Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Big Beer Fiasco

To all you homebrewers that keg your beer, I have some advice: CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK YOUR CONNECTIONS!!!

I lost basically a whole 5 gallon keg of Johann Sebastian Bock because I had a bad connection on my beer line. This was a beer that had no discernable flaws, that had lagered for 6 weeks, and was one that I had planned to enter and win numerous competitions with. And it's gone, all gone. I think the problem started when I was trying to hook up the CO2 to the keg. It was in the bottom of the kegerator, so I didn't see right away that I was attempting to hook the CO2 to the "beer out" connector. Once I realized my mistake, I hooked the gas up correctly, to the "gas in", and then hooked the beer line to the "beer out". Apparently, it wasn't secure, possibly because of my attempt to force the gas on it earlier, so overnight, all the delicious malty bock was pushed out of the keg and into the bottom of my kegerator. Wasted. I don't have any photos of the damage because I was too pissed off to even think about taking any. In fact, I couldn't even write about this incident until almost a month later. (It happened early March).

I ended up pumping the beer out of the kegerator with a fountain pump and watering my newly planted hop rhizomes with it. I hope the alcohol in the beer didn't have an adverse effect on them. So I'll write it again, "CHECK YOUR CONNECTIONS! TWICE!"


  1. Oh shit. I had the same thing happen to me right after we moved into our house. I had just recently started kegging and was force-carbonating ten gallons of Kölsch that we brewed to celebrate our daughter's birth. A couple days later I noticed a stain on the basement rug by our chest freezer. I thought the dog had peed on the carpet (uncharacteristic for him) until I picked up the keg and it was empty. Good think I brewed 10 gallons instead of five, I guess. Anyway, I'm sorry for your loss. Ever since then I always hook up a cobra head tap to the out valve just to be safe. I'm guessing you'll be doing the same. ;-)

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