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Your Favorite "Whoops"?


MoonshineJane73

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Maybe I'm diverging a little bit, but I was wondering if anybody had any amusing stories about things that went wrong with their craft brews that they learned from and can laugh about now. I might have a few years under my belt in this field, but I can still mess things up, like that time I got distracted and dropped about a cup's worth of walnuts into a rye mash. (I know, whoops, right? Never, ever multitask when you're brewing.) Anyway, does anybody else have some stories to share?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think some people here may be too proud to admit mistakes..

My favorite is regarding the cooling water - not exactly a laughable matter but works well in explaining how dangerous distillation can be. We are using city water for our condensor until we get our closed loop built. For some reason (won't go into detail here) the water supply was interupted and we had no idea. Thankfully we are using a copper worm so the heat build up was noticeable. Anyway, the water in our condensor got hot, like steaming a bit more than normal, so I decided to take a closer look. In the 3-4 minute process of trying to figure out what was going on with the water it started boiling. utterly confused I stepped back in time to notice a full force cloud of ethanol steam shooting out of our condensor. Clearly a dangerous situation, especially considering that we are direct fired. I very quickly shut off the flame and avoided what could have been a solid explosion. I'm much more careful/paranoid/nervous while running the still now...especially during the hot months!

hopefully we can get some others to chime in and we won't be the only asses here. how'd the walnut whiskey turn out??

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It's not so much an oops, but an ah-ha...

1. packing a shotgun condenser with copper mesh at the bottom of the condenser does a WAY better job of helping cool the spirit than packing it at the top... like 30 degrees better.

2. using oxygen to take the sting off of young spirits really works.

3. some food grade floor coatings that say they can withstand ethanol may be telling a fib.

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  • 3 weeks later...

panoscape - I've heard a lot of discussion about this. I've been waiting to hear back from a guy on another distillation site about his results. Mind if I ask how you are using oxygen [hyperbaric chamber, bubbles, US frequency+bubbles]?

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