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The worst brewday of my brewing life.

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latProd

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So I was brewing a hazy IPA yesterday, and I'm still tired and annoyed. Just sharing to vent, complaining to my wife just isn't cutting it.
First of all, god damn you grainfather - I spent 45 minutes just setting the bottom plate of the grain basket in place. The silicone ring came off EVERY TIME. This might be the dumbest design I have ever seen. If it isn't perfectly seated it can come off during mashing and ruin the whole beer.
Meanwhile I had set the mash water to heat, but when I returned to the grainfather, the heater hadn't switched on because of the idiotic breaker switch on the underside, which I had to press (why GF, WHY).
At this point I realize I forgot to put the hop filter in the bottom of the grainfather.... water was at 66 celsius, so I could either cool it down and wait or leave it out. I just decided to leave it out and use hopbags..whatever.
I add my grains (about 7 kg) and stir well, switch on the pump.... and ofcourse the mash is too thick and circulation is mega slow, so the temp at the bottom of the mash is too high, and the temp at the top is too low.
I keep having to switch the heating element on and off again throughout the whole mash to regulate it. (This is rarely a problem I have). No matter how much I stir it changed nothing (this always helps EVERY single time. not today)
After about 45 minutes, my skin tingles and my neck goes warm as I realize I forgot to add my brewing salts.. This is extra horrible since I brew with RO water. In a panic I add them to the top of the mash and stir like a madman.
Better late than never? Probably not. This sucks.
The mash is finished - now to lift the grain basket. The grainfather comes with a small metal handle that you insert into two holes each side of the grain basket. And the handle is nowhere to be found. I had to improvise with some metal thing I found in the toolbox, lift it on one side, prop it up on the edge and use my hands. FUN! took me a while to figure it out. (turns out my toddler had grabbed that shiny and fun looking handle and hid it in her box of toys).
I boil, add a small amount of bittering hops and do a 30 min hop stand.
Now, I use a garden hose adapter on my sink to feed the counterflow chiller, so when I start doing that water splurts out everywhere. Turns out the silicone/plastic thing on this adapter is getting worn, and most of the water goes outside rather than in the hose, giving me shitty water pressure into the cooler. No matter how much i try to adjust it, it just doesn't work properly. First time this has happened......
This results in getting the wort in my fermenter at a fantastic 32 C. Can i wait 30 minutes to add the yeast maybe? Probably. Did I do it? No. Cuz I'm a tired and worn out idiot and I don't.
(I'm trying out omega yeast tropical Ipa, which has a higher temp tolerance than I am used to, but 32 is just... bad).
I was unsure if i'd murdered my yeast, but here i am today and its bubbling away... Also, there is a tiny tiny leak in the handle at the bottom of my fermenter bucket.
If this beer comes out not tasting like absolute garbage, I'll be shocked.

TL;DR: I messed up everything. The end.
 

Sammy86

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Scratch it up as a learning experience, fix what needs to be fixed before next brew day and remember you'll still have beer at the end of fermentation!

You should send that story into James and Steve at Basic Brewing Radio for their end of the year disaster show! You'll win a prize!
 

Jag75

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I know its after the fact but you could have pumped the water out , replaced the filter then poured your water back in.

Hopefully it turns out like you've planned. Sounds like you've got yourself a "Hard days night " IPA lol.
 

palmtrees

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I feel you on toddlers making off with brewing equipment! At least two of my airlocks are somewhere in my kids' room; I just haven't figured out which bin yet.

Odds are, this will be your best beer, and you'll never be able to replicate it.
 
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latProd

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I feel you on toddlers making off with brewing equipment! At least two of my airlocks are somewhere in my kids' room; I just haven't figured out which bin yet.

Odds are, this will be your best beer, and you'll never be able to replicate it.
Hahaha that would be pretty epic. I doubt it, but hey, we'll see! :)
 

Snuffy

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Dude. Covid or not, you need a hug and a frosty brew.:drunk:
Everything that occurred here after the "whatever" at the end of paragraph 3 was domino effect. I would have pumped the water into another vessel, installed the filter, and then put the water back in and resumed. I would have left off the salts too, once I forgot em, but that's just me.
Dunk that bottom plate and seal in some slimy Starsan next time and it will slide right into place without affecting your blood pressure one bit. That is going to be one of the best beers you ever brewed.
 
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JacktardBrewmeister

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It could always be worse. A homeless man could of pinched a loaf in your kettle, your grainfather could have pulled a knife on you, and your wife could have even told the minions to HIDE your airlocks for fun. Be glad you got through it and prepare for the next HARDCORE BREW!
 

jerrylotto

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There's always the possibility that it'll come out to be the best beer you've ever made. Wouldn't that be worse?
 

wepeeler

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We've all had those days (or nights). Very rarely does everything just click. I'm confident it'll be good beer, and you'll be happy with it. At least you have a story you can laugh about later. And if it sucks, you have plenty of reasons why! Many of us don't know what we did incorrectly if we miss the mark!
 

johndan

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Most of my brew days go more or less like this (maybe a little less). Including the rage at the design of the Grainfather's bottom plate. It's like the product designers were 99% of the way to a perfect system and thought, "Hey, I know what we're missing—an immensely stupid and obvious design flaw! Mission accomplished!"
 
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latProd

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Most of my brew days go more or less like this (maybe a little less). Including the rage at the design of the Grainfather's bottom plate. It's like the product designers were 99% of the way to a perfect system and thought, "Hey, I know what we're missing—an immensely stupid and obvious design flaw! Mission accomplished!"
I laughed at this, so true!
 
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latProd

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Dude. Covid or not, you need a hug and a frosty brew.:drunk:
Everything that occurred here after the "whatever" at the end of paragraph 3 was domino effect. I would have pumped the water into another vessel, installed the filter, and then put the water back in and resumed. I would have left off the salts too, once I forgot em, but that's just me.
Dunk that bottom plate and seal in some slimy Starsan next time and it will slide right into place without affecting your blood pressure one bit. That is going to be one of the best beers you ever brewed.
You are probably right about the domino effect. I was already seething with anger after the 45 minutes of wrestling with the groinfather. New name for it, i think it fits, as i wanna punch the designer in the groin for this. I will definately use starsan next time. I'm dumb as a plank, because instead of doing that, I used.... and this is 100% true... soap. Not only that, it was one of those "intimate" soaps for use in the groin area. I thoroughly rinsed it after, but still. unreal choice there.
 
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latProd

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It could always be worse. A homeless man could of pinched a loaf in your kettle, your grainfather could have pulled a knife on you, and your wife could have even told the minions to HIDE your airlocks for fun. Be glad you got through it and prepare for the next HARDCORE BREW!
with my luck in general, I'm surprised this didn't happen :)
 
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latProd

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We've all had those days (or nights). Very rarely does everything just click. I'm confident it'll be good beer, and you'll be happy with it. At least you have a story you can laugh about later. And if it sucks, you have plenty of reasons why! Many of us don't know what we did incorrectly if we miss the mark!
This is on the edge of what's appropriate, but dude, I love the name "great head brewing company" ;)
 

Rackrunner

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I feel for ya man, I've had those days! Specifically on the Grainfather bottom plate thing:

I've had decent luck with putting the silicone ring on the plate and then just shoving the whole thing into the dry grains and spinning it around. It gets a coating of grain dust that helps the whole thing slide down much more easily. Agree it's a pain in the arse though, takes some fiddling!
 

ctowry

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I have brewed a batch or two with no seal on the bottom plate of my GF with good results. It seems to seal just fine against the lip without the silicone ring from the weight of the mash. I am also using the false bottom trick underneath the basket though and no other filter below the false bottom. Thinking seriously about tack welding the bottom plate in the grain basket and being done with it. Don’t really see a need to remove it.
 

A-Bus

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I HIGHLY recommend this modification to your Grainfather's false bottom. Drill out four existing holes to accommodate the bolts. Add the bolts with washers on the bottom then attach the nuts. DO NOT use the silicon seal. Works like a charm.
 

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ctowry

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I HIGHLY recommend this modification to your Grainfather's false bottom. Drill out four existing holes to accommodate the bolts. Add the bolts with washers on the bottom then attach the nuts. DO NOT use the silicon seal. Works like a charm.
Wow, I went straight to welding but like your idea better! Thanks, will implement straight away!! KISS principle!
 
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latProd

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I HIGHLY recommend this modification to your Grainfather's false bottom. Drill out four existing holes to accommodate the bolts. Add the bolts with washers on the bottom then attach the nuts. DO NOT use the silicon seal. Works like a charm.
a plus for the tip, will look into this!
 

Tobor_8thMan

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Every brew day is a GOOD day in our lives. Even if the brew day didn't turn out as we expected/planned it is useful for learning.

A relative of mine recently had his 65th birthday. I texted him a "Happy Birthday!". His reply, "Just another day." I replied, "Yes, just another day, but you are here, you are able to do/discover things you didn't even realize existed before today. Another day, is another day, at life! Grab it, cherish it , relish it and do as much as possible to enjoy "Just another day'".

Later in the day, I receive a THANK YOU! text from him.
 

dwhite60

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This will become the best beer you've ever made. You'll then chase it forever trying to duplicate it, but will fail.

Best of luck with this. I've had a lot of happy accidents.
 

TheBluePhantom

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I feel you on toddlers making off with brewing equipment! At least two of my airlocks are somewhere in my kids' room; I just haven't figured out which bin yet.

Odds are, this will be your best beer, and you'll never be able to replicate it.
Did the kids take the clean ones at least? I was sitting upstairs one day and I look at the dog and see her chewing on an airlock. Someone left the gate open and the dog went in to the brew room and stole an airlock off of a full carboy!
 
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latProd

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This will become the best beer you've ever made. You'll then chase it forever trying to duplicate it, but will fail.

Best of luck with this. I've had a lot of happy accidents.
Weeelll, I doubt it, but here's to hoping!
 
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latProd

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This will become the best beer you've ever made. You'll then chase it forever trying to duplicate it, but will fail.

Best of luck with this. I've had a lot of happy accidents.
can confirm this is NOT my best beer. tastes pretty awful.
 
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