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Old 02-06-2010, 08:42 AM   #1
SourHopHead
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Default When you are in a rut...

I have bad luck in 2010. It all began with some family issues that I am dealing with and has migrated to all parts of my life now. Brewing is the last I have dealt with and I have 3 batches going right now but it all began with my IPA. IPA tasted like band aids and I corrected that problem on the next brew an English Brown. My English brown had a HUGE Acetaldehyde problem and still looking for the root cause. Found rust on my "SS" sparge arm and my hop rig fell apart. I brewed an extract porter and of course burned some extract but not much and ran out of propane twice. Was going to brew an American Pale Ale this week, but got the damm flu.

I entered the Brown in the local comp and it did miserable, but I expected that. I liked that I was able to identify the defect and wanted to be sure. Disappointed yes, but no way will I stop brewing. Heading back to basics and revamping my cleaning/sanitizing practices.

After dinner GF and I watched a rerun of "Kitchen Nightmare" and we watched this chef crumble. Lost all confidence in himself and his abilities. During the commercial she looked at me and said "you're not like him". I have fought thru tough times before but nothing that has gone to all parts of my life. She says when I am brewing I am my most passionate. ;-) I am so fixated on procedure that I block out everything else, but she told me to go back to basics and took out my brewing books for me to read along with some Iodophor and Oxiclean.

What I would like to know is what you do to keep you going? I think of brewing like when I play a round of golf. One good shot in the round keeps me coming back for more. I have shot many many bad rounds and I still go out and improve my game. I know I can't go wrong with fixing a cleaning/sanitization routine that appears is flawed and read my books and some HBT.

Thanks.

Cheers HBTalkers!


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Old 02-06-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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Hope things turn around for you soon.

What is your brewing process? Sounds like you may have yeast health and water issues (or you used bleach somewhere).


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Old 02-06-2010, 02:29 PM   #3
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Hope things are rounding the corner for you.

But, seriously dude. If your GF is that supportive of your "hobby", how much more encouragement do you really need?

Now go fill those propane tanks (I keep a spare, just in case) and go make a simple beer just to prove to yourself that you can still do it.

Just for reference, after 9/11/01, I went 20 months without being able to find a job. I had exhausted unemployment twice, and in the middle of the 20 months my wife had our daughter. Keep in mind that our family's live on the left coast and we are in Texas. We had just moved here 2 years prior and I didn't really know anybody. I took all kinds of temporary work while updating my skills by getting some IT certifications (MS .NET). We had to borrow money on my mother-in-laws house, that was the lowpoint of my life. I felt like a complete failure, unable to support my family, borrowing money from my mother-in-law, tons of interviews and no job offers. I got a part time job as an apprentice auto-mechanic soley based on my history with racing cars (see melsilva.net) making like $10/hr.

When I finally was able to land a job as a contract developer, I was on cloud 9, just to have my feet back under a desk and making a decent salary. From there, everything else just fell into place. All the work I had put into updating my skills was paying off, and I was made an offer for 3 different permanent positions. I went from senior developer to Lead, to Supervisor, to Manager in less than 2 years. Unheard of in the Oil and Gas industry.

So, the reason I lay all this out is because my wife was getting as frustrated if not more so that I was. She was pregnant and then a new mom and supporting our household. Our neighborhood demographic was changing and we wanted to move, but couldn't. I was trying anything to makes some dent in our financial burden and she didn't understand why I couldn't just talk to my friends and have a job in a couple of days.

So, if you've got someone fully suppportive of you, don't worry, things could be a lot worse.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:38 PM   #4
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Well said 3 Dog Brew. Puts things in perspective. There are larger issues in life. Brewing can be a great way to relax and focus at the same time.

To the OP, it sounds like you need to thoroughly review your process and think through all the contingencies. Keep it simple. Make sure each step of your process is right. But as was said above, you sound like you have a very supportive GF and that goes a long way.

Good luck! Let us know how things improve (and they will).
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:54 AM   #5
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She is great, but hasn't always been the case. That is all in our past now.

I hear what you are saying 3 Dog. Went through something similar 2yrs ago. Feels like everything just hit us all at once this year. The biggest blow was dealing with a family member and the C word. That just drained everything I had.

KISS is my new motto for this year and I will brew an American Ale either Wed or Thurs. I will make my starter about 12-15hrs before. One propane tank is full and I will fill the other in a day or two.

I think I found the water issue and I wasn't treating my sanitizing water for chlorine/chloramine. I got a huge whiff of chlorine the other day and it dawned on me.

I am just too hard on myself a lot of the time.

Thanks and I'll keep you informed.

3.00 lb Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 32.43 %
3.00 lb Pale Liquid Extract [Boil for 15 min] Extract 32.43 %
2.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 21.62 %
0.75 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 8.11 %
0.50 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 5.41 %
1.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (60 min) Hops 35.8 IBU
4.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 10 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (10 min) Hops 3.7 IBU
0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (5 min) Hops 2.1 IBU
0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [Starter 125 ml] Yeast-Ale
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:43 AM   #6
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Hang in there. Life is always full of ups and downs, whenver things don't go as planned, it is not a failure, you just learned one way that did not work.


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