Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Day Disaster!
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-24-2010, 01:54 AM   #1
AlchemyBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Denver
Posts: 92
Default Brew Day Disaster!

It was supposed to be the first batch of beer my wife and I brewed in 8 years. It was supposed to be perfect. Instead it was the Brew day from hell. I open up the discussion to allow for tips, tricks, and general scorn of my lack of skills.

Problem 1. The east starter (WL California Ale) never really took off. I am used to seeing a lot of activity in a yeast starter. It never smelled bad, the firm-lock had a few bubbles coming out of it and I could see small bubbles riding up the side of the beaker. I never got any foam on top and really had no vigorous activity. I would have thought that there would be no activity or a bad smell if it was contamination. We added more malt and still not much activity.

Problem 2. I got a new March pump and brass McMaster Carr QD for the system. I was able to get it to work at the beginning but then I must have lost prime and had to sparge by hand with a quart container. What the hell causes this and what do you do to fix it. The wife wants to go back to three tier now!

Problem 3. I followed instructions to waterproof the digital probe cooking thermometer but it seemed to jump all over the place. It stayed one temp for ever and then shot up 20 degrees, all with the burners off. It seemed very unresponsive. Aren't they usually instantaneous? What is the most accurate and then the easiest way to monitor mash temps.

All of these were overcome-able ... or at least would have produced something at the end. It might have had problems, it might have been a learning experience but then this happened...



In case you couldn't tell that is a split in my immersion chiller. Can you guess what happens when this happens. The short answer is six gallons of water in your beer! It's Dead JIM!

I didn't know quite what area to post this in but most of the folks that read this seem to have lots of experience and are helpful.

I welcome any and all suggestions and mockery!

__________________

I AM ......LIFTING BOY!

AlchemyBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 02:22 AM   #2
JOHN51277
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
JOHN51277's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,022
Liked 10 Times on 5 Posts

Default

What a hell of a way to start out the first brew in forever, and with the wifey. If nothing else, ya learned alot of lessons the hard way. Sounds like it would have been ok had the IC not have broken like that.

Hey, it can;t get any worse next time!

__________________
My Cigar Forum www.cigarhops.com
PM me for access.

On Deck: Centennial Blonde, Midnight IIPA
Primary: SMaSH Citra/2 Row, KBS Clone
Secondary: ???
Kegged:
Bottled: Gulf Oil Spill Stout, Breakfast Stout, Amarillo SMaSH, Orange Wit, RIPA Oak/Bourbon Aged, Barleywine, Apfelwein,
JOHN51277 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 02:28 AM   #3
Catt22
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
Liked 57 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 51

Default

Looks like the IC had some water in it an froze during the winter. This is a fairly common occurrence. Even a small amount of water in the IC can do this if it freezes. I can't help much on the pump problem without knowing more details. Post some pics of your pump and how you have it hooked up and maybe we can figure it out.

__________________

Last edited by Catt22; 05-24-2010 at 02:32 AM.
Catt22 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 03:15 AM   #4
r2eng
IPA - it's all about the burps
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
r2eng's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eagle, Idaho, Idaho
Posts: 1,476
Liked 28 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

OUCH!

Don't give up: fix the IC and brew again. Sh!t happens, and it sounds like you earned many good experience points from this brew.

Get back on the horse... soon!

__________________
Engineer, Animator, Brewer.
r2eng is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 01:41 PM   #5
david_42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,651
Liked 134 Times on 127 Posts

Default

1. You may not see much activity in a starter. If there is plenty of oxygen and food, the yeast just keeps multiplying.

2. The pump might have been cavitating and losing suction. Try adding a throttle valve at the outlet.

3. Many digital thermometers have a sampling interval. Cooking normally doesn't require fast response times and it may only be checking every 15-30 seconds.

Bummer on the split. My chiller has flare fittings that can work loose and 'pee' into the kettle.

__________________

Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

david_42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 02:02 PM   #6
InfernoBrews
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 233
Default

Bad Brew Days Happen time to time.. Just gives a reason (If you need a Reason) To Drink more home brew that Day!

Better Luck next time.. Don't let a Bad day get you down for the next brew day!

__________________
www.ruffledhomebrewing.com


Next Up: Imperial IPA
Primary1: Pale Ale
Primary2: Low Pro IPA
Secondary:IPA with Falconers Hops, Blonde Ale

Bottled: Red Ale

Kegged:Red Ale, Wheat, HopSlam Clone, Chocolate Stout on Nitrogen, Holiday ale Left Overs On Nitrogen.
InfernoBrews is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 02:46 PM   #7
ForRealBeer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Raleigh
Posts: 217
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Wow. I thought I had it bad brewing in thunderstorms and pouring rain last night. Everything seemed to go well for me, but it seemed that every time I had to do anything, the rain picked up and I got soaked in the process. The storms were bad enough to get a severe warning from the weather people and my wife came out to tell me that it looked like Zeus had decided to join Bacchus for this brewing session.

Naturally, I was following the rule of drinking homebrew while making homebrew....

Your day, well, that was about 100X worse than mine.

Ah well, it's a learning experience every time you brew and no sense in crying over spilt wort. You'll get it right next time.

__________________
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. Edward R. Murrow
ForRealBeer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 03:16 PM   #8
AlchemyBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Denver
Posts: 92
Default

@david_42 - Do mean a purge valve of some kind?

The good news is that after several beers (might be a bit conservative), SWMBO looks at me and said, "I think we have time on next Saturday to try again and still make it to the baseball game." I am a lucky man!

Please chime in with more suggestions. I think I need all the help I can get. I will be trying all week to get the pump situation worked out so at least that doesn't kill me again!

__________________

I AM ......LIFTING BOY!

AlchemyBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 05:00 PM   #9
Catt22
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
Liked 57 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 51

Default

I would suggest adding a small bleeder valve on the outlet side in front of the flow control valve. This will solve your priming problems. The other thing I would do is shorten the hoses as much as possible. This will reduce the resistance and help with the priming problem somewhat.

__________________
Catt22 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-24-2010, 05:21 PM   #10
AlchemyBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Denver
Posts: 92
Default

Thanks Catt22. Bleeder valve is coming for sure. Do you think I can use that with out change pump head orientation? Right now it is left to right. I see a lot of folks go down to up with them.

__________________

I AM ......LIFTING BOY!

AlchemyBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Tags
immersio chiller, march pump, temperature control

Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1st brew disaster? GCC Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 09-25-2009 02:51 AM
Brew day disaster - What to do next. BarnabyHooge General Techniques 4 09-16-2009 01:32 PM
Brew day disaster dzamba All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 03-20-2009 09:20 PM
1st Brew Disaster- please help ekemp Cider Forum 4 12-02-2008 04:10 AM
Brew day disaster... Duckfoot General Techniques 18 08-24-2008 02:10 PM