My Unicorn

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
I discovered today that Altbier is my unicorn. For those that haven't seen "Gone in 60 Seconds", your unicorn is the one thing that no matter how many time you try to do, something goes wrong.

My saga started last weekend when i went to brew up my first Alt. To brew, i need to move one of my cars that is used for trackwork, out of the garage.
Hooked up teh battery, started it, got 1/2 way down the drive when i heard a large "crack" and the motor died. Long story short, i fried the engine computer. Spent the day trying to get it started to get back into the garage (sloped driveway) with no success. Lots of $$ later, and i got it back during the week, but the day's brewing was lost.

Fast forward to today, when i attempted to brew it again. Mashed in OK, and started to sparge into the keg. I fired up the burner to get a head start on teh boil, when i started to hear a bad noise.
I had left the tap open (doh!). Shut the tap, at which point the wort started pissing out the seal between the fibre washer and the keg. Quick action on the tap from the mash tun, and i have a leaking keg with 8L or so of wort, and a leaking tap.

I had to decant the wort to a temporary container, while quickly trying to repair the tap, as i had filled the mash tun with water to do a "no sparge" type sparge, so teh grain to water ratio is pretty damn high.

Ends up the fibre washer is stuffed, so i hunt around and find a rubber washer, other people here have claimed to use them, so on she goes.

Quickly finish the lauter, crank up the burner, and smell an awefull smell. The fabulous rubber washer is melting! I qucikyl wrapped it in some "heat proof" tape i had, but no joy, so the burner gets turned down low to avoid melting the washer.

I finally get it to a boil, do my hop additions, and wait.
The boil finally finishes, i hook up the CFWC, and start draining the kettle, when what would you know, but the fitting on the CFWC snaps off (thanks Gardenia!). Water everywhere, including in the fermenter and about 20L in the garage by the time i turn it off.

Don't think i'll brew another Altbier for a while.
And to top it all off, i spilt spent grain all over the floor.

However my efficiency was way up :) So now i need to add water to the brew :-(
Bloody hell mate, that is a little frightening. A little like a beer version of Final Destination. I'm sure if you poured yourself a glass (if it got through to the end), the glass would break all over your hand, or something similar.
Yep, the altbier is your 67 Shelby Mustang GT500 alright!
One day you'll get Elanoir right.
Oh man that sounds like a painful day at the office! Hope the Alt turns out ok...

- Snow
Hells bells :blink:

If I where you I would strike Alts off your brew sheet

I know it won't make you feel any better....but I did an Alt this morning , all went well and was spot on the points.

Sorry :huh:


Useless platitude time. At least you've still got your health. :eek:

Warren -

Latest posts