Murphy's Law? Murphy must have been a homebrewer!

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Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2007
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Vancouver, B.C.
So I did my first AG batch today, and well let's just say there were some challenges.

I decided to do make it an 11 gallon batch. I figured that the keggle would just be wasted otherwise. The plan was to get the mash water heating by 11:00 am.

Once the flame was on the kettle, I began to switch the ball valve and braided stainless manifold from my old 3 gallon PM mash tun to my new 50 qt mash tun. Turns out that the bulkhead of the new cooler is substantially thicker than the old cooler. It would not fit.

Well off to Home Depot for a longer adapter. I grabbed a 2" 3/8 adapter and headed home. This was more than long enough to fit through the bulkhead, in fact it was too long. I couldn't tighten it enough to get it to seal. It took me another 30 minutes to rig up some spacers to resolve the issue.

All is good now, and I get the flame back on the kettle at 1:00 pm. I heated my 6.5 gallons of sparge water to my strike temp. Added the mash water to the cooler, and then added the 21 lbs of grains. Hmmm, it seems that my 50 qt cooler is actually a 36 qt cooler. I could only get 6 gallons of water in there. Not a huge problem for the mash, but definitely created an issue for the sparge.

I dealt with the volume problem by taking multiple runnings from the mash. It is now 3:00 pm, and I have my 12 gallons of wort in the keggle, and sparked up the banjo burner. A thick layer of foam began to form, and a few bubbles began to break the surface, then....

...the propane tank went empty. Well of to the gas station for a refill. It took driving to four stations before I found a certified propane filler. I get back home at 4:00 pm, and fire up the banjo again.
20 minutes later, i have a boil!

At around 5:40 pm the boil is finished. My 25' IC seems extremely undersized for the task, but with constant stirring, I got the temp down to 80f in around 25 minutes.

I had to siphon the wort into the fermentors, and this seemed to take forever. At 6:30 pm I pitched the yeast, and began cleaning up.

I took a gravity reading and was quite shocked to see that I hit my target exactly. I had actually bought 3 lbs of LME as insurance, but turns out that it was not required.

Although I didn't sit down until almost 8:00 pm, which makes for a 9 hour brew day, I am quite pleased with the results.

I am sure that the next 11 gallon AG session will be a little smoother!
Congrats! What better way to spend a Saturday? This is our hobby of choice and you just got some bonus miles out of it.
Well Murphy must have a twin brother cause he was at my house as well for my second AG!!!

Congrats and welcome to the AG club!
You did good. There will be unforseen things happen and you will deal with them like all of us do but the reward is great beer. Again, GOOD JOB. :mug:
You inspired the lable for the batch I bottled yesterday.
(Buddy is my Jack Russell)

037-Ugly Buddy.jpg
Thanks for the kind words. I am quite pleased with the results, not so much the process though.

Things should go smoother next time. :eek:
Congrats, I agree about Murphy's Law. Trust me, I know. My name IS Murphy. I had a similar issue with my cooler last night when I decided to batch sparge for the first time. It is a 48qt cooler but it appears to hold less. Didn't save any time over fly sparging as it took 3 runnings to sparge. Gonna get a bigger cooler tomorrow.

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