Massive brew day fail...

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rudy0498

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Sorry I've just got to rant about this. If you want to read a "don't do this thread" read on. If not, stop here.

So this is the last time I will ever "wing it". I just finished a brewing session that I didn't really prepare myself for and I am going to pay the price.

I recently got the go ahead from SWMBO to spend some money to get into all grain brewing. I bought a ton of new equipment, and have been spending all my time working on getting it set up. I made a keggle, cooler MLT/HLTs, and counterflow wort chiller, and bought a new banjo burner. I was dying to use my new gear and decided to test it out with a partial mash recipe. I figured that it would be a good way to ease into it...wrong!

My mash actually went OK. I was a few degrees off on my strike temp, but was able to adjust by adding a little water to bring up the temp, and I did a little decocation mashing along the way.

Once I got about 20-30 minutes into my boil, I had trouble keeping it. Even with the regulator wide open I couldn't get much more out of the banjo burner. I didn't have anything handy to do a warm water bath for the propane tank. But I stayed around 210 to 212 degrees, so I may be alright there.

The real disaster started when I tried to use my new counterflow chiller, which I just finished and tested it while the boil was going. I put a dip tube in my keggle with a stainless steel scrub pad as a filter. At some point during the boil, the scrub pad slipped out from under the dip tube. So when I fed my wort into the chiller, I sucked up all the pellet hop residue and promptly plugged it up, but not before it dumped a bunch of hop particles into my fermenter. I had to scramble to get my immersion chiller sanitized so I could use that to chill the beer. I also had to get my autosiphon cleaned and sanitized to used once I got down to pitching temps.

Once I got the remaining wort into my fermenter I realized I was over a gallon short and I overshot my gravity OG by 23 points. I had some water that I had boiled on the side just in case. It had been sitting on the stove with the burner off for about a half hour. I then had to get that water chilled to add it to the fermenter.

During all the chaos, I was scrambling to adjust and pretty much ignored all good sanitization practices. If this batch doesn't get infected it will be a miracle. Better luck next time I guess....
 

MikeG

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I dunno, beer has been made long before sanitizers and with water that isn't nearly as clean as what you made yours with for thousands of years, I think you'll be OK.

The experience you got from this batch is worth more than you'll get from reading so that's worth something. Best of luck! :mug:
 

android

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as many have professed, it takes time to dial in a new system... i'm sure the next day will go much smoother. and i'm sure the beer will turn out OK.
 

HotbreakHotel

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Maybe a fast yeast start will improve your odds for not getting an infection.

The great news is that it sounds like your mash/lauter went great! I think that's the hardest part!! The other stuff sounds like technique, I'm sure you'll get them all solved for next time.

But it might not be as bad as you think -- I don't know exactly what you mean by ignoring sanitation practices, but maybe you had fewer bugs in your stuff because it was new.

Congratulations on your first AG batch!!
 

Clayton

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on the propane note your problem was most likely a "safety feature" i have found that on all the newer stuff i mess with, that if the presser is aloud to drop off with the regulator on ( ie tank is shut off before burner is shut off) it get stuck on a low output mode and on full throddle it just barly goes..

i think it triggers it when the presser lowers between teh tank and regulator and just at the point of equleberum the regulator runs too fast do to the loss of back pressure
when this happons it flips a restrictor becuse it thinks it runing wide open with a broke hose or the like.

but its east to fix shut off the regulator first then the tank , then give the tank a few shake and First turn on the tank then the regulator.and tada it works i have see the same problem with BBQs
 
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rudy0498

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on the propane note your problem was most likely a "safety feature" i have found that on all the newer stuff i mess with, that if the presser is aloud to drop off with the regulator on ( ie tank is shut off before burner is shut off) it get stuck on a low output mode and on full throddle it just barly goes..
Interesting...I've never heard that before. I guess that may have been it, but it appeared to be more of a slow fade of my burners output. I really wasn't messing with it all that much after I got my boil going, I had actually turned it down. I've heard that the banjo burners have problems running at high output if the tank is less than 3/4 of the way full. I've also heard that they often need a warm water bath to keep them going.

Thanks for all the positive feedback....I may actually be able to sleep tonight now :)
 
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Yeah. I absolutely HATE these new tanks we are forced to use now. They are designed so that if the tank is not hooked up and you open the valve, no propane comes out.

Unfortunately they often trigger, at least partially, during a boil or even a BBQ! And especially when the tank gets cold.
 
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