Nightmare brew day. Just venting

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Ceegeesbrew

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Been brewing going on 3 years and finally had that day where it makes you question if you want to keep going. Brewing on a brewzilla 9gal set up I made some late season Oktoberfest. First sign of a nightmare brew day my plug for brewzilla seems to have melted into my extension chord from the heat, I’m a full time hvac technician so it’s no big deal to cut the chord and put a new plug on it but I’m just ranting here. I’m brewing in south Louisiana so right after I noticed that we had a bad storm coming so I had to be quick about finishing up (I brew outside under a small carport). My kids inside are trying to come out and play under the carport, anyone who brews and has small children knows those little curious crotch goblins want to help and be involved and don’t realize there’s 220° boiling sugar water in that “shiny thing”. I put my wert chiller in during the boil, get everything ready, then like the human I am forget to turn the water on. Fast forward about 10 minutes it’s starting to rain it’s butt off so I start to transfer my NOT COOLED wert to my glass fermenter. CRACK! So now I’m loosing beer all over the car port, I have no other fermenter so I transfer to a recently cleaned keg. Takes me a week to get to my home brew shop to get a new fermenter, and their all out of glass, have to use a bucket (which I have never used). Pitch yeast, put in keezer. Put blow off tube in glass of water with star San, go about my day. Two days later I go to check on it. Glass tipped over no water or star San left, blow off tube is just hanging out. And I can’t see inside the bucket to tell if fermentation even took place. This is all issues that could have been avoided. But please tell me someone else has had the nightmare brew day as well. I’m fearful for my next batch, also it’s a competition beer so brew day will now be on red alert!
just needed to vent to other people who know the struggle
If the Oktoberfest turns out consumable I’ll put it in the thread
Cheers
 

jdauria

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Ugh! Sorry to hear...as for the blow off tipped over, you will probably be fine...if it was fermenting, which it should have been, the beer would have a layer of CO2 protecting it from oxygen ingress. Has happened to me a few times with no issues. What I do now is put the blow off container into a plastic pitcher, so that it won't tip easily and if there is a large blow off, the pitcher catches overflow from the container.
 

bracconiere

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damn, lol! yeah i blew a glass carboy with hot wort before ;)


i've had frozen hoses that kept me from being able to run the IC....

i've had a leaky IC that filled my brew kettle back up, and i had to re-boil it down....

after 17 years of brewing once a week, the things i've endured are to many to remember specifically!
 

bracconiere

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You got beer in the fermenter and zero injuries from a cracked glass carboy (or at least none that you stated) . Count your blessings.

damn right, i guess that 10 minute rest saved you! when i put hot wort in the carboy it uterly exploded! lol it was like one of those water rocket toys you pump up! bottom blew completly off, and 5 gallons of wort, came rushing out! the memories!
 

Knightshade

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Yeah..I was thinking same thing. If that carboy had broke with little ones in the area...yeesh...everybody do the freeze dance and stare at the ground to identify all the shards.

I had a minor mishap this morning that I'll share in the hopes that it might make you feel a little better. I decided to ferment in new Torpedo 6G keg, and threw another wrinkle in there by deciding to gundeck a blow off tube via the PRV valve. Never done that before...not sure why I decided that trying 2 new things at once was a good idea...especially since this brew was an attempt to get me back on track after having a not so great result from my last one 4 months ago which resulted in 1 meh, and a dumper.

At any rate, I notice that the Tilt is telling me that the beer is progressing last night, but I'm not noticing any bubbles in my little mason jar rig, so I figure the seal must not be tight or something...so I'll switch it back to my 'usual' setup, which is some tubing off of the gas post before I head off to work this morning. For some reason...not paying attention and pushed the connector on the far post, watched for bubbles...got some...and said..ok. I guess I'm good? Wasn't convinced, so I tightened down the mason jar lid, which builds up some pressure in the keg, with the intent to make sure that bubbles are being pushed. Loosen..get some...but not many bubbles...whatever. I need to get to work.

Got distracted by something...not sure what, and notice that there is something traveling up the tubing from the gas post into the tubing. That doesn't look right..mason jar lid is loose...pull the PRV, and it goes back down into the keg. "Huh..weird." Dang..I really need to get to work. Put the door back on...the insulating cover back on..and off I go. As I'm pulling into the parking lot, I can't stop thinking that something didn't seem right. I call my wife who is working remote and ask if she can check it for me. I've never asked her to mess around w/any of that stuff, so as I'm walking her through it she says.."Oh..the floor is wet...like really wet honey." I try and walk her through switching the connector and she says that she can't get it back on and she has a meeting to connect to.

Yep..haul butt home. Fixing..and cleaning..and....

okay...now I need to get to the office....park the car, walk up the stairs, approach the door and...I forgot my damn badge. 🤯🤬

I'm working late tonite...have a couple of hours to make up for..
 
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Ceegeesbrew

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I’d love to reply to everyone but allot of your story’s made me laugh and of corse put things into perspective, it could have been worse. And at least my munchkins stayed safe. Love the support. I’m self taught and really striving for perfection, so it’s nice to have people with more experience put everything into perspective. I just feel bad for the home brew shop guy who’s the only one I can run my gripes by! Just wanna say I’m digging the home brew community, and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one riding the struggle bus
 

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Wort setting for a week with no yeast. Proceed with caution. Did a split batch of what was going to be a first time use of Philly Sour vs my normal kettle sour. Apparently this stuff is a VERY slow starter( actually talked to a guy from Lallemand after the fact). 4 going on 5 days before I even started to notice a thin layer of krausen forming. The souring part was supposed to happen first so even though I was basically freaking out I let it ride. Both 5 gallon batches were moldy and got dumped. Some how mold spores got in as I was transferring to the fermenter and with the yeast not taking off to crush the competition the mold took over.
 
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Ceegeesbrew

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I said I would give updates: fermentation for sure took place. Came in slightly above target at 6.7%abv (shooting for 6.5%) however the Oktoberfest is extremely cloudy. Home brew shop guy seems to think suspended yeast. NOTE: I’m slowly carbonating so that’s why the beer looks flat. Needs to carb for 2 more days
 

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Ceegeesbrew

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Did you cold crash?

How did it taste?

And it will prob clear up as you’re carbonating, which I’m assuming you’re doing cold?
I normally let it rest at room temp for a week after fermentation. This time I left it in the keezer after fermentation at 55°For 2 weeks till I keg’ed it. It’s in my serving keezer at 37°. probably just needs to sit for another week or 2. I guess time will tell. Tasted fine for being flat, all the notes of Oktoberfest were present. I don’t think my terrible brew day affected the beer, just haven’t seen one of my Lagger strains this cloudy before. I used a German Bock yeast in it, which I’ve never used before. Might have something to do with it.
 

Knightshade

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Feel like this could be a popular thread if we feed it. Not that we want to.

I had a pretty bad day myself today..probably the worst that I've had. Had a couple of "Not sure I want to do this anymore" thoughts, but I've relaxed a bit after 2nd Homebrew.

I decided to have a fairly nonchalant brew today as I got home pretty late last night. I'd usually prep a lot of stuff the night before...but..I put water in the Anvil last night and that was it. I'd get to it...when I got to it this morning.

Guess I was a little too nonchalant about today..and just wasn't thinking clearly.

  • Didn't add enough strike water, so ended up a bit short on volume after the mash. OG was a bit high, so that worked out ok. Just added some more water and was still a little high vs. expected. 1.054 vs. 1.052.
  • Decided squeezing the bag while the basket was lifted on the suspension ring was a good idea...for some reason. Despite the fact that I've NEVER done this before. Splash..mess...burning wort (around 195 at the time) on my shirt (chest/stomach), pants (nada) and socks. F***** Freekin tops of my feet still hurt....
  • Filling re-purposed mash tun with water for IC chiller. Got distracted...overflowing and spilling all over the damn garage...F**
  • Recipe used whole hops, which I've never used before. Didn't think to use a bag or whatever...so ball valve clogged while whirl pooling.
    • Attempted to use my old Picobrew racking cane (1G batches) which was painfully slow...but effective for about 2 gallons or so...then I just started pumping, pumping, pumping...for about another gallon. Then asked my wife to make sure I didn't make more of a mess while I dumped what I could from the Foundry into the fermenter while not dumping true into it...with a fairly small funnel.
Hopefully this damn beer actually survives all this..crap. I've got the wort in Torpedo, and starter in the FC waiting for pitching temp to be obtained. My optimism is pretty low...but I definitely needed a reminder as to why I'm doing this in the first place. This is the Zamba/Rakau pale ale which I just racked on Thursday which was supposed to be a get me back on track type of brew. Didn't think I'd get derailed again so quickly...

tempImageWswNK5.jpg
 

Velnerj

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Feel like this could be a popular thread if we feed it. Not that we want to.

I had a pretty bad day myself today..probably the worst that I've had. Had a couple of "Not sure I want to do this anymore" thoughts, but I've relaxed a bit after 2nd Homebrew.

I decided to have a fairly nonchalant brew today as I got home pretty late last night. I'd usually prep a lot of stuff the night before...but..I put water in the Anvil last night and that was it. I'd get to it...when I got to it this morning.

Guess I was a little too nonchalant about today..and just wasn't thinking clearly.

  • Didn't add enough strike water, so ended up a bit short on volume after the mash. OG was a bit high, so that worked out ok. Just added some more water and was still a little high vs. expected. 1.054 vs. 1.052.
  • Decided squeezing the bag while the basket was lifted on the suspension ring was a good idea...for some reason. Despite the fact that I've NEVER done this before. Splash..mess...burning wort (around 195 at the time) on my shirt (chest/stomach), pants (nada) and socks. F***** Freekin tops of my feet still hurt....
  • Filling re-purposed mash tun with water for IC chiller. Got distracted...overflowing and spilling all over the damn garage...F**
  • Recipe used whole hops, which I've never used before. Didn't think to use a bag or whatever...so ball valve clogged while whirl pooling.
    • Attempted to use my old Picobrew racking cane (1G batches) which was painfully slow...but effective for about 2 gallons or so...then I just started pumping, pumping, pumping...for about another gallon. Then asked my wife to make sure I didn't make more of a mess while I dumped what I could from the Foundry into the fermenter while not dumping true into it...with a fairly small funnel.
Hopefully this damn beer actually survives all this..crap. I've got the wort in Torpedo, and starter in the FC waiting for pitching temp to be obtained. My optimism is pretty low...but I definitely needed a reminder as to why I'm doing this in the first place. This is the Zamba/Rakau pale ale which I just racked on Thursday which was supposed to be a get me back on track type of brew. Didn't think I'd get derailed again so quickly...

View attachment 746094
As my father used to say: A bad day of (fill in your hobby of choice) is better than a good day of working.....

I've found this to be true myself. I believe that beer is the reason we do this. That pale ale looks mighty appetizing.

Edit: BTW father is still alive, he used to say this, but of course he still says it too...
 
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Ceegeesbrew

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Feel like this could be a popular thread if we feed it. Not that we want to.

I had a pretty bad day myself today..probably the worst that I've had. Had a couple of "Not sure I want to do this anymore" thoughts, but I've relaxed a bit after 2nd Homebrew.

I decided to have a fairly nonchalant brew today as I got home pretty late last night. I'd usually prep a lot of stuff the night before...but..I put water in the Anvil last night and that was it. I'd get to it...when I got to it this morning.

Guess I was a little too nonchalant about today..and just wasn't thinking clearly.

  • Didn't add enough strike water, so ended up a bit short on volume after the mash. OG was a bit high, so that worked out ok. Just added some more water and was still a little high vs. expected. 1.054 vs. 1.052.
  • Decided squeezing the bag while the basket was lifted on the suspension ring was a good idea...for some reason. Despite the fact that I've NEVER done this before. Splash..mess...burning wort (around 195 at the time) on my shirt (chest/stomach), pants (nada) and socks. F***** Freekin tops of my feet still hurt....
  • Filling re-purposed mash tun with water for IC chiller. Got distracted...overflowing and spilling all over the damn garage...F**
  • Recipe used whole hops, which I've never used before. Didn't think to use a bag or whatever...so ball valve clogged while whirl pooling.
    • Attempted to use my old Picobrew racking cane (1G batches) which was painfully slow...but effective for about 2 gallons or so...then I just started pumping, pumping, pumping...for about another gallon. Then asked my wife to make sure I didn't make more of a mess while I dumped what I could from the Foundry into the fermenter while not dumping true into it...with a fairly small funnel.
Hopefully this damn beer actually survives all this..crap. I've got the wort in Torpedo, and starter in the FC waiting for pitching temp to be obtained. My optimism is pretty low...but I definitely needed a reminder as to why I'm doing this in the first place. This is the Zamba/Rakau pale ale which I just racked on Thursday which was supposed to be a get me back on track type of brew. Didn't think I'd get derailed again so quickly...

View attachment 746094
Playing devils advocate I guess.
PSA: only addressing the first line.
I agree that I would never want to steer people away from home brewing.
Honestly I’ll say there’s never been a hobby I’ve taken more seriously, while at the same time enjoyed it that much. I guess what I was getting at with this thread was to relate that no matter how long you have been doing it, nor how meticulous you may be about the process (which I normally am). We all mess up. We all hit that wall, but KEEP GOING. I’m not throwing you under the bus, just know as someone who’s 100% self taught the online resources helped allot, and just knowing other brewers have the humility to say things like “oh yeah I’ve done that” help allot. It’s all love in the brewing community. Just want to let everyone know we’ve all made X,Y,Z mistake and I guess it’s all a learning experience. Appreciate the feedback !
 
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Sounds kinda like my last brew day. Overshot volume sparging, boiled off excess before starting hop additions. Figured ok I’m good now. Recirculating with a pump for first time worked well no issues. Ok cool. Towards end of the boil hose disconnected from pump spraying boiling wort all over kitchen, hands, face (fortunately somehow missed getting in my eye directly but definitely burned upper and lower eyelids). Mental note always ensure hose clamps are tight. Got that messed cleaned up started cooling. After 20-30min temp still not going down. Oh well grab another beer. After a few beers wondering why temp is increasing. Here come to find when I was cleaning up the spilled wort I must’ve somehow pushed the pot back on the stove and turned on one of the rear burners and was reheating my cooling wort. Oh well after too many beers figured screw it will just no chill and pitch yeast in morning. Next morning got transferred to fermenter and was 2gallons short….. so topped off with tap water and pitched yeast. Still hit my numbers pretty close somehow. Still not sure how this will turn out. Extended boiling and whatnot. But it will be beer. Hopefully tasty beer. But beer none the less. Just goes to prove life is good at throwing curveballs when you think you know what all the pitches will be.
 

Knightshade

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Playing devils advocate I guess.
PSA: only addressing the first line.
I agree that I would never want to steer people away from home brewing.
Honestly I’ll say there’s never been a hobby I’ve taken more seriously, while at the same time enjoyed it that much. I guess what I was getting at with this thread was to relate that no matter how long you have been doing it, nor how meticulous you may be about the process (which I normally am). We all mess up. We all hit that wall, but KEEP GOING. I’m not throwing you under the bus, just know as someone who’s 100% self taught the online resources helped allot, and just knowing other brewers have the humility to say things like “oh yeah I’ve done that” help allot. It’s all love in the brewing community. Just want to let everyone know we’ve all made X,Y,Z mistake and I guess it’s all a learning experience. Appreciate the feedback !
No harm, no foul! Like most things on the inter webs, context helps.

I meant that we don’t WANT to have nightmare brewdays, so that we can continue to feed this thread.

I’m very much a “Everybody makes mistakes, it is what you learn from it and how you react that matters.” type of person. I’m brewing again tomorrow. 🤪🍻
 
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