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Old 09-21-2010, 05:45 PM   #1
Weslhoff2000
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Default Airlock evaporated

So i've been aging this batch of Red Ale for about 2 and half months now, things are going well, except that i recently discovered that the airlock had evaporated enough to break the lock... I think it has been evaporated for about 2-3 weeks now, but i recently filled it back up. I was wondering if there could be any adverse effects to drinking this, as that is my plan unless told otherwise.

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Old 09-21-2010, 05:48 PM   #2
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if it doesnt have anything growing on it yet then I'd still drink it for sure.

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Old 09-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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yeah if it has nothing growing on it then you got lucky. I have gotten infections that way (but I drank it anyway when I caught it early)

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Old 09-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #4
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Nothing's really going to get into your airlock even it the liquid has evaporated, both the s type and the 3 pieces have a cover on them, so nothing is really going to fall in, nor can it crawl in.

And even if something did, there is still co2 protecting your beer. If something was tiny enough to get in, get through the s path or crawl up under the bubbler part of the three piece, drop into the beer itself...it is going to be too small to actually get through the coating of co2 on the surface.

Relax....your beer is not that frail...

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Old 09-21-2010, 05:58 PM   #5
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well there is this white filmy looking substance floating on top of the beer, most of it looks like dead yeast, but ive never aged a beer this long either, so im not sure what to expect... i just dont want to end up poisoning myself.

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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White filmy substance... Is it waxy or slick-like? Might be signs of acetobacter... Thats what happened to me (I don't use the cap on the S airlock - which has bit me in the butt...)

It won't poison you., even if it is infected. Acetobacter creates acetic acid - your beer is on its way to becoming vinegar if you do in fact have that infection and the taste will turn sour and harsh. It is aerobic and needs oxygen to survive, so bottling it will limit the damage (assuming not too much damage is done already)

I'd go ahead and taste it to see. It may be nothing at all like Revvy says. I am not trying to scare ya.

Does it look like this?

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weslhoff2000 View Post
well there is this white filmy looking substance floating on top of the beer, most of it looks like dead yeast, but ive never aged a beer this long either, so im not sure what to expect... i just dont want to end up poisoning myself.
Well first off, it could simply be yeast rafts, and perfectly fine. That is what is usually on the surface of the beer.

Secondly to the "poisoning" comment

I wrote this awhile ago and it's been posted all through here. It was written for an old thread. But the information is something you all need to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
Ok for the sake of all the noobs on here, who are terrified that one wrong look at their fermenter and it is going to turn poisonous and kill them,

Get it straight people, no known pathogens can grow in your beer....nothing in your beer can kill you. Or make you sick!!!!!

In fact it was because water was often dangerous to drink that brewing became popular to begin with, because the brewing process killed most pathogens including e-coli

That's why the even brewed table beers, the third runnings from a partigyle session so that the children could have a drink that was safe to consume....

I came across this from a pretty well known and award winning homebrewer railing against a fellow brewer (it was on one of those "color coded" brewboards where they are a little less friendly than we are.) I just cut and pasted it and stuck it in a file...here it is.

Quote:
Can you get a PATHOGEN from beer. No. NO *NO* Did I make that clear? You have a ZERO chance of pathogens in beer, wine, distilled beverages. PERIOD!

Pathogens are described as organisms that are harmful and potentially life threatening to humans. These are some 1400+ known species overall encompasing viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and helminths. Of that group, we are only interested in those that can be foodborne. Quite simply, if it can't survive in food, it isn't in beer. That knocks out all but bacteria and fungi. Viruses need very specific circumstances to be passed around... like on the lip of a glass or bottle, not the beer in it. **Ahhh...CHOOO!**

Pathogens as a rule are very fastidious beasts. Meaning that they want very specific temperatures, acidity, nutrients and other conditions to thrive.

Bacteria that *could* live in wort, cannot survive even a little bit of fermentation. There are several reasons for this. One is in the 'magic' of hops. It is the isomerized alpha acids that provide a preservative effect to the beer, which happens to inhibit pathogens! Good deal for fresh wort!

Another reason is the drop in pH from fermentation. Next, yeast emit their own enzymes and byproducts, all in an effort to make the environment hostile to other creatures. The major one is alcohol, of course, but their enzymes will break down less vigorous organisms and they become sources of trace nutrition. Now the latter is very minor compared to the effect of alcohol, but it exists! Most of the time these enzymes work on the wort, not organisms until late in the process. Good deal for beer! ...uh, wine too.

Oh, Botulism specifically... did you know that this is an anaerobic pathogen? It's toxin is one of the few that is broken down by boiling. Did you know tht it is strongly inhibited by isomerized alpha acids, even in water? Since fresh wort has a healthy amount of oxygen in it, the beastie cannot even get started, then once the O2 is used up, it doesn't have a chance against the hops or the yeast.

All that is left are a handful of acid producing bacteria that'll ruin a batch of beer. Overall, there are less than 200 organisms that can survive in beer and lend flavor effects. None of these for very long, or very often. Lambic being the sole exception, and if pathogens *could* survive, that'd be the style where you find 'em.

Since nothing pathogenic can grow in beer, that's a really silly worry.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:28 PM   #8
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yeah - I have sampled some pretty nasty looking beer from the primary before. There's no way I will throw out beer without at least trying it.

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. Nierra Sevada 10g
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
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What temperature are you aging at? You are probably at the point of diminishing returns when it comes to time. I would just keg it or bottle it asap. If you keg get it cold and keep it cold from here on out. If bottling, keep at room temp for 2-3 weeks, then keep cold.

You have racked it at least once, right? But regardless: know what you did, drink your beer, and then determine if your process was OK.

I was going to originally tell you to put Vodka in your airlock instead of water, but that wouldn't help you since the vodka would evaporate faster.

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