My worst brew day yet, what's yours?

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Jtk78

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After 25 batches, this past weekend I had my worst brew day so far. I wasn't really in the right frame of mind to begin with. I needed to get my propane refilled, but got a work phone call in the process of leaving and forgot to put my tanks in trunk. Didn't realize it until I was at the place I swap them out at. "Dumba$$!" Finally got my propane.

I always do two batches when I brew, staggering them 20-45 minutes depending on recipes involved. Right after my first dough in, I dropped and broke my homemade mash paddle. "Oh well, use the boil spoon".

My cheap crappy PH meter would not calibrate and was reading all over the place. "Eh, should be close enough".

I tried a new method to save time. After the mash was done, I added my sparge water right on top of the mash and did one large runoff. Overshot pre-boil volume and was about 12 points low on both batches. "Well, that didn't work like I'd hoped" Added 1lb of DME last 5 minutes of boil to compensate. Numbers still off.

I move the wort from near the garage door to my slop sink when it's time to chill. I always use a foldable cart I have to move it. This time the when I moved the first batch, it wasn't on the cart correctly, and ended up slipping to about a 45 degree angle before hitting the cart. At least a gallon went on the garage floor. "Mother #@&%=!, son of a *×/%$, are you $;/[[!÷} me!" It was pretty late at this point (11pm-ish) so I said a few choice words quietly and moved on.

During clean up I realized I forgot to add whirlflock to the boil. "Whatever, I cold crash and fine with gelatin."

In the end, beer was made. These batches may just be that, beer I have made. Although I wouldn't be surprised if one or both of them is spectacular either.

I know this is nothing compared to some experiences from members on here. What are some stories from your worst brew session yet?
 

kh54s10

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I'm not even close. My worst were running out of propane. Exchange place less that 5 minutes away. And the occasional boil over. Worst miss on gravity was about 10 points on a big beer. Didn't compensate for lower efficiency.
 

Lefou

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Had bugs in my grain. Instead of freezing the grain in sealed bags, I microwaved to kill the bugs.
Big mistake. Mistake Number Two was not adjusting my water properly for an amber.
After grinding the grains and mashing, the conversion went badly and my wort was 15-20pts off the calculated. I added extra honey to make up a few points and fermented anyway. The beer ended up thin and had very little hop utilization and flavor, probably because the gravity was so low.
Major problems and quite a few lessons learned from that.
 
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whiskeyjack

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Had a tree branch fall into my wort during boil. It had to of been all of two foot long. Nothing but net, the man above was like "swish, f*** that beer." Pulled leaves, fat branch and scraped out as much bark as i could. Tons of bark, easily over a hand full. I figured oh well its still mid boil, it will kill anything in it. Nope. 2-3 weeks later I go to keg it, toss it in a keg real quik to avoid oxydation. Grab a small cup to get me a taste of whats left in the bucket and get a taste of rotten feet, trench warfare, jungle foot nasty. Thats when it hits me that this beer has zero hop smell and I remember this is the beer the branch fell into. So i dumped it. Was mad at myself for not realizing how bad it was before i kegged it, now I have to worry about the fermenter and my keg. After i dumped it swmbo comes home and asks if someone puked.
 

trevelynzx

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Had a tree branch fall into my wort during boil. It had to of been all of two foot long. Nothing but net, the man above was like "swish, f*** that beer." Pulled leaves, fat branch and scraped out as much bark as i could. Tons of bark, easily over a hand full. I figured oh well its still mid boil, it will kill anything in it. Nope. 2-3 weeks later I go to keg it, toss it in a keg real quik to avoid oxydation. Grab a small cup to get me a taste of whats left in the bucket and get a taste of rotten feet, trench warfare, jungle foot nasty. Thats when it hits me that this beer has zero hop smell and I remember this is the beer the branch fell into. So i dumped it. Was mad at myself for not realizing how bad it was before i kegged it, now I have to worry about the fermenter and my keg. After i dumped it swmbo comes home and asks if someone puked.
while i am sorry to hear about your troubles, this post made me lol several times. well done.
 

Gadjobrinus

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A triple decoction Helles bock outside at 3 a.m., about -10F, on the farm we rented. For the life of me, would not clear during vorlauf. I finally discovered that my false bottom (keggle) had come off entirely and had to remove the mash, fish out the bottom, clean up and try to recover. Started bad, ended good - the beer was excellent ultimately. My wife, who knows I'm insane and get these ideas at any time, called it Hellenback Bock.
 

Sean McColgan

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Just joined tonight getting ready to brew this weekend.
My worst brew day happened after not brewing for about 2 years after buying a house .so I decided to just jump back in. I had a few people over and started drinking too early. I was making a batch of kolsch that I brewed many times before . Managed to get the mash going fine, when i was collecting wort I got half way through and couldn't get any more out, decided to add more sparge water ended up way below where I needed to be and decided to put the grains in bags and squeeze the sugars out! Yeah stupid for many reasons but i had to many beers at this point and was getting impatient. Started the boil forgot the hops until the last 15 min of the boil when I remembered to get some Irish moss ready for the last 5min , decided to boil for 90 min instead of 60min to make up for forgetting the hop main hop addition , well I cooled it down and put in fermenter a little on the warm side ,it did ferment and I kegged it it for a party, turned out awful terrible taste low carbonation the works , took the tap handle off and dumped it after the party , o well now I read and fresh up on things before I start brewing after not brewing for a few months! And wait to have a few until the boil starts! Haha
 

PianoMan

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Great reads! Sorry for the LOLs but in our cases no one dies or anything. My worst brew days were related to forgeting to put false bottom in and stuck mashes. The real dreadful days come with fermentaion or bottle bombs.
 

SEndorf

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Had a tree branch fall into my wort during boil. It had to of been all of two foot long. Nothing but net, the man above was like "swish, f*** that beer." Pulled leaves, fat branch and scraped out as much bark as i could. Tons of bark, easily over a hand full. I figured oh well its still mid boil, it will kill anything in it. Nope. 2-3 weeks later I go to keg it, toss it in a keg real quik to avoid oxydation. Grab a small cup to get me a taste of whats left in the bucket and get a taste of rotten feet, trench warfare, jungle foot nasty. Thats when it hits me that this beer has zero hop smell and I remember this is the beer the branch fell into. So i dumped it. Was mad at myself for not realizing how bad it was before i kegged it, now I have to worry about the fermenter and my keg. After i dumped it swmbo comes home and asks if someone puked.
This has to win a HBT award...
One of the best descriptions of crap beer I've ever heard. Jungle foot nasty? LOL
I can commiserate with operator error - we've all done it at some time or another.
But I'm laughing because you didn't do anything wrong. It's just one of those weird circumstances.
Brew on my friend...
 

BrewMan13

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My worst by far:
I have a recipe for an imperial oatmeal stout with a multitude of herbs and botanicals, as well as honey, molasses, etc (so it isn't cheap to put together). The full recipe sounds like a mess, but it works surprisingly well. Anyway, one time I was brewing this up, everything went fine and I was getting ready to chill the wort. At the time, I would hoist my brew kettle onto a glass table at this point to get gravity on my side. You can see where this is going: hot, heavy kettle + glass = not good. So the table shattered, I lost the entire batch, and as I have a small dog, I had to make sure I got every last shard of glass. This took like 2-3 hrs IIRC. While doing this, the sweet wort attracted honey bees, so the clean up was done with bees buzzing everywhere around me.
A distant second was the time I didn't attach my hose to the kettle securely, and it came loose during the chill. I got splashed with the hot wort and the skin peeled from 2 of my fingers even though I was wearing gloves. Beer came out like crap too...
 

kcoect

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My "worst" day came actually recently and long after the initial brew, I had recently racked my Octoberfest in my basement to a secondary for longer term storage, put the air-lock in, and moved it temporarily to where I wanted in the basement... I then went down stairs a couple of days later to check on it and it's temp and found the following:

upload_2018-5-2_16-0-47.png


Yes, that's almost all five gallons spread around on the wooden platform... That was a dark day for me...
 

kh54s10

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That is why I don't trust those cheap plastic spigots in a fermenter. That as the crap that could grow in it during fermentation.
 

supermallard

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It's definitely time to share my worst brew day on HBT.

The brew day, which would later be known as Stoutpocalypse 2016, began well enough. I was brewing a stout with a friend on my somewhat new 10gal single vessel eBIAB rig. I had brewed four or five batches already, so was still working out bugs.

The setup is a boil kettle with a "turkey basket", and then a mesh bag within that. The first screw up was when the grain bed managed to halt the recirculating wort, which went unnoticed for a few minutes - until smoke rose out of the kettle! All of the wort was blocked within the bag by grain, within the basket, and the 110v boilcoil was dry firing (or nearly). kinda scary. Some shouting and frantic powering off happened, but fortunately i was able to get circulation going again and the mesh bag had survived.

Brew continued. No other hiccups until it was time to remove the grain. Being a 10gal setup, i have a rope and pulley to hoist the basket with grain bag, and the hoist locks once it's up so some wort can drain. I'd performed this before several times with no issue. Same this time, until i needed to detach the basket, containing the bag with the entire grain bill, and lower it down to a plastic container off of the brew bench.

i dropped the blasted thing. back into the boil kettle.

A stout wort geyser erupted from the kettle, coating the walls, brew bench, controller, laptop...

one plus was the wort entered my newly wired GFCI (which i did test) and it worked and killed power to "all the things".

my macbook pro ('09 vintage) did not survive. to this day i still have it and plan to replace the mainboard, just because.

for whatever reason, i decided to continue the brew day. all things considered, my volume of course was off by about three or four GALLONS...but the stout actually was not bad.

this was the last BIAB batch i ever did. As luck would have it, my local store had a deal on mash tuns within the next week. this pushed me to take the plunge and now i've got a three vessel RIMS system. i sincerely hope you get some LOLs from this.
 
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jcom87

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Worst thing that's happened to me on brew day was moving my electric kettle from the table that also had my Erlenmeyer flask of yeast on it. The cord hit the yeast and knocked it off the table. Luckily those things are very sturdy, and I had foil on the top, so I didn't lose much yeast. Just enough to throw off my numbers. Also, while making this particular starter I used my "holy hell" burner so I could get a quick boil and the flames apparently heated up the handle of the pan. I grabbed it, burned the crap out of my hand, and spilled the wort all over my stove. All in all, your day definitely takes the cake. Hopefully it still makes a good beer at least.

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mongoose33

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That is why I don't trust those cheap plastic spigots in a fermenter. That as the crap that could grow in it during fermentation.
You only need one leak to change your process. :) I once had a spigot leak but caught it fast. Pretty exciting as I tightened that from the outside hoping that it would seal the leak.

I have spigots on all my plastic fermenters. They're removed each time the fermenter is cleaned, I run a small brush through them, work the valve, soak in PBW. Then toss in the fermenter loose until the next time I brew with it.

Then I dunk the spigot in sanitizer, work the valve to ensure all surfaces are exposed to sanitizer, then install on the fermenter. Then here's the big change I made: I fill that fermenter with a gallon or two of sanitizer, tilt it so there's a lot against the spigot and any drips will be apparent, then let it sit. I make sure it's dry on the outside to start, then see if there's any kind of a leak.

Once in a while I'll get a few drips, typically a little more tightening is all that's needed. But the last dozen or so times, no leaks. And no leaking in the ferm chamber.
 

mongoose33

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I've had my share of goofs, but the worst has always seemed to happen when I have a visitor watching brew day.

It's too easy to get distracted. I might forget to add water additions or, more typically, I add all the salts and forget to add the lactic acid. I'm just finished doughing-in, and suddenly: Damn! Forgot the acid!

Typically visitors interfere with timing of additions and such. They cost focus.

BTW, I learned early on that if I wanted to lose a little focus, just drink beer while brewing. Seems to accentuate the easy pace of a relaxed brew day, so relaxing that I forget to do what I need to do. :)

Now, I might have that first beer as soon as I've chilled the wort. And I have worked on the visitor problem--a good timer w/ alarms to tell me to do certain additions is helpful.
 

beernutz

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I'm surprised Mell hasn't chimed in on this thread as his story is by far the worst.

It wasn't my finest hour but I had several members of my brewclub come to my house last year to brew. We had food out all day as well as several kegs running and at lunch several other members who didn't brew came over for a tasting including our fearless leader who brought three different dopplebocks to compare.

Long story short I made it through my brewday and somehow got wort into a fermentation freezer but while the other guys were still brewing at my house I lay down in bed and took a couple hour "nap". I was pretty embarrassed about it later and deservedly took some ribbing at our next meeting.

It didn't happen on a brew day because brew day got postponed but I had a nearly full 5L Erlinmeyer flask get shaken off the top of the dryer where I'd left it on to the laundry room floor. The crash sound was pretty spectacular.
 
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Dade0

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After making a Wee Heavy for a barrel collaboration. The wort was over 1.1 OG. So about 22lb of grain. I had my kettle about 5ft in the air. The ground got water logged and the whole thing fell over. My kettle is no longer round but nothing broke. And it did not land on my head. I brewed it again the next day. There have been others. Like when I lifted a carboy full of finished Cream Ale and it slipped from its Brew Hauler, dropped about 4 inches and broke.

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mattozan

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My worst brew day ever was a stovetop BIAB I did in our new house after moving. I was having to find equipment in boxes, get used to the new oven burners, etc, so it was kind of hectic. I was doing a BIAB batch to save time, but everything was unfamiliar and felt like it was taking twice as long.

I mashed-in with my Mega Pot, wrapped it up for an hour, then opened it back up to pull the bag out. Sinking realization: there was no bag. Totally just skipped that bit! Pretty furious, I unpacked my Igloo mashtun, gently poured everything into it, then lautered the wort back into the damn Mega Pot. Really not saving any time at this point, and miffed about it.

I pulled a hydro sample, and was at least happy to see I was not too far under expected O.G.! Small miracles. I did the boil, put my chiller coil in toward the end to sterilize, and got ready for flameout. As the timer hit zero I killed the burner, and chucked in my Whirlfloc tab.

It started foaming, but more than usual. Then something smelled like chlorine. I leaned over to get a better look, and caught a HUGE waft of fumes. I looked at the ziplock baggie of what I thought was Whirlfloc tabs I'd packed out of the old house, and realized they were instead dishwasher tabs that look pretty much identical. I'd just thrown soap into my beer, right at the finish line.

I was more shocked than mad (at first.) I thought I'd snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after the baglessBIAB fiasco, even after struggling upstream all day with an unfamiliar space and equipment strewn all over. To then have it destroyed, to have accidentally *destroyed it myself*, after all of that, was really, really disheartening.

This was also a New Zealand Pale Ale with Wakatu hops I'd hand-carried all the way back from our vacation there. Ruined.

I recovered, bought some more Wakatu hops online, and did it all over again a few weeks later. Had to redeem it, and I did. The beer turned out great. [emoji481]
 

JimEb

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Can't say I've had a 'bad brew day', but had some incidents that caused some panic.

A lot had to do with my homemade PLC controlled brew stand. I try to do plenty of 'dry' runs before to debug the program before brewing but sometimes a bug sneaks up on you.

My HLT is covered so I can't visually see the water level unless I lift the cover and peek. Once I unknowingly ran the HLT dry while the heat element was on. First indicator of trouble was the snapping, popping noises and then an unhealthy odor. I had to frantically grab a pitcher and start throwing in water from the nearby sink to get some water in to submerse the element. Lots of smoke and sizzling. That element surprisingly wasn't toasted and I've since modified my program to monitor water level to never get below the heat element. I've also overfilled the HLT. I forgot I had the water turned on. It took me a moment to realize why my floor and feet were wet. Ended up soaking down one of my Chugger pumps during that incident. But it survived the day. I since put a solenoid water valve on the supply and a float switch in the HLT. Now the PLC can turn water on/off and prevent it from overflowing.

Once during my cool down cycle my thermocouple got covered in the 'slime' and gave me a bad temp reading. Only midway through transfer the wort to an existing yeast cake did I question why the wort was still steaming. Grabbed a different thermometer and yup, wort was still at 150F. I just cooked the yeast.

Last week I got my first stuck sparge. That was frantic as my stand automatically sparges. If I can't drain the MLT it will overflow. After employing numerous failed techniques I gave the spout a blast of compressed air from my shop air. That unclogged it and got me in business, but shop air isn't exactly clean. We'll see how that one turns out.
 

shoengine

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I posted a version of this the day after, but here is a lightly edited version.

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My nearly disastrous brew day started out just fine. I started around 6 PM, which gave me enough time to finish up around 10 it being an extract brew. I pulled the ingredients, found a steeping grain bag after about ten minutes of searching, then fired up my new-to-me propane stove for the second time ever, and sat the kettle on it to get it to steeping temp. That was the last time anything went right for a while.

First thing to go sideways was my hops. Or, it was at least the first thing to have velocity imparted to it (yes, there's more). I have a small folding table that I used to put all the ingredients on, as I brew outside on the patio. We have a small kitchen scale that I used for weighing out hops and various small amounts of fermentables. I carefully measured the correct weight of hops into the scale's basket, then went inside to grab the malt extract. When I got back outside, I tossed the first 3lb bag of dry malt extract onto the table.

The laws of physics be a harsh mistress.

The 3lb bag made the table legs compress with a bit over three pounds of force, then they rebounded with around three pounds of force and launched my not-even-close-to-three-pounds of hops and kitchen scale onto the grass. With no chance to get more hops at this point in the evening, I salvaged them as much I could and continued onto the steeping.

The kettle got up to temperature, I dumped the regulator to low heat, put the grain bag in, tied it to the handle and watched the steeping in action. I think it is fun to observe the process of brewing, and to see how each step develops. However, seven minutes into the twenty minute steep the flame went out unexpectedly. Did I mention I had only tested this burner, and this is the first brew day? I decided to wait and see how long the pot would hold the heat. I hit 155F before flameout and turns out that 6 gallons of water in 55F ambient air and 73% humidity will cool to 149F in about five to seven minutes. I took the pot off (not the last time) to relight the flame (also, not the last time) and got it back to 153 or so for the remainder of the steep.

After steeping I took the grain bag out, put the burner on high and waited about 15 minutes until boil. After achieving boil the pot was removed and the DME was stirred in. Pot was put back on the burner, returned to boil and the first half of the (remaining) Warrior hops were put in. The flame went out, again, about seven minutes in. Took the pot off, relit the flame and put the pot back on. Flameout. Took the pot back off, relit the flame, and maneuvered the little temp probe that operates the emergency shutoff valve so it was in the flame. I got another ten minutes of boil out of that. Flameout. This repeated nearly a dozen times and I was only able to net about twenty-five minutes of boil, over the course of an hour. Each flameout cost me about four to five minutes just because of the massive drop in stored energy of the water.

I sat dejectedly on my porch steps and contemplated throwing out the batch and cleaning up. I was PO'd at the burner and at myself for not buying a reputable burner, that was going to cost me almost $50 in ingredients. But after sitting a minute I decided to do the only thing I could do to finish the job: hold open the safety valve manually. I relit the flame and proceeded to hold the valve open for thirty-five minutes. Knowing what I know now, I could have just dealt with lower hop utilization and a lower OG, but I probably still would have finished it.

I was over an hour past my time, so I'm looking at finishing at 11, not 10, and I hadn't done any prep to the equipment or the fermenter which is what I usually do during the boil. I put the kettle in the cooling bath, dumped three bags of ice in the water then ran inside to prep the carboy and the transfer equipment.

One of the three things I did do right was I had brought the yeast out of the fridge at 6, and it was ready to go at this point. I cleaned up the carboy, got my test cylinder and hydrometer out, finished cooling the wort, transferred the sample into the cylinder, and the rest to the carboy. The second thing I did right was to put in six gallons for my five gallon batch. Even at 73% humidity I lost a little over a gallon. I finally got to pitch, sanitized a stopper and stopped up the carboy and then brought everything inside. I began cleaning my equipment and managed to backhand the test cylinder I had cooling on my kitchen counter. All the sample wort ended up on the floor and the cylinder made a perfect landing onto my kettle's sight glass. I took a chunk out of the test cylinder, but managed not to damage the sight glass.

The third thing I did right was to not have the hydrometer in the test cylinder.

Due to losing my sample I had to pull the stopper off of the carboy and siphon another sample, reinstalled the stopper and pushed it straight through INTO THE CARBOY! I sanitized a second stopper (it blew off onto the floor about ten minutes later), resanitized it, secured it with zip ties, cleaned up, then proceeded to fall asleep just after midnight on the couch watching my wife play Fallout 4.

Batch number six, in the books. I ended up with some good beer.
 

lootcorp

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Hah, some great stories here!

One of my worst brewdays wasn't your typical kind of bad. I had a friend who was also a homebrewer, but we had very different styles. When I brew, I am a very scientific, measure things to the gram, plan everything out kind of guy. I treat brewing like I treat baking, with a high level of precision. He'd always laugh at me, he has a much more by-the-seat-of-the-pants no measuring style (that's how he cooks and how he brews too).

Fast forward to the morning after a 4th of July party where we had decimated my homebrew supply. I threw a small afterparty/BBQ to get rid of some leftover food and drink and my friend came back to hang out. My wife was generously serving endless champagne and Bloody Mary's to everyone so we were past the point of making good decisions. My friend and I start debating brewing techniques and I'm trying to convince him you can't just "wing it" with brewing unless you really know what you're doing.

We decide to brew up a batch right there to test his theory. We go pawing through my ingredient inventory and grab a bunch of grain, hops, and a yeast cake from a batch I had just finished. I was trying to write down everything but had no weights/measurements to go off of. Eventually I just gave up keeping track and tossed the scant notes I did have. The only think I know for sure is that we had a very healthy amount of black malt in there.

We had a VERY sloppy brewday that somehow resulted in a batch of beer. This stuff was as dark as the devil's soul and had a hop aroma that just smacked you in the face. It tasted absolutely awful going into the fermentor -- like someone burned some hops and then made juice out of them, then burned the juice. I fermented it out and kegged it up. Went to take a sample, the carbonation helped very slightly, but it was still undrinkable. When it first hit your tongue you thought, "Wait, this might work" and then BAM, it was just overwhelming.

Well, I stuck that keg in my keezer and left it to mellow. Every few months I would try it out and it was getting better, but still wasn't really drinkable. I would say it was around a year and a half where it had mellowed to the point I didn't feel personally violated drinking it, and two years until I thought, "Holy #$*&, this might actually be good one day..."

A few months later, I threw another party with homebrew being served... I put that keg out with the others. I didn't think anyone would enjoy it by itself, but maybe they'd like adding a splash into one of the other beers, sort of like a hop booster. I put a warning on the keg so no one would mistake it for something they'd enjoy drinking.

I'll be damned if that keg wasn't kicked by the end of the day. Everyone kind of agreed -- that beer was a harsh slap in your face, but there was just something about it that kept pulling you back in...

The worst part? There's no recipe for the most polarizing and intriguing beer I ever brewed.
 

catdaddy66

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Hah, some great stories here!

One of my worst brewdays wasn't your typical kind of bad. I had a friend who was also a homebrewer, but we had very different styles. When I brew, I am a very scientific, measure things to the gram, plan everything out kind of guy. I treat brewing like I treat baking, with a high level of precision. He'd always laugh at me, he has a much more by-the-seat-of-the-pants no measuring style (that's how he cooks and how he brews too).

Fast forward to the morning after a 4th of July party where we had decimated my homebrew supply. I threw a small afterparty/BBQ to get rid of some leftover food and drink and my friend came back to hang out. My wife was generously serving endless champagne and Bloody Mary's to everyone so we were past the point of making good decisions. My friend and I start debating brewing techniques and I'm trying to convince him you can't just "wing it" with brewing unless you really know what you're doing.

We decide to brew up a batch right there to test his theory. We go pawing through my ingredient inventory and grab a bunch of grain, hops, and a yeast cake from a batch I had just finished. I was trying to write down everything but had no weights/measurements to go off of. Eventually I just gave up keeping track and tossed the scant notes I did have. The only think I know for sure is that we had a very healthy amount of black malt in there.

We had a VERY sloppy brewday that somehow resulted in a batch of beer. This stuff was as dark as the devil's soul and had a hop aroma that just smacked you in the face. It tasted absolutely awful going into the fermentor -- like someone burned some hops and then made juice out of them, then burned the juice. I fermented it out and kegged it up. Went to take a sample, the carbonation helped very slightly, but it was still undrinkable. When it first hit your tongue you thought, "Wait, this might work" and then BAM, it was just overwhelming.

Well, I stuck that keg in my keezer and left it to mellow. Every few months I would try it out and it was getting better, but still wasn't really drinkable. I would say it was around a year and a half where it had mellowed to the point I didn't feel personally violated drinking it, and two years until I thought, "Holy #$*&, this might actually be good one day..."

A few months later, I threw another party with homebrew being served... I put that keg out with the others. I didn't think anyone would enjoy it by itself, but maybe they'd like adding a splash into one of the other beers, sort of like a hop booster. I put a warning on the keg so no one would mistake it for something they'd enjoy drinking.

I'll be damned if that keg wasn't kicked by the end of the day. Everyone kind of agreed -- that beer was a harsh slap in your face, but there was just something about it that kept pulling you back in...

The worst part? There's no recipe for the most polarizing and intriguing beer I ever brewed.


Yeah, but it took you two years to finish it...
 

anotherbeerplease

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Worst beer was I think my 3rd batch, I had stared brewing by diving full in to all grain and it worked great for the first two batches. By the 3rd batch I was getting cocky and figured I like Lucky Charms, and I like beer, so why not make a Lucky Charms saison!!! It tasted about as terrible as you might imagine, and looked even worse with horrid shades of green that I've never seen before nor care to see again.

Worst brew day was when I first moved into a new place last year, everything was just off. Missed all the numbers, ran out of gas, every volume was off, one thing after another. The boil kettle even stuck and I couldn't get the remaining 2 gallons out and into the fermenter. I mean I've heard of a stuck mash but... a stuck boil kettle!?? By then everything was cooled and should have been sterile but it was either reach my whole arm into the thing to unscrew a stuck filter screen, or sacrifice 2 gallons. So in my arm went!! And the beer was delicious!

Now I try to brew 1-2 times a month if I can, I really enjoy the process. And doing it so often means I have more of a routine down and can more or less avoid the mistakes which have plagued me in the past. Cheers!
 
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Jtk78

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Great stories so far. Thanks to all that have been brave enough to re-live the horror stories.
 

Sparkncode

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My worst was setting up on a saturday for a sunday brew. Put my eherms control panel and pots on the covered deck and ran a cleaning cycle through the hoses etc than filled the hlt and was getting ready for bed.
Bent over to pick something up and heard a loud pop! Followed quickly by pain in my right foot.
I was barefoot and had put the edge of my foot on the thick power cord to my control panel as i bent down i transfered all my weight onto that foot partly because due to my damaged left knee i was protecting my left knee subcontiosly so the poor right foot got it.

Barely hobbled to bathroom for a soak in the spa bath then bed. I had good pain killers for my knee so dosed up and got a good sleep.

In the morning it was swollen more so off to the emergency room. I broke my 5th metatarsil bone in my foot in the middle. I'm still really supprised how easy it was to break and how loud it was.

Anyway after i xrays and got given a moon boot and crutches and i returned home.
Dosed up on tramadol i was determined to do the brew day.

Every step hurt through the pain killers but I got the brew done. Lets say getting the full 23L fermenter inside involved some choice language.

The beer cane out all right but i had to get a taxi to work for quite a few weeks.

A couple of home brews after the gear was packed up then i had to send the email to work letting them know i would be off work for a few days.

To make things worse in the days i was off work by drs orders i got bored and did another brew lol. Still sore but not quite as bad for the second brew.
 

Cevan65

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Not a brew day, but a keg day. Had a keg filled with San Star and was preparing to push it out using CO2 from my keezer. Opened the keezer to find an entire keg's worth of beer in the bottom of it. Forensic analysis found that the connection at the beer line to ball lock connector had come loose and allowed beer to escape. So sad. Lesson learned.
 
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Jtk78

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Not a brew day, but a keg day. Had a keg filled with San Star and was preparing to push it out using CO2 from my keezer. Opened the keezer to find an entire keg's worth of beer in the bottom of it. Forensic analysis found that the connection at the beer line to ball lock connector had come loose and allowed beer to escape. So sad. Lesson learned.
:(:mad::confused::eek:o_O:drunk:

That SUCKS!!! HORRIBLY HORRIBLY bad.
 

chickypad

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Great stories. Are we counting injuries? I once cut the tip of my finger nearly off while brewing - through the bone and it was hanging by a piece of flesh. I had 15 min to go in the boil and was trying to move my husband's weight bench over near the kettle to sit on while I did the final few additions and waited to set up the chiller. The back was not secured and it slammed down sort of like a guillotine and caught my finger. It's amazing how much a single finger can bleed. I made my husband wait for the end of the boil to drive me to the ED. I think I was in a little bit of shock to be honest, but once I got in the car it started to really hurt and I got sick on the way. It was my first experience with no chill, I ended up pitching the next day and the beer turned out fine.
:rock:
 

SEndorf

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.......... I made my husband wait for the end of the boil to drive me to the ED. I think I was in a little bit of shock to be honest, but once I got in the car it started to really hurt and I got sick on the way. It was my first experience with no chill, I ended up pitching the next day and the beer turned out fine.
:rock:
Entered in the HBT Hall of Fame for hardcore brewing....:bravo:
 

gunhaus

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OK - This is not mine, but I literally just heard this brewing woe from a customer who came into my shop this morning. He had heard from another customer that I was a home brewer, and casual chat brought us inadvertently to this topic. He recently relocated to my area from Saginaw. He told me that a couple years ago he set up on a fine Saturday Morning and started to brew up two batches at once. His brew buddy bailed on him, but he set forth anyway. Appropriate water pots and burners were set. A pair of mash tuns. A pair of boiling pots. All the gear, Right in the driveway in front of his house. He mashed the first batch, and started the boil. He had just mashed in the second batch. The temp was higher than he wanted - But no cold water on hand. Not to worry, there were a couple gallons of distilled in the fridge in the basement. He hated to leave an untended boil - WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT CAN GO - But it was a 6.5 gallon wort in a 15 gallon kettle and was humming along nicely. So he took off for the basement. Of course the phone rang and (His Words) Like a fool he answered. It was his mom, and it was 15 minutes before he could get back upstairs. He had visions of wort issues from the high temps, or of an inevitable boil over. But Nope! His stuff was just gone. Coolers, pots, burners, propane, fold up table, gadgets. ALL of it. They did very kindly leave behind the mash and the boiling wort all over his driveway. He said he was thankful of that at least - because he had a hard time convincing the cops he'd been robbed until they looked at the mess! He now brews with electric, in the downstairs brew dungeon of his new home! I gotta think THAT would qualify as a "Bad brew day"
 

brewswithshoes

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First run after putting together my 3 vessel eherms. Had the 3 vessels across the washer and dryer, middle vessel slightly unlevel. As I was starting to transfer to the boil kettle I decided I needed to adjust that pot. Out of instinct (and pure stupidity) I put my arms around it to give it a slight nudge to one side. Instantly realizing how hot a 168 degree mash out can be.

That beer (now a standing house recipe) is forever known as 2nd Degree Saison.

I didn't go to the ER, but probably should have. Still to this day I can see dark spots from the burns on the inside of my forearms. But 2nd Degree Saison continually remains on tap at my house.

Side comment: I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "What doesn't kill you, requires brief hospitalization"

Made me think of that brew day. [emoji15]
 
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