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Old 06-26-2007, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default what would you do - potential contamination

So I brewed my 3rd all grain pale ale but this time with my 14 month old around - appeasing her and keeping her away from my brewpot, etc. was a bear. In fact, turns out I left the little inside part off of my airlock (the one that actually keeps the outside air out) for the first 36 hours of fermentation. PLUS, my fermenter was outside since the temp is higher than the basement. Anyway, I've potentially fouled my batch, right? Thing is, most of the time (after the initial 12 hrs or so) CO2 would have been flowing out pretty good since the bulk of fermentation was occurring then. Long story shortish, what would you do? Toss it? This was going to be my first keg!!!! I mean, worst case, it tastes bad, right?

Thanks for the advice

mm

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Old 06-26-2007, 09:04 PM   #2
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Worse case is it will taste bad, but chances are it will be fine. DWRHAHB!

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Old 06-26-2007, 09:08 PM   #3
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Definitely dont toss it. Just give it some time, I would be willing to bet that what you did will not cause an infection.

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Old 06-26-2007, 10:37 PM   #4
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yeah, wait it out. you'll know in a week or so when you rack it/check gravity...taste and see if its fouled.
you may even be able to tell from looking at it.

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Old 06-26-2007, 10:48 PM   #5
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Even if it turns out bad, you can work on getting your kegging techniques down.

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Old 06-26-2007, 11:24 PM   #6
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What was your ambient temp for most of the fermentation?

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Old 06-26-2007, 11:30 PM   #7
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If you had your airlock sitting in the hole in the lid of your fermenter, I would imagine that there was very little air movement. After the yeasties kick in, you would have a positive pressure inside the fermenter anyway. I agree with the rest of them, DWRHAHB, wait it out, keg it up, drink it up.

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Old 06-29-2007, 01:18 PM   #8
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THANKS EVERYONE! Survey says: RDWHAHB and wait it out. In the primary a week now, settling, and looking 'normal'. Crazy thing with this batch is I think my mash temps were on the low end (maybe ~150) and there seems to be a TON of protein coagulant - or there was before it settled. During the boil it was crazy - like none I'd ever seen. Anyway, lots of reasons for this batch to look 'different' besides potential contamination.

MM

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Old 06-30-2007, 02:39 AM   #9
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NO NO NO. It is probably screwed. Tell me where you are and I will come and take it off of your hands. Just Kidding. I think that is how the first brewers got their beer to ferment anyways. They stuck it outside and hoped wild yeast would fly in!(no doubt while they entertained their toddlers) Good Luck!
(I do understand that the day to night temp fluctuations can off your flavors )

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Old 06-30-2007, 03:32 AM   #10
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The airlock increases your chance of keeping infection out. For arguments sake, let's say it would be a 1 in 10 chance of becoming infected without it. You're still looking at the odds being on your side. Don't dump until you're SURE the batch is bad. You'll know it when it happens.

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