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What are some of the mistakes you made...where your beer still turned out great!

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mojo_wire

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Brewed a pilsner, pitched a 2L starter and left to to ferment at a perfect 50 f. It takes 3 days to start and is the slowest fermentation ever, like 1 bubble in the airlock every 5 seconds for 2 weeks. I check gravity and it has dropped from 1.047 to 1.028. I realize I pitched Wyeast San Fran Lager yeast -- as in "not designed for cold fermentation".

I moved it to a 65 degree room, it took off, and I'll probably transfer to lager tomorrow.
 

Bazaar

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I mostly brew with spring water from the grocery store. It comes in 1gallon jugs and is pretty cheap, so I tend to use it for everything--mashing, sparging--whatever.

During one of my first AG attempts, I overshot my sparge temp, and I was well in the upper 170s. I didn't want to add ice, so I reached for a gallon of spring water, just to see how much I could get the temperature to drop. Glob, glob, glob. Then I realize I've just added half a gallon of whole milk to my mash.

Well, of course I didn't collect it and instead made a nice first wort batch of some high gravity brown.
 

MarcusKillion

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brew day yesterday. blonde ale AG . Beer Smith says pre boil gravity 1.046 . I get 1.070 . Guess my mash is better then they think . so I am wondering what to do with the rest of the wort I will have after thinning down for 6 gallons at a reasonable gravity for US05. I start boiling and run out of propane . Got another bottle , no problem , right - wrong . It is almost empty . Runs out right before the 45 minute hop addition . I run down to the store and get another but 30 minutes goes by . Boil again and add hops . Oh , also during the boil time boil over 3 times clogging up parts of my burner . Going to have to take it apart to clean. time for the 30 minute hop addition . I decide to go with .5 instead of .25 . I grab the wrong hops and dump in .50 of 11.7% bittering hops instead of the 7% flavor hops . Decide it may come out too bitter so I shut it down in 5 minutes losing about 20 minutes off of my 75 boil . cooled , put in fermenter . Tossed about 1 1/2 gallons and added in 1/2 gallon of water to make about 1.70 gravity . Only had one packet US05 so I used that rehydrated and sprinkled Nottingham in with it . Did not stir really enough for oxygen for that high gravity but thought I would stick in a tube through the air lock hole after the foam settled down and then pump some pure oxygen in . Turned out my bottle was empty . Just let it go . Put a large tube on the air lock to a bottle of sanitizer and it went crazy fermenting .
Hope it ferment out good and gives a high ABV and a good flavor .
Will post my Blonde recipe sometime .
 

bleme

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After a brew day like that, you really need to go buy a lottery ticket. You are WAY overdue for a change of luck!
 

MarcusKillion

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Update on post #683 .. I just realized that I also forgot to add in the 10 minute hop addition of Kent Goldings .
 

manneken

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Bazaar said:
I mostly brew with spring water from the grocery store. It comes in 1gallon jugs and is pretty cheap, so I tend to use it for everything--mashing, sparging--whatever.

During one of my first AG attempts, I overshot my sparge temp, and I was well in the upper 170s. I didn't want to add ice, so I reached for a gallon of spring water, just to see how much I could get the temperature to drop. Glob, glob, glob. Then I realize I've just added half a gallon of whole milk to my mash.

Well, of course I didn't collect it and instead made a nice first wort batch of some high gravity brown.
Use Poland spring
 

phineascoates

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It seems like its too difficult and nervous as well in making beer. There's a whole lot of questions runing in ur head if its gonna turned out great?what if it taste bad? You can't really help yourself from getting worried about it. Can u give me some tips and guidelines in doing so, so that i can help make a beer that really tastes great as if its made from an expert brewer.
 

bleme

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phineascoates said:
It seems like its too difficult and nervous as well in making beer. There's a whole lot of questions runing in ur head if its gonna turned out great?what if it taste bad? You can't really help yourself from getting worried about it. Can u give me some tips and guidelines in doing so, so that i can help make a beer that really tastes great as if its made from an expert brewer.
There are more 'tips' than you can read in a week and half of them will disagree with the other half.

It really boils down to are you having fun or not?
When you find something that works for you, stick to it. If something doesn't, try something else.

Worry will just give you ulcers, and then you wouldn't be able to drink beer...
 

half_whit

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bleme said:
There are more 'tips' than you can read in a week and half of them will disagree with the other half.

It really boils down to are you having fun or not?
When you find something that works for you, stick to it. If something doesn't, try something else.

Worry will just give you ulcers, and then you wouldn't be able to drink beer...
+1

Relax an have fun. Beer is resilient stuff. The more we try to screw it up, the more it likes to prove us wrong. And believe me, someday you will screw up. Don't worry. Just laugh and learn. For your learning and amusement, let me share my yester-brew day...

I was doing deathbrewer's Hoegaarden partial mash clone recipe. I was taking my time. I was planning ahead. I was falling in love with the smell of cracked coriander. I was drinking homebrew. I was drinking homebrew. I was... You get the point. Mash went great. Everything was going smoothly. 90 minute hop schedule finished, dumped into bucket, chilled to pitch temperature. Now things go downhill

Vial of yeast still in the fridge. No worries. Input the lid on the bucket for a while and stick the vial in my pocket to warm up. I come back and pitch. Forgot to take an og. I take one... 1.02. Wut? That's when I see the two pound bag of extract sitting on the counter. After five minutes of swearing and debating dumping, I start up a gallon of water on the stove. Boiled the extract by itself. Somehow one gallon managed to boil over the 4 gallon pot when i turned my back. Stuck the bottom of my wort chiller in the pot and got it cool enough to add in to the rest of the batch. I added a little extra extract to make up for the fact that I now have 6 gallons of god knows what HOPEFULLY fermenting in my closet. Rigged up my first blowoff tube ever (seemed like a good idea for this one) and if I don't keep it in the closet the cats are sure to get curious.

Though I sanitized everything (except the yeast vial. Always forget that one), I probably have this beer every possible chance to fail. Out of my hands now! What's the worst that could happen :) Dumping would be a waste of possibly good beer! Well just have to wait an see
 

TastyWheat

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Pitched the yeast at way too hot a temperature on my first ever batch. After panic subsided I cooled it all down, and the yeast survived. Had a nice krausen two days later.

Confused Galaxy and Cascade hops, adding the wrong amount of each to the boil. Turned out just fine.
 

lovebrewin

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Pitched yeast at 96F

Still yet to find out if beer is no good or not but I tasted the sg sample I took today and it seems fine!! Lol
 

brewingnoob

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My first brew was Irish Stout, i refer to it as my Screwy Skin Stout.

while adjusting my wort chiller clamps i dropped my flathead screwdriver into the wort, and without thinking automatically reached right into the almost-boiling wort with my bare, and un-sanitized, hand to grab the screwdriver.

6 weeks or so in the bottles and this brew is tasting better and better, although i cant recommend the additional two ingredients to others
 

ipopiad

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I dropped a floating thermometer in my carboy, shattered all over the bottom. There were bits of broken glass and little steel beads in my beer. I was crushed. I talked to the guy at the LHBS and called the company, and since the red liquid didn't get into it I decided to try to save it. Left about 5" in the bottom when I racked it, kegged and... it was one of the best I've ever brewed. The company said they get this question all the time, the only thing to worry about is the glass.
 

lovebrewin

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Pitched yeast but forgot to add sugar to wort.. Realized about half an hour later. Chucked the sugar in and stirred her up and sweet deal!!
 

Mutt98

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Caught myself about 8 bottles in, but realized some of my bottles were not totally clean before ran them through dishwasher sanitation. Just popped a bottle that had some "leftovers" in it. Tasted just like the others. I think :pint:
 

Smooshieshawn

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Super beginner here and I just brewed my first 5gal batch and here are the mistakes I know I've made so far:

-Dropped the thermometer into the hot wart while it was chilling, used metal tongs to get it out of the bottom of the pot (sanitized them first, but not sure how well they were sanitized as it was kind of an "oh ****!" operation)
-Accidentally dipped a unsanitized cup into the chilled wort to take OG.
-Wasnt able to get an OG since the cup wasnt even tall enough to get the hydrometer to float.
-Not sure if I aerated enough before pitching the yeast. I poured from the pot to the fermenting bucket and it foamed up pretty nice, so I assumed that was good enough and pitched the yeast then.

Now I just have to wait a while to see how the batch turns out. Hoping for the best but now I'm worried! :/
 

Mysticmead

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-Wasnt able to get an OG since the cup wasnt even tall enough to get the hydrometer to float.

Now I just have to wait a while to see how the batch turns out. Hoping for the best but now I'm worried! :/
use the tube the hydrometer came in... perfect sample jar.

relax, you made beer. people have been doing it for centuries. long before they knew to sanitize and aerate...
 
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Mysticmead said:
relax, you made beer. people have been doing it for centuries. long before they knew to sanitize and aerate...
This is what I keep telling myself. They didn't have hydrometers in the Middle Ages. They didn't have Star San in the Middle Ages. They didn't understand the science of fermentation in the Middle Ages. But they still managed to brew beer.
 

Smooshieshawn

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Thats what I was figuring. My hydrometer came in a square plastic thing thats two halves of roughly equal length. I'm going to go pick up a test jar from my LHBS next week so I can at least measure the FG to know when its done fermenting.

It was my first big batch, so I was bound to screw something up. Its all good though, I'm sure it'll be fine. If not, I'll learn from my mistakes and get it right next time.
 

choosybeggar

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First wort hopping: I added the FWH to the mash tun prior to lautering rather than to the boil kettle. Did this for several batches. Believe it or not they turned out OK, maybe slightly attenuated bitterness but not as much as you'd think.
 
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This is what I keep telling myself. They didn't have hydrometers in the Middle Ages. They didn't have Star San in the Middle Ages. They didn't understand the science of fermentation in the Middle Ages. But they still managed to brew beer.
I agree with you in principle, BUT, in regards to hydrometers....

An early description of a hydrometer appears in a letter from Synesius of Cyrene to the Greek scholar Hypatia of Alexandria. In Synesius' fifteenth letter, he requests Hypatia to make a hydrometer for him. Hypatia is given credit for inventing the hydrometer (or hydroscope) sometime in the late 4th century or early 5th century.[1]

The instrument in question is a cylindrical tube, which has the shape of a flute and is about the same size. It has notches in a perpendicular line, by means of which we are able to test the weight of the waters. A cone forms a lid at one of the extremities, closely fitted to the tube. The cone and the tube have one base only. This is called the baryllium. Whenever you place the tube in water, it remains erect. You can then count the notches at your ease, and in this way ascertain the weight of the water.[2]

According to the Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, it was used by Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī in the 11th century and described by Al-Khazini in the 12th century.[3]

It later appeared again in the work of Jacques Alexandre César Charles in the 18th century.
;)
 

BrewclearAssault

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Bottled a batch of Ginger Saison that I thought was done fermenting. I took the Hydrometer reading at the end of the bottling session (almost forgot to do it at all!) and found that the gravity was still like 1.030. So I poured aaaall 48 bottles back into the fermenter and let them sit awhile longer.

That strain is annoying as hell to use, but its the best beer I ever brewed!
 

Mysticmead

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Thats what I was figuring. My hydrometer came in a square plastic thing thats two halves of roughly equal length. I'm going to go pick up a test jar from my LHBS next week so I can at least measure the FG to know when its done fermenting.

It was my first big batch, so I was bound to screw something up. Its all good though, I'm sure it'll be fine. If not, I'll learn from my mistakes and get it right next time.
you can also sanitize the hydrometer and place it in the brew kettle to get a hydrometer reading. just don't drop it in. cause as soon as ya do it'll shoot straight to the bottom and shatter
 

bleme

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BrewclearAssault said:
Bottled a batch of Ginger Saison that I thought was done fermenting. I took the Hydrometer reading at the end of the bottling session (almost forgot to do it at all!) and found that the gravity was still like 1.030. So I poured aaaall 48 bottles back into the fermenter and let them sit awhile longer.

That strain is annoying as hell to use, but its the best beer I ever brewed!
Have you tried any of the other Saison strains, like Ardennes?
 

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I was bottling my first all grain batch of Caribou Slobber recently and realized after I started my siphon that I forgot the elbow for the back of the spigot. I reached into my Star San mix and pulled it out, screwed it on with most of my hand (at least 99% star San covered) in the deepening beer! It is the best tasting batch I have ever made - but that is likely due to it being all grain...
 

bleme

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Stubbeez said:
I was bottling my first all grain batch of Caribou Slobber recently and realized after I started my siphon that I forgot the elbow for the back of the spigot. I reached into my Star San mix and pulled it out, screwed it on with most of my hand (at least 99% star San covered) in the deepening beer! It is the best tasting batch I have ever made - but that is likely due to it being all grain...
Never discount, no matter how brief, the careful introduction of hairy knuckles. I've always found it to add remarkable complexity.
 

conneryis007

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My two worst screw-ups that came out really well were:

Years ago, brewing extract, I forgot to add the extract to the boil (yea I know...wow...I felt pretty special). I didn't realize this until I was cleaning up, while the beer was slow chilling out on the freezing winter porch. The wort was still at about 130*F so I decided to just dump in the extract and stir it in! The beer came out great!

A couple months ago I had just got a plate chiller and was recirculating my chilling wort back into the kettle until it got down to temp. Once it got to temp I made a huge plate chiller rookie move and turned off the chilling water and started to fill my fermenter. About half way through filling I glanced at the thermometer on the out side of the plate chiller and noticed it read 140*F! I had thought because I was recirculating back into the kettle that the entire liquid had gotten down to pitch temp and didn't realize the outflow temp of the plate chiller was still a reaction of the cold chilling water and the hot wort! I quickly turned on the cooling water and the temp instantly dropped to 70*F. I figured that the overall temperature I pitched at was 105*F after a nice 5 minute yeast bath at 140*F and then the additions of 70*F. By conventional wisdom this should have severely mutated if not killed the yeast. This turned out to be the best batch of beer I have ever made!
 

AZBeerNut

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I was a bit drunk when trying to get the OG from a Scotch Ale that was ready for pitching (had a couple buddies over to "help" me brew... which meant they watched as we all chatted; somehow we even did shots of the vodka meant for the blow-off)... and I just straight dropped the un-sanitized hydrometer into the wort.

To make things worse, it snapped when it hit the bottom from dropping! Just a PING and nothing came floating back up...

So...

I reached in and fished around for the pieces...... then pitched, covered, set up the blow-off, and stashed it where it belongs.

Never did get an OG, but the beer turned out to be effing delicious... so much so that I joked about reaching into every beer I make as a secret ingredient (alas... I can't bring myself to actually do it......)!

RAHAHB, right?!

Cheers.
 

half_whit

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I brewed a Mock-bock a while back with Kolsch yeast (since I dont have the means to lager yet). Everything went well and I even got to use the new wort chiller that I had made earlier that brew day.

After two weeks bottled, I eagerly opened one up and slugged down a cool refreshing gulp of....WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?

Took it to the LHBS and talked it over with the owner. We shared a bottle and his reaction was priceless. He swirled the glass a little and looked very intently at it saying "hmm, crisp. malty...with a touch of band-aid." And that's exactly what the beer tasted like. A bandaid. Turns out I had picked up a contaminant, either from grease on the brand new copper pipe from home depot or from improper cleaning of my bottling bucket tap. He told me to put it away and forget about the beer for a few weeks to a month because he felt it was subtle enough that it might correct itself.

Popped one open last night and the bandaid taste is gone. The hop flavor (and the dash of cinnamon I added during the boil) came through a little more and cleaned the beer up very nicely. I'm sitting here at work right now just itchin to go home and pop another
 

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Forgot too buy spring water even though my tap water sucks, oh well brewing anyway, brought the hose over to my pot and let it rip. 6 gal pot but for some reason thought I should do a partial boil. At the end topped off with more hose water....drunk....made a pretty crystal clear Irish red that tasted like a burned out electrical socket and by the way I refused to toss at first, one night ran out of homebrew so I decided to drink my chloramine tainted brews and discovered that I fermented at too high a temp too, cause after about 3-4 I had the perfect headache. Epic stupidity
 

croakerj

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First brew I ever did my buddy ashes his cigarette in it AMD I dropped my very sanitary hydrometer case in the cooling wort. Weird...couldn't find it for weeks...until bottling...beer turned out great.
 

sweetcell

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This is what I keep telling myself. They didn't have hydrometers in the Middle Ages. They didn't have Star San in the Middle Ages. They didn't understand the science of fermentation in the Middle Ages. But they still managed to brew beer.
true, but i'm willing to bet that by today's standards beers from the middle ages wouldn't be considered to be very good. contamination/infection was certainly an issue. you can forget consistency... sometimes the beer was good, other times it was bad.

Have you tried any of the other Saison strains, like Ardennes?
ardennes isn't a saison strain, per se... at high temps does it give an ester profile similar to saisons?
 

bleme

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sweetcell said:
ardennes isn't a saison strain, per se... at high temps does it give an ester profile similar to saisons?
Maybe I didn't brew a Saison after all then...
It was the Surly Cynic clone from Northern Brewer. I just re-read their description and they aren't calling it a Saison but a lot of the commenters do.

I know I did some basic research on Ardennes here before I ordered it and people said that they got fruity esters at 75F and more clove flavor at 85F.
 

TriageStat

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Brewed a super hoppy IPA, into the fermenter with no blowoff tube. Checked on it in the morning, looked good. Left for work, back 12 hours later to find krauesen on the ceiling and walls, the airlock about 20 feet away on the floor. Turned out to be the best IPA I've made. It was also my first batch:)
 

MarcusKillion

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Update on post #683 .. I just realized that I also forgot to add in the 10 minute hop addition of Kent Goldings .
Well I thought I would give an update to this . I dry hopped it with ? forgot to write it down of coarse . I think it was 1.5 ounces of Kent Goldings to makie up for that .75 oounces I forgot to put in at 10 minutes .

just bottled it . Tasted really nice . FG of 1.012 so about 7.5 % ABV / it does hae an alcohol taste that is off set by the nice hop flavor . I sure hope that flavor hangs in there after bottle conditioning .

One more thing . Whole hops well leaf since they have been smashed . Works much better for dry hopping than pellets for sure . Just harder to deal with in the siphoning end .
How ever I scooped off the hops with a strainer and then used a 1/2 inch auto siphon . Another mistake in my opinion . this adds in oxygen . The exit tube is full of bubbles all through the siphon and if it stops then you must pump it and that pumps all that air that got in the tube into your beer .
So lesson is - use a tube that is long enough to raise your pump all the way up without the tube coming out of the bottle bucket . also that large tube is stiff and curled and is hard to keep in the bottom of the bucket as it curls up to the top and aerates the beer .
This is probably not much of a problem as long as it is not stored for a long time and I plan on drinking it right on up.

Think this is going to be a great tasting beer.
 

ArkotRamathorn

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Super beginner here and I just brewed my first 5gal batch and here are the mistakes I know I've made so far:

-Dropped the thermometer into the hot wart while it was chilling, used metal tongs to get it out of the bottom of the pot (sanitized them first, but not sure how well they were sanitized as it was kind of an "oh ****!" operation)
-Accidentally dipped a unsanitized cup into the chilled wort to take OG.
-Wasnt able to get an OG since the cup wasnt even tall enough to get the hydrometer to float.
-Not sure if I aerated enough before pitching the yeast. I poured from the pot to the fermenting bucket and it foamed up pretty nice, so I assumed that was good enough and pitched the yeast then.

Now I just have to wait a while to see how the batch turns out. Hoping for the best but now I'm worried! :/
Hey sounds, exactly like my first partial mash (and first home brew ever outside of pre-hopped extract Mr. Beer, which I boiled the extract, even though the instructions didnt tell me too and managed to boil over and cook a ton of it onto the stove top, which turned out to be a great beer and the 2 gallons I bottled barely lasted two weeks).

Things I learned on my first partial mash.

-5 Gallon pot is not enough to brew a 5 gallon batch of beer (ended up using the 5 gallon pot which was filled to 4.5ish gallons and watched it like a hawk during the boil, and another 2 gallon pot I normally use for cooking spaghetti)
-It's ok to top off your fermenter with spring water, because you were a moron and put 1 oz of Hallertau and 1 oz of Cascade in at 60 minutes and (according to some calculators) I basically doubled my IBUs on a scotch ale
-Don't forget to actually sparge, I have no clue what my OG is since you need a very tall glass to hold a hydrometer
-Dont be a lazy ass and go buy a couple bags of ice to cool your wort in your sink, ended up dumping my wort into primary at about 90F
-Finally don't brew on a weekday, rushed home on my bicycle and broke a good many traffic laws running through red lights and stop signs, and set a new personal record for my ride home, only to still not have enough time to cool and pitch my yeast before going and drinking beer and eating wings with some friends, ended up pitching my yeast 2 hours after dumping it in the brew bucket (on the bright side it cooled down a lot while I was off drinking)

I should've read this thread before I read anything else about home brewing. It's on day 3 now in primary happily bubbling away, since I screwed up all my numbers because of the whole 5 gallon pot debacle I may have a super sweet scotch ale, or a super bitter scotch ale, I have no clue.
 

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I can't believe I just found this thread.

I've made plenty of epic bonehead moves.
The ones where I didn't have to dump:

Exploded what I figured was the entire krausen out of my dunkle.
Got home from work on monday after brewing Sunday. The airlock was clogged and audibly hissing. I pull the airlock out of the bung, hissing increases. I work the bung halfway out. It finishes the job, blows out and hits the ceiling. I'm covered in nice dark dunkle krausen, along with my kitchen. I didn't even change out of my work clothes before hand. Blow off tubes from then on! The beer was damn good however.

I ran out of muslim bags so I used a large gym sock when I was doing mini mashes. Beer came out great and the face people made when I told them was priceless.

I once brewed BM's kona clone and used the full 10 gallon recipe for a 5 gallon batch (OG was sky high) I realize a few days after I pitched. LHBS and comments here were loads of help. Got a wine whisk. whisked the **** out of it, syphoned ~half to another carboy. Topped off with Poland springs, whisked the **** out of them again. Fermented, bottled (tagged the split batches, OG of the split was a bit off, but not by much and it had fermented a bit before anyhow so it was up in the air.), tasted fine along the way. Broke a case out for a BBQ a few weeks later and they went like hot cakes. People loved them. Next thing I know they had gotten into the other cases and I had to hide the last 12 22's. People are still asking for me to brew it and I'm tempted to replicate my exact process!


Most recently I ran out of propane while heating my sparge water.
I had another tank but it was REALLY low and I didn't want to run out mid-boil. So I mashed overnight. I thought "People do that right?" It was sat at 7pm the day before Easter. I drove around a bit but no dice. Came home, did a search found out people do mash overnight. Next morning I get some propane and sparge. Efficiency was through the roof, 95%! Brewed the same batch again the same day and recently tasted them when checking FG. You can pick out the overnight mash from the higher ABV but the tastes are pretty spot on, excited to keg and carb this weekend!
 

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