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Old 09-24-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
Sep 2012
Seattle, WA
Posts: 24

I'm a new member to this forum, and I'm interested in getting started. I've been reading some threads, and they've been really helpful and informative. But one thing that I haven't seen is a compilation of mistakes that people make. I've found that knowing what NOT to do can be just as useful as knowing what TO do.
So, for those of you with more experience at this, what mistakes have you made? What equipment did you buy that you never use? What techniques did you try that ended up completely failing? What have you done, and then said to yourself "Well, I won't be doing THAT anymore?"

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Old 09-24-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
MeadWitch's Avatar
Jul 2010
Just South of Weird, Texas
Posts: 312
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

Well, I guess I will be the first to admit that I have made mistakes. I think my worse mistake was not filling my carboy all the way up once. The mead oxidized and the colour went from a beautiful reddish purple to a light gold. Not that it wasn't beautiful in itself, it just wasn't what I wanted or expected. I have since started keeping bottles of traditional mead to top off low levels in carboys.

Another one you ask? Hmmmm, not keeping track of my equipment. I inadvertently purchased 2 different racking canes at different times, but that ending up working out well because they ended up being different sizes. Now that I have several 1 gallon demi's, I can use the small racking cane.

Or how about not labeling your carboys or bottle? Anyone besides me ever done this? You think you will remember but then the colours change and all of a sudden you have 3 carboys that all look the same?

Come on folks, I know I am not the only one who has make mistakes. So cowboys up y'all...........
Primary: Cider House Rules Cider

Tertiary: Sweet Dried Cherry/Vanilla Mead, Prickly Pear Mead, Jalapeno-Peach Sweet Mead

Bottled: Huajillo Honey Mead - 4 bottles only, first ever mead, Light Draft Style Cider, Raspberry Mead, Hibiscus Mead, JAOM, Peach Melba Mead, Limoncello, Kahlua, Spiced Winter Cider, Orange/Vanilla Mead

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Old 09-24-2012, 11:37 PM   #3
Jun 2012
West Side of, the Hand
Posts: 123
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

During bulk aging I let the airlock dry out, letting the mead oxidize slightly.

I've added energizer to an active ferment in a jug without degassing, it resulted in a sweet tasting eruption in my kitchen.

My biggest mistake was on my first mead, it tasted off so I dumped it all out before letting it age past 6 months.

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
Jan 2012
St. Charles, mo
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Here's a few. I also have let my airlock drop below the line, various sanitation infractions, bottled one day only to find out i didn't have any zorks, over backsweetened by jugaling the jar of honey...

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:43 AM   #5
kevinb's Avatar
Mar 2012
, MA
Posts: 653
Liked 35 Times on 29 Posts

My worst two:

Racking to a bottling bucket with spigot open. What is that noise the sounds like water running on the floor, oh SH!T.
Second, before it happens to you (because it will), get a blow off tube for your vigorous fermentations. Beer belongs in the fermenter, not on the ceiling!
Kevin - One Arm Brewery

"People who drink light ‘beer’ don’t like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot."

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:57 AM   #6
sonofgrok's Avatar
Sep 2012
Waco, TX
Posts: 1,142
Liked 314 Times on 223 Posts

Yes. Racking to a bottling bucket with the spigot open. That was a hot, sticky mess. Literally.
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." ~Ernest Hemingway

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:44 AM   #7
Oct 2011
Posts: 257
Liked 31 Times on 24 Posts

For my first mead, I did not understand how yeasts and fermentation worked... it was a recipe for a 5%-ish mead, so naturally the yeast could tolerate a whole lot more than that. So every time I back sweetened the fermentation started again... and again.

Another time, I forgot about a mead and it sat in primary for a year and a half. That in itself wasn't so bad... except the airlock had, for some reason fallen off or something... smelled like gasoline at the end.

Botteling unfinished mead, luckily it didn't exlode. Half of the mead bursted out all over the place though when I opened it.

A mistake a make every now and then, forget to check if a spiggot is closed or not before filling the fermentation/botteling bucket. >.<
This isn't a beer belly, It's a fuel tank for a love machine.

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
dr_al's Avatar
Jan 2011
Evart, MI
Posts: 225
Liked 10 Times on 9 Posts

my mead mistake, not racking to a clean jug and waiting for all the lee's to drop after racking off the bulk, i racked and bottled and now my first mead experiment is ok until you stir up the sediment that got in the bottles (has a nasty flavor).

It was only my second batch ever of any fermented beverage it's quite the learning experience now i rack off the bulk and stabilize then rack to sweeten then rack to bottleing bucket after making sure no fermentation pops up again if i sweeten

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Old 09-25-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
Sep 2012
Seattle, WA
Posts: 24

Thanks everyone, this is exactly what I was looking for.

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Old 09-27-2012, 04:22 PM   #10
Feb 2012
Fresno, CA
Posts: 162
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

Lacking a blow off tube and not having enough headspace. Transferring to secondary I had sterilized the night before thinking it would be fiiiine. Not labeling bottles, even after sampling one to figure out what things are. Not writing down my gravities in my notebook then losing the random scraps I wrote on. Watching a movie while racking and transferring 5.1 gallons into a 5 gallon carboy. Drinking things that should have been forgotten for another six months. Bottling too early. Renting too small of an apartment. Not keeping an eye on my yeast inventory and lacking a $1 packet that is sortof important. Not wearing long pants and good shoes when collecting wild fruit. Putting honey in the fridge. Trying to brew before other plans the same day. Starting a primary fermentation before a heat wave.
Ignore me, I don't know what I'm talking about.

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