Welcome to the homeBBBrew board!
Like the BBB, the homeBBBrew board is not a club, just a place to talk about making beer. Is there a swap you would like to see happen? If we can find a few others who have something similar then lets do it!

I just really like the work levifunk is doing!

YOUR BBB USERNAME AND PASSWORD WILL NOT WORK ON THIS BOARD! If you want to post, you need to read this.

Brettanomyces Brewing
E-Symposium Transcript!

Trouble making Trappists?
Discover Liquid Candy Syrup!
See what color impact to expect from liquid candy.

Search for:
Author Replies
01/27/08 09:01 PM  
Ross....I feel you man
Hey Ross

Remember awhile back when you were all upset and ready to quit?

Oh man. i had the worst day ever today. Literally the worst brew day I've ever had. I ended up kicking my hot water kettle into a pulp. Its ruined, all full of dents and whatnot.

For whatever reason I just could not get my chilled wort out of the boil kettle. My ball valve wouldn't flow so I went to the siphon. the siphon clogged with hops. Finally, in a panic, I picked up up the kettle and poured it straight into the fermenter. Most ended up on the ground and is now frozen to my sidewalk. This is when I turned on the boil kettle.

I ended up with about 3.5 gallons of the 8 that I had brewed.

So pissed. Feel like quitting. Thinking of you.


01/27/08 10:30 PM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man

Your story sounds VERY familiar...had to get out my homebrewer's cheerleader pompoms and respond...

Experienced a similar situation with my favorite homebrewer - AlB - a few weeks ago. He'd made a 5-gal batch out on the porch, chilled it and was transfering to the fermenter when after a few seconds the flow came to a complete halt. He came plowing into the kitchen yelling for a "poking device". Well, it ended up with both of us on the porch - ummm, errrr - "poking" from both ends of the outlet valve/pipe. We'd poke, flow would resume only to slow, trickle and stop again after 10-15 secs. Poking, cursing, and convinced we'd just contaminated the hell out of it, we eventually transfered most of it to the carboy...leaving a fair amount to annoint our frozen porch. Al just tested it and is pleased with it so far so I guess we got lucky. He says to tell you that he's since changed to a larger nipple (so to speak). Turned out it was a hop leaf that would flop back and forth, taunting us.

About a month or so prior we had another incident. Al was working, I was home. Our cat kept yowwing and looking at me. Not being near a food bowl, nor dinner time, it was odd - and it got annoying real fast.(yes, there's a beer story here...keep going) Finally she pads off to the basement and I think peace is at hand...not quite....she resumes serenading me from below. What the f--?

So I went to the basement stairs and flipped the lightswitch. She was at the bottom of the stairs, carefully positioned amid splatters of dark brown fluids, looking alarmed. The stout Al had brewed a couple days before had gotten a clog in the airtube and went kaboom! It was everywhere - floor, walls,...CEILING! Lost nearly half the batch, it blew with such force. Apparently our cat was having a Lassie moment and we had a Timmy's-in-the-well situation in the basement. I greeted Al at the door with "this is gonna be funny in a couple of days"...Well, we cleaned up and decided to name this batch "Vesuvius".

I am sincerely sorry to hear you had such a bad brewday. I hope your kettle is somehow salvageable (whether as a boil kettle or perhaps the start of a steel drum band) and that the remaining batch turns out well.

Brew on,


01/28/08 07:12 AM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man
Hey Nina

So funny that this is your second reference to cheerleader pom poms and I somehow picture you and Al more like grandparental types than cheerleaders. Having never met you...can't help it.

My apologies if you're 25 and a Dallas Cowboys retiree.

At any rate, thanks for the words of wisdom. Much appreciated.

The beer is chugging along this morning, but I've got a mad mess to clean up outside. It looks like someone puked hops and sludge all over our snowy front walk. I'm sure the neighbors will be keeping their children inside.

01/28/08 08:26 PM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man

You know, it seems that it's a rare day of brewing if something, even a small something doesn't go south for me. It can range from forgetting to sanitize a length of tubing or getting a clogged valve to dropping my fermenter cap on the floor and panicking about and throwing it back in the sanitizer hoping that I don't have a contamination problem.

I had a real brain freeze a couple of months ago. I decided to use plug hops for a brew instead of pellets. Everything went well except when I opened my valve to drain the wort into my fermenter, about a teaspoon of wort comes out of the tube!!! I'm thinking "you dumb ass Ross, they are leaf hops stupid!!!" So, now I have to sanitize a length of tubing hoping it's clean enough to sanitize; then siphon my wort. Well,, I haven't practiced siphoning for about a year and was shocked that it went as well as it did. I really thought that brew would be contaminated and maybe it is.....this was one of the brews that turned real sulphury.

Anyway bro, I know that frustration and it's a bitch but I keep saying "it's only beer" and move on and strive to get better the next time. But I think the REAL frustrating part is spending all day with blood, sweat and tears making this wonderful wort only to f*&% it all up with a mistake.

I'm one of these brewers who, if I do make a mistake, I look for it in the brew when I sample it later. I'm probably my own beers worst critic when it comes to sensory analysis.

The best advice I can give is that brewing is an organic process and sometimes things happen out of our control. There will probably always be a flavor or aroma you didn't plan for, or the bitterness may not be just right, or an equipment failure occurs. We just need to realize as brewers there are Murphy's moments and move on and not panic and have fun with the process.

The other thing I'd point out is your Saison from the tasting session. I thought it was great especially considering the short time you've been brewing. Just remember that you are capable of brewing great beer and other great beers are just around the corner.

Now, did you figure out why your valve clogged??

01/29/08 07:05 AM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man
Thanks for all that Ross. Short time is right. This cluster fu*& was supposed to be my one year anniversary IPA.

No, I can't figure out the valve clog. I just started using a converted keg as a kettle. I have a weldless bulkhead with a 1/2" ball valve on the outside and a 1/2" copper pick up tube running to the center of the kettle. It has never flowed well for me. I've tried using a hop screen and a stainless scrubby on separate occasions as filters. Neither worked well. The other day, I ran it with no filter thinking I'd just move the trub and hops into the fermenters and clear it at racking time. But I still had no flow.

The wort did have about 7 oz. of whole leaf hops and another 4 oz. of pellets. That could have been it.

Al B
01/29/08 07:51 AM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man
<<The wort did have about 7 oz. of whole leaf hops and another 4 oz. of pellets. That could have been it.>>

You may want to use some mueslin bags for the whole hops. If you have a roaring boil, extraction of HBUs will be fine (of course it helps to get all of the hops inside the bag unlike my experience above).

01/29/08 07:58 AM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man
Hey Al

yeah thats my next plan to arrive somewhere closer to sanity.

SPeaking of roaring boils, I use a 30,000BTU turkey cooker for my kettle. but would


This work with a propane tank? For 16 bucks it seems like a killer way to go.

Not sure how I would hook it up.


01/29/08 03:10 PM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man
In addition to putting the bags in hops, you might want to put your dip tube toward the side of the kettle, instead of the middle. This way, you might pick up a little less trub, and avoid some clogging. I use this method, with a scrubby over the end of the tube, and it seems to work well. Also, chilling the wort in the kettle will create cold break, which is also a clog contributor.
01/29/08 08:01 PM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man

Definetly bag the hops or use pellets. One little leaf will clog that tube; Scouts' honor!!!

I also have a 1/2" ball valve on a weldless fitting but I only use pellets. No clogs.

01/29/08 08:22 PM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man

Ross do you have a pickup tube to the center of your kettle?

Filters of any kind? (Bazooka screen or scrubby)


01/29/08 10:55 PM  
Re: Ross....I feel you man
I have a pickup tube near the center of my brew pot that is the same diameter as the valve port. The weldless fitting allows the use of a 1/2" pipe thread X 2" long female nipple screwed onto it. Attached to the nipple is an stainless elbow I have canted about 45 degrees relative to the kettle bottom. It's pretty simple and doesn't clog with cold break or pellet hop/trub sludge.
Return to Forum

Post a Reply
Your Name:
Message Body:



Around Bruges in 80 Beers: 2nd Edition

Around London in 80 Beers

Around Brussels in 80 Beers

Babblebelt contributors in attendance: