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Old 09-01-2011, 02:28 AM   #1
zodiak3000
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Default brew day from hell? need advice asap!

What a day! i"ll throw out the most important problem first cause i need a response to hopefully save my beer. id appreciate feedback to the other problems as well...

1. I just switched from buckets to carboys. For some reason the rubber stopper didnt want to stay on the carboy when i was positioning the blow off tube. So when i tried to push it in firmly to stay in the carboy it actually fell through into the wort. Yup, i see the SOB floating on top the wort right now. I sanitized some tin foil and covered the carboy lid. Anything else I can do? Will my beer turn out legit? What can I do in the future to prevent this?

2. During my sparge runnings i forgot to vorlauf for maybe about 1-2 pints worth. i did vorlauf my first runnings, just forgot about my second runnings for about 1-2 pints worth. i did go ahead and do a vorlauf on those runnings like nothings happened once i realized what i did. any problems with this? risk of astringency? i figure 1-2 pints isnt that big of a deal, but ive never missed any process of the vorlauf before...

3. Ive been AG brewing several batches now...on the stove top. First day with a propane burner. I was constantly fixing boil overs during the hot break and hop additions. It probably took me 90 min to do a 60 min boil. I satrted my 60 min addition clock once it got going good without having to kill the gas. When i was doing later ones though (20,15,10,5). I was killing the gas to a very weak boil. I wonder how my hop utilization was effected? I hit my OG fine. Any cure for this besides getting a bigger pot? I realize boiling 6.5 gallons on a 7 gallon pot doesnt leave much room for boiling, but i never had this problem on the stove.

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Old 09-01-2011, 02:32 AM   #2
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1. Make sure the rubber stopper is dry when you put it on, as well as the lip of the carboy. I know this because I currently have a stopper floating in my beer as well. your not alone. I personally am going to get a larger stopper, if I can ever get this one out.

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Old 09-01-2011, 02:38 AM   #3
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1. I've dropped worse in my beer before. My dog was interested in what was going on and had a bone in his mouth. When he leaned over my bucket of wort, he actually dropped the bone in. Beer turned out fine. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just get a little bigger stopper so it won't push through.

2. Although you may have some risk of tannin extraction from boiling grains, you shouldn't worry about this either. I've done this plenty of times with no bad effects.

3. Obviously, getting a bigger kettle is the best fix. Other than this, there are foam control agents that will keep foaming to a minimum. You can also put a fan near your kettle so it blows right over the top. Also, a spray bottle with water in it has been known to do some good. When it startes foaming up, spray a little water on it. When all else fails, there's no need to kill the flame...just pull the pot off of the flame (as long as it's got handles.)

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Old 09-01-2011, 02:43 AM   #4
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Just a quick tip to get that stopper out of a carboy. I had a......friend that did that once and he put a thin towel in the mouth of carboy as far as he could and trapped the stopper and then pulled like hell and the damn thing came out.

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Old 09-01-2011, 02:50 AM   #5
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thanks for the responses so far. so my beer should be ok with the stopper swimming around? is the tin foil in place of the stopper/airlock ok? im more worried about the beer turning out good still vs. getting that stopper out later....even though i know thats gonna be a bitch. i was looking at carboy caps for the future...

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Old 09-01-2011, 03:08 AM   #6
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i like these carboy hoods better than the stoppers.

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Old 09-01-2011, 03:14 AM   #7
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1. dropped my bung in the hole in one of my last brews. if it was sanitized like it should have been then you will have no problems.

2. i don't do AG (yet) but from readings i have an idea that it is good to get the sediment out but in the first part of sparge but shouldn't be a HUGE deal if you didn't

3. burners will heat faster and hotter than the traditional stove top. don't do a flame out but turn it down to really low and keep a spray bottle of clean water handy. it will knock down the boil over and will keep the boil going so you don't have to turn off the flame. don't use the burner like you would when you fry a turkey or do a fish fry. water and oil have different effects of LP burners

keep in mind that brewing is alot like being in a bar league softball team. You do good; you get beer! You do bad; you get beer. (heard that one some place on here before)


p.s. universal bungs will help and PM me later for information on how to get the bung out quickly and efficiently. been there and done that with the carboy!!!

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Old 09-01-2011, 04:09 AM   #8
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Relax. Nothing you did says panic. Everything will be fine.
you probably got a bit more utilization from the longer boil and I would get a new stopper. Foil will work for the primary fermentation, but for clean up and aging once the CO2 levels drop to keep oxygen and other such out.

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Old 09-01-2011, 04:13 AM   #9
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Relax. Nothing you did says panic. Everything will be fine.
you probably got a bit more utilization from the longer boil and I would get a new stopper. Foil will work for the primary fermentation, but for clean up and aging once the CO2 levels drop to keep oxygen and other such out.
i usually just ferment in primary, no secondary. should i pick up a carboy cap for the other half of fermentation or just let it ride with tin foil this batch?
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:21 AM   #10
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You need to get another bung ASAP. Aluminum foil may be fine for tonight but first thing tomorrow you need to hit up your LHBS for a new one. You might want to pick up a couple just for instances like this. Keep an eye on the foil though. If fermentation is rigorous it could blow off and leave your wort exposed. This (bung falling in) has happened to a lot of people and the beer turned out great. With regards to the boil overs- you will learn how to use your propane burner as well as you did your stove. It will take time and you will find the perfect settings etc. At the worst your beer could be a little light but most likely you won't be able to detect a difference.

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