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Old 11-07-2011, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default N00b mistake - should I throw it?

I started brewing about 2 months ago, and started right away with all grain... first batch turned out drinkable, but I had lots to learn. I actually brewed 4 weekends in a row (before tasting my first batch) but I was reading the whole time and picking up more and more equipment.

My first batch, rather than sparging I tried mashing and brewing in the same kettle and squeezed the water out of the grain... thoroughly... hence why it is drinkable and not great.

My second batch is still on second fermentation

My 3rd batch was a "quick and cheep" batch that goes from brewed to drinkable in a week... well, I tried my first keg this weekend and it turned out great! It tastes kind of like HoneyWeiss... which was a pleasant surprise.

Here comes the problem batch...

My 4th batch I did the week after my 3rd batch and was the same as the 3rd batch. Since it was the same, i thought I would use the same 5-gallon primary fermenter and re-use the yeast that is in there... ordinarily i don't think this would be a problem. after I racked the contents to it's keg, i introduced the new brew, shook it up to introduce oxygen and get the yeast off the bottom, put the air lock on, and let it sit.

The next day I go to check on it and it is bubbling away, "looking good" I think! I go down the next day and what i see is devastating... the airlock is on the ground 4 feet away... and there is a trail of mush leading to it... apparently it foamed up, clogged the air lock, built up pressure and shot the damned thing 4 feet! (good distance, right??). I initially didn't think this could happen since I use the foam reducer when I brew... but the abundance of freshly utilized yeast proved to be harder workers than I thought!!

After I saw the airlock on the ground I ran to get my spray bottle of sanitizer, wiped off the grit with a sanitized paper towel, sanitized the air-lock and put it back on and hoped for the best....

This weekend I transferred it from Primary to Secondary... and it smelled.... bad... like baby diapers.... Now, being a brave soul I decided to taste some of it... and it actually tasted fine, but not the best after-taste. When cleaning the primary car-boy the yeast seemed to be the culprit of the smell...

Big Question.... should I try and let it sit to see if the smell goes away, or just pitch it now since O2 was introduced to the environment after fermentation was on the way?

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Old 11-07-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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Leave it alone, I'm not sure I would have bothered with secondary, but give what few yeast are left a chance to clean up the beer. There's always time to dump it later, but you never know how it will turn out if you don't give it a chance.

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Old 11-07-2011, 06:25 PM   #3
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Keep it. You shouldn't have had that much oxygen exposure with the yeast still cranking out CO2.

Some yeast just smell bad... A little time should help that.

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Old 11-07-2011, 07:16 PM   #4
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The bad stuff is maybe just fermenting beer. Give it some time to do it's thing. Not to sound like a broken record, but it's way too early to judge the beer at this point.

The odds of anything ruining the beer because of a blown airlock is practically nil (unless you got some flies or someone spit in it or something...)

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Old 11-07-2011, 07:23 PM   #5
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All of the above.

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:00 PM   #6
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When I used to ferment in 5gallon carboys, my airlock would fly off almost regularly (even sometimes after i ran it for 24hrs with a blowoff tube). Now I have 6 gallon carboys and even still, the occasional airlock will try to run away. Point is, never once have I had this lead to a bad batch. Give that bad boy a rinse and pop him back on. Wait a week or two and things should be better.

If the beer still stinks after that, maybe a good dry hopping would help? Just a thought.

Prost!

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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Sounds good all, I will let it sit and try to clarify some more.

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