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Old 11-18-2007, 07:19 PM   #1
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Default Midnight Confessions: Bad Brewing Practices



OK, it's 2:00 PM, not midnight, but still...

I've spent the morning getting caught up on a LOT of homebrew stuff that's been neglected.... and I kinda feel like I need to confess.

Remember BrewPastor's wonderful 777 Rye IPA recipe? I liked referring to it as "Resurrection," since the whole 777 creation process died horribly, until he singlehandedly brought it back to life.

Well, I just kegged it. I brewed it in May.

I was never really happy with it, I missed by target gravity, and missed my volume significantly. So, after I racked it to secondary and tossed in some dry hops, I left it kinda buried on the shelf. Didn't really want to bottle it, never bothered kegging it (my kegging stuff, until recently, was really disjointed).

So, it's been sitting with a couple ounces of pellet hops in secondary for about six months. And you know what?

It's wonderful.

I'll have to see what it's like when it's carbed up, but I can't get any off flavors from it now. It still has some good aroma, it's got a nice kick and a real nice flavor. It's DAMN GOOD. It truly has come back from the dead.

Also, I kegged my oatmeal stout. Now, this beer's only about six weeks old, but I never racked from primary. But, the bigger issue......

This was made almost entirely with OLD ingredients. Like, crystal malts and stuff that I've had around, crushed, for close to a year. Base malt that's not much fresher. I think the only thing that was fresh was the pound of flaked oats, otherwise, this was my "I'm way too cheap to throw out $8 worth of grain!" batch.

It, too - and this is confirmed by my wife - is really, really good. Nice and smooth. Doesn't taste old or stale at all.

So, the lessons here:

1. Do as I say, not as I do.
2. Really, you shouldn't do as I say OR as I do.
3. Beer's a helluva lot more resiliant than you would think.

OK, who's next? Who's got something they need to get off their chest?


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Old 11-18-2007, 07:28 PM   #2
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Lesson in the above.

Beer gets better with age.


My confession.......

I have a bag of pre crushed grain and I can't get more than 65% efficiency out of it.


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Old 11-18-2007, 07:38 PM   #3
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i've got a batch of extract pilsner bulk aging for 3 mo now( smelled real funky buttery when racked in, pitched a new yeast strain on it)
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:43 PM   #4
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That is so true. It just blows my mind when I think about how close I was to dumping a relatively expensive Honey Dubbel ($35 kit, plus $15 for honey) that tasted like paint thinner. Maybe it's because I'm cheap, but I stuck the keg of it in a closet and forgot about it. 6-7 months later, it came out incredibly complex; far beyond anything I could have created in my usual 6 weeks. I'm really thinking about signing up and doing the 08/08/08 RIS just because I know it'll be amazing.

My Confession: I've sent many a good soldier down the drain thinking it was a bad batch.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:02 PM   #5
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Just because you store your crushed grain in the freezer to keep it fresh, doesn't mean it won't get moldy when you take it out to thaw.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:08 PM   #6
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Despite the fact that an autosiphon is less than ten bucks, I never get around to buying one. If I can't start a siphon using the racking cane method on the first two tries, I still start it by mouth. I actually keep a jug of cheap vodka on hand to act as an oral sanitizer prior to commiting such an awful act of laziness.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:13 PM   #7
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Old school, baby!
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:25 PM   #8
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I confess. I chill by emptying my ice bin into my primary, nasties and all. Pisses of SWMBO too.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:30 PM   #9
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i brewed a hefe yesterday and put 3068 on it.

Now, I've used this combo enough to know that you need a blow-off tube on it. So WTF was I thinking when I just put the old carboy cap on it?

This morning I'm watching TV and I hear a pop and feel the floor have a slight repercussion. So I go downstairs and sure enough, fresh BOOM-BOOM. Blow-tube now installed.

Also, I consistantly have a problem with soot from my burner. My pots are all greasy-nasty with soot and most of my jeans have soot marks. Last night, I sooted up my nice new jeans (too stupid to change before brewing). The most likely culprit? Neglect. I had a bad unattended boilover once and I never really cleaned the burner. So today I took it down to the workshop and ran the dremmel over it to remove all the gunk. Need to clean the stand next and figure out how to de-gunk the pots.
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Old 11-19-2007, 02:33 AM   #10
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Confession, I usually have to pitch my yeast at 80-85 degree's. Never tasted any off flavors though.


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