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Brewnight Fail

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SergeMarx

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Well then, here's me, 8pm last night. The little one is asleep, SWMBO is away for a conference and with a couple of homebrews warming my liver I decide I've got time to put down a batch of Brown Ale. This is of course mistake number one. Fast forward a mostly successful brew and midnight has arrived, along with an overwhelming urge to go to bed. I could just cover the pot and get it to the fermenter in the morning, but no, another homebrew and the decision is made to cool the wort and pitch it tonight. Somewhere in the back of head a small voice informs me that my kid will in all likelihood be rising in about 6 hours, so... i drink more homebrew to silence the voice.

Now, the recipe should have produced about 10 litres to the ferm, and post boil I looked to have about 11.5 litres at the right gravity so feeling pretty confident. Into the sink goes the brewpot, I get my whirlppol going and the long process of running water to cool it down begins. The lid to the pot, I should add, is off.

30 minutes or so later, considering another beer, i check the pot. Trub cone is like some sub-oceanic volcano, bursting out of the wort to form the kind of newly made island the French love H-bombing. Lot's of break, lots of hops (because hop socks are for sissies). it's about this point I notice I've lost a bit of volume from leaving the lid off during cooling - and the little voice in my head whispers something about keeping the cover on to reduce risk of infection. But hey, I ignored that voice back in '96 with that red-haired lass and I'll be damned if I'm listening now.

Well, it's time to siphon to fermenting bucket and I decide to try something new (at 1AM half drunk / half hungover and essentially sleep-brewing.. somnambrewism) I figure I've got this bit of ultra fine mesh curtain material, I'll cover the top of the bucket, securing it with rubber band then siphon through it to, you know, catch the crap. So I cleaned and sanitized the voile, strapped it on and started my siphoning. You know how when you siphon with a tube in the bucket, the tube is in the bucket rather than on top. This wasn't like that. After flowing for about 20 secs through the filter, the next 10 seconds of flowing occured on the floor. I react with super human speed and whilst negotiating the end of the tube, the end of the siphon and my diminishing sense of well-being I manage to get it flowing nicely. Until of course the weight of the filtering wort proves too heavy for my rubber band which promptly soars away, dropping the filtered crap and the curtain material into my fermenter. of course at this point the flowing wort decides the floor is better place after all and flies out of my grip. Again with superhuman dash I get the siphon out, remove the material, grabs some clothes pegs from the laundry and clamp it firmly in place.

Well, I've lost about a litre to the floor so far, not too bad. My method now more sure I begin again and this time the wort flows well, the pegs do the job and I started sucking up all the clear wort I can find. Until the weight, once again becomes too much. A peg snaps off catching me above the eye. The siphon drop out again and the voile, pegs and carefully collected filtered crud all fall into the fermenter. At this point imagine my shoulders (firm well muscled man shoulders since you're using your higher creative powers) slumping downward in defeat. There may have been tears. but let's blame the flying peg for that.

The siphon goes into the sink, while the voile is removed and thrown directly to the bin. An unsanitised (because by now, **** it right?) spatula is used to fish out the pegs. 7 bloody litres of probably infected wort later, I pitched 5 grams of SA-05, shook it up and somehow crawled to bed where I slept so heavily I probably forgot to remember to never start a brew that late again.

I've no doubt this will prove to be my tastiest brew ever.
 

jaypes

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Haha great story!

I usually do mine at 5am before anyone gets up. Still goes pretty much exactly the same as you did though

Never forget the time when I almost lost the whole fermenter lifting it full with 23L onto my bench - forgot about the tap protruding outwards until it cracked me in the knackers, almost a uniball experience
 

Ryan WABC

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Spontaneous brewing never goes well for me. I've got to plan it well in advance. If I hurry, I f... it up in a big way. Every time.

Oh, and brewing while the missus is using the kitchen to make sausage rolls is never a good idea. Sausage meat and onion flying around to the sound of her complaining about me being in the way.
 

eamonnfoley

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"and the little voice in my head whispers something about keeping the cover on to reduce risk of infection. But hey, I ignored that voice back in '96 with that red-haired lass and I'll be damned if I'm listening now."

GOLD! Must be hard brewing with little ones. I'm planning to have my robust, simple, single vessel brew system perfcted by the time little ones come along.
 

bignath

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:lol: :lol: Classic.

Chin up matey, we've all had horror stories like that.

You tell it bloody well though, made me laugh a lot.
 

mje1980

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"and the little voice in my head whispers something about keeping the cover on to reduce risk of infection. But hey, I ignored that voice back in '96 with that red-haired lass and I'll be damned if I'm listening now."

GOLD! Must be hard brewing with little ones. I'm planning to have my robust, simple, single vessel brew system perfcted by the time little ones come along.

Nah, a small bowl of pilsner malt and they're quiet and happy while you sparge etc.
 

DJR

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Nah, a small bowl of pilsner malt and they're quiet and happy while you sparge etc.
yep mine can almost tell the difference between munich and vienna ;)

To the OP next time don't worry about the trub, just let it into the fermenter, doesn't hurt as much as getting infections from cobbled together filters...
 

tricache

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Hahahaha outstanding!!

I know the feeling...done a batch which I found out afterwards that all my ingredients were expired by a few months (tin, yeast & dex) LOL tasted perfect

Got my fingers crossed for you!!
 

Florian

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Nah, a small bowl of pilsner malt and they're quiet and happy while you sparge etc.
Golden Promise here, have offered all available malts and that one wins hands down every time.

Later on a bowl of spend grain while cleaning up.
 

mikec

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Sounds like nothing that has ever happened to me*.

Re losing volume from leaving the lid off, I think this would be more due to simple contraction of the wort when it cools. You lose a good 4% or thereabouts from cooling.

* May be a lie.
 

Juzdu

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Well, it's time to siphon to fermenting bucket....
Ripping story mate, well told. Curious though, why transfer from pot to FV via siphon? Why not just pour it in? Isn't it good to splash it around to get plenty of oxygen in there during the transfer?

I assume you were trying to leave the break behind...but you went to a lot of trouble doing it! Maybe if you're that worried next time get a stainless steel colander/strainer sitting in your FV...
 

Dars183

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Great story :) Would make a great short film,

Opening shot; Husband and kid standing in the driveway waving as a taxi drives off with Mum waving from the back window . . . . . . . . B)

Cheers
 

SergeMarx

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February 23, 2012 - Trub Experiment Results
James and Chris Colby, editor of Brew Your Own magazine, go over the results of the BYO-BBR Collaborative Experiment on kettle trub in the fermenter.

http://ec.libsyn.com/p/9/f/e/9fe3c8a167e9e...mp;c_id=4307567
Cheers for that, and thanks for feedback all. I was really only trying to strain the sludge from the hop pellets - lesson learned, I have purchased a hop-sock from craft brewer. Another purchase was a 10 litre cube for no-chilling. I fully expect the next brew to be problem free (he said, touching wood*)





*Don't be vulgar.
 

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