My dont pour it out story happened 4 weeks ago.
I had a Belgian Golden that I was making with a few pounds of peaches out of our back yard. This was my second BIAB batch and things seemed to be going well through the mash up until the last 10 minutes or so. See, I had found some 'advice' about a great way to get cheap BIAB bags from WalMart curtains
. I am no seamstress (seamstor?), but i thought, what the hell...could save me a couple bucks (note: if you ever find yourself thinking along these lines...STOP IMMEDIATELY AND USE SOME COMMON SENSE
In those last 10 minutes, i noticed that I had grains floating outside the bag...
Sure enough, I made the bag slightly too big and it melted to the bottom of my brew pot. And whats worse, when I went to lift the bag the melted part ripped out dumping my grain back into the wort!
I probably stood there for a full minute in silence as various combinations of expletives ran through my head. I suddenly realized that i was secondarily screwed as I had no backup bag/filter. The only thing I had was a hop strainer that fits over the top of a fermenting bucket for straining post-boil. Going slowly, I start straining the just barely under 5 gallons of wort and grains from the (5 gal) kettle. It actually didnt go too badly at first, allowing me to sparge each batch of grain separately and then scoop the spent grains into the trash.
That is, until the last gallon or so. I was ready to be done with the ordeal and poured a little too aggressively. The hop strainer over-filled and spilled a fair portion of sweet wort and grains all over the floor.
I couldnt hold back any more. I let loose a tirade that was so violent it had the misses running to the kitchen but only peeking around the corner. We frantically grab some shop towels and basically cover half the kitchen floor with them.
After containing the mess, I look in my brew pot and was horrified at the charred mess of blackened God-knows-what on the bottom of my pot. Thoughts are swimming thought my head at this point of just what melted cheap chinese window curtain is going to do to my beer...
I couldnt stand it. I grabbed the pot and some steel wool and just walked out of the kitchen into the back yard. As I sat scrubbing (which took half an hour, mind you. Even had to resort to using a flat head as a scraper to get the last few bits of suborn crud out), my ever patient, ever loving wife came out to see if I was ok. Having 20 minutes to take my frustrations out on the bottom of my kettle with the steel wool, I let her know how upset I was that everything was going wrong and that I was ready to just dump everything out and forget it.
Again, being the ever patient, ever loving wife, she asked me which would make me feel worse: dumping everything out and trying to forget it or finishing the beer and having it turn out bad.
And then I thought of Revvy.
The rest of the brew day (sans an extraordinarily long cleanup) went normally despite running almost 7 hours when it should have been 4. The fermentation was normal. Hell, even the bottling went smoother and faster than ever before.
Oh and the beer? Its in my fridge right now. Not a hint of window curtain to it, although sadly the peach didnt come through very well (note to self: next time puree, dont slice
). Im not going to say that its the best brew I ever made, but other than the lack of peach it came though exactly as Id hoped.
So, lessons learned:
- Window curtains are for hanging on windows, not brewing. Get good gear and use it as intended.
- Murphy loves the unprepared. Have a backup plan.
- In addition to being patient and loving, the wife is usually right. Especially when you want to react out of anger.
- Puree, dont slice.
- Dont Dump it Out!!