There I was with my hand over the port of my bottling bucket, my pants soaked with beer and a sizable pool of bock beer all over the kitchen floor slowly inching its way to the living room in full panic mode.
I got all of my equipment ready for bottling day and lined up everything on the kitchen island. The carboy sat there full of beer waiting to be transferred into the bottling bucket as I assembled the spigot on the bottling bucket. A few turns of the spigot later and I heard a crack, the threads on the spigot broke off. Its late in the evening and here I was without a spigot but I was determined to complete this bottling day. I pulled out some Krazy Glue and glued the threads back on to the spigot. Once dry, I placed the spigot on the bottling bucket and took care to not over-tighten again. Success!
I poured my cooled sugar water into the bucket and started to rack the beer from the carboy into the bucket. I walked away and started to prepare the bottles. A few minutes went by and I checked on the beer, about two gallons already transferred in the bucket but the spigot had a small leak. I must have not tightened it enough. I made a small turn on the spigot to stop the drip and that’s when it happened. The spigot cracked and beer started shooting out of the bottling bucket on to my pants, my shoes and the floor. I placed my hand over the one inch hole to stop the flow of beer and panicked. My wife just left the house ten minutes before to let me do my thing without interruption and there I was with no one home to help.
Here I was, just me, alone standing in a pool of doppelbock with about a gallon left in the bucket and a few more gallons still in the carboy. I managed to tilt the bucket and rest it on something, giving me time to calm down and figure out what to do. First mission was to save this beer so I had to get the beer back in the carboy with the sugar. So I grabbed a funnel, sanitized it put some tubing around it and funneled what was left back into the carboy. I bottled right from the carboy with a racking cane attached to tubing attached to a bottling wand without an auto siphon. Yeah it’s as difficult as it sounds.
In the end I managed to save the beer and it turned out to be one of the better beers I have ever brewed and the last lager I ever made. That beer was forever known as Calamity Doppelbock and is my homebrew nightmare story.