I'm Really Stupid!!!

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

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I'm Really Stupid!!!

Postby BobbyK » Wed Dec 18, 2002 4:54 pm

I guess I should give up homebrewing because I'm always screwing something up. I just brewed my third batch, a Belhaven Scottish Ale clone, extract with a few steeped grains. It smelled so good and tasted so good when I took the SG reading I couldn't stand it! So how did I screw up? I was so (pick one - excited, numb, unconscious, etc.) that I forgot to cool the wort before I put it in the primary. I ferment in a vessel so once I poured it in there, I can't set it down into a cool bath since it has a cone bottom or use a wort chiller because it won't fit. Transferring it back into the brewpot wasn't a viable alternative at that point.

So, I was real good about my sterilization, but it took THREE HOURS to get it down to 80F. My question is since it sat there for so long without any yeast, are my chances of getting some sort of contamination so great that I shouldn't waste my time and dump it now, or should I wait it out and see? I don't want to waste the time and effort if I'm most probably going to end up with a bad batch of beer.

If I'm going to do stupid things like this, I think I'll go back to alligator wrestling - its a lot easier.
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Naaahh!!!

Postby BillyBock » Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:02 pm

Bobby: I know of people that let their wort sit in their covered brewpot overnight to cool with apparently no ill effect from contamination. There might be some DMS-related off flavors doing it this way, but I'd say pitch the yeast and see what happens. Considering what you went through, I don't think 3 hours is all that long (all things considered). You never know, you may be pleasantly surprised. I've done things where I thought I screwed up the batch, and nature proved me wrong.

Also consider, checklisting your process and following it religiously during a brew session--helps me cut down on my brain-dead moments.

v/r
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Thanks, Billy

Postby BobbyK » Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:38 pm

I think my sterilization precess was sound, but I'm paranoid. All the books I've read stress the point of cooling wort ASAP. I hope you're right. I've pitched the yeast with some Bru-Vigor and have my fingers crossed.

I am going to put togther a checklist immediately. Not just the steps, but also things I need on hand to complete each step. Last batch I forgot to have my beater sterilized when it was time to aerate the wort. That was no big deal but I've learned my lesson this time.
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Don't worry...just pitch!

Postby Brewer2001 » Wed Dec 18, 2002 8:28 pm

Bobby,

If any pro brewer claims not 'losing' at least one batch of beer, they are lying! Mistakes are the chances to learn. During my apprenticeship I had two (maybe three) mishaps. I milled in 35 lbs. of extra pale malt and left the lower steam jacket of the kettle on after the boil (15 minutes extra). The assistant brewer hit the overhead (it was a really high ceiling) but the brewer (owner) didn't seem to think these were big problems. I won't comment on the third.

I don't own a cooling coil yet. I boil late in the evening, cool in the kettle and knock out early the next morning. If your sanitation is done properly your beer/ale should be ok.

Keep brewing!

Tom F.
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Banging the brewmaster's wife eh?

Postby jayhawk » Wed Dec 18, 2002 9:08 pm

Sorry, couldn't resist. Anyway, I had a chiller mishap a couple of batches ago and I was convinced the beer was screwed, but everything turned out. Don't worry about it BobbyK.
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No, but worse to a brewer!

Postby Brewer2001 » Wed Dec 18, 2002 10:02 pm

Keg washing and hot liquor tanks. The brewery where I was working had this keg washer that was built using "Goldbergs" plans. It had some interesting qwerks. The worst of which was that it was sequence dependant! One wrong valve setting and 'POW'. You would ether dilute the caustic with CO2 (I know I did that), bubble CO2 through the hot liquor tank (I did that, not long enough to change the pH) or back flush caustic to the hot liquor tank (I did not do that, but was told that someone once did). The backflush caused 20 barrels of hot liquor to be dumped, the tank cooled, flushed and reheated. Putting a three day gap in the brewing schedule. I was affraid of washer. I guess the moral is make everything 'goof'proof.

Just a slice of brewing life.

Tom
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Re: Don't worry...just pitch!

Postby DreamWeaver » Sat Jul 31, 2004 11:35 pm

Brewer2001 wrote:Bobby,

If any pro brewer claims not 'losing' at least one batch of beer, they are lying! Mistakes are the chances to learn. During my apprenticeship I had two (maybe three) mishaps. I milled in 35 lbs. of extra pale malt and left the lower steam jacket of the kettle on after the boil (15 minutes extra). The assistant brewer hit the overhead (it was a really high ceiling) but the brewer (owner) didn't seem to think these were big problems. I won't comment on the third.

I don't own a cooling coil yet. I boil late in the evening, cool in the kettle and knock out early the next morning. If your sanitation is done properly your beer/ale should be ok.

Keep brewing!

Tom F.


I've never thrown a batch out... I was taught "you made your bed, now lay in it" and forced myself to drink a batch that was prolly contaminated years ago. No too bad though. The wife tried some for a shampoo (whoa hard hair?) and we fried some beer battered fish in corn meal, but I was too stubborn to toss it.

Fast cooling of the wort will aid in cold/hot break material. But I'll never diss (is that a word? I'm an old hippie) for doing what works for them.
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Yeah, I've f&*$%ed up too

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:19 pm

I am by nature a clutz. I've dropped all sorts of things into fermenters with no ill effects! My most recent mishap involves clearing the hops from a valve on my boiling kettle. I took a wire hanger from the closet, poured vodka over it- a hasty sanitize method ?, and rooted it around in there. The beer- an Oktoberfest- is still conditioning. I tasted it during the tranfer- no funky tasting stuff, no slime. It is probably too early to tell.

Then there was the time during a brew session in the middle of a cold Nebraska winter. I thought surely that because the temperature was so cold I didn't need a flingin' flangin' chiller. I just thought that I would keave it outside. Shouldn't take more than a couple hours. Wrong! Try overnight. The beer turned out great.

Bottom line, don't worry relax and have a homebrew.

By the way I accidentally dropped a little plactic thing-a-ma-jig in the fermenter of one of my best batches ever. I'm not saying sanition isn't important, it is.

Looking back, I have had one batch that was contaminated. What caused the contamination was not letting wort sit too long, or even something I dropped in the beer! Rather it was from mold growing on the in-line to my keg.

Don't worry relax, have a homebrew.

Nate
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Re: Yeah, I've f&*$%ed up too

Postby DreamWeaver » Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:36 pm

Dr Strangebrew wrote:I am by nature a clutz.

Then there was the time during a brew session in the middle of a cold Nebraska winter. I thought surely that because the temperature was so cold I didn't need a flingin' flangin' chiller. I just thought that I would keave it outside. Shouldn't take more than a couple hours. Wrong! Try overnight. The beer turned out great.

Nate


I am quite a clutz too sometimes. I'm surprised I have'nt hurt myself! ... Oh, wait... I have! :shock:


That reminds me of hearing about a Canadian (or was it Nebraskan?) Homebrewer that put his batch outside in sub-zero weather and then fell asleep. The next day he realized what he did and found a frozen rock hard mass! I LMAO so hard, I don't remember the rest of the story!
Four More Beers!... Four More Beers!... Four More Beers! ...
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KLUTZ! 3 hour wort cooling

Postby yodar » Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:58 pm

You hadda been in MY kitchen, same thing ! Then I got a deal on 23 feet of copper tubing, I put a hose barb on each end, and used it a a chiller .

In Orlando our groundwater is 95 degrees. I put my wort pot in a big tub with 2 bags of ice and 1 gallon of water. I put my chiller in the wort pot and drove it with a fountain pump using the chilled water from the tub.

30 minutes I had 75 degree wort

Before I did this my first batch was still excellent , ..the LADIES Likes it ! similar to (yechhhh!) COORS but with a chill haze

relax, have a brew !

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Wort Cooler on the cheap

Postby SpinalTap » Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:51 pm

Just a suggestion to anyone out there.

Go to the local hardware store, get some flex copper tubing, some of the clear tubing, a couple of adapters to hook up to either end. one Adapter should fit to the faucet, the other end to a garden hose (or whatever you choose)
coil the copper tubing, use one stretch of the clear tubing to extend to the faucet adapter, the other end to the garden hose adapter.

Make beer!
take the pot of HOT wort, put it in the sink.

wash and santize the copper coil, place the copper tubing part in the wort, attach one end to the faucet, the other to the garden hose.

Turn on the faucet. go water your plants, then come back in thirty minutes and the wort is cool.

I've been doing this for a long time, and I'll never go back to putting the thing in a tub with ice.
Good beer doesn't come in a can.
Unless it's a keg.
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You've not known heartbreak

Postby Sapper » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:58 pm

My worst heartbreak over a batch of beer was the Kiwi/Wheat I worked so very hard on.

It was perfect until the day I opened the first bottle. . .


It was all foam, and all over the floor.
My first gusher infection, and my last fruit beer.

I haven't been brave enough to try one since.
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