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Old 02-17-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
mbotnick
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Default Could I have contaminated?

I'm a relative noob, and on my third ever brew. I had sanitized all of my equipment, including the bucket lid and air lock. I set the lid on the bucket (I have not yet added yeast, still cooling) and went to put the airlock in, it was too tight and popped the grommet into the cooling wort. I sanitized the crap out of my arm (didn't have anything long enough to reach in and find it) and got it out. Will I wind up with an infection? Is there anything that I can do at this point to minimize the risk?

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:54 PM   #2
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Well.. It happened to me when I started too.. There is definitely a risk for infection, but don't worry until you see/smell funny stuff in your brew. Make sure you pitch your yeast asap so that fermentation begins quickly and the yeast can "take over" whatever else is trying to grow in your brew.

Don't worry too much about it for now, when it happened to me a few years ago I only rinsed my arm with hot tap water and retrieved the grommet. No infection !

Next time, fit the airlock in the grommet before you put in on the fermenter !

Cheers !

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:54 PM   #3
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The best thing you can do now is pitch lots of yeast . . . more yeast will out compete any bugs.

That said - I have heard of others sanitizing their arm and diving after items in their wort with fine success.

What yeast are you using? Dry yeast usually has the highest volume of yeast. If liquid, did you use a starter?

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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You should be fine. Plenty of people have done exactly what you did. I've reached my arm in to get a strainer out of the wort a couple times when I was brewing by myself and didn't have anyone to hold it. Whoops.

Just watch it roll!

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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I'm using Pacman yeast, it's liquid and didn't require any starter. Nice to see that other people have had this issue and not gotten infections, and I definitely learned a lesson. I had to get a new lid since mine got lost in a recent move, and the airlock fit a little better with the last lid. The wort is still around 100, but as soon as it goes below 80 the yeast is going in.

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbotnick View Post
I'm using Pacman yeast, it's liquid and didn't require any starter. Nice to see that other people have had this issue and not gotten infections, and I definitely learned a lesson. I had to get a new lid since mine got lost in a recent move, and the airlock fit a little better with the last lid. The wort is still around 100, but as soon as it goes below 80 the yeast is going in.
If the wort was still hot, then your chances of getting away with no infection are even better. Heat kills the bugs.

Cheers !
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #7
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Going forward - one of the single best pieces of equipment you could get is a wort chiller. There are few things you can do that are better for your beer than dropping it to 65 degrees and getting the yeast in there as soon as possible. I see you are in Maryland - Set it outside to cool it down faster if you can.

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:06 PM   #8
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You should be fine. One reason to be anal about sanitation is so that when Murphy steps up and whizzes in your brew, the chances of something bad are reduced.

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:39 PM   #9
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I did the exact same thing on my first brew except I didn't think to sanitize my arm. The beer turned out to be a fantastic porter. Have a brew and relax.

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:05 AM   #10
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Thanks a lot, everyone! I really appreciate the reassurance. The yeast is in and I'm getting ready to haul the barrel down to the basement to let it do it's thing. Here's to some sweet Dead Guy Ale in a few weeks!

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