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Bad night with a happy ending

So, this was my first attempt at all grain brewing. I’m sure whether all grain or extract some people have had an experience like this. My equipment was a 40 quart or so coleman cooler with SS manifold and 1/2 OD tubing. 32 quart aluminum pot, wort chiller and all the other necessities. So here’s what happened. I was doing an IPA with 16.25 lbs of grain 6 ounces of hops. I got mash right to 153 in the cooler for the hour, drained and got it up to 168 for the batch sparge. Everything was going perfectly. I was right at 6.5 gallons. So, I got my pot up to my stove top and this was when everything went wrong. It was heating up nicely and I was enjoying another home brew while waiting and cleaning up. It was raining like a mother outside, thus brewing indoors. As it was heating up, my wife said she noticed a funny smell. I equated this to her being pregnant…everything smells strong to her. As I was telling her so (not very wise on my part) BAM!! BAM! The stove blew up. I mean BLEW UP. Smoke, sparks, even a little flame. I run to the fuse box, turn it off, get my 180 degree wort outside to continue heating up on my gas grill burner while I assess the damage. It appears the stove top grew so hot since the bottom of the pot was so large it just reflected the heat back down. It melted the sheathes around the wires going from the back of the stove to the control panel, they fused together and lots of current plus melting plastic equals explosion I guess. So, the stove is kaput. I go outside, where it is raining like a mother and gusting at 40mph and my damn propane runs out. AHHH! This was now at 10pm (I was supposed be done by now)But, things took a turn for the better. So, luckily I was able to borrow my buddy’s turkey fryer get it boiling, and finish the brew. As I hook up the wort chiller, the thing starts spraying water everywhere! The tubing somehow had a tear in it. I held my finger over the rip, yelled for the wife for some help and was able to get it repaired with minimal interruption. Ugh.What a night.
Started brewing at around 630 and didnt get everything cleaned up till past midnight with all the shit I had to deal with. Luckily I was able to call an appliance repair guy and he walked me through how to fix the stove over the phone…hope I can do it…to save some money. Cool dude. Anyway, have about 100 feet of wires to replace on the stove but it should be up and running soon.

Anyone have a similar nightmare brew day?

I must say, even with all this, I cant wait to do my next batch!

This is where you went wrong - don’t start drinking until the wort is chilling and better yet, wait until the wort is in the fermenters.

That’s the kind of batch you have to give away on the forum, to the first 20 replies! I am number 1. : )
See, if you give it all away, it will be the best batch you ever made, like the fish that got away, cuz you will have never even tried it, but we’ll tell you how good it was. It will be perfect, you will tell everyone about your first all grain batch for the rest of your beer career…the best you ever made!!! It’s a plan then, I will expect mine within a week?

My first all grain batch went fine, but I had neighbors over drinking while I was brewing. One got a little too drunk and got a little mouthy. I told the guys I was wrapping up and heading in, but I could tell things were heading south. After that, two neighbors proceeded to get into a fight. One told him he would cut him up and throw him in the pond. The other guy responded by saying you don’t know who you are messing with. From that day on, that recipe is known as Fight Night Dunkleweizen. It’s really easy for me to remember my first AG batch as it was the night before Memorial Day a few years back.

Looking at your story, I would rather have Fight Night. There were sparks flying, but they fist to face as opposed to true electricity.

Glad to hear your safe.

I suppose the wiring burned because the pot was sucking up a lot of heat and the element remained on longer than usual. Sounds like the wiring was on its way out anyway. Good luck fixing it, my last stove had an electronic board go out and it as cheaper to buy a new one than replace the board.

I’ve had a few of those brews early on. Terminally stuck sparge on my first AG, thats a mess. You learn from every brew, but eventually you get things ironed out with your process and it seems easy after that.

Sounds like you have a forgiving wife, thats the big thing. Enjoy your sparky pale, 6oz of hops sounds like bitter beer face time. Yum.

I must be doing something wrong because every very single one of my all grain batch takes me about 6 hours from start to finish!

I agree with Shadetree… even though I do extract, I learned not to open that first beer until the wort chiller is off! I brew on my own, my friends wives have forbidden them from participating (seems I’m still a bad influence on people), and boil-overs, missed hops additions, forgotten tools and such all add up to just more crap to deal with. I get it that these are nothing like a stove blowing up or a prize fight, but still.

I know, relax, don’t worry and have a homebrew…


Yikes, if they can’t even go and watch a buddy brew, what the heck are they “allowed” to do? :shock:

Maybe AG brewers should be cautious drinking from the onset of brewing but what the hell kinda hobby would this be if I couldn’t drink until it was done?

I notice my stovetop around the burner is too hot to touch. I’ll be keeping an eye on it to be sure it doesn’t blow on me. Kinda hope it does, my home warranty will buy me a new one! :smiley:

[quote=“mvsawyer”]Maybe AG brewers should be cautious drinking from the onset of brewing but what the hell kinda hobby would this be if I couldn’t drink until it was done?

Ya I’ll have a couple when I’m brewing but I usually don’t start until later in the process since my typical brewday starts at 8am and I never drink before 9:30am.

it’s always 9:30am somewhere :stuck_out_tongue:

I might sip on a beer or two but I don’t get a buzz on while brewing. I brew indoors with gas so I like to be on my game.

When I was brewing on a stove, I made spacers out of coat hangers to give a bit of air to the burners. Still ruined a couple of burners. Glad you and your house are OK.

Well, all’s well that ends well. The beer came out at 1.074 right where it was supposed to, and I was able to re-wire the stove tonight. Took me a lot longer than an appliance guy, but probably saved me a few hundred too. Obviously I wont be using it for brewing again! Need to pick me up one of the turkey friers. Now for a beer after all the work.

Yikes, if they can’t even go and watch a buddy brew, what the heck are they “allowed” to do? :shock: [/quote]

I’ve chatted with the wives about this… it comes down to this… trust (not being present when their husbands consume beer blows their minds). And the fact that they don’t want brewing in their houses, I mean what would the neighbors think.

Sorry, off topic… but it gets to me. Carry on :slight_smile:

don’t feel bad man. 2 months ago on my first full boil in my new pot on my nice stainless gas stove I had the same issue. heat reflected back down and my wy wife smelled something and i looked and my countertop was on fire. the pot was so wide and i had it a little too close to the edge that the flames went right to the counter.

moral of the story. MAKE BEER IN GARAGE :slight_smile:

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