Author Topic: Got a brewday disaster story?  (Read 2986 times)

Online denny

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Got a brewday disaster story?
« on: February 23, 2017, 11:58:58 AM »
You know how it goes. Drop a carboy, burn the mash, put 3 eyes of newt instead of 1. What's your disaster story?  OK, we've all had those brewing days where nothing seems to go right. Not just running out of propane...you know, the kind of day where you wonder why you're doing this! But we power through and keep brewing. For our April Fools show, we're looking for stories of brew days gone wrong..really wrong. Something to make us all feel better about our own brewdays from Hell! Email your brewday disaster stories to podcast@experimentalbrew.com or call our Beer Hotline at 626.765.1ALE and tell us your story!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 12:05:15 PM »
thanks to some guy on the internet hyping up batch sparging :), the first time I did it I forgot to close the valve on the keggle I was sparging into. After vorlauf I opened up the valve to my mash fun full blast and went inside and made toast, came out to all my precious wort on the ground.

Online denny

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 12:09:17 PM »
thanks to some guy on the internet hyping up batch sparging :), the first time I did it I forgot to close the valve on the keggle I was sparging into. After vorlauf I opened up the valve to my mash fun full blast and went inside and made toast, came out to all my precious wort on the ground.

I have a friend who's "famous" for doing that repeatedly.  He also once poured out a yeast starter on the ground because he thought it was sanitizer!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 12:16:26 PM »
haha, its so easy to forget, one stupid little valve and all your hard work is gone.

On one of my first brews, I somehow failed to account that LME needed to be stirred into the water and not simply dumped in all at once. The ensuing burnt on crud that was left on the bottom on my pot could have survived a nuclear blast it was so cooked on. It was a cheap pot so I just ended up throwing it out.

Lets see, how else am I an idiot...
I used standard heating elements in an electric keggle I built and the ensuing wort smelled and tasted like kingsford charcoal.

boiling starter wort+yeast=dead yeast.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 12:17:59 PM by bayareabrewer »

Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 12:44:46 PM »
I'm sure I do... and I'm planning on 2 - 3 brews this weekend so I might have a few more stories by Monday!  ;D

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 12:46:05 PM »
Man, it runs the gamut in terms of all my screwups!

1/ 2 broken carboys where I got stitches.

2/ Scorched DME and LME that didn't get stirred, as posted above.

3/ Brewing a double batch and pitching the wrong strain into the wrong wort.

4/ Same as above, but wrong hops into wrong wort.

5/ Broken glass thermometer into my wort.  Yeah, wow.


Many others. I learned how to be creative with the profanity.
Jon H.

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 12:49:17 PM »
There is always something going wrong on brewday right? One that comes to mind for me is I brewed a Lager for a friend towards the end of last year and I needed to add around 3 ml of Lactic acid to my mash. I use small plastic medicine syringes. I have one that is 1ml on a full draw. Well I recently added a new one to the stash and I grabbed the wrong one, its larger and is actually 5ml on a full draw...I filled that sucker 3 times. Measured the mash ph at something like 4.5 and realized what I did. I was about to give up on the batch but it was for a friend who really wanted the beer. I figured I would at least see how it turned out. Baking soda to the rescue. I skipped the acid in the sparge and ran with it. Believe it or not it turned out to be just fine. I was worried about the flavor threshold but I couldnt pick up anything even with 15ml of Lactic acid. It was a very crisp, clean Amber Lager.  :o

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 01:23:06 PM »
haha, its so easy to forget, one stupid little valve and all your hard work is gone.

On one of my first brews, I somehow failed to account that LME needed to be stirred into the water and not simply dumped in all at once. The ensuing burnt on crud that was left on the bottom on my pot could have survived a nuclear blast it was so cooked on. It was a cheap pot so I just ended up throwing it out.

Lets see, how else am I an idiot...
I used standard heating elements in an electric keggle I built and the ensuing wort smelled and tasted like kingsford charcoal.

boiling starter wort+yeast=dead yeast.

I did the LME thing... I don't think ive ever heard more requests for a repeat recipe than that one... I went with it since it didn't scorch bad enough where it was all stuck down there, but I was convinced it was going to be terrible. It ended up delicious.

Offline IPAnic

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 05:10:20 PM »
Garden hose for counter flow wort chiller unknowingly froze. Ended up with "hot" wort going into glass carboy on a minus zero day. Blew the top off the glass carboy...It literally exploded "feet into the air". Quickly washed mouth out with grain alcohol and siphoned wort into another barely disinfected carboy @ 9:00ish a.m. Try doing that any time, let alone early morning - HELLO morning. Beer was pretty good. The LODO people would've had a screaming mimi watching me run it through a kitchen sieve 2 or 3 times just to ensure the glass was removed. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger ;D

Offline dls5492

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 05:52:58 PM »
A few summers ago, I was brewing an all-grain Summer Ale. My system is all gravity. My sparge water is in a cooler on a tall ladder. My mash tun is on another ladder and my collection bucket is on the ground. My boil kettle is on the burner near by. So, I was done running my sparge water. At this time, I collected about 3 gallons and I needed about 3 more gallons of wort. I asked my self why I wasn't collecting my runnings directly into the kettle. I decided to move my mash tun in order to do that. I picked up my mash tun and then dropped it. (When it fell, time slowed down). I had grain and wort all over my garage floor. I decided to head to my LHBS and pick up some DME to make up the difference. When I got there, he was closed, so I left. Fortunately, the owner saw me and texted me. So he did sell me some DME and I finished with a descent beer.
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Offline GS

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 06:03:44 PM »
I once bottled a 5 gallon batch of beer without adding any priming sugar.

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 11:44:29 AM »
So I had two empty kegs and was transferring Vienna lager to the kegs from  bright tanks for an annual party.  I CO2 purge with sanitizer, so one keg was filled with sanitizer and jumpered to a second keg to push it all out and then fill that empty sanitized keg from the bright tank keg.  Then clean, sanitize and purge the prior bright tank keg and repeat the process with the second bright tank of Vienna...except somewhere along the line after removing the tape identifying the beer kegs, I confused which was which and proceeded to put about a half pint of iodophor solution into a bright tank of Vienna Lager!  I could not tell the difference in the beers - so I guess it turns out that beer is pretty forgiving, indeed. I am also happy that my iodophor solution was at the dilute end of the spectrum for its use.  I didn't bring the bad keg to the party...if you were wondering about that.
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Offline chezteth

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2017, 11:57:49 AM »
I was brewing a 10gal batch. My brew day was moving along as normal. Then, while transferring the chilled wort into one of the two 6.5 gal glass carboys I decided I wanted the second carboy moved. So, I reached over the top of the carboy that was filling and grabbed the empty one. As I was over the top of the one getting filled it slipped out of my hand. Both carboys were smashed on the garage floor with 5gal of wort. Fortunately, I didn't get cut. Plus I still had 5 gal of wort to transfer into another carboy.

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Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 12:43:33 PM »
One pleasant summer morning I was finishing a mash of my favorite Irish Red.  I had a basic recirculation system going on the mash tun with a HLT warming up next to it; separate output hose on the HLT to quickly plug into the pump when I was ready to start sparging.  Guess a slug found that hose while I wasn't watching, because moments after I started the sparge water flowing he came spraying out all over the top of my mash.  Eww.

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 01:23:08 PM »
I've never had a disaster, so I'm worried one is coming.  The worst that happened to me was having a water heater blanket on my kettle for mashing.  Mash done, so I start the flame and forgot to take the water heater blanket off first. 
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny