Author Topic: Got a brewday disaster story?  (Read 2970 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2017, 06:31:16 AM »
Pretty timely thread - here's another major screwup. Lost one of the kegs of dunkel overnight because it leaked out the swivel nut on the liquid QD. Helluva mess. Luckily it wasn't the low O2 one, since it's going to NHC. I got burned years ago and lost a keg due to the same thing. I tightened all the connections and was fine for years. Obviously the safe thing is to disconnect the QDs at night. Nothing like a self inflicted wound. ;)
 
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2017, 07:05:38 AM »
Once, after a double decoction, I started running off a sparge. Went inside to make coffee and got delayed longer than I expected. When I came back outside I noticed I left the valve open on the boil kettle and most of the wort has just trickled out on the deck. Boy was I mad.

Offline santoch

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2017, 09:20:32 AM »
I posted this on another forum:

Quote from: me
I went to crank out a simple extract batch about 45 mins ago.
Got everything set up. Went to pour the steeping grains into my grain sack.
Instead, they all went onto the <expletive> driveway. In the rain.

I turned off the gas and went inside instead.

<expletive> this

Brewinhard replied here to give solace.

Quote from: me
Yeah. I went inside and started to watch the Seahawks game. They played like <expletive> too.
I was in such a bad mood that my wife got up and left. (*too many loud expletives*)
A little while later, I get a phone call from her phone. She's at the LHBS asking me what I need to replace! She handed the phone to the guy and I told him what I needed, this time with a bigger grain sack and an extra lb of dme, just to bump the gravity a bit (because, hey, everyone knows more alcohol will fix things).
So, I turned the burners back on, got my water all the way heated up, added my extract, and just before hitting hot break, I <expletive> ran out of propane.

So, I ran to the store and swapped both of my propane tanks out.

But, now I have 5 gallons of IPA bubbling and the world is good again.
I should probably go put a blowoff tube on the fermenter. Something tells me I'm stupid if I don't.

I did put on the blowoff tube but it turned out it wasn't needed.
The beer turned out great.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 09:22:30 AM by santoch »
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Offline rob_f

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2017, 09:16:41 PM »
Made a three-quart yeast starter for a lager.  It was in a brown gallon jug.  I also keep my Star-San in a brown gallon jug and reuse it.  Used some Star-San and went to pour it back in the jug.  When the jug overflowed before half the Star-San was in, I knew what I had done.  Whoever says it doesn't kill yeast is wrong. I decanted and pitched the yeast.  That lager had a very poor ferment.
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Offline chumley

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2017, 08:29:17 AM »
Like others, my biggest brewing disasters happen not on a brew day, but somewhere along the line.  To wit:

A couple of years ago we had a small group (8-10) friends over for a summer barbecue.  Everyone was sitting out on our deck.  Underneath the deck and out is my brewing/ meat smoking area, with my brew room in the basement.

I went down to pull some meat out of the smoker, and took it inside to carve in my brewing room.  I accidentally dropped my by heavy set of tongs during the process. Ordinarily no big deal, except they landed and karoomed off a 5 gallon glass carboy that currently was serving as a secondary fermentor for a 10% abv Russian Imperial Stout.

The tongs hit the edge of the carboy where the vertical sides start curving up to the neck.  This broke a very small hole at the spot of impact, causing a small stream of RIS to squirt out of it.  I though that if I lifted it onto the table and started a siphon into a keg or bucket, I could capture and save most of the RIS.

Unfortunately, the small hole marked the end of the structural stability of the carboy.  When I attempted to pick it up, it failed, and RIS poured all over the basement floor.  Fortunately, the carboy fell apart into large shards, which I easily picked up and placed into a trash can.  I then quickly mopped up and hosed down the RIS mess (my basement floor has a floor drain, which greatly helps when such disasters occur), and I had every thing cleaned up and done in 10 minutes, before a guest could come downstairs to fill a beer out of my kegerator and see what I have done.

I carved the brisket, and headed up to the deck for dinner.  No one knew of my disaster.  I told my wife what had happened after the guests went home.  8)

Offline Delo

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2017, 07:56:16 AM »
My three favorite disasters.
1)In my extract days I topped of my carboy of Irish stout with StarSan instead of distilled water.   

2) I must have put my brew pot on a spot of sticky wort and then on a pot holder, which stuck to the bottom of the pot.  I didn’t notice it before I put it on my stove.  When I went to heat my strike water, flames started to shoot up the sides of the pot.  I grabbed the flaming pot and ran out of the house and stuck it in a snow bank. My friend was hanging out with me to learn how to brew that day...

3)  My wife and daughter were gone for the weekend and I figured I would have a relaxing brewday and I would keg an existing carboy of an awesome IPA I made for her.  The IPA was one where I had to take multiple measuring samples because I would drink it before I actually checked the final gravity.  Anyway, after a hot summer brew day, my friend called me to invite me to a BBQ so I decided to postpone kegging the IPA and jumped in the shower.  While getting dressed, I remembered I forgot to put my freshly brewed carboy in my fermentation fridge to drop down to pitching temp.  I carried the carboy down into my basement in my brew hauler. I was rushing and when I made the turn to put the carboy into my fridge, I slightly swung the brew hauler and tapped the “to be kegged carboy” with the one I was carrying.  The to be kegged carboy shattered, flooding our basement with gallons of beer.  I was fortunate enough that the one I was carrying did not break and I didn’t get cut.  I could have been found bled out in my underwear in a puddle of my blood, my beer, and my tears that I shed because that IPA that I lost was so awesome.
Mark

Offline 69franx

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2017, 11:31:05 AM »
My three favorite disasters.
1)In my extract days I topped of my carboy of Irish stout with StarSan instead of distilled water.   

2) I must have put my brew pot on a spot of sticky wort and then on a pot holder, which stuck to the bottom of the pot.  I didn’t notice it before I put it on my stove.  When I went to heat my strike water, flames started to shoot up the sides of the pot.  I grabbed the flaming pot and ran out of the house and stuck it in a snow bank. My friend was hanging out with me to learn how to brew that day...

3)  My wife and daughter were gone for the weekend and I figured I would have a relaxing brewday and I would keg an existing carboy of an awesome IPA I made for her.  The IPA was one where I had to take multiple measuring samples because I would drink it before I actually checked the final gravity.  Anyway, after a hot summer brew day, my friend called me to invite me to a BBQ so I decided to postpone kegging the IPA and jumped in the shower.  While getting dressed, I remembered I forgot to put my freshly brewed carboy in my fermentation fridge to drop down to pitching temp.  I carried the carboy down into my basement in my brew hauler. I was rushing and when I made the turn to put the carboy into my fridge, I slightly swung the brew hauler and tapped the “to be kegged carboy” with the one I was carrying.  The to be kegged carboy shattered, flooding our basement with gallons of beer.  I was fortunate enough that the one I was carrying did not break and I didn’t get cut.  I could have been found bled out in my underwear in a puddle of my blood, my beer, and my tears that I shed because that IPA that I lost was so awesome.

So sorry about those last 2, but thanks so much for the laughs
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg: Bloatarian Hop Project with Galena, Mt. Hood, and Azacca
In Bottles:  Brown Eyed Woman Scottish Heavy
In the works: Fest Bier 2 ways to celebrate 100 days nicotine free

Offline Chas

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2017, 12:58:50 PM »
Yes, my brew day yesterday. I just did my biggest equipment upgrade only to think it's time to sell them and give up the nine years in this hobby. I did my first ten gallon batch with keggles I purchased. Since I could directly heat the mash tun, I thought I would try step mashing. Acid test, protein, then both starches followed by mash out. I'll never do that again! I didn't stir enough at the bottom, got busy with kids running around the basement, and one I got a better stir in, I went from 120 to 191. It leveled out at 172. I added cold water add Ice cubes and it went down to 140. I really don't know what I got (it's a surly furious clone that should be mashed at 154), but the fermentation is going well. Then, the new keggles kettle clogged up with whole hops. I barely could fill the second keg. Took forever to get it out. Then, I could not get the new oxygen wand to even screw on the oxygen tank. I started banging the floor saying "why can't crap just go right"


This was my biggest jump, tested and treated my water, pitched correct yeast, used oxygen wand, it's in a fermentation chamber, etc, etc. Lesson is, just because you got new toys doesn't mean your ready to use them or are going to be a pro. It's tempting to have way too high of expectations after you do tons of research , listen to podcasts or binge read brulosophy. Next time, in going to do a walk through the day before

Offline denny

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2017, 01:04:29 PM »
Yes, my brew day yesterday. I just did my biggest equipment upgrade only to think it's time to sell them and give up the nine years in this hobby. I did my first ten gallon batch with keggles I purchased. Since I could directly heat the mash tun, I thought I would try step mashing. Acid test, protein, then both starches followed by mash out. I'll never do that again! I didn't stir enough at the bottom, got busy with kids running around the basement, and one I got a better stir in, I went from 120 to 191. It leveled out at 172. I added cold water add Ice cubes and it went down to 140. I really don't know what I got (it's a surly furious clone that should be mashed at 154), but the fermentation is going well. Then, the new keggles kettle clogged up with whole hops. I barely could fill the second keg. Took forever to get it out. Then, I could not get the new oxygen wand to even screw on the oxygen tank. I started banging the floor saying "why can't crap just go right"


This was my biggest jump, tested and treated my water, pitched correct yeast, used oxygen wand, it's in a fermentation chamber, etc, etc. Lesson is, just because you got new toys doesn't mean your ready to use them or are going to be a pro. It's tempting to have way too high of expectations after you do tons of research , listen to podcasts or binge read brulosophy. Next time, in going to do a walk through the day before

There's a reason I've stuck with my Cheap'n'Easy system for 512 batches and nearly 20 years.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline JT

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2017, 09:47:06 PM »
Like others, my biggest brewing disasters happen not on a brew day, but somewhere along the line.  To wit:

A couple of years ago we had a small group (8-10) friends over for a summer barbecue.  Everyone was sitting out on our deck.  Underneath the deck and out is my brewing/ meat smoking area, with my brew room in the basement.

I went down to pull some meat out of the smoker, and took it inside to carve in my brewing room.  I accidentally dropped my by heavy set of tongs during the process. Ordinarily no big deal, except they landed and karoomed off a 5 gallon glass carboy that currently was serving as a secondary fermentor for a 10% abv Russian Imperial Stout.

The tongs hit the edge of the carboy where the vertical sides start curving up to the neck.  This broke a very small hole at the spot of impact, causing a small stream of RIS to squirt out of it.  I though that if I lifted it onto the table and started a siphon into a keg or bucket, I could capture and save most of the RIS.

Unfortunately, the small hole marked the end of the structural stability of the carboy.  When I attempted to pick it up, it failed, and RIS poured all over the basement floor.  Fortunately, the carboy fell apart into large shards, which I easily picked up and placed into a trash can.  I then quickly mopped up and hosed down the RIS mess (my basement floor has a floor drain, which greatly helps when such disasters occur), and I had every thing cleaned up and done in 10 minutes, before a guest could come downstairs to fill a beer out of my kegerator and see what I have done.

I carved the brisket, and headed up to the deck for dinner.  No one knew of my disaster.  I told my wife what had happened after the guests went home.  8)
You're a better man than I.  My guests, the neighbors and anyone else in a 2 block radius would have known something was wrong in my basement. 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk


TheDrunkenMaster

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2017, 03:40:04 PM »
So today, I brewed for the first time with my new Braumeister 20L.

Everything was going great and doing a Mozaic led spin on a Pliny recipe.
All was just seamless and I was loving the big, sexy German piece of kit. I have the Braumeister plus so I hooked up my pump and recirculated ice water through the cooling jacket whilst marveling at the speed it got to 70 degrees. Wow! Time to pitch my lovingly prepared starter of California Ale yeast with a double inoculation.

Pitched and put in fridge at 67. Phew.

Except when I put my hands inside to start cleaning....it felt rather hot.... too hot. Of course the Braumeister is German and METRIC so being on auto pilot when looking for my pitch temperatures I saw 70 and muscle memory took over.....except that it was 70 degrees CELSIUS!!!!! AAAAAGGGGHHHHH!!!!!! Oh well, it's in the fridge and let's see if any if the wee yeasties are still viable! Will have a fruity flavour that's for sure!
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 11:23:39 AM by TheDrunkenMaster »

Offline ethinson

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2017, 05:03:21 AM »
Ironically, I have a memory of a brew day that went so horrifically wrong that it made me want to quit homebrewing, but I don't remember the details of what went wrong. I've repressed it I guess. 

I do have two incidents though that I remember. 

One, my first attempt at a high gravity beer (11% stout, 1.100+ OG) boiled over all over my stove top and at the time I had no idea what to do besides cut the heat and wait.  I had to remove all four electric elements and clean out under the top of the stove top (between the elements and the top of the oven).  That took days to clean up.  I also horribly underpitched that beer and bottled it at 1.040.  I had to dump the bottles after the first one I opened sprayed the kitchen ceiling.  After I opened them all I was soaked in underattenuated stout from the waist up. As awful as that was, I learned a lot of lessons that day.

The second, and this may be the batch referenced at the top, I had broken my glass hydrometer (I've been through 4...) so when I went to buy my ingredients the morning of brew day I bought another one, no big deal, they aren't that expensive.  Carry out brewday, get my wort cooled and in the bucket, ready to pitch, go to check the OG, open my brand new hydrometer and it crumbles in my hands. The one I got at the store was broken in the package! I went back the next day and they replaced it no questions asked, but that batch ended up having an unknown starting gravity.

Cheers!
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2017, 09:18:03 AM »
One, my first attempt at a high gravity beer (11% stout, 1.100+ OG) boiled over all over my stove top and at the time I had no idea what to do besides cut the heat and wait.  I had to remove all four electric elements and clean out under the top of the stove top (between the elements and the top of the oven).  That took days to clean up.  I also horribly underpitched that beer and bottled it at 1.040.  I had to dump the bottles after the first one I opened sprayed the kitchen ceiling.  After I opened them all I was soaked in underattenuated stout from the waist up. As awful as that was, I learned a lot of lessons that day.

So many lessons...something so terrible about getting sprayed down and having to look at the next bottle and think, do I really need to open this?

First one, I bottle a smoked porter a little high, I had thought it was done fermenting at 1.022. Open the first one after bottling, gusher. No big deal. Open the second above the kitchen sink, thinking I'm a genius. I was using a butter knife (couldn't find the right tool), bottle cap explodes off and hits me in the chest. Breaks the skin through my shirt.

Second, I'm driving home after a midweek interview, trying to make the few hour trip home. I stop by Northern Brewer because my town doesn't have a real homebrew shop. I see, "Brown malt", and vaguely remember something about it from a BN episode. A quick google search reveals it was a historic base malt, perfect! That weekend during the brewday I mash for two hours, trying to figure out why nothing is converted...and find out that brown malt has a diastatic power of 0. I run to my liquor store, and buy pale malt at $3/lb to try and save it. Beer ends up really astringent anyway.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2017, 11:44:57 AM »
Brewday disasters are few for me, but one recurring (not too frequently, thankfully) issue is tapping a keg in a lagering chest (while hosting a party - ok I had a few and that effected the typical process).  The liquid out QDC is not screwed on to the cobra tap line tightly enough....the next morning discovery - about a gallon or more of Czech Dark Lager is on the floor of the chest freezer from the slightly oozing connection between the flared fitting of the QDC and the tap line barrel swivel.  Makes me cringe and consider not using flared screw on fittings! (I've never experienced a leak with a barbed QDC, but I prefer the ease of cleaning the flared set up). 
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Offline ethinson

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Re: Got a brewday disaster story?
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2017, 04:10:42 PM »
One, my first attempt at a high gravity beer (11% stout, 1.100+ OG) boiled over all over my stove top and at the time I had no idea what to do besides cut the heat and wait.  I had to remove all four electric elements and clean out under the top of the stove top (between the elements and the top of the oven).  That took days to clean up.  I also horribly underpitched that beer and bottled it at 1.040.  I had to dump the bottles after the first one I opened sprayed the kitchen ceiling.  After I opened them all I was soaked in underattenuated stout from the waist up. As awful as that was, I learned a lot of lessons that day.

So many lessons...something so terrible about getting sprayed down and having to look at the next bottle and think, do I really need to open this?


Yeah, that was really fun (not).  The first one I opened was a Mr Beer plastic bottle (which I no longer use) and as soon as I unscrewed it, it sprayed out like a shaken soda and so I had a perfect horizontal wet stripe across my chest.  Next one was a glass bottle and I popped the top and it spewed like a Indy 500 winner's champagne bottle and sprayed the entire kitchen.  I spent like an hour after that popping the bottles upside down to spray down into the sink, but of course it splashed all over the place.. I was soaked and had beer in my hair, all over my face, running down my arms..
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