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-   -   Should I pour down drain? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/should-i-pour-down-drain-184590/)

mrduna01 06-30-2010 02:47 PM

Should I pour down drain?
 
So I am a complete beginner at this and the people on this forum seem to be very knowledgable so let me throw this one at you before i throw my first brew down the drain.

I made a couple big mistakes I think in the brewing process. First, it was recommended to me at the brew shop to use a 16 qt pot. Instead I used two 8 qt pots and split the ingredients in to each. Everytime I got a decent boil going on it would foam up and boil over. So I am not sure if I boiled it good enough.

Next, after my very low boiling for the instructed time and during cool down I found a price tag sticker in the wort from the plastic stir spoon. lol

Lastly I made the mistake of sanitizing everything at the beginning but not throughout the process such as after setting the spoon or other equipment on the counter and then putting back in the wort. At least I think it was a mistake.

Problem is, it has been 72 hours and nothing has happened in the fermenter. I peeked under the lid of my plastic bucket and it looks the exact same as it did when I poured it in there to begin with. I also, while peaking through found another dag blamed piece of that price tag and then (i know i know don't yell at me) removed it with my unsanitized fingers. lol So last night at about the 36 hour mark I put in another batch of yeast but at 72 hours it still has not done anything.

Any advice?

IrregularPulse 06-30-2010 02:49 PM

Sanitiation is not important until after your turn the flame off from the boil.
I'm sure your sticker issue is fine.
It is possible that you had fermentation and it's over. Is there a crud ring around the bucket above the wort line?
The only way to know what you're beer is doing or has done, is by taking a hydrometer reading. Do that and report back.
Most likely your beer is fine. Also, you said "Last night at the 36 hour mark. If it was at 36 hours last night, it can't be at 72 now. If last night at 11pm was 36 hours, you'd be at 48 now.

Check the sticky in the beginners section.
Don't panic until 72 hours. (3 full days and nights)

Tinga 06-30-2010 02:51 PM

have you taken gravity readings? only way to know for sure if there is something happening. but let her sit for a while longer. don't pour it out until you have tasted it.

bdleedahl 06-30-2010 02:53 PM

yeah only dump beer under extreme circumstances (ex you found a dead animal in it)... your beer is likely fine and possibly even finished, it would help if you posted the kind of yeast you used and hydrometer readings are essential

mrduna01 06-30-2010 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bdleedahl (Post 2137120)
yeah only dump beer under extreme circumstances (ex you found a dead animal in it)... your beer is likely fine and possibly even finished, it would help if you posted the kind of yeast you used and hydrometer readings are essential

Thank you for the input guys... I did not take initial hydrometer readings. Another noobie mistake I suppose. I am 99 percent sure though that no fermentation has occured. There was never the first bubble in the airlock although I know that is not always a good indicator but it looks the exact same as it did when I poured it in. It has the same look as it did before. There is not even the slightest hint of a smell of alcohol and there is not visible ring around the bucket above the wort which I know is a sure sign of fermentation having occured. I would go ahead and test it with the hydrometer but I am afraid of contamination assuming I have doged the bullet thus far.

The yeast I used to begin with was a pack that the brew shop gave me for free and I did not bother to look to see what kind it was. Then last night I pitched the yeast that came with the syrup. I did not however stir it in, just pitched it on top. I don't know if that was the right thing to do.

RchanceN 06-30-2010 03:06 PM

Welcome to brewing!...and things dont look all that bad really...

First, I'd get a bigger pot. I'm assuming you're doing 5 gallon extract batches? Life will be much easier with a 20+ quart pot. You can get them at restaurant supply stores for about $30. Aluminum is fine. Boil plain water in it before use to get a brownish oxidized layer on the inside. Keep a spray bottle by the stove for foam control. I learned these things the hard way as well.

Second, +1 to what the other guys already said.

What temp were the yeast and wort at when you pitched?

Oh yea, never pour beer down the drain!
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/neve...en-beer-73254/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what...t-great-96780/

IrregularPulse 06-30-2010 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrduna01 (Post 2137139)
Thank you for the input guys... I did not take initial hydrometer readings. Another noobie mistake I suppose. I am 99 percent sure though that no fermentation has occured. There was never the first bubble in the airlock although I know that is not always a good indicator but it looks the exact same as it did when I poured it in. It has the same look as it did before. There is not even the slightest hint of a smell of alcohol and there is not visible ring around the bucket above the wort which I know is a sure sign of fermentation having occured. I would go ahead and test it with the hydrometer but I am afraid of contamination assuming I have doged the bullet thus far.

The yeast I used to begin with was a pack that the brew shop gave me for free and I did not bother to look to see what kind it was. Then last night I pitched the yeast that came with the syrup. I did not however stir it in, just pitched it on top. I don't know if that was the right thing to do.

Taking a reading to begin with for extract batches is not necessary, they will often be off anyway from insuficient mixing of wort and top off water. It is nearly impossible to miss your OG with extract as long as you put it all in.

Do not avoid taking hydro readings our of fear of infection. The more you do it the more comfortable you'll get with it and it needs to be done to repeatable successful brewing and is the ONLY way to know what is going on. Your beer is far more resilient than you think. Sanitation is pushed, but it's hard to mess up your beer. Take that reading and get back to us. Post the recipe (how much extract you used) and we can tell you what your OG was. Batch size (how many gallons) are also needed.

Homercidal 06-30-2010 03:23 PM

Step away from the fermenter!

It's entirely possible that you pitched the initial yeast when the wort was too hot. If so, it may have been dead. Or, it was just taking it's time getting going, or was dead when you got it. Just can't tell.

But, surely your wort was cooled when you pitched the second packet of yeast, and you do not have to stir it to get it to work. In fact, I believe the instrucitons say to just pitch on top. At any rate, give it a couple of days to get going.

And the airlock is not a sure way to know if it is working. You should see some foamy krausen on the top, or if you sniff it you might get a CO2 burn in your nose (yes it burns...), or you see tiny bubbles rising to the surface, or just some churning going on.

Of course you really ought to have taken a gravity reading to start with, so you can compare with the Final Gravity reading to know how far along it is, and what your ABV might be, when it's finished, etc.

But there is NOTHING in your post that indicates to me that this beer has any real problem now. The price tag is meaningless. It got boiled and is sterile. Just try to keep the fermenter in the mid to high 60's and you will be fine.

mrduna01 06-30-2010 03:37 PM

Ok, so I have checked the hydrometer reading just by getting some beer in the plastic tube that the hydrometer came in (sterilized it first). The reading is 1.050.

I pitched the orginal yeast when the (because I used to different pots), the temp was just over 80 degrees on one pot of wort and the other temp was just over 90 degrees. I poured the two in the fermenter and then pitched the yeast. From my research, this temp should have been fine but im not expert.

As far as the "recipe", i just used a can of Edme Red Ale syrup which doesn't show any final gravity readings or anything of that sort on the labeling.

Rchancen: Thanks for the pot advice, I have run into prices much more expensive but that was for stainless steel (i heard that aluminum is not a good thing to use).

Revvy 06-30-2010 03:48 PM

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Thinking about "doing anything" without taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

And if there's no fermentation, you just add yeast!!!! You don't think about dumping the beer. :rolleyes:

You don't dump your beer, for making a minor little mistake. Your beer is hardier than that.

And you don't dump something because you think it's going to turn out bad. You only dump a beer that you KNOW is bad, and you give it at least a couple of months in the bottle before you even make THAT decision.

Read theses two threads that were compiled for nervous new brewers to realize that your beers are not a weak baby that is going to die if you look at it wrong.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what...t-great-96780/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/neve...en-beer-73254/

Our beer is really resilient despite the boneheaded things we do to it. And even if something appears to be wrong, often time and the yeasties go along way to correct itself.

I think about it in terms of my time and money, I'm not going to dump 30 or more dollars worth of ingredients, 6 hours of brewing time, and at least 2 months from yeast pitch to cracking the first bottle, on what could be a minor mistake (that may not even harm the beer anyway,) until I have exhausted all probability that the beer won't improve. And even then that means at least walking away from the bottles for maybe 6 months or more.

And so far I have never beer wrong.

After all these years of brewing I still haven't had a dumper.

And I've made some big mistakes.

But I have never had a beer that wasn't at least palatable, after all that time.

They may have not been stellar beers, but they were still better than BMC or Skunky Beers in green bottles that people actually pay money for.

So just read those threads and next time, relax, and give your beer a chance to prove how strong it really is.


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