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ransey81 10-02-2012 11:07 AM

Contaminated?
 
My first batch of beer. I decided to use bottled water because I am on a well. When pouring, the cap from my bottle/jug fell in the fermenter. Is my beer going to turn out? I did fish it out with a sanitized spoon. And to make matters worse, the inner part of my smack pack fell in when I was pitching. What are my odds?

ArcaneXor 10-02-2012 11:57 AM

About 99% chance that everything will be just fine if you sanitized the jug first. 95%+ if you didn't. The smack pack foil shouldn't hurt anything other than possibly getting stuck against the racking cane/auto-siphon/dip tube inlet.

ransey81 10-02-2012 05:35 PM

Thanks for the reply. I didn't sanitize the jug. Didn't even think to. But I will now.

kingwood-kid 10-04-2012 05:40 PM

If you pitched a whole smackpack of yeast, you probably could have fished the water cap out with your mouth like you were bobbing for apples and been okay. Obviously that's not a really good idea, but 100 billion yeast cells greatly outnumber any other microbes, and will quickly turn the beer into an environment inhospitable to most everything other than brewing yeast.

TopherM 10-04-2012 08:15 PM

It is HARRRRD to contaminate beer.

Remember that label on hand sanatizer that says it kills 99.99% of all germs and human pathogens? Guess what's the active ingredient in most hand sanatizers? Ethanol. Guess what yeast pump into your beer? Ethanol.

A 1.6% ABV solution will kill just about anything that can ruin your beer besides wild yeasts and some bacteria like lacto and brett that are perfectly fine to drink, even though they won't taste very good unless you control them.

Here's a short list of things that a 2% ABV beer would kill pretty easily. You could literally toss these in the wort (at some reasonable volume), and the beer would turn out just fine:
HIV
Sars
Flesh Eating Virus
Malaria
Bird Flu
Cholera
Hepatitis A through Z
Measles
Meningitis
Tuberculosis
Typhoid Fever
Herpes

Notice that "cap from your jug" could easily sneak onto that list.

In fact, saison/farmhouse beer in France was basically developed so that people could drink water that was contaminated with all sorts of nastiness, including black plague. They figured out that making about a 2% beer would make it potable. Beer (or alcohol at least), literally saved humankind throughout history.

Interestingly, the one thing that will jack you up that alcohol DOESN'T kill is ringworm (which is a fungus). That cap wasn't from your jug of ringworm, was it?

Wait, did you say part of your smack pack?? Oh, you're F'd!! :p

ACbrewer 10-04-2012 08:31 PM

OP - I'd say your cap wasn't a problem if if fell in pre-boil. After boil? well probably not much of a problem either. Yeah some bacteria on it (and the rest of the surfaces in the world), but anything that would grow in a cap won't eat wort, and anything that eats wort will be limited to the body count that fell on the cap in the first place.

Burried somewhere is a article about 'contaminates in HB' from I think BYO magazine, but it coudl have been Zymugery. Read enough links and you forget exact sources. Basically everyone's HB had bacteria in it, varrying degrees and all of the HB's sampled for taste afterward were drinkable, although as you'd expect quality varried, but that could have most likely was the brewer skills.

VladOfTrub 10-07-2012 04:39 PM

"In fact, saison/farmhouse beer in France was basically developed so that people could drink water that was contaminated with all sorts of nastiness, including black plague."

Wasn't the plague caused by fleas?

kingwood-kid 10-08-2012 12:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VladOfTrub (Post 4477840)
"In fact, saison/farmhouse beer in France was basically developed so that people could drink water that was contaminated with all sorts of nastiness, including black plague."

Wasn't the plague caused by fleas?

The plague is a bacterial disease, albeit one spread by fleas, which were spread by rats. Of course, back then people thought it was a divine punishment for whatever.

ACbrewer 10-09-2012 03:39 PM

Sure plague is spread by flea's, but that doesn't negate that there are several water born bacteria (cholera for example) that have been very deadly and solved through boiled water (aka beer, tea, coffee, etc).


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