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Old 04-08-2009, 09:03 PM   #1
Jan 2009
Benicia, Ca
Posts: 51

So, ran my first ag batch yesterday. I used Deathbrewers method with varying degrees of success. The first was an American Amber. I adjusted my grain bill up to account for the lack of efficiency I would experience. Of course, I did not stop to think about how much volume that actually is. (14 lbs of grain!). Needless to say, it didn;t all fit, but I made a huge mess in the process of discovering that. I ended up fitting about 10.5-11 lbs in, by my best estimate. Obviously discouraged, thinking I would have less beer or a lower OG, I brewed on, and somehow ended up hitting the OG the recipe called for...on less grain. I haven;t decided if this is due to my misreading the hydrometer, or if a 90 minute mash helped. In any case, after dropping a rubberband in the boil, my two year old splashing boiling wort on me, and having to resanitize my carboy due to said youngun pouring sand in it, I finally got it cooled and pitched. I remembered of course, to push the rubber stopper in so far that it falls in the beer. Its a technique I am developing, called "G-d F*cking Dammit!". At least, thats what my audience thinks, as I repeated it a dozen times.

Obviously, after an experience like that, the next thing I do is go and get stuff for the next batch.

I made the mistake of drinking a couple beers while I got ready to do my second batch of the day. Oops. I managed to hit my acid rest temp withouth incident, but as I was heating up the mash to 150, the bag hit bottom, melted in 5 different places, and some grain scorched on the bottom. I caught it fairly quickly, and dumped everything into my other pot. The mash went fine, except now I had no practical way to get the wort off the grains. I resorted to using a colindar and a spoon to squeeze as much liquid out of the grains into 1 gallon containers and dumped the grains into my sparge water. After 20 minutes of this, I finally ended up with about 1 3/4 gallons out of my 3 gallon mash. After a 10 minute soak in the sparge, I used the old, melted, holey grain bag to filter everything out of the sparge pot. I did better here, and got almost all of my 3 gallons out. This whole process ended up taking the better part of 5 hours. I ended up putting a lid on the wort, and letting it sit until this morning, because I just couldn't take anymore. I boiled this morning, added a gallon of cold water, and pitched eventually. However, because I am dry hopping my amber with my stopper, this beer has a fermentation lock consisting of a plastic shopping bag and a rubber band.

Amber is fermenting just fine, and we'll see how the second batch (Belgian ale, with 2 lbs of 2-row added to boost OG) goes. The amazing thing is, even with losing a lot of wort, I hit a gravity 12 points higher than expected gravity for the second batch . (Expected 1.05, hit 1.062) Again, I wonder if I am reading the frickin' thing wrong. With all of the things that went wrong, and the added water, I would expect it to be lower, even with the added malt.

Comments, suggestions? Laugh at me, sympathize, w/e, just thought I'd share.

Reason: bad title

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Old 04-08-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
Mar 2009
Posts: 142
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

Ahh you clould look at it like its a disaster or you can look at all the things you learned NOT to do!! and realize it was very educational.....

I think we ALL have had nightmare brewdays... AND I have always said you dont learn anything when things go right(or seem to go right) you only learn when your mistakes bite you!!!

But whats MOST important..... you made BEER!!!

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Old 04-08-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
LaurieGator's Avatar
Mar 2009
, South Carolina
Posts: 338
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

This will be great beer and you won't be able to replicate it!
Fermenting: Grand Cru, Belgian Dubbel, Nut Brown Ale, Saison Sans Soul

Kegged: Honey Amber Ale, Centennial Blonde Ale,

Gone but not forgotten: Irish Red

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Old 04-08-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
More Humann than human
humann_brewing's Avatar
Oct 2008
the sun
Posts: 15,535
Liked 329 Times on 325 Posts

At least this didn't happen

Found here:


On the bright side, it will still be considered beer!

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Old 04-08-2009, 11:59 PM   #5
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,936
Liked 3210 Times on 1894 Posts

Read this...

What are some mistakes you made where your beer still turned out great?

And in a couple months when you are raving about your amazing beer, then post your story back in there.

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

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