Author Topic: OK I really screwed up...  (Read 7550 times)

Offline tonyp

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OK I really screwed up...
« on: March 21, 2012, 07:21:02 PM »
So in a colossal bout stupidity I left spent grain in my mash tun (coleman cooler) over the winter when i thought i cleaned it out. Opening it for the first time was the most disgusting thing I have ever witnessed in my entire 42 years on this planet. The smell of death and decay and the sight of bugs and maggots was overwhelming to every one of my senses. I just can't describe it in words.

I cleaned it out and scrubbed it over and over and over again inbetween puking, then i scrubbed it some more with oxyclean, then soap, then again with oxyclean, then sanitized it with star-san and did the whole thing over again atleast 5 times over the course of a few days but the smell of death remains.

Is this a hopeless cause? Will anything get rid of that smell? I don't want any grain or wort to come close to touching this thing if I can't even get rid of the smell. I know i can boil the stainless steel parts (weldless valve, bulkhead and bazooka screen) but i can't seem to get rid of that smell in the cooler. It goes away after cleaning it then returns overnight.

Think i should just cut my losses, toss it and spend the $40 on a new cooler or do you think its salvagable somehow?

I feel like such a friggin idiot!@!#$

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Offline bluesman

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 07:26:44 PM »
I think that bacteria has worked it's way into the pores of the plastic wall of the cooler. It is still okay to use because you will boil the mash liquor after the mash. If you can afford a new cooler, I would just buy a new one only to avoid smelling the nasty bugs in the walls of the cooler. However, it will be okay to use.
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 07:29:33 PM »
If you cleaned it that many times and it still smells, I say get a new one.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 07:41:02 PM »
Oh man, I can only imagine how bad that must have been. Last summer I left some grain in the tun for maybe two days and was gagging while I cleaned it out. That spent grain goes really bad in a big hurry.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 09:42:08 PM »
Oof.  Regardless of how safe it is, do you really want to smell that every time you brew?  i would be getting a new one.
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Offline jiggs26.2

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 09:48:52 PM »
REPLACE IT!  I have a 5 gallon one I made hand grenade mix in, it is a high in alcohol drink you can get in New Orleans.  I did this about 5 years ago and left what wasn't drank in there for about 3 days and it still smells like the mix.  So I say cut your losses and double check next time. Happy Brewing!   
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 09:50:09 PM »
Try using a solution of baking soda...lots of it, and leave it sit for a couple days.  Then dump and leave
open in the air. You can rinse later.  Baking soda is a remarkable odor eliminator.

It's cheap, and you've nothing to lose but a little time. Good luck.
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Offline euge

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 11:02:15 PM »
It's only $40. Get a new one your time and senses are worth more than that.

Spent grain can be one of the worst things imaginable if you don;t take care of it quick!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline punatic

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 02:07:41 AM »
Try putting a half gallon of bleach in a full cooler of water and let it sit for a day.  If that doesn't get rid of the funkiness nothing will.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 02:34:49 AM »
One other option is to leave it open in full sun for a few days. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" but it also got the stank out of this one temperpedic pillow that hadn't been, er, washed in a while.
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Offline bo

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 06:23:44 AM »
One other option is to leave it open in full sun for a few days. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" but it also got the stank out of this one temperpedic pillow that hadn't been, er, washed in a while.

Yes, a good old dose of UV will generally take care of it.

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2012, 06:51:17 AM »
Try using a solution of baking soda...lots of it, and leave it sit for a couple days.  Then dump and leave
open in the air. You can rinse later.  Baking soda is a remarkable odor eliminator.

It's cheap, and you've nothing to lose but a little time. Good luck.

+1. I put baking soda in my work boots once and found salvation.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2012, 07:20:55 AM »
One other option is to leave it open in full sun for a few days. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" but it also got the stank out of this one temperpedic pillow that hadn't been, er, washed in a while.

this is my SOP, I shovel out the tun, rinse with chiller water and leave it propped open on the lawn until... well generally until I brew again lately. But I started doing this when I left grain in there for a couple days. I also discovered that, even if you rinse everything out really well it's easy to miss a few grains in the braid or what have you and if you close it up with those few damp grains in there is can still get stinky.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline tonyp

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2012, 08:25:00 AM »
thanks for all of the suggestions, i put it out in the sun, we'll see what happens...
Live from the Jersey Shore!

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Grandpa Louie's Cream Ale
Eagle Point Pale Ale


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Offline BrewArk

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Re: OK I really screwed up...
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2012, 11:59:14 AM »
Try putting a half gallon of bleach in a full cooler of water and let it sit for a day.  If that doesn't get rid of the funkiness nothing will.

+1
The advantage over sunlight is that you do not have to constantly rotate it.  (obviously, you want the regular-unscented, or better yet the commercial stuff from Lowes or HD)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 12:01:01 PM by BrewArk »
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