Always something...low morale

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nine9bullets

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It seems I have hit a streak of bad luck. My last few batches have been riddled with problems, some avoidable and some not. I had my first dumper after a bad batch of kveik which really hurt and then now I woke up to find 2+ gallons of freshly kegged west coast ipa on the garage floor. It appears to have been a leaky keg post and I have spare parts but dang. My morale is really taking a hit and my motivation to brew again is pretty low. I need a serious bounce back batch that turns out spectacular. The only thing driving me at this point is my new Fermzilla All Rounder that's getting delivered this week and I was really looking forward to fermenting, crashing and transferring with a closed system.

Anyone else feel like they are always fighting something when it comes to brewing?
 

Tyler B

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Sorry to hear, man. I had my first dumper not too long ago. My last batch was a nightmare to cool because my plate chiller got clogged and I didn't have any other means of cooling. I just kegged it today and it seems to be doing alright. Overall though, I'm still feeling pretty positive and enjoying it. Brewing again tomorrow.

I'm in SE Asia where Corona quarantine/lockdown started (and ended) much earlier. I got pretty low for a period... The world does that to you sometimes.

Maybe brew an old proven recipe or something that needs to age for a few months, take a break, and come back when the aged beer is ready? In the mean time, enjoy some good commercial brews. I miss all of the amazing craft beer offerings in America. Also the Fermzilla looks awesome!
 

TheMadKing

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It seems I have hit a streak of bad luck. My last few batches have been riddled with problems, some avoidable and some not. I had my first dumper after a bad batch of kveik which really hurt and then now I woke up to find 2+ gallons of freshly kegged west coast ipa on the garage floor. It appears to have been a leaky keg post and I have spare parts but dang. My morale is really taking a hit and my motivation to brew again is pretty low. I need a serious bounce back batch that turns out spectacular. The only thing driving me at this point is my new Fermzilla All Rounder that's getting delivered this week and I was really looking forward to fermenting, crashing and transferring with a closed system.

Anyone else feel like they are always fighting something when it comes to brewing?
Just take a break from it for a few weeks until you get the itch again. Bad luck happens, but you'll keep coming back. There's no reason to try to "find a way to like brewing". If it doesn't make you happy, don't do it. That's why its a hobby and not a job!
 

rwinzing

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It seems I have hit a streak of bad luck. My last few batches have been riddled with problems, some avoidable and some not. I had my first dumper after a bad batch of kveik which really hurt and then now I woke up to find 2+ gallons of freshly kegged west coast ipa on the garage floor. It appears to have been a leaky keg post and I have spare parts but dang. My morale is really taking a hit and my motivation to brew again is pretty low. I need a serious bounce back batch that turns out spectacular. The only thing driving me at this point is my new Fermzilla All Rounder that's getting delivered this week and I was really looking forward to fermenting, crashing and transferring with a closed system.

Anyone else feel like they are always fighting something when it comes to brewing?
I have times when I am fighting it and other times when things just fall into place. Over the years of brewing I have tried to enjoy the entire process including problems and issues. I feel like I can always learn something and try to accept it as a challenge to get better. My last brew day was a total S*[email protected] show. I was frustrated at then end of the day but learned a few things and now I cannot wait to brew again. When I get a string of tough luck I try and do a simple brew to get me back on track. Hang in there!
 

Immocles

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I went through something similar last summer, but my struggles were more recipe/process than disaster striking (thats just rotten luck on the leaky post!). I started AG in about April or so of last year, and had decent luck with my first three very simple brews, although one was severely oxidized from mistakes on my end. But I was still pretty happy. Then I had a string of 3-4 real stinkers, which was about 2-3 months worth of brewing. Two terrible tasting IPA, a really thin, watery cream ale, and a bandaid tasting blonde ale. I told myself that I would use up the grains I had on hand and decide if I wanted to keep AG, or go back to extract, or just hang it up completely. I ended up making a small batch simple stout that I really enjoyed, so I brewed that twice in a row. It bolstered me enough to try a moktoberfest recipe and it was crazy good. After that I finally got around to using some mosaic hops that I had purchased earlier in the summer ( I was afraid to brew with them since I felt like I'd be wasting them). Even my wife liked that one. The ball has been rolling since then, so I agree that a bounce back brew is needed.

Sometimes just getting back to the basics helps. My secret weapon at times have been those mosaic hops. Every time I've brewed with them and given them out as samples, I get that "YOU brewed this?" look.
 

Deadalus

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Yeah I had a mishap this weekend following a bit of an ongoing conundrum that I had just fixed. I had some drift I think in my the readings on my PID where the temp readings were too high. This set me back on efficiency my last two batches. It's an Inkbird and the instructions are really lacking for the novice. I managed to get it adjusted and learned about setting the autotune though and was psyched as it was responding a lot faster. But then a got a clog in my MT on a batch of NEIPA. I don't know, I think I didn't tighten the union I was a little groggy getting strarted. I didn't have any gloves to get in there without burning my hand and I couldn't get it tilted far enough as I had a big grain bill in it to check the union. Anyway I had to scoop it out and lost time during the mash with it too cool. I also lost 20 points on the gravity so I was bummed. I'm going to call it my session NEIPA. The stout I had brewed and initially lost efficiency lost it's Extra but turned out really tasty otherwise.

I think it helps to have a fully stocked pipeline so that you have your bright spots in rotation to drown any sorrows away!
 

gnef

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I think it helps to stay balanced in things like this, to push yourself only as necessary, and be willing to take a break when needed. I think this is where having multiple hobbies can be a real help.

I have been brewing for quite a while, about 15 years now, and have had my fair share of great beers and horrible beers, joys and frustrations, etc. Sometimes it is good to push through, other times it will feel like you are hitting your head against a wall - when it gets to that point, it is unproductive to try to just keep going. There have definitely been times that I was glad that I worked through some frustration though, so you have to figure out where that line is for you. I also keep enough beer on hand that I don't have to brew for a very long time, and I can just brew when I want to now, which is quite refreshing. I do have some projects that I do have to brew for regularly, and those can feel like a chore, but at the end I am always glad to have done it (these are for my solera's that I have been working on for years).

I also dabble in a LOT of other hobbies, so if I ever get disillusioned with brewing, I have other hobbies to occupy myself with for my creative and stress-relieving outlet. I am an avid woodworker, and make things very regularly and mill my own lumber from felled trees. I am into charcuterie, and have hams curing in the warm side of the walk-in. I roast my own coffee, making fresh espresso, into air rifles, I have 5 honeybee hives, gardening, flashlight collecting, etc.

So if I ever get tired, bored, or frustrated with one hobby, I take break from it, and move on to a different one that I can delve more into. If homebrewing is your only hobby, I'd recommend finding another hobby that allows you to invest yourself into that can serve the same function of stress relieving and recreation for you.
 

myndflyte

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I had a mishap ridden brew day last month trying to make my first kettle sour. I read the wrong number on per-souring the wort and over shot it so to bring it back up a little, I had to use baking soda. Then was stressing about whether that will inhibit the yeast. Then, because I don't have a lid for my pot, I was using a pizza pan and put a large-ish rock on it to hold it down only to have it fall in the wort. After all that, it's probably the best beer I've ever brewed so I'm going to have to find that rock when I brew it again.

I had a dumper earlier this year with a Saison. It was pretty strong at 11% ABV and the alcohol was just too hot for me to finish. Not sure if it was a temp issue, even though I used the French Saison strain or what, but I cringed every time I tried to drink it, so I had to dump it. So I think everyone goes through times where things just aren't turning out.
 

mongoose33

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We've all been there.

We'd like to think that we're not going to have to make every mistake there is just to learn from them all, but sometimes it seems like we're going to have to make every one of them.

I've had a keg leak; the solution is to not have leaky kegs (doh!) but secondarily, is to check them after filling and pressurizing to ensure nothing's going wrong. I've done it where I forgot to tighten the QD down properly, and a leak resulted. Another time I had a picnic tap on a keg in a fridge in my garage; closed the refrigerator door and in doing so the valve on the picnic tap was squeezed, resulting in an interesting flow of beer on the floor under the refrigerator about 5 minutes later.

One way to deal with all this is to just read about others' mistakes and add the resolution to the library of "best practices" you employ. Some of those best practices come from personal experience, but you can add from others' experiences.

Another remedy to improve morale is to go back to a simpler recipe and process for a brew or two, and recover the joy of doing it well. The more moving parts, the greater the chance that one of them will screw you up.

Good luck--it'll get better.
 

NitrogenWidget

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I feel you on the leaky keg post thing.
These days when a keg kicks I leave it in the keggorator until I can rinse it out.
then pump sanitizer through it and leave it sealed up.
no issues with leaks or infection.

I have problems with some of my kegs when I disassemble them for cleaning.
 

NitrogenWidget

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I've done it where I forgot to tighten the QD down properly, and a leak resulted. Another time I had a picnic tap on a keg in a fridge in my garage; closed the refrigerator door and in doing so the valve on the picnic tap was squeezed, resulting in an interesting flow of beer on the floor under the refrigerator about 5 minutes later.
I know this pain.
lost over half a keg because of this.
Freshly carbonated. 😭
 

Brooothru

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We've all been there.

We'd like to think that we're not going to have to make every mistake there is just to learn from them all, but sometimes it seems like we're going to have to make every one of them.

I've had a keg leak; the solution is to not have leaky kegs (doh!) but secondarily, is to check them after filling and pressurizing to ensure nothing's going wrong. I've done it where I forgot to tighten the QD down properly, and a leak resulted. Another time I had a picnic tap on a keg in a fridge in my garage; closed the refrigerator door and in doing so the valve on the picnic tap was squeezed, resulting in an interesting flow of beer on the floor under the refrigerator about 5 minutes later.

One way to deal with all this is to just read about others' mistakes and add the resolution to the library of "best practices" you employ. Some of those best practices come from personal experience, but you can add from others' experiences.

Another remedy to improve morale is to go back to a simpler recipe and process for a brew or two, and recover the joy of doing it well. The more moving parts, the greater the chance that one of them will screw you up.

Good luck--it'll get better.
^^^Words of wisdom^^^

Take a break. After a week or two revisit a previous recipe you've brewed before. Make it a simple one to help ensure success. Think about the upcoming brew session for a while, maybe get all the ingredients, and let the anticipation build.

Then, when the time seems right, "JUST BREW IT!" It'll be a great beer. I can almost guarantee it. BTDT, more than once.

Brooo Brother
 

KookyBrewsky

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This is how a lot of things go. I can't name anything I've started that didn't begin with some sort of magical beginner's luck, which was followed by a plague of problems that eased up over time.

My most recent is Monarch butterfly rearing. It started out a little rough but soon after I was releasing healthy butterflies constantly. Then one day they all began forming diseased, I had to euthanize quite a few butterflies. After months of emotional struggle and doing my best to learn I managed to find my way back to releasing healthy Monarch butterflies with accumulated knowledge of certain issues and how to avoid them.

I remember this vague concept from somewhere, and as life goes on I'm starting to believe this is life in general :

mastery.png
 
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nine9bullets

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We've all been there.

We'd like to think that we're not going to have to make every mistake there is just to learn from them all, but sometimes it seems like we're going to have to make every one of them.

I've had a keg leak; the solution is to not have leaky kegs (doh!) but secondarily, is to check them after filling and pressurizing to ensure nothing's going wrong. I've done it where I forgot to tighten the QD down properly, and a leak resulted. Another time I had a picnic tap on a keg in a fridge in my garage; closed the refrigerator door and in doing so the valve on the picnic tap was squeezed, resulting in an interesting flow of beer on the floor under the refrigerator about 5 minutes later.

One way to deal with all this is to just read about others' mistakes and add the resolution to the library of "best practices" you employ. Some of those best practices come from personal experience, but you can add from others' experiences.

Another remedy to improve morale is to go back to a simpler recipe and process for a brew or two, and recover the joy of doing it well. The more moving parts, the greater the chance that one of them will screw you up.

Good luck--it'll get better.
The funny thing is that I had just finished a beer in that keg with zero issues. I noticed some leaking on the beverage post as I was purging Star San from the keg with CO2 and assumed I didn't have the post tightened down enough so I adjusted it then. Turns out it was oring on the post causing the ball lock disconnect and leak. I had checked twice yesterday to ensure it was ok, apparently it leaked overnight. At least there is some beer left!
 
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nine9bullets

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I appreciate all of the advice provided here. I am not one to give up normally, especially with new equipment soon to arrive! More mistakes will be made haha. Hopefully after a few weeks off I can get back into it, learn from previous mistakes and have a nice brew while I do it.
 

wepeeler

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RDWHAHB

Best. Brewing. Advice. Ever.

We've all done some super stupid things, but the good thing is we learn (or should learn) from our mistakes.

Just two of my blunders from yesterday:
1) Brewed 2 batches back to back. Waited until I finished my 1st batch to set up my brand new glycol chiller. I set it up, plugged it in, turned it on and forgot to hook the hoses up. Had a nice stream of glycol and water shoot onto my basement floor. Woohoo!
2) I overtightened an o ring and had some wort leaking onto the floor, RIGHT NEXT to the spilled glycol lol. Didn't tell until about an hour after when I went to check on my fermenter. DOH.

Crap happens. It's still fun and better than going to work!
 
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Jim R

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This hobby definitely isn't for everyone. You have to be very detail oriented if not obsessive compulsive to be a home brewer. It seems like I am continually taking notes, checking my reminder lists, constantly cleaning and continually trying to avoid mistakes. It would be interesting to know how many people eventually move on to something else.
 

AJinJacksonville

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Like everyone else on here, I've had shltty brew days, beer that turned out nothing like I expected (but was still drinkable...for only me). I watched my brother-in-law (who is an IPA fanatic) pour out one of my 'finest' brews when he thought I wasn't looking. I keep coming back. When I screw up complex recipes, I go back to an easier one that I have mastered before and would still enjoy drinking. Maybe make a SMaSH recipe...maybe a good go-to that you haven't messed up yet.

Like gnef, I try to diversify in hobbies. We have six beehives...and lost three last winter. Now beekeeping is another very demanding and frustrating hobby. The end product is generally worth all the work and effort. The difference with brewing beer is...well...no matter what happens...the wort can't sting you and leave behind pheromones that make other batches want to sting you...haha.
 

Bigdaddyale

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I brewed the same simple beer over and over again to learn my system and the process of brewing. Like a golfer swinging a club in the back yard over and over to build up muscle memory.
 

BIGRUGBY

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I started getting frustrated a while back when my batches just kept turning out "eh". The break that I took meant going and trying different craft beers to find a beer that would get me excited about cloning it. Next brew was a recipe that I bought ingredients for before my "break", turned out great and got me excited about brewing again. Pretty surprised that it turned out great as I am impatient and not detail oriented, kind of just threw stuff together and it turned out good. And now I have a list of beers that I want to try cloning!
 

Brewbuzzard

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I've been brewing for over 20 years and I've had my share of dumped beers. It didn't feel good but I just told myself there's an empty fermenter.
 

GBRbrew

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Make a smash beer I'm doing one this weekend, mo and amarillo nice and simple.
 

Velnerj

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I had my first dumper after a bad batch of kveik which really hurt...
Would you mind describing what you think went wrong with the kveik? I'm about to brew with it for the first time next weekend and it seems like everyone is saying it's a super yeast that's impossible to screw up. I'd be interested to know if there are any pitfalls to avoid. Thanks.
 

Brooothru

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I've been brewing for over 20 years and I've had my share of dumped beers. It didn't feel good but I just told myself there's an empty fermenter.
Ah, yes. The age old quandary of whether the keg is half full or half empty. All a matter of perspective. It's like the story of the child psychologist who put two young boys in a room filled with horse manure to see how they would respond to this foreign environment. The first little boy threw a tantrum and declared, "This is a bunch of horse s**t." The second little boy enthusiastically drilled down into the dung, happily declaring, "There must be a pony in here somewhere!" I try to identify with Boy #2.

BTW, I like your avatar. It brings back memories of my first Chimay Bleu. I was in Belgium on business and had endured a sleepless overnight flight from DC to Brussels, arriving 6 am local time, 2 am "body time". After a four hour "nap", our group of 6 or 7 met in the hotel bar before heading out. Someone handed me a Chimay Bleu. In my dehydrated state it went down too fast and too easily. Shortly afterwards, when it was time to leave, I couldn't understand why it was so difficult to stand upright, or why I couldn't decipher the French writing. All I remember was something about a "9" and a "%" on the label. Everything else of that evening remains a bit blurry.
 

Snuffy

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Then, because I don't have a lid for my pot, I was using a pizza pan and put a large-ish rock on it to hold it down only to have it fall in the wort. After all that, it's probably the best beer I've ever brewed so I'm going to have to find that rock when I brew it again.
Had to stick my arm into a full fermenter once to tighten a leaky spigot. Was sure I had tainted the batch. Turned out great. Now, I'm sometimes tempted to arm-stir just before pitching. If you ever wanna sell that rock...
 
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