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BigNastyBrew

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I don't post much but we figured this was "post worthy." And a big PROST to thorongil (glad to meet you by the way :) )for his help with most of my pre-boil madness.

Ok, so I got completely hammered last night and still got up at 7 this morning to brew the Black Nipple. Hangover city. This was the first hangover I've had on craft brew.

First of all, I nailed my mash temp. B-E-A-UTIFUL! 60 minutes go by with a couple of stirs here and there, time to vorlauf...hmmm....the ball valve is open but nothing is coming out. Stick the mash paddle down to the fitting and move it around and every 3 or 4 jostles, a little bit comes out. I'm looking at those 4.5 gallons of sparge water thinking "no way in hell I'm doing THIS all day."

After 30 minutes and 1/2 gallon of wort, I had a "brilliant" idea. Unscrew the ball valve from the mash tun and just let it pour from the hole in the bulkhead. Ok, that's a big hole. There she went, all over the place. Finally got a handle on it and got the tun IN the brew kettle to let it drain. Grains galore in the pot, though. I watched as the wort poured itself into one of my GFI outlets. Of course that tripped the breaker so I lost power to half my kitchen, too.





Accepting the fact that I was going to get mad grains in the kettle, I continued my batch sparges. The grain bed actually settled down and I stopped getting grains with only 2 gallons of sparge left.

Took the tun out side and dumped the grains, rinsed it out and had another idea (but this one actually worked). I took the crushed steel braid off the fitting and put it back together on the tun and siphoned the wort back into the tun and my other pot (since I had 6 gallons of wort, I needed the other pot).

I bought a nylon bag a couple months ago and had not used it yet. Since I no longer had a way to filter the wort from inside the tun, I zip-tied the bag over the pot end of the hose (thanks thorongil) and just let her rip. I actually had less grains THIS way than WITH the steel braid. Of course I had a ton in the grain bag.

So, I need to top of with water to get boil volume and then I took my starting gravity reading. We were real anxious to see where my numbers would be due to the debacle. I was expecting an SG of 1.041. I got 1.042. HOLY CRAP!! I nailed the pre-boil gravity?!?! SWEET!!!

Start the boil. Mmmmm...smells good. Hot break was WELL under control. That was really nice. All the bad stuff was behind me thank god. Nope.

After the break fell, I set my timer for 45 minutes (so I could know when to put the chiller in the pot). Me and the other Mike were standing around shooting the **** for a little bit and he had to leave. Good times. So, I'm walking around, preparing a star-san solution for the new carboy and look up at the timer. It hadn't moved a bit. ****! What time did the boil start? No clue.

So, I "guessed" I had 15 minutes left of the 45 and timed it from there.

Ok, time to put the bung and airlock into the star-san solution to sanitize. Uh-oh.... the carboy opening is FAR smaller than the Better Bottle opening. CRAP!!!!! Ok, so we'll use aluminum foil til I go get a bung.

5 minutes left, added the lactose, everything's good. Got the wort chilled down in about 20 minutes, siphon it out, aerate pitch, and put it in the freezer. Damn! I had a 6 gallon better bottle in there already and guess what? They both don't fit.

SO, I had to clean and sanitize my smaller better bottle so I could rack..there's another 45 minutes. Plus, I had to move everything inside and close the garage door so I didn't skunk the blonde. They both BARELY fit in there together.

after a 7.5 hour brew session and a one hour round trip to the LHBS to get a $1 bung, she's in the fermenter, in the freezer, and set to 68°.

Good news is that the whole process was sanitary so I think this one's gonna be good. Thorongil said "this will probably be the best beer you've ever made and will never be able to duplicate it." I hope he's right. :)

OG was 1.063. I was expecting 1.060. 3 points over on style but I brewed, with that disaster, at 73.4% efficiency.

Cheers
 

beerthirty

big beers turn my gears
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Congrats, no really. It seems you learned a lot, succeeded in your brew and still had a better weekend than me. I fought DMV Friday for 5 hours, had Paypal inform me of shenanigans with my debit card Saturday and spent almost three hours at the bank(which still won't be cleared up until Wednesday, and tried to do yard work today with equipment that wouldn't start. Wish I had decided to brew instead.
 
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BigNastyBrew

BigNastyBrew

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Wow, that sucks man. Especially about the debit card.

Thanks for the congrats. :) I DID learn a whole bunch. First thing...I don't like steel braids anymore.
 
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BigNastyBrew

BigNastyBrew

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There was no support in the braid. I may need to look into that for my next one.

Thanks for the t shirt tip.
 

thorongil

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There are many worse ways to spend a Sunday...

I hope with the extended brew day you got a chance to get the mess cleaned up before SWMBO got home... the dogs seemed to enjoy it though.

Looking forward to sampling the "ML Stout" when it's done...:tank:
 
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BigNastyBrew

BigNastyBrew

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Yeah, I cleaned it up pretty good. Course the wife saw some shiny wort in the crack between 2 of the tiles. Oops.

Dogs LOVED it. I hardly had anything left to clean up. :)

You will be the first to try it for sure!
 

anderj

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The card was caught before fraud could happen just a inconvenience changing everything around.
Was your braid supported on the inside with a drilled pipe? A tip to help avoid skunking is an old dark colored t-shirt dropped over the carboy.
yea, stainless steel braid doesn't work very well without some internal support, a notched piece of copper would work well or a notched piece of nylon tube.
-Ander
 
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BigNastyBrew

BigNastyBrew

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This is why I love this forum. I would have never thought of it. Thanks again

after 6 hours, she's got a couple inches of krausen. Hell, the Star-San hasn't even fallen all the way yet. Almost no lag with this WLP005.



 

GunnerMan

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I had a bad brew day the other day, was setting up to brew when (for the second time in a week) I droped and broke my hydro. So I headed to town to get a new hydro, it had snowed and the roads were still icy in spots but I was doin about 65 down there. Got my hydro and headed home. Was doing about 60 on the way home when I changed lanes to avoid a patch of snow and hit a patch of ice.

Yeah I thought I was done, I held on for dear life as snow engulfed my car, I came to rest against two trees, so I gave my car some nice new dents and scratches, broken plastic, a punctured oil pan, and a wicked shake above 45 mph. Took me 30 minutes but I got unstuck, drove home, called the insurance company to make a claim and proceded to brew my beer.
 

talenos

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When I saw the bit about the hangover and the pictures I almost gagged. Then I realized it was just grain.
 

kornbread

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yea, stainless steel braid doesn't work very well without some internal support, a notched piece of copper would work well or a notched piece of nylon tube.
-Ander
That's the first time I've heard that. I've made 10 or 12 batches with mine and I've never had a problem. I just clamped it directly onto the nipple.

I've never had a stuck sparge (I'm knocking on wood as I type.;)) and my efficiency is usually in the high 80's to low 90s range.

And at least half of the batches I've made I even forgot to throw in rice hulls.

I usually mash at a rate 1.25 Qts per LB. That may help.
 
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BigNastyBrew

BigNastyBrew

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I've been ashing at 1.3 qts/lb. I need to look into rice hulls AND support tubing in the braid.
 

wilserbrewer

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I've been ashing at 1.3 qts/lb. I need to look into rice hulls AND support tubing in the braid.
sound as if you may have a synthetic polymer braid and not actually stainless. If you read the packaging carefully it will say something like "reinforced polymer". These actually look very similiar to stainless. The actual stainless will have very fine wires making up the braid. The polymer look alike will be much coarser in appearance.

If you have the proper stainless braid, I believe you will find as most have, nothing is required inside, and may actually hamper rather than help the situation. IMO putting a tube inside the braid is a bad idea. If you are insistent on putting something inside the braid, a coiled wire is probably better than a tube of sorts.

Check your braid carefully, the individual wires should be fine and sharp, so fine and sharp they will puncture your fingers during assembly.
 
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There was no support in the braid. I may need to look into that for my next one.

Thanks for the t shirt tip.
yea, stainless steel braid doesn't work very well without some internal support, a notched piece of copper would work well or a notched piece of nylon tube.
-Ander
Instead of vinyl or copper inside the braid, you could use some PEX with holes in it. It's rated much higher temp wise than PVC and cheaper than copper.

I use a manifold and love it.
I've been ashing at 1.3 qts/lb. I need to look into rice hulls AND support tubing in the braid.
The only time I got a stuck sparge was when I had hose inside my braid. Pulled it out from the recommendation of many on this site and have not had any more problems with just the braid. Only used Rice hulls on a wheat I did.
 

Cape Brewing

DOH!!! Stupid brewing...
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I fought DMV Friday for 5 hours, had Paypal inform me of shenanigans with my debit card Saturday and spent almost three hours at the bank.
sorry to be slightly off topic but I think "shenanigans" is grossly underutilized as a word these days.

I'm going to go with it a lot more.

that is all.
 
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BigNastyBrew

BigNastyBrew

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sound as if you may have a synthetic polymer braid and not actually stainless. If you read the packaging carefully it will say something like "reinforced polymer". These actually look very similiar to stainless. The actual stainless will have very fine wires making up the braid. The polymer look alike will be much coarser in appearance.

If you have the proper stainless braid, I believe you will find as most have, nothing is required inside, and may actually hamper rather than help the situation. IMO putting a tube inside the braid is a bad idea. If you are insistent on putting something inside the braid, a coiled wire is probably better than a tube of sorts.

Check your braid carefully, the individual wires should be fine and sharp, so fine and sharp they will puncture your fingers during assembly.
The first one punctured my fingers often. That one cruched from my mash paddle. That was my fault.

You're right. This one was a heck of a lot softer too.
 
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BigNastyBrew

BigNastyBrew

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sorry to be slightly off topic but I think "shenanigans" is grossly underutilized as a word these days.

I'm going to go with it a lot more.

that is all.
+1

I make it a point to use shenanigans, debauchery, and Tom Foolery frequently. Tom Foolery is my favorite.
 

scopey

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hmmm, in the presence of words such as 'shenanigans', 'debauchery', and 'Tom Foolery'...I think you must be talking about scofflaws and neerdowells.

WRT the OP, it is kind of amazing at how the best laid plans can unravel at the most inopportune times. Thankfully I'm pretty good at thinking clearly during those stressful moments. Now, where on earth did I put my beer?!?


+1

I make it a point to use shenanigans, debauchery, and Tom Foolery frequently. Tom Foolery is my favorite.
 
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BigNastyBrew

BigNastyBrew

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hmmm, in the presence of words such as 'shenanigans', 'debauchery', and 'Tom Foolery'...I think you must be talking about scofflaws and neerdowells.

WRT the OP, it is kind of amazing at how the best laid plans can unravel at the most inopportune times. Thankfully I'm pretty good at thinking clearly during those stressful moments. Now, where on earth did I put my beer?!?
Just had to look those words up. Not sure what kind of music that is but if they use those words, they're alright by me.

Well, being completely hungover didn't help the constant problem solving I had to do.

Good news is that she's fermenting like crazy. The blowoff water is bubbling like 8 beats per second.
 
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