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Old 08-15-2005, 02:03 PM   #1
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Default Bad Brew Day

Ok, I hesitated to even write about this one, but you guys are so warm and fuzzy that I figured you'd get a kick out of it.

We brewed our 3rd batch on Saturday, a Bass Clone. And up to now the brews have been pretty good (all 2 of them). Well to start off the calamities I put the bag of extract into the pot with the steeping grains to loosen it up. But, after having several homebrews I forgot to take it out when I turned the heat back on to bring up to boil. You might see where this is goin. . . I picked up the bag off the bottom of the pot to find that a hole had been melted into it! Nice! I thought "I guess we'll name this one Polyethelene English Ale". So, screw up number one. Screw up number two is not that big a deal, just an inconvenience. I forgot to buy more muslin bags for the hops thinking that I had more. So, in go the hops loose. Not a big deal, just messy. Next we had 3 boil overs! it never broke! And after cooling the wort down to pitch the yeast we fished out a good bit of what I can only assume was hardened plastic pieces floating in the wort.

And to top it all off, the wort has been in the carboy for about 38 hrs now and there is no activity in the airlock. We even went with the highly recommended White Labs yeast for this one. So, I have named this one "Low Expectations English Ale".

Do you guys think I should be getting worried that there is no activity from the yeast yet?

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Old 08-15-2005, 04:39 PM   #2
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um, after 24 i would get worried. try pitching some neutral dry yeast and see if it get's going.

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Old 08-15-2005, 04:44 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'd be getting a little worried at this point, too. Why did you have to "loosen up" a bag of DME?

As long as you didn't scorch a bunch of stuff in it, I think you'll be OK if you get the yeast started. It might have a burnt plastic taste, too. Pitch a Belgian yeast in it and tell people that's just part of the "character". Then make a witty remark about "those crazy Belgians", and RDWHAHB.

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Old 08-15-2005, 04:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam75
Why did you have to "loosen up" a bag of DME?
Not DME, LME. I'd been told that it helps to get the LME warmed up to pour better, less viscous.

Don't have any other yeast around to repitch. I would have to reorder some for tomorrow delivery. Nearest HBS is 2 hrs away. Oh well, you live and learn! Maybe less homebrew in the belly before starting to brew is a better route!

Hopefully it will be going by this evening.
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:54 PM   #5
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Oh, OK. I've never seen LME in a bag. Hopefully it unscrews itself for ya!

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Old 08-15-2005, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam75
Oh, OK. I've never seen LME in a bag. Hopefully it unscrews itself for ya!
Well . . . that's kinda what happened. A hole opened itself up, but left bits of melted plastic in the wort! We can file this one under "Dumbass" if it never begins ferment!

It was a bag of Northwestern Amber LME, 6lbs.
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian
Oh well, you live and learn! Maybe less homebrew in the belly before starting to brew is a better route!
Well that's one way to go, but loosening your LME in a sinkfull of hot water would work just as well, and save you from the hassle of having to adjust your alchohol intake.
You might take an SG reading by the way...just in case things happened so fast that you missed it.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
Well that's one way to go, but loosening your LME in a sinkfull of hot water would work just as well
Yup. That's what a buddy of mine suggested to me. It works great.
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:04 PM   #9
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Update - There is now airlock activity! Not vigorous but now I guess it'll pick up as those guys get going.

There may be hope for this batch yet!
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:34 PM   #10
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I've had some issues with White Labs yeast here in MS. It's been very hot here and I've been getting it from Austin Home Brew sent with ice packs and all. The last 2 batches I did with WL took nearly 36-48 hours to ferment.

My dry yeast starters were only taking 6-12 hours so I was wondering what all the fuss about liquid yeast was. I decided to give it another chance and tried some Wyeast smack packs. Sure enough I got activity in 12-24 hours with the Wyeast and I think thats what I'll be sticking with.

BTW I did my 5th batch yesterday. 5 batches in 5 weeks.


1st - Light Ale
2nd - Best Bitter --- excellent btw
3rd - Sunshine Wheat clone
4th - Newcastle clone
5th - Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout clone

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