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Old 05-19-2012, 02:03 AM   #1
RxLizard
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Default contamination risk

I am fairly new at homebrewing. I used my glass carboy with an airlock as my primary fermenter for my IPA. I already know my mistake and that next time I should use my bucket as primary and use a blowoff tube. That being said, here is my problem and question:

The fermentation was so violent it actually popped the top off of the airlock. This happened while I was at work today and I wasn't around to take care of it right away. I lost a fair amount of beer and ruined the carpet in my closet. I do not know how long the top was off and the beer was exposed to room air. I have since sanitized the airlock and put it back on the bung.

What should I do? Should I assume that it is contaminated and give up on the batch? I don't want to waste several weeks while trying to brew a beer that will be end up being ruined. On the other hand, I also don't want to waste the $50 dollars I spent on the supplies just to have to start over and spend it again. Is there any chance it will be okay?

What would you do?



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Old 05-19-2012, 02:13 AM   #2
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[...]What would you do?
Let it ride, and it will most likely be just fine...

Cheers!


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Old 05-19-2012, 02:45 AM   #3
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Let it ride, and it will most likely be just fine...

Cheers!
This. Don't worry and wait a few weeks.
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:02 AM   #4
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Let it ride. Look at it this way, since your fermentation bucket is still open for business brew another beer and start getting the pipe line going.

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Old 05-19-2012, 03:04 AM   #5
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Co2 still coming out should have protected the brew a bit.
Always use a blow off tube and stick it in a container with enough free space for overflow.

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Old 05-19-2012, 04:07 PM   #6
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Seeing you're in the Lone Star State I'm going to guess it may have gotten pretty warm in that closet, which may have contributed to a boisterous fermentation. If that's the case, for your next batch you should consider trying to keep the brew temperature under 70°F (not ambient - the actual temperature of the beer). That'll help avoid generating "hot alcohols" (aka fusels) and/or solvent-flavored esters.

Google "swamp cooler", and consider getting a big plastic tub you can set the fermenter in and surround with water. With that you have some additional options, like draping a towel or t shirt over the fermenter so it hangs down in the water and draws it up for evaporative cooling, or dropping soda bottles filled with frozen water in there...

Cheers!

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Old 05-19-2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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I've blown the lid off two beers, not the top of the airlock, but the bucket lid, and both beer's were fine.

You have to realize that our beer is hardier than most newbs think, AND you have to get the idea of dumping batches because something doesn't seem right, or something happens, out of your head.

Read these threads and understand- What are some of the mistakes you made...where your beer still turned out great?

And Never dump your beer!!! Patience IS a virtue!!! Time heals all things, even beer!

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Old 05-19-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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I've blown the lid off two beers, not the top of the airlock, but the bucket lid, and both beer's were fine.

You have to realize that our beer is hardier than most newbs think, AND you have to get the idea of dumping batches because something doesn't seem right, or something happens, out of your head.

Read these threads and understand- What are some of the mistakes you made...where your beer still turned out great?

And Never dump your beer!!! Patience IS a virtue!!! Time heals all things, even beer!
^That^ for sure! It's a lot harder to ruin your beer than most beginners think.... RDWHAHB, and read those threads Revvy posted...... twice.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:43 AM   #9
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Thanks, everyone!

All the things I have read were so super cautious. I am glad I asked. Now that the foam has subsided, I have racked into my secondary with half an ounce of Kent Goldings.

The temperature in my closet is around 75 degrees. What I read said that ales should be fine at any constant temp below 80, but obviously you can't always take those things as gospel. I appreciate the tips, and will definitely keep it in mind for brews this summer when it is 100 oustide for 2 months straight in Dalls.

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Old 05-20-2012, 03:24 PM   #10
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Thanks, everyone!

All the things I have read were so super cautious. I am glad I asked. Now that the foam has subsided, I have racked into my secondary with half an ounce of Kent Goldings.

The temperature in my closet is around 75 degrees. What I read said that ales should be fine at any constant temp below 80, but obviously you can't always take those things as gospel. I appreciate the tips, and will definitely keep it in mind for brews this summer when it is 100 oustide for 2 months straight in Dalls.
Soooo yesterday the fermentation was going along so violently that it popped the top off your fermenter, and today you racked to a secondary? I'd say that was likely way to early.


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