Monday, June 4, 2012

Hot Zone

Today... wasn't the greatest day. Not really for any particular reason. Just in a 'get out of the wrong side of the bed' sort of way. Really nothing was going wrong. I was just in a poor mood.

That's when I decided to put my regulator away. I open up my closet...

And there's mold growing on my beer.

I can't even explain how I feel about that.

Well I guess I can, cause that's what this post is about. That was such a downer. This was the ESB from my extra long brew day with my valve issues. All down the drain. Probably soon after this post I will be dumping it.

I can't say I don't know what I did wrong. Which is a blessing and a curse. At least I can learn from it and not do it again. However it also means I knew exactly what was happening when I screwed it up.

At the end of my boil in the brew session, in transferring the beer to my nice and clean fermenter, my flow stopped. Dead stop. Not a trickle. I had a mass of dry hops at the bottom of my pot thicker than the peat marsh of Ireland. Well I decided to use my fancy new funnel with a built in screen which should have worked great. Well that got stopped up too. Before I knew it I "sanitized" my hand and reached through my wort and pulled the screen out. When I did it I thought it was a bad idea. But I was at the end of a 7 hour brew day, and I was tired, and I wanted to move on.

Like I said, at least I can learn from this. I've been having increasingly greater troubles due to the fact I don't use hop socks. It just seemed like a waste to me. Well, now I know better, and last time I was at Heart's I picked up 10 of them. Also I now know that hands don't sanitize very well (which I kind of expected). C'est la vie.

Speaking of troubles, remember that CO2 leak I was paranoid about? Turns out my paranoia was a reality. I replaced that CO2, and a month later that CO2 ran out. I went to Heart's and I got a new manifold. I was constantly paranoid about my old one leaking. I installed it, pressurized the line sans keg to see if the gas side would hold. Next morning, no pressure. So I isolate the gas side. Great. But at this point I'm sick and tired of leaks so I take the entire gas system from the CO2 to the disconnects to the pull and dunk the entire thing up to the gauges (dont want to get those wet). The leak made itself known quickly. I swore it would be my disconnect, but nope. Those are built well. Turns out the barbed fitting I screwed into my new regulator had a steady flow of CO2 escaping. Well, I've since taken it apart and using Loc-Tite, sealed the threads and re-attached. We'll see how my plumbing skills prove themselves.

... and wow. Just figured out something. I went to edit my shot of my "infected" beer and it turns out it's not mold, but just bubbles that formed on the top. I popped the cork and it smells great! Hallelujah! Anyone ever see bubbles like that?

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