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Old 09-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,873
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Whatever can go wrong, will!

Let's see- stuck mash, stuck sparge, pH meter malfunction (and not under warranty by about 1 month), Thermapen malfunction (it's been "iffy" since I got it), clogged pump, under on volume (due to stuck mash and sparge and clogged pump), burned my hand, and have grain and mash all over my laundry room floor.

And it's not over yet!

Days like today make me hate brewing, I swear.

I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with the Milwaukee tech support about the pH meter, which has already gone through two electrodes and never did work right from the beginning. (Got it for Christmas). They can't really help me. as the second defective electrode they sent me is out of warranty because they sent it to me in March.

The Thermapen "forgets" to work after it shuts itself off sometimes, and has from the beginning as well. Today, it wouldn't "remember" to work even after taking the batteries out a few times until just now.

I have no idea of the mash pH, the temperature of my sparge water, the chilled wort temperature, or anything else.

My back hurts (24 pounds of grain, plus 9 gallons of mash water is HEAVY to move four times), my burned hand hurts, my laundry room floor looks like a mashtun exploded on it while my feet stick to it, and today I hate brewing.

I guess electronics don't like me, or else I just have the worst luck in buying them.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
Jul 2012
Lancaster, PA
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Sorry. Double post

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
Jul 2012
Lancaster, PA
Posts: 849
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Glad to hear even the seasoned pros have days like this. I bet the beer still turns out great, and at least you got to brew on a Monday! I spent the day with too many patients and too few staff! I'd trade if I could

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
wSelwyn's Avatar
Mar 2012
Ferndale, Michigan
Posts: 395
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Oh noes!

That's my worry about going towards electronics for my brew set-up. The main reason, though, is that I am poor... so I have stuck to hydrometers, electric cooking thermometers, refactometers, etc.

I used to use all sorts of lab equipment when I was in the Forestry school up at MTU, and I always knew which labs to go to for testing SG, pH, weight, etc, as some machines just hated me.
Just think of the brew as a mystery beer. It'll turn out, be great, and you won't be able to ever re-create it! (or you might, if equipment keeps failing. If so, rejoice for faulty machines! )
“Terrorists, Sam. They’ve taken over my stomach. They’re demanding beer.” — Norm Peterson, Cheers

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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Sep 2011
Bremerton, Washington
Posts: 460
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That stinks Yoop! We've all been there for sure.

I wish I could brew on a weekday

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. -- Tom Waits
Mac: But our shenanigans are cheeky and fun
Thorny: And his shenanigans are cruel and tragic

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
Awesomeness Award Winnner
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Apr 2010
Damascus, MD
Posts: 1,800
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I know the feeling! Last brewday was a huge mess! I was making an RIS, and then i was going to make a smaller beer with second runnings. Due to my equipment setup I left the mash tun on top of my inverted trash can (added height for gravity feeding), well right as I was about to chill my RIS after its boil, the mash tun (which had been fine for 90 minutes) decided to fall for no reason! HOT Sticky wort all over the garage floor, my feet and a bunch of other places it shouldn't have been! I was on record brewday pace to until that happened

I find my brewdays go better when I have no other commitments and I can relax and slowly go through the motions. Whenever I try to be quick i run into problems. Sounds like it was the perfect storm for your equipment malfunctions tho! Take a break for a couple of weeks and get your equipment setup back in line. I think we both know you'll get the itch to brew again.

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
Registered User
May 2012
Posts: 13,515
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Sorry to hear you had such a rough brew day. Sometimes it seems when one thing goes wrong more things follow. I've kept my setup pretty simple over the years. So there's not too much that can fail in my system. But even then, things still go wrong from time to time. There's nothing more to do than just breathe, fix the problem, hope for the best, and move on to the next batch. I hope everything turns out well with this batch despite what all happened.

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #8
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
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Apr 2009
☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
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Oh man that stinks. I'm probably due for a day like that. The worst part of that for me would be the mess on the floor. I have never brewed indoors, and never will since any mess outside can be hosed down quickly. I do make messes, including boilovers and valves left open.
- Andrew

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:35 PM   #9
KingBrianI's Avatar
May 2008
Durham, NC
Posts: 3,516
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Sounds like a mess, Lorena. Good thing you have all that soap! :P
I'm too lazy and have too many beers going to keep updating this!

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
rifraf's Avatar
Jan 2012
Chicagoish, Illinois
Posts: 1,961
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Homebrew and I had our first fight the other week and had to take some time apart to think about things. Glad to hear it happens to the best of us, although not glad that you had to go through all that!
Originally Posted by SittingDuck
Even ales take too long. I need something I can ferment during the boil and drink from the kettle!
You have to grow old, you don't have to grow up.

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