Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tears for beers

Well, I alluded to it last post and it has been hard for me to come around to write about it...the grief is just too painful.  I don't know if I can go on...


So we had a beer spillage in the brewery.  On Tuesday June 26, 2012, I set out to bottle about 18 beers from my Keg of American Pale Ale.  Some were going to Competition and the rest was headed off to friends and relatives.  I cleaned and sanitized my bottles, and made sure to use new bottles for the competition beers (gotta do everything you can to ensure the best quality beer for a comp).  I used my cheap-man's bottle filler (Bottling wand with a stopper shoved into the picnic tap) to fill and cap all 18 beers.

I was about to make a big mistake, but I didn't know it.  During the bottle filling, the fridge door was open a good 10 minutes or so.  During this time the temp in the fridge dropped quite a bit - all the kegs had condensation on them.  I placed the tap line back in the fridge, reset my CO2 pressure and shut the fridge.  I then went off to visit my friend for the day.  Time rolls around and I am hanging out tanning at the pool when I get a call from my wife.  Within in 5 seconds I understand I am in trouble, within 7 seconds I know I have lost something dear to me...the pale ale.  I think her screams resembled something like this:

"Brett, What did you do?  There is beer dripping out from under the garage door....and its everywhere in the garage!!!"

I had to diffuse the anger, but more importantly I had to explain to my wife how to find the cause and stop the leak.  I was able to explain to her how to shut off the CO2 and disconnect the lines. At this point all that was needed was to clean up the mess and find out how much beer was lost.  Luckily, my wife took care of the mess - what a wonderful wife she is!  I think by the pictures I only lost 6-12 beers thanks to my wife who had come home and caught it in time.

So how did this happen you may ask?  Well the answer is due to temperature change.  The vinyl beer line tubing we use as homebrewers is very flexible the warmer it is and becomes more rigid the cooler it is.  The line had warmed up, and gotten flexible, during my bottling.  Then when I placed it back in the fridge, it cooled down and became stiff.  The stiffness lead the line to "fall" and the picnic tap get "flipped" to the on position.  The rest I will leave to the pictures....

 The mess at the bottom of the fridge

 The trail out of the Garage


Since the incident I have attached velcrow to the inside of the fridge and to my tap lines.  I can now secure the lines above, and out of the way of danger.


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