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Disaster Strikes!

November 21, 2009

Well…it was bound to happen someday and today was that day.

After having just finished my final run-off into the brew pot, I gave my wort a good stir – it was looking mighty fine! A nice clear, golden liquid of nearly 35L was merrily on its way to a boil. I decided this was a great time to take a sample for a pre-boil gravity reading. As the sample went into the test tube, I was really pleased with the clarity of the wort at this early stage. My batch sparging and recirculation technique is really coming along.

Then, suddenly….CRACK!!!

I spin around thinking some dude has just thrown a rock at my garage door, only to find the burner and boil pot on a 45° angle and slowly getting closer to the ground – the piece of fibre cement sheeting that I use as a heat sheild for the burner had cracked under the weight of the pot. You see, I had placed a piece of cement sheeting directly on the ground, then placed 4 bricks on top of it to form a square at their centre. Then I placed another smaller piece of cement sheeting on top of the bricks for added protection. This provides a great heat shield from the concrete. But… my infinite wisdom, when I placed the burner on top of the ‘fibre cement creation’ I didn’t think to check that the bricks were directly under the feet of the burner – they were actually in the gaps between the legs! (Go me)

Under the weight of 35L of wort in the pot, the unsupported parts of cement sheeting gave way. For what seemed like an eternity, I watched as my pot hit the ground at an angle (right onto the ball-valve no less), then slowly tipped completely over – sending the entire pot of near boiling wort all over the concrete on my garage and unit-block carpark.

I was completely stunned and speechless…..I couldn’t fathom what had just happened. I watched as the concrete was covered in liquid that crawled across the carpark to the drain. An entire brew….lost in 2 seconds. In the end, there was nothing I could do. My mind automatically starting thinking how lucky I was that it hadn’t broken the opposite direction and spewed forth into my garage….and over my bare feet. Or that is didn’t happen 10mins earlier when my wife had been in the exact direction that the pot had spilled.

I am certainly not one to cry over spilt milk (possibly mothers milk in this case! 😦 ); at least it was at this stage of the brew and not after I had used up all the hops I was going to put into it. I am more annoyed at the fact the ball valve on my pot has bent and the pot is now misshapen. I am going to have to get the hammer out and wack it back into place so there are no leaks…… but I can tell you one thing… up after a brewday is always the least fun part of the process – but it is EVEN HARDER at the end of a brewday where you have produced nothing! haha I had my camera handy today so was able to take some pictures of the incident just after it had happened.

I am not giving up on this recipe though – I AM GOING TO PRODUCE A PROPER SNPA STYLE BEER IF IT IS THE LAST THING I DO!!!!! 🙂

The newly created River Wort.

Very lucky it went in the direction it did – would have turned my garage into a bacterial fast-food takeaway.

My poor pot got a pounding when it toppled over. An my luck is such that it had to have landed right on the ball valve. Going to need to seriously panel-beat the dings out of this one.









The culprit of this whole shenanigan. At least I now know how NOT to place the bricks underneath a peice of cement sheeting with 35L of hot wort in a pot on top of it! 🙂


From → Brewery

  1. that is not cool.

    I don’t think I’ve ever lost more than a couple of litres from any individual brew, and reading stories like this definitely help me stay determined never to let it happen in the future.

  2. flash_dg permalink

    Oh crap! O_o
    *note to self build something sturdy to hold the boil pot*

  3. GHHB (from AHB) permalink

    Not Irish by any chance?

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