Wort Cooler Catastrophie

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Wort Cooler Catastrophie

Postby hawk3411 » Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:10 am

Just wanted to let everyone know about my wasted batch and what happened. I received a new wort cooler the other day from an online supply place (I was going to make one, but the price of copper is shooting through the roof)... anyway, I "attempted" to make a batch of beer last night and it didn't go so well.

It was my first time using a wort cooler (30' copper with hoses attached) and I did everything I was supposed to do... I gave the device a quick "once over", wiped it down to ensure no debris got in my wort, and placed the device into the boil for the last 15 minutes. I attached the hose after flame-out and started running water through the cooler. The temp was dropping really fast, so I turned my back for a few seconds to get my ice chest ready (used to hold the temp on my primary bucket) and all of a sudden I hear water splashing behind me. I turned to see my wort kettle (I use an 8 gallon pot) over flowing into my wife's sparkly clean kitchen floor... along with all of my (now) diluted wort. :(

One of the clamps holding the hose to the copper was defective (short, mistooled screw) and would only hold the clamp in place for a short time before letting go. Just my luck, when the hose clamp let go and the hose detached, the water from the copper was left to spill directly into my wort... and eventually overflow into the floor. :x

I had already popped my WYeast a few hours earlier and it looked like a softball, so the only stuff I have left from that order that are useful are a nylon steeping bag, my priming sugar, and a "Make Your Own !@#$ Beer!" bumper sticker.

I will just have to regroup, buy a new clamp, reorder the ingredients, and get this batch ready before football starts in September... at least I still have time. :)

Hawk
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others see the glass as half full,
I am just wondering who the hell is
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yeast is still good

Postby slothrob » Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:58 am

The yeast is still good, dispite having been smacked.
Just stick it in the refrigerator.
It will be fine for at least a couple weeks, longer if you make a starter.

I've had problems with this connection, myself. I've never had one pop off, but I've had leaks around the clamp that have ended-up in my beer. Luckily for me, it's only been a few ounces and always caught while the beer was still warm enough to pasteurize it. I've come up with a couple solutions, but nothing that seems to last long-term.
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Postby hawk3411 » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:06 am

I did put the yeast back in the fridge in hopes of using it. A few ounces of water would have been fine, but when I took a gravity reading (and I was shaking a bit from my ordeal) it was hovering between 0.999 and 1.000. That's pretty much water... lol

Oh well, seeing as how this is the first real catastrophie that has happened since I started brewing, I guess I can count my blessings.

Hawk
Some see the glass as half empty,
others see the glass as half full,
I am just wondering who the hell is
Drinking My Beer!
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:22 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Postby slothrob » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:29 am

I bet that floor was pretty sticky, too.

Did you get it cleaned up before your wife saw the mess?
I dumped half a bottling bucket in the kitchen once, but since I cleaned it all up before it was seen, I figure it never really happened...
I was lucky enough to save at least half the batch, though.
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Postby hawk3411 » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:46 am

The wife was in the living room watching TV and saw the mess after I kicked my primary bucket into the cabinets. She stood there, tapping her foot, while I cleaned... so much salt... so many wounds. She even made me pull our BEAST of a refrigerator out because the wort had ran underneath.

The rest is my stupidity, but I did manage to toss my boil bucket into the yard and dent the end pretty good... but, in my cool headedness, I found one on Craig's List this morning for $25.00.

Hawk
Some see the glass as half empty,
others see the glass as half full,
I am just wondering who the hell is
Drinking My Beer!
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:22 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Postby brewer13210 » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:02 am

I'd STRONGLY suggest picking up a good gas burner and move the brewing in to the garage...that way you can clean up with a hose.

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Gas Burner

Postby hawk3411 » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:45 am

brewer13210 wrote:I'd STRONGLY suggest picking up a good gas burner and move the brewing in to the garage...that way you can clean up with a hose.

Todd


I do use a gas burner to boil in my backyard (good for boil overs); however, I live in Fort Worth, Texas. It was 98
Some see the glass as half empty,
others see the glass as half full,
I am just wondering who the hell is
Drinking My Beer!
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:22 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Wort Cooler Catastrophie

Postby billd220 » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:40 pm

That stinks. On top of having your beer ruined....you had to clean up that huge mess.

I just dropped a newly bottled 6 pack :oops: (the 6pack holder was wet from bottling and the bottom gave way) 4 bottles broke on the basement floor. What a mess...so i can imagine your catastrophie was real bad!!!

Hope it works out better next time.
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Postby hawk3411 » Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:45 pm

Any time beer is lost, it calls for a moment of silence (and a cold one out of respect). My left hand holds my left hand holds my hat over my heart while my right hand raises a bottle to your lost 6 pack.

At least my wort (no matter how dramatic... and sticky) was not fermented.

On another note... my Internet supply company is replacing the ingredients for my batch I lost due to the defective clamp and they also gave me some great information for what to do next time... and a personal cell number of one of their brewmasters... yes, I spend a ton of money with them... but they are still awesome.

Thanks for all the well-wishes!

Hawk
Some see the glass as half empty,
others see the glass as half full,
I am just wondering who the hell is
Drinking My Beer!
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Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:22 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Postby mrocco » Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:44 pm

That's been one of my biggest fears because I've also had problems with leaky clamps. I've only ever gotten a little spray in there. I'm sorry for your loss.
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Cooler Hose Clamp Failure Fix

Postby dieseldan » Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:03 pm

You can change a wort chiller's hose connections to compression fittings, which will eliminate the potential for this disaster.

When I bought the components to make my wort cooler, I was concerned about the hose clamps failing and ending up with a mess like yours. So I opted to purchase 3/8 inch tubing compression fittings that connect to male and female garden hose connectors. My total cost for these four brass fittings at Home Depot was $18.17. Considering the cost of a batch of lost beer ingredients, I think this investment was good insurance. Compression fittings won't slip off of the copper tubing like a poorly clamped hose can.

The four fittings I purchased at Home Depot are:

FEMALE HOSE END FITTINGS:

1. Watts A-124 968-P Ander-Lign 3/8" OD Compression x 1/2 MIP (male iron pipe) w/ Insert

2. Watts A-660 Female hose to 1/2" FIP (female iron pipe) Swivel - A swiveling female hose fitting

MALE HOSE END FITTINGS:

3. Watts A-663- GH3 3/4" MH (male hose adapter) x 1/2" MIP

4. Watts A-118 966P 3/8" OD Compression x 1/2" FIP w/ insert

It was easy to locate these parts. When I explained the parts I needed to the Home Depot Plumbing Department's clerk he asked me if it was for beer brewing. Upon hearing that it was, he quickly pulled together all four needed fittings. He had previously sold many of these set-ups for wort chillers.

Here is a photo to see similar fittings installed on a coil chiller:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products ... rodID=5791

Note: Male iron pipe (MIP) has outside pipe threads
Female iron pipe (FIP) has internal pipe threads

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