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What was you biggest boneheaded rookie mistake?

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dutch101st

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After I had about 8 brews under my belt, I went to bottle and plum forgot the primeing sugar.

Needless to say, I was rather proud of my endeavour and handed out a few bottles, not knowing it was flatter than Quincy's girlfriend's rearend.
 

nealf

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I've done that before; had to uncap them all and dump them all back into the bottling bucket with the priming sugar.

Worst mistake: Getting drunk while brewing, it could definitely become a waste of a $50 batch.
 

CaptYesterday

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My roommate and I have been brewing together for over a year now. When we went AG we hastily built ourselves a Zapap lauter tun and used it without testing it. Obviously we got a stuck mash.

Biggest rookie mistake made that day?

My buddy decided he could stick his hand into the bucket and clear the blockage. I think right about the time he got his hand to the bottom of the mash he realized what a terrible idea it was.

Nuff said.
 

Endovelico

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Probably adding the malt (extract) after adding the first hops at 60 min. Many boilovers ocured that day.
 

HotbreakHotel

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I did the priming sugar thing too -- unfortunately I wasn't still a newbie then.

A couple of my dumb moves:

1) Tried to harvest Bell's yeast. Didn't see any activity for six days and was delighted when it finally started. Didn't smell or taste the liquid, just dumped the sediment into my next batch of wort. Dumped it a month later.

2) Got concentrated Star San on my high gloss formica countertop, and it caused irreversible damage.
 

Evan

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just throwing grains, malt and hops together without any real thought, i guess one in a hundred you might get lucky, but i never seemed to. oh and getting drunk while brewing, always a mistake, last week i got so drunk i forgot when i started the boil!?!?!?
 

Christian

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Drunk brewing hands down and i am not talking slightly buzzed or fairly intoxicated...no...no....i'm talking about fall down drunk!!! :drunk: Lets just say that equipment was ruined, broken, destroyed, melted (yes i said melted) and everything you can possibly think could go wrong did.


Luckily i do not remember much about the night (other than my wife laughing at me while she watched), i just remember waking up to the horrible mess and making a mental note to never ever do that again.
 

brian_g

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I made several mistakes:

1) I boiled my "no-boil" kit and it boiled over. Wife not happy.

2) I forgot to close the tap in my fermenter and wort ran everywhere.

3) I shook my bottles on several different day to get it to carbonate faster. The result. It broke up the sediment into little chunks that never settled down properly. That was last summer. I still have one bottle left and there is still sediment floating in the bottle.
 

rtichota

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First batch ever - I added my extract, put my hops in, and knew I was close to having my first batch...then at the end of the boil I put a carboy in an ice bath and dumped the boiling wort into it! It didn't shatter, but when I tried to lift it out of the sink it came apart in two pieces. A full batch of beer all over the kitchen floor...my roommates dubbed my response, "The F-bomb heard round the world."
 

RICLARK

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2nd batch I made was a coopers APA can. I left it on the stove and sat in the chair and fell asleep for an hour and a half. I woke up and there was about 2 gallons left in the pot and the Wort was burned into an awful charcoal taste.
 
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I forgot the priming sugar also -- thankfully it was a batch of Apfelwein, so I didn't care - and I was making some mead at the same time so I threw the sugar water into the must (I had actually boiled the priming sugar -- just forgot to add it to the Apfelwein during bottling!)
 

Sucram

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A few years back, a friend and I were making an imperial stout. There was so much beautiful inky, black runoff from the steeping grains that we saved it (unboiled) and used it to top off the batch in the fermenter. It tasted like plum and charcoal.
 

ctdenney

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My thermometer, after it reaches 100F starts over, so that 120F is just labeled 20

So on my first brew, since i did not have any cooling equipment, I was letting it cool on its own(first mistake) After a while i checked the temp and it was at 85, good enough! i thought, and pitched the yeast. 10 minutes later i discovered that it was in fact 185 and i had killed my yeast. I had to rush to the brewery supply store the next to buy more yeast. That first batch had a funny after taste that I have since attributed to wild yeast taking a slight hold in the day the wort sat without yeast.
 

llazy_llama

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I think we've all forgotten to add priming sugar at least once. My biggest flaw is that I forget 75% of the time. So far I've gotten lucky and caught it after 1-6 bottles each time. No blood, no foul.

Honestly though, my biggest mistake (and I think many will agree with me here) is not doing a dry-run first when I get new equipment. It always takes a few batches to dial in your process, and as has been said before, that resets with each change to your equipment. My first attempt at a full boil with a turkey fryer met with near disaster due to constant 10-15 mph winds in my area. HURR DURR! Since then, I moved to the garage and never looked back.

Another all too common mistake is complacency. Well heck, my last few batches didn't boil over when I used a fan to dissipate surface tension, so this one won't either. Ask my wife how that one turned out, or walk bare-foot in my kitchen to learn first hand.
 

GregR

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my very first brew came with a 1 pound pack of priming sugar. we added all of it to the 5 gallon batch. talk about over carbing! we lost probably over half the bottles to the tops popping off. the ones that didnt pop gushed like old faithful and we got maybe 1/2 a beer from each 22 oz bottle.

also forgot to add the priming sugar once. to this day that is one of big "are we SURE we did this" things during bottling day.

for the first few batches I had NO idea how to use a hydrometer and didn't even touch it.

I'm sure I could think of more bonehead thing I did but those top the list.
 

danorocks17

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I decided it would be a good idea to put my boil pot on the back burner. I was doing a 90 minute boil and my wife said she could smell something burning. I couldn't smell it but i was hearing this crackling sounds, but didnt think anything of it. So after my boil is done I take the pot off the stove and I had burned what looked like a smiley face on the back of my counter. Luckly, we haven't re-done our kitchen yet, so she wasn't too pissed.

Oh, and dont get hammered on brew day till, AFTER everything is done.
 

conpewter

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On my first batch I had a 5 gallon carboy... for a 5 gallon batch. There was not room in there to shake the fermenter like the instructions said so I got an air mattress pump and blew air into it for about 5 minutes.... that batch got infected really bad. Luckily my next batch was not so bad.

While mashing in the kitchen I started draining my wort into my new keggle. I started to eat supper while it drained, turned around a minute later to see the floor covered with wort from the open spigot. (That batch was really tasty in the end)
 

tolip_ck1

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Grabbed a hold of my copper piping during a liquid transfer, 200 deg F will ABSOLUTELLY melt your finger prints, way before you feel it!!
 

Revvy

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You might find these stories amusing :D

We did a huge "bare our souls for the skittish new brewers so they know we're fallable" thread at the beginning of the year...

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/wh...where-your-beer-still-turned-out-great-96780/

But I have learned an important lesson (at teach a neighbor to brew day in front of some hbt'ers) You know those metal legs on your turkey fryer? The ones attached to the metal frame that the burner flame touches? You don't wanna grab the leg to move it around after it's been burning for and hour...*owie*
 

jacksonbrown

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My very first brew was on my stove-top brew, of course. While waiting for a boil I decided to get some dishes cleaned. Big mistake! Huge boil over, wort caramelized wort all over my range, bellow the burners, even some on the floor. That was a B!TCH to clean.
 

rjhockey

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The best bone headed mistake i've ever made was sometime early last year I started brewing a nice blue moon clone.

I mashed in at 5pm on a Sunday, everything went perfect got about 76% efficency which was my target. Dead on Preboil Gravity, perfect boil no spills, chilled down in under 15 minutes, not a thing wrong.

So I have this perfect batch of wort sitting in my kitchen transfering to the carboy. I go into my brew supply room to get the yeast, but wait... NO YEAST. I forgot to buy yeast for the brew. So silly me I capped up the carboy, and let it sit over night stopped at the LHBS on the way way home, only to find that i'm not the only organism that like the wort. Chalk that up to a wasted night and a wasted brew.

I now buy my yeast in bulk, hopefully soon I'll be able to start culturing it.
 

conpewter

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But I have learned an important lesson (at teach a neighbor to brew day in front of some hbt'ers) You know those metal legs on your turkey fryer? The ones attached to the metal frame that the burner flame touches? You don't wanna grab the leg to move it around after it's been burning for and hour...*owie*
That reminds me! After draining my keggle one time I picked it up by the bottom rim and top rim... OUCH that bottom rim stays HOT.

Also I took my keggle off the burner one time when it blew out, and when I put it back on I noticed a nice ring shape melted into my plastic welcome mat by the back door....
 

Tenchiro

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My last batch of cider that I was happily bottling only to realize that after I added the priming sugar to the bottling bucket I had forgotten to dissolve it in water. Every bottle in that batch had sugar in the bottom of them and were all poorly carbed.
 

Bernie Brewer

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But I have learned an important lesson (at teach a neighbor to brew day in front of some hbt'ers) You know those metal legs on your turkey fryer? The ones attached to the metal frame that the burner flame touches? You don't wanna grab the leg to move it around after it's been burning for and hour...*owie*
That reminds me! After draining my keggle one time I picked it up by the bottom rim and top rim... OUCH that bottom rim stays HOT.

Let me tell that the dumbass moves don't stop even if you don't consider yourself a noob. Just last month at the brew-together at Cookiebaggs' place I did the same thing. Short Drive needed help lifting his keggle, so I volunteered. I couldn't get a good grip on the handle, so without thinking I reached down and grabbed it from the bottom. I could literally hear my fingers sizzle. I ran my fingers under the cold tap for a few minutes, and spent the remainder of the day with a fresh cold brew in that hand....:cross:

BTW my blisters have healed nicely by now.....:)
 

Hegh

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Just last night I was racking some Apfelwein, and there was what looked like a bubble between the autosiphon and the tubing. I kept letting off little bubbles, but I figured it would be okay, since that tiny amount of air can't really aerate the whole batch.

Near the end of the transfer, I grab onto the autosiphon where the tubing attaches... and the bubbling stops. It had been sucking fresh air into the tube that whole time, probably aerating the entire batch... We'll see how it turns out. I was very excited for this, but now I'm worried that I ruined it.
 

TurboBrew

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I've forgotten the priming sugar so many times I bought kegs.

The most boneheaded thing I've done is think that my beer is fragile and delicate. On batch number 3 I believe, my friend took the airlock out to see what it smelled like and I about fainted. Of course it was fine.

Numerous burns. Brewing in wind sucks.

It doesn't matter how awesome you think it is, if they've been drinking BMC for 10 years or it's your condescending older brother
(or both), they won't like it.
 

Jumbo82

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I've done most of the mistakes mentioned. Boiled over on stove. Forgot priming sugar. Broken carboys, most recently with hot cleaner into cold glass. Dumped a batch out from primary because it burned my nose when I put my head in the bucket to smell it (pure co2, probably my dumbest mistake). The list is too long, I'm going to stop there.
 

Llama

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For one of my first brews, I was brewing indoors and the stove was on an island. I didn't notice that my girlfriend had put my computer by behind the kettle. The screen melted and bulged outwards. Luckily the lcd didn't break, but I was never able to close the lid of that laptop again.
 

McNasty

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My old roommate and I we're really drunk by time the boil was over. It was the first time using my keggle. We carried it in to the kitchen because our chiller had to hook up to the sink. Instantly smelled the wood floors burning. There is a perfect black ring on the floor. We told the landlords, offering to pay for it and they reply "Ahh, don't worry about. Those floors were in rough shape anyways". I actually thought the floors were pretty nice, but whatever. I even got my full deposit back.
 
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Forgetting to close a spigot.

Worst was not making sure the bolts holding the new burner stand were fastened with nuts. One had a nut missing and have way through boil a bolt fell out t=and the stand collapses .. pics in my gallery.

I was fighting the government (and eventually won) for workers comp and was a tad broke at the time, so I made a "keg" out of a water bottle. It worked fine. I used a tire inflater. Damn thing f'd up and the valve opened full blast, blowing high pressure into the keg causing it to blow apart. Beer all over the brand new carpet and a nice scar on my left middle finger.

Not sure what exactly f'd up cause the tire inflater actually blew apart in my hand.

EDIT: Forgot to mention my latest error. I accidentally added way to much citric acid to a keg that I was filtering. Don't ask, it seemed smart at the time. I mis-measured and added about 5 times as much as I intended. Citrusy dark beer. :eek:

Hope that fades over time...
 

Tripod

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My biggest mistake (to date...) was due to classic n00bie impatience.

I had used S-05 - which typically takes of in a few hours - for so many of the first batches that I thought all yeasts should take off that fast. Didn't realize that it's normal for yeast to take 24 hours to show results. So the first time I tried S-04 it didn't do anything for 5 hours or so and I assumed the yeast was bad. So like a good n00bie, I pitched another pack of trusty S-05 on top of the other and ended up with 23 grams of yeast... When those little f***ers took off it was like one of those science-class experiments when you build the working model of a volcano!! The mess was indescribable. The finished product, however, was one of my best so far!

Blow-off tubes and a little patience are my newest friends. ;)

-Tripod
 
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Tripod;1205785 Blow-off tubes and a little patience are my newest friends. ;) [/QUOTE said:
That reminds me of brewing at my parents place when I was 19. I had a large white plastic carboy that I pitched the yeast into and and put the airlock on.

Yeast selection was limited back then (to say the least) and I don't remember if it was a different strain or what, but it sure took off! Hops clogged the airlock, pressure built up...

I was at the bar and when I came home there was a nasty note. I went downstairs. There was a beery stain in the ceiling and a hose in the bung.

My Mom told me it sounded like a gunshot. The airlock launched at high speed and hit the ceiling. My Mom and my bro (15 at the time) ran downstairs to see a beer volcano spewing hops and beer onto the ceiling like a crazed fountain.

Wish I could have at least seen it. When I asked them if they at least took pictures, they didn't find the question as amusing as I did. :drunk:
 

cushdan

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Recent mistake...

Making Yoopers Dogfish 60 clone (extract) I was ready to end my 60 min boil and start cooling when I realized that I forgot to add my late addition extract (about 4lbs). Added that in quick but the additional time waiting for the hop break completely threw off my hop addition so most of them added bitterness. This combined with a couple other things I thought I'd try to make it more bitter resulted in the most strangely bitter thing I've tasted. It makes your mouth dry when you drink it and you feel like coughing.

I still have it kegged, it makes me sad thinking I'll have to dump it but I think that's my best option at this point (the thought of trying to mix it with another batch and ruining two batches is unappealing).
 

android

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first all grain, full boil: trying to carry freshly boiled wort down a set of stairs, backwards to the only faucet that can hook to my IC. my burn has healed nicely. when my wife got home and i had everything mostly cleaned up, she asked, "why didn't you just hook up the copper thing to the hose in the garage?" good idea hon.
 

dontman

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Recent mistake...

Making Yoopers Dogfish 60 clone (extract) I was ready to end my 60 min boil and start cooling when I realized that I forgot to add my late addition extract (about 4lbs). Added that in quick but the additional time waiting for the hop break completely threw off my hop addition so most of them added bitterness. This combined with a couple other things I thought I'd try to make it more bitter resulted in the most strangely bitter thing I've tasted. It makes your mouth dry when you drink it and you feel like coughing.

I still have it kegged, it makes me sad thinking I'll have to dump it but I think that's my best option at this point (the thought of trying to mix it with another batch and ruining two batches is unappealing).
I know it doesn't help much now but I used to do all of my late additions at flameout. You do not need to get a hot break with extract. This has already occurred during the extracting process.

As far as the dump. I have a keg that I just have to dump. Bubblegum city. Just a nasty brew. I have tried everything including waiting 5 months. Now it is just taking up keg space and needs euthanasia.
 

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