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mr x

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What a rotten brew day. Attempted to do a Three Pistoles.

1. Burner wouldn't put out enough heat to boil. After half and hour to realize this and another half hour to guess the problem, I head out to Walmart and pick up another fryer kit. This is the second regulator I have lost. I can't figure out why they are failing.

2. Get back up and boiling. Start to get my ingredients together - can't find my star anise. I know there was one in the cupboard, but for the life of me I can't find it. Off to the grocery store to get more. Good thing there were no little old ladies on the crosswalks.

3. Can't get all the plastic wrap off the homemade candi sugar. Get really mad and sticky and throw it in the pot. Luckily, the plastic floats and I get the few little pieces out quickly.

4. Get the brew off the burner and start draining to the carboy. Plug up the mesh filter before 1 gallon in is. First time that has happened of course. More mess and pissing around dumping and sterilizing the bag.

5. After 2.5 gallons in, I notice a lot of air bubbles at the connection between my SS racking cane and the hose to the CFC. Must have picked up a burr on the swagelok fitting thread and it didn't quite seat, so I was sucking in some air. Not much, but enough to make me think HSA and piss me off more.

6. Finally get 4.75 gallons in the carboy. Left more wort than I wanted in the pot, but my O.G. was a bit high so I can top it up with sluice water for my starter.

7. Drop my degassing wand in the carboy. Now I'm furious. No way to get it out by myself. Shake the carboy to aerate. Hope this works.

8. Run out of hefe.

9. My feet are sticking to the floor from little shards of candi sugar.

10. TBA
 

BrewDey

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That sounds rough...but hopefully the amount of energy you put into it will manifest itself in a great final product. You definitely put in plenty of energy!
 

zoebisch01

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Sucks to hear! A tip on the homemade candi sugar. Don't do it ahead of time, just run the inversion process when you are going to boil (keep in mind for the darker ones, to give ample time to get there....keep notes on time frames). That way you can just pour it in. The other thing you can do is pour it onto a teflon sheet pan. You can then flex the pan when it's cool to bust it. Then store it in the freezer in a bag.
 
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mr x

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Hopefully it will turn out. I wasn't impressed with my last batch, but I had missed my O.G by .010. It wasn't bad, but I wanted better. We'll see how this goes. The VSS Unibroue yeast really took a long time. I cranked up the heat to finish it, but I don't want to do that again.
 
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mr x

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zoebisch01 said:
Sucks to hear! A tip on the homemade candi sugar. Don't do it ahead of time, just run the inversion process when you are going to boil (keep in mind for the darker ones, to give ample time to get there....keep notes on time frames). That way you can just pour it in. The other thing you can do is pour it onto a teflon sheet pan. You can then flex the pan when it's cool to bust it. Then store it in the freezer in a bag.
I have thought about making the sugar on the fly and pouring it in, but with me that's just asking for trouble. The only reason the wrap stuck on this batch was that I didn't go all the way to hard crack and it maintained a weird bit of gooiness.
 

zoebisch01

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mr x said:
I have thought about making the sugar on the fly and pouring it in, but with me that's just asking for trouble. The only reason the wrap stuck on this batch was that I didn't go all the way to hard crack and it maintained a weird bit of gooiness.
I personally still wouldn't trust it even after the hard crack stage, but I have done it successfully before, but then again I have also had problems with sugar and plastic wrap as well and imho it's not worth the 'what if'.
 

Kai

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mr x said:
Hopefully it will turn out. I wasn't impressed with my last batch, but I had missed my O.G by .010. It wasn't bad, but I wanted better. We'll see how this goes. The VSS Unibroue yeast really took a long time. I cranked up the heat to finish it, but I don't want to do that again.
I ordered the VSS Unibroue yeast months ago when it was available, and I think they accidentally gave it away (they tell me I've picked it up). Any chance you plan on washing this yeast cake? I have a few jars of a delicious VSS French Saison yeast if you want to trade.

Sorry to hear about a rough brewday. On the other hand, some of my most frustrating brew days have yielded my most delicious beer, so you'll have to wait and see what comes of this.
 
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mr x

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Hey Kai,

I got a frozen yeast bank (10 vials) of this plus about 6 washed jars and you are welcome to any of them.

I'm not too sure about this yeast though. The starter has a bit of a sour/tart taste. It's the first belgian yeast I've used, so I'm not sure if that is the way it is supposed to taste. I don't of many people who have used this to compare notes. I am very particular with sanitation, but you never know.

My last batch took a long time to ferment out, and seemed to gas off all the way to the keg, but some yeasts are like this from what I have read on the wyeast site. I thought the beer had a bit of funkiness to it, but I fermented on the warm side and finished it really warm, so maybe that was to be expected.

At any rate, you could make a starter and see what you think. I'm off to New Glasgow for the weekend, and I'll bring a jar back with me. We can try to hook up next week. I'd like to try some Saison.
 

pjj2ba

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Are you sure it is the regulators that are failing? I've come across two things that will limit flames from my burner. Just this weekend I turned mine on and after a while noticed that the flame was low and it was real sooty. In the past I've taken the burner apart to clean it. This time I just took the air regulator plate off and ran a test tube brush up into the burner. Lots of things get sucked into there along with the air to fuel the flame. It often doesn't take much crud to give you a wimpy flame. In the summer, spiders are notorius for plugging them up

The second thing I've run across, I'm not sure what the proper term is, but I'll call it a vapor lock. This problem is more likely to occur with a full or nearly full tank. The symptom is everything is hooked up and you turn on the gas, it lights for a second and then either goes out, our gives you a very tiny flame. The fix for this is to turn off the gas at the tank, bleed off any gas in the lines, then close the regulator valve. Now, reassemble everything. Make sure the regulator is off - this is critical. Now open the tank valve and wait 20-30 seconds this allows the pressure between the tank and the regulator to equalize - this is also critical. After waiting it should light properly. If not, repeat.
 
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mr x

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I going to have to try something. Two messed up regulators seems too much of a coincidence to me.
 
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