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Old 05-07-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
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Default Brewing Catastrophe Last Night

Well, yesterday was an Epic brew day for me and it ended in tragedy. I lost a beautiful batch of homebrew.

I have been fascinated with homebrewing since I was given a Mr. Beer kit about five years ago. I only recently began racing full throttle into the obsession for the past 9 months. I have dedicated an area in my garage to extract five-gallon brewing, kegging, and bottling. I have started brewing one as well as two-and-a-half trial batches also. I try to design my own recipes using beersmith, and look forward to building a fermentation chamber and expanding to all grain brewing over the next few years.

But I digress...

In honor of Big Brew Day, I set out to brew two 1-gallon batches and one 2.5-gallon batch yesterday. I wasn't able to dedicate the time on Saturday. The first batch was a basic wheat recipe with hopes of adding a blueberry addition in the fermenter. The brew went off without a hitch. Great boil, cooling, wort transfer and yeast pitch. Quick re-clean and sanitize for the equipment, then off to batch number two. This one was an experimental amber ale with simcoe and a touch of various crystal malts. Again, no hiccups.
The second batch was into the fermentor and everything had another round of cleaning/sanitizing. The final batch was an ode to the incredible spring weather we have been having here in upstate NY, as we transition to summer - a farmhouse saison with no spices and a charge of zythos to play off of the yeast character. Deep orange in color with some steeped caramunich and a bit of wheat. The wort tasted delucious, and I was already envisioning turbulent flow from the blow off tube the next morning as the creamy yeast starter of belgian saison 2 was gently being poured into my 3 gallon glass carboy.

Then, it happened. My day turned in an instant from a glorious celebration of my most rewarding hobby, to a night of horrific despair.

Somewhere between gathering my blowoff assembly and pitching the yeast, that carboy still glistening with starsan slipped from my hands, and went crashing to my concrete garage floor. With it, and it's newly arranged five hundred pieces, went that gorgeous brew. Speading its sticky liquid tendrils of 1.048 gravity yeast food into every crevice within a six foot radius. I stood there speechless for a moment, frozen, before darting around gathering up towels and a broom.
I addressed the chore at hand full of gloom, as my SWMBO, looked on with pure sorrow. She confessed later that she was sure I was going to shed some tears. I believe that the mantra of the great Charlie P. repeating through my mind was what kept me from losing all hope and any reward from my brew day.
I was able to hold back any weeping, but my metaphorical homebrew flag is at half-staff today. I ask you all to raise that next glass in memory of not only my fallen batch, but to all of those fallen batches that have came and went - well before their prime.

R.I.P. batch #19

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Old 05-07-2013, 05:10 PM   #2
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We're all here for you in your time of need. Anything you need to help you through this tragedy, just ask.

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Old 05-07-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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sorry to hear that Doc. I will drink one for you tonight
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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Horrific indeed.
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:18 PM   #5
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You should write books as you are a good writer
"I fear the man who drinks water and so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night."
Greek Proverb
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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I feel for you my friend. The only thing I can suggest are those plastic milk crates for moving and carrying carboys. I've always had a phobia of dropping one and the milk crates give me a little peace of mind.
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:23 PM   #7
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Where is that dad-gum scottish guy with the bagpipes to play it home?

My condolences for the passing of your wort. I will sacrifice a homebrew or two to my belly tonight in its honor.
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #8
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Spend 5 bucks and never have to suffer such sorrow again.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:28 PM   #9
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I have never broken one, but fear it greatly. Spend a little extra and get a Beer Hauler. Set of straps with handles that allows you to move the 50lb carboys with finesse...even on concrete floors!
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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Nobody has said it yet, but I the name of thwarting future sorrow: Better Bottles.

OP, you're quite the scribe. ;-)

Glass is half full: you're safe. Those incidents can, and have, gotten ugly.

Batch counter: 123 batches (11/29/11-7/22/15).
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