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Brewing Disaster!

  • 04-07-2016 3:57pm
    Registered Users Posts: 36 ✭✭✭ dukeellington

    Just thought I'd share a disaster story here, for craic, and learning.

    TLDR: Never use dairy products as adjuncts for homebrewing!

    So basically I have for my last few brews being making my own syrups off the back of successfully substituting a stew made from vanilla, raisins and plums mixed with a caramel I made from slowly heating sugar for the dark candy syrup you can buy (which is pretty expensive anyway).
    So yeah initial success with dark belgian ales, until my current brew, I wanted a sweet smooth dark strong, but undershot the mash temp, so when I tasted it just didn't have the sweetness I was looking for, so I decide what might work is another syrup addition... my only real worry being that it'll just completely ferment and only add alcohol without sweetness.
    So I'm chatting to my girlfriend (who's a real great baker) and she's telling how she'd make caramel with condensed milk and butter, and I just didn't really think it through, or research it, and cooked that **** up, dropped it into the bottom of the secondary and transferred on top of it.
    To my disgust the next day my beautiful wort was destroyed with manky fat separated out and floating around. I considered throwing it out, but i was heading on holiday so I left it for a week. When I came back I decided to chance passing it through a muslin cloth, I lost 7L of a 25L batch, just because there was just so much buttery ****e floating in what was left I didn't want to even chance passing that through.
    End result the beer is perfectly clear again, took a taste sample and to my surprise it was pretty nice, there is a brandy flavour and strong alcohol burn, but given it's a Belgian quad I can live with that.
    Anyway I thought I'd share just as a cautionary tale or if anyone has any opinions or what they'd have done, and sure you can laugh away at my stupidity anyway!


  • Whilst extract brewing I put my bag of hops on a red hot hob and almost set them on fire. Then I did the same with my yeast. Turned out to be the best Stout I've ever made.