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Old 05-28-2006, 05:57 AM   #1
Biermann
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Ok, I recently recieved a homebrew sculpture from morebeer.com, and today was the first time brewing with this system. I was going to do an Irish Red Ale, but other things happened. First, I didn't plan too much in advance. I didn't make a starter for my yeast (WL Irish Ale yeast), so I bought a second vial of yeast (WL California Ale Yeast--only thing available locally) with the thought that since this was a 10 gallon batch, and I had to ferment in two different fermenters, I would utilize both yeasts, one in one fermenter, and the other in the second fermenter.

First off, I f'd up the HERMS system, and somehow, grossly undershot my OG. I was supposed to get a 1.064, but instead hit a 1.055. (less than 60 %). I did better with my old, ****ty equipment. So I filled one carboy, and then decided to boil the other a bit longer to hit my original OG---I let it boil tooooo long, and hit a 1.070 (instead of 1.064), so I ended up with only 3 gallons in the second fermenter.

I'm very frustrated. I hoped to have a day for nothing but brewing, but instead, I had to babysit my 3.5 year old son while my SWMBO went to the store, while I was doing critical mashing steps, and afterward, my wife MADE me come inside to eat while the boil was at a criitical point. The result: a f'd up brew day with two different fermenters having two different brews at two different gravities,, two different volumes, with two different yeasts.

I guess I'll chalk this one up to experience, and to the nuances of using a new brew system, and to the fact, that no matter how hard I try, I will never get a day completely devoted to brewing.

I do like my new system, however, and I hope to improve my efficiencies in the future with this system. I guess I am making this thread out of frustration and annoyance, although I would elicit any input on HERMS, pumps, mashing process when using HERMS, etc, as these were issues that came up during my brew day from hell.

Thanks!!
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:08 AM   #2
Lounge Lizard
 
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Hey, doesn't sound like that bad of a run using brand new equipment!

Especially, considering yours is way more complicated than most.

Don't get discouraged. Just learn form the mistakes, not that they were THAT bad, and continue on.

I'll bet that these batches will turn out pretty darned good...

 
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:20 AM   #3
Beer Snob
 
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Well.... I hope your thoughts of the first time using this thing did not stray too far from what happened. Sounds like you had fun trying to learn a new way to brew, with some distractions to boot. Things will certainly improve over time.

Hey, you going to take some pictures to show us? Can't wait to see it
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Old 05-28-2006, 12:40 PM   #4
budbo
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Quote:
and then decided to boil the other a bit longer to hit my original OG---I let it boil tooooo long, and hit a 1.070 (instead of 1.064), so I ended up with only 3 gallons in the second fermenter.
You could have topped it up with water to get your target?

 
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Old 05-28-2006, 01:15 PM   #5
kdf
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Aug 2005
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Well it sounds like your new homebrew sculpture is more of a pain then anything. I think you should go back to your old set up and immediately ship your homebrew sculpture over to me, where I will "disassemble" and "dispose" of it for you. You will never have to worry about it again.

 
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:05 PM   #6
david_42
 
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I'd say you have two different brews from one brew day, a small one and a big one. It may not be what you intended, but is this a bad thing?
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:19 PM   #7
RichBrewer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
I'd say you have two different brews from one brew day, a small one and a big one. It may not be what you intended, but is this a bad thing?
Agreed. And you may have accidentally stumbled on to two great beers. It will be fun to see how they turn out.
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Old 05-28-2006, 03:33 PM   #8
Biermann
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Yeah, all great points. I loved the HERMS setup, it was pretty neat to watch. It made for a really good grain bed. The sparge process took 30 minutes tops, which in retrospect was way too fast, and maybe contributed to a lower efficiency. I thought initially, though, that the constant recirculating wort during the HERMS would have maximized the efficiency.. . .

And yes, I'm going to take pictures, and pay my dues just so I can post 'em on here (I've gotta show off my new toy!)
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Old 05-28-2006, 03:35 PM   #9
Biermann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdf
Well it sounds like your new homebrew sculpture is more of a pain then anything. I think you should go back to your old set up and immediately ship your homebrew sculpture over to me, where I will "disassemble" and "dispose" of it for you. You will never have to worry about it again.
No thanks, not necessary
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:02 PM   #10
homebrewer_99
 
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...and the big and small brews could be mixed...
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