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Old 01-16-2011, 02:34 PM   #1
Semper
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Default 2nd Brew Bad Luck...maybe

Hello,

I brewed my 2nd Batch in two weeks last night (Belgian Wit); everything went well until I transferred it to the primary. As I put my airlock in to the top of my plastic bucket the rubber grommet in the lid split and half of it fell into my wort! Needless to say I took off the lid and it was nowhere to be seen. I spent 15-20 minutes trying everything with a slotted spoon etc. to remove it from the bottom of my bucket with 5 gallons of wort. My options were:

1. Leave the rubber grommet in my wort throughout primary fermentation.

2. Remove the rubber grommet by going elbow deep in my wort to find it with my hands.

Needless to say I did #2, stuck my entire arm elbow deep into my bucket and successfully removed the rubber grommet.

I rigged my airlock back to the top of the bucket with metallic HVAC tape but I'm now worried I could have contaminated my entire batch which smelled and looked great. Will there be any way to tell if my batch is infected? I used a liquid yeast which I activated for 3 hours before pitch time, It is just slowly beginning to ferment now, will this kill off any bacteria?

Any suggestions or thoughts appreciated.

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Old 01-16-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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You would have been better off just leaving the grommet in the bottom of your beer and rigging up some other attachment for your airlock. You may have contaminated your beer, but keep your fingers crossed and keep on fermenting! Good luck!

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Old 01-16-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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Most likely you will be fine. Did you sanitize your arm first? I had a grommet pop through into the wort once also. I just left it alone, covered the hole with foil, and after fermentation was complete (about a week), I racked to a secondary. (Not my usual procedure, but I wanted to get the grommet and put a proper air lock back on.) I have found out after a year and a half of brewing, that beer is pretty hardy stuff, and you almost have to try to ruin it. This doesn't mean that it will always taste great, but it is not as easy to infect as most of us think.

Be sure to post back and let us know what became of this brew. And maybe you can use this experience to name your beer - for example - I'm a Nit Wit Belgian .

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Old 01-16-2011, 02:53 PM   #4
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Was your hand and arm clean? If so, I'd say with 99% certainty that your beer is just fine.

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Old 01-16-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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Elbow Deep Belgium Wit...sounds tasty. Fermenting yeast don't kill off bacteria, I believe they just outcompete for resources like sugar. Should be fine, a smell/taste test should give you definitive answers in a couple of weeks. GL!

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Old 01-16-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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I did not sanitize my arm but I had been sanitizing and cleaning everything else so I know my hand should have been good. I was able to dip in and out of my wort pretty quick once I could feel the rubber at the bottom..

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Old 01-16-2011, 02:58 PM   #7
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If beer can be brewed using wild yeast in the air, I think a little arm in the fermenter won't ruin things.

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Old 01-16-2011, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewenstein View Post
Most likely you will be fine. Did you sanitize your arm first? I had a grommet pop through into the wort once also. I just left it alone, covered the hole with foil, and after fermentation was complete (about a week), I racked to a secondary. (Not my usual procedure, but I wanted to get the grommet and put a proper air lock back on.) I have found out after a year and a half of brewing, that beer is pretty hardy stuff, and you almost have to try to ruin it. This doesn't mean that it will always taste great, but it is not as easy to infect as most of us think.

Be sure to post back and let us know what became of this brew. And maybe you can use this experience to name your beer - for example - I'm a Nit Wit Belgian .
Thanks, I like that Nit Wit Belgian!...I hope it is hardy enough to resist any infection, will keep fingers crossed.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #9
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Thousands of people have done this before and their beer has turned out fine. You can search the forum for infection if you want to see what they look like but it might scare you more than anything. Just sit back and relax everything will be fine.

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Old 01-16-2011, 04:40 PM   #10
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Same thing happened to me on my first batch only I also dumped the air lock in also. Turned out fine. Seems like I learn something on every brew that I could have done better. This won't be the first mis-hap as I have had many with no bad effects. The beer is getting better and better as I get my routine down and so will yours.

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