Author Topic: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?  (Read 2858 times)

Offline phytenphyre

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Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« on: February 26, 2014, 06:20:06 PM »
This batch was going great...until...I checked fermentation 2 weeks in (at 62F in my fermentation chamber using s-04) and still had a reading of 1.032 (it started at 1.062)!!  What?  This couldn't be. I raised the temp to 68F and waited 2 more weeks and it was exactly 1.032.

I thought it was done. I started to cold crash it and was going to bottle it in a few days with half the priming sugar so I didn't make a whole lot of bottle bombs.

I headed to my LHBS and told them what was going on. The guy says (in a nutshell), "Whoa, you don't want to do that, it's way too high. Go home warm it up and pitch two more packs to see if you can restart the fermentation." 

I went home and went to go change my temperature controller, opened up the freezer, and saw I had forgotten to remove the blow off tube! There sat a half empty growler of star san and a carboy with about a half gallon more liquid inside it's belly.

Ahhhhhhhhh crud!! 

I've come this far we'll just see where it goes from here. Re-checked gravity...as expected, exactly 1.032. I warmed it up and pitched both packs of S-04 and waited a week.

Not a single bubble in now what is a simple air lock. Re-re-checked gravity, guess what?  1.032 on the nose.

Just so happens I was reading through the forums the other day when I came across an interesting thread. As I read and scrolled, read and scrolled I came across a post that grabbed my attention. I read the first line.  I'm sure you heard the smack around the world as one said hand hit one said head. Refractometers don't take accurate readings when there is alcohol present in one said carboy of what was supposed to be a Zombie Dust clone.

AAHHHHHHH DOUBLE CRUD x2!!!!

I, literally, just took a gravity with my HYDROMETER and it's...wait for it...wait for it... 1.010. And now it has an extra half gallon of star san and O2 as I swished and swirled that carboy every couple of hours after I re-pitched two packs of S-04, AND has now been sitting at basement temps for the past week or so.

I was so excited and now so bummed. It was going to be really good...I just knew it.

To all of you whom made it this far in my sob story, what would you do with the "extra love" I added to my beer?  Pitch or bottle with the star san (it's actually the low foam stuff and can't remember the a actual name). Have any of you done the same thing?  What did you do?  If you bottled, was it worth the effort and time?  Should I just re-brew the batch and start from scratch?  Drinkable or not, that is the question?

One said brewer,
Kyle
"Have no fear, it's just beer."
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Re-do: a ruined Zombie Dust clone

Offline In The Sand

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Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 06:24:26 PM »
Can't figure out how to do the emoticon laughing with tears, but that is a nice funny story. I know it wasn't funny to you. Chalk it up to experience and look at it this way: you get to brew more beer.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 06:26:50 PM by In The Sand »
Trey W.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 06:25:11 PM »
Have you tried drinking it?

I don't know if the starsan will add its flavor to the beer. I would certainly taste it before you dump it.

Other than Star-san, I don't think anything else you did will affect the flavor too much.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 06:38:35 PM »
Several hard learned lessons there my friend. They're only mistakes if you don't learn from them.
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Offline ajk

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 07:03:19 PM »
Chill it down and see if the StarSan stratifies on top of the beer. Then carefully rack the beer out from under the StarSan. Even if that doesn't work, definitely taste it. And if it's any good, drink it!

Offline phytenphyre

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 07:26:34 PM »
Ah yes, mistakes and experience!!  Gotta love 'em, I just wish they didn't cost so much money!! 

I did taste the hydro sample. It wasn't awful, but obviously it's not exactly what I was shooting for.

Unfortunately, I have another beer fermenting now so there is no real good way of chilling this one down.

I guess the million dollar question is with the starsan actually in the beer and how many people am I going to kill by having them drink this stuff??  Is it safe??  That is what I truly need to know. If there is any possibility of if not, I'll dump it and chalk it up to "experience" and put it on my "do-over" list...that I just made...right now.
"Have no fear, it's just beer."
Chitty Black IPA
Oh My IPA
Handle Bar Mustache Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout clone
Next up: Rye IPA
Re-do: a ruined Zombie Dust clone

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 07:36:53 PM »
I have heard that star san at working dilution is safe to drink as is. Research it or ask five star.

Offline narvin

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 07:38:00 PM »
I wouldn't drink anything with that much Star San.  They advertise it as no-rise up to a 300ppm concentration only.  In fact, their old MSDS listed that it was 10% Isopropyl alcohol.  That's no longer listed, but other ingredients are not shown and simply marked as "trade secrets".

http://www.jstrack.org/brewing/msds/starsan.pdf

http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/wp-content/uploads/StarSanMSDS1.pdf
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 07:43:28 PM »
Yeah, I wouldn't drink it if it had star san in it. I mean, it's supposed to be safe but .... man, have you ever gotten star san in your mouth? It literally hurts your teeth. Seriously.

I know it hurts (and was a great story. Sorry for your loss but thanks for the laugh! ;) ) but just know we have all been there. Once I was shaking a carboy full of precious barley wine that I had spent 8 hours brewing and the carboy slipped and shattered all over my garage. That's just one of the many stories of lost batches of beer. I've made numerous beer water falls down my drive way. It always sucks, but I've always been eager to get back to the next batch.

Chalk it up as learning and move on to the next one! 8)
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Offline narvin

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 08:06:20 PM »
I finished up a batch of Belgian strong dark and carried all 10 gallons just far enough to get into my kitchen before dropping it.  The lid blew off the bucket and a tidal wave engulfed the wall, fridge, cabinets , everything.  Another time I walked away from bottling and the springy tip on the bottling wand failed and half of the beer drained... Down the sink.  Beer is a cruel mistress.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 08:15:03 PM »
I've gagged down a homebrew or two. Some commercial ones too. Life's too short. I've learned to dump and redo.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 08:18:28 PM »
The inventor of Star San was interviewed on Basic Brewing years ago. I think this is where I heard it is safe. Email five star before dumping or listening to me. I'm sure they will give you some legalese filled answer.

http://ec.libsyn.com/p/3/9/0/390da96899933961/bbr03-29-07.mp3

Offline majorvices

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 08:25:28 PM »
The inventor of Star San was interviewed on Basic Brewing years ago. I think this is where I heard it is safe. Email five star before dumping or listening to me. I'm sure they will give you some legalese filled answer.

http://ec.libsyn.com/p/3/9/0/390da96899933961/bbr03-29-07.mp3

I remember that. I remember he said he would drink it diluted to sanitation strength. But have you ever gotten it in your mouth? Feels like it is eating your teeth away. Try it sometime. Actually, it's not something I would recommend, unless you feel like stripping the enamel off your teeth.
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2014, 09:16:09 PM »
Star san or Saniclean diluted to sanitation strength is pretty intense, but diluted into a carboy full of beer should be unnoticeable. I say taste it and carbonate it.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Cold crash fail! One ruined beer! One dumb home brewer?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2014, 10:48:41 PM »
So... if I run out of Pepsodent I should try StarSan? How does PBW or Oxyclean feel on your teeth?