I suppose to start off I should introduce myself a little. In college I did a little extract brewing with friends for a few years but then I got married, graduated, had a kid, moved a thousand miles away from home, you know, the kinds of things that tend to put the brakes on virtually any hobby. Anyway I finally started to get back into brewing and decided to jump into all grain. So I got a few books and spent a lot of time lurking on this and other forums to learn what I could. So far I have only done 2 batches (3 if you count my current failure but more on that later) but both have come out fantastic. Emboldened by my previous successes I decided to try for a 11 gallon batch where half would become a vienna lager and half would become a saison. I even decided to throw a double decoction in the mix to see if I would be able to do it.
Fast forward to this morning when I decided to brew because I had the day off, everything goes great, pull my first decoction and add back to the mash and overshoot by 2 degrees(149 vs 147) which I figure isn't too bad. After that the only other issue is I overshot my target gravity going into the fermenter but everything else was spot on. Going into the boil everything was great but about 50 minutes into a 90 minute boil I started to pick up an acrid smoke scent. I didn't think anything of it because our neighbors smoke like a chimney but after everything was chilled I noticed the smell was coming from the kettle.
Turns out that the paint strainer bag that I used for the pellet hops got caught underneath the dip tube in the kettle and turned into a nasty charr glob that made all my hard work taste like a sweet tea made from used cigarette butts
. 7 hours worth of work suddenly shot and 11 gallons of wort turned into lawn fertilizer. Now I have 2 starters sitting in my fridge and I don't know if they will last until I can brew again.
Sorry for not providing anything constructive but i felt I just needed vent.