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A settled nomad living on the edge of Appalachia. I love to listen to music, spend time with my family, and play sports. I'm lucky enough to write code for a living. I'm often accused of having no "filter" as I tend to overshare. I make beer on occasion and try to sample new beers whenever I can.$BillRawlinson

Adventures in Brewing - The Big Spill

3 min read

This past weekend my friends and I brewed a Belgian Triple. It was a LME kit and was our forth LME kit in since we started brewing about a year ago. It's been pretty fun.

One of the problems we've had is our burner. It was a cheap turkey fryer I bought at target on clearance. It had a safety valve and a timer that will automatically shut the flame off after 15 minutes. Plus, the valve had a button that you had to depress in order to light the flame and, sometimes, the fire would go out if you didn't keep the button permanently depressed. I ended up having to put a hand clamp on the button to get the fire to stay on and I removed the inline timer. It was a messy kludge.

Today, however, a new era in our brewing will be starting. I bought a new burner that - the Bayou Classic SQ14 - it's a 16" square burner that puts out about 150,000 BTUs!! It's remarkable stable feeling and has no weird gimmicky bits on it that will interfere with the brewing process.

I'm going to get a new fermenting bucket as well. The only bucket I've had so far is the bottling bucket that came with my initial starter kit for home brew. The bucket is perfectly fine for fermenting in - but this past weekend it ended up being the source of disaster.

We brewed in the garage. And, when the beer was finally in the bucket for fermenting I had to carry it to the third floor. Our basement is too cold but our third floor bathroom is the perfect temperature for the fermentation process. As I neared the crest of the final flight of stairs my knee hit the spigot and busted it off where it met with the bucket. Fresly brewed beer spewed out! I quickly leaned the bucket sideways so it would stop and layed it in the bathroom sink at an angle. By then though the carpet on the stairs was sodden with about 1/4-1/2 of a gallon of beer. The whole third floor reeks of belgian triple!

Fortunately I had another bottling bucket that had a spigot on it that I could scavenge and put in the original bucket (my lid only fit on the original bucket). Thus, the beer is saved for now (assuming we fully sanitized everything during the change over from bucket to bucket to bucket). Tomorrow I'll be getting a new fermenting bucket that has no spigot form our local supply store. That particular problem will not occur again.

Our next beer brewing day will be in a month or so (once at least one of the two in fermentation right now are bottled). Then I think we'll start looking at some all grain kits to start up in April - that should be an all new kind of adventure.