about halfway with cool tap water. This will allow you to put your arm in a hot-ass mash and fix/retrieve things, the cool water acting as a barrier.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno_eNVy_446 View Post
Here's a simple and somewhat awesome solution. Get a trash bag or something you know won't leak, put your arm in it and fill it up about halfway with cool tap water. This will allow you to put your arm in a hot-ass mash and fix/retrieve things, the cool water acting as a barrier.
Brilliant.
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