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Old 05-29-2012, 02:20 AM   #1
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Default Contamination

How do I know if my batch is contaminated? Just completed my first brew but some of he cooling water got in the brew.

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Old 05-29-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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how does it taste...and yes im serious

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Old 05-29-2012, 06:01 PM   #3
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Exercise patience. Just sit back and let the yeast do its thing. As long as you weren't cooling your wort by dunking the brew kettle in a duck pond, you should be just fine.

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Old 05-29-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
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What scinerd3000 said. Tasting it is really the only way to know, unless you see something like a bacterial pellicle forming atop the batch.

But since this is your first batch, please keep this in mind: you are going to see, smell, and taste things that may seem really nasty, but are perfectly normal. Fermentation is an ugly process that produces something wonderful. Do not assume your beer is infected, and by all means do not even think about dumping it until you have an experienced homebrewer look at it and taste it.

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Old 05-29-2012, 06:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by beerkrump View Post
Exercise patience. Just sit back and let the yeast do its thing. As long as you weren't cooling your wort by dunking the brew kettle in a duck pond, you should be just fine.
Yep, duck ponds are bad.

The beer should be fine.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:08 PM   #6
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Here, read these threads instead of worrying, they'll show you how strong your beer really is.

Revvy's advice for the new brewer in terms of worry.

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 06-04-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by beerkrump
Exercise patience. Just sit back and let the yeast do its thing. As long as you weren't cooling your wort by dunking the brew kettle in a duck pond, you should be just fine.
If you not mind, another question. Can u give the 101 on how to use a hydrometer to test alcohol?
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:54 PM   #8
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The hydrometer measures the density of liquids. In all likelihood, you have a triple scale hydrometer that reads potential alcohol, balling, and specific gravity. For brewing, we use the specific gravity ( SG, or just gravity). Taking gravity readings before adding the yeast and at the end of fermentation, prior to bottling, gives the original gravity (OG) and final gravity (FG). Since the major change in gravity is due to the conversion of sugar to alcohol by the yeast, we can use the difference between these readings to calculate the amount of alcohol in our beer.

Search the webs for alcohol attenuation calculator that will do the math when you plug in your readings. Also, read this.

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Old 06-04-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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If you not mind, another question. Can u give the 101 on how to use a hydrometer to test alcohol?
Yes...

If you have a test jar, fill the tube with wort and let the hydrometer float in the wort. Find the marked line that is touching the top of the wort when the hydrometer is floating.

If you do not have a test jar, then santitze the hydrometer thorougly, and float it directly in the fermentation jug. Again, you are looking for the number marking that is flush with the beer... Depending on your recipe, you will have a number somewhere between 1.030 and 1.080 in most cases. Some hydrometers also have a "potential alcohol" scale which may be easier to understand for new brewers. You can use the gravity number, or the potential alcohol, whichever you prefer...

Record your initial reading (O.G. or potential alcohol) and save that number for later. When the beer has been fermenting for at least one week (2 is better!), take a second reading. You should now have a reading that is much lower than the first number. Most extact batches finish between 1.008 and 1.020, and all grain beers can get very close to 1.000 depending on several variables. This is your final gravity (F.G) When the F.G. is the same for 3 days in a row, the beer is done and ready to bottle.

Once you have the "before" and "after" readings, you can use them to calculate the alcohol percentage. The book "How To Brew" by John Palmer has a chart in it for this (Get this book if you do not have it!) or you can use an online calculator to do the math for you. If you used the "potential alcohol" scale for testing, then simply subtract the finishing number from the starting number. For example, if the before reading was 6% potential alcohol, and the after reading was 2%, then your beer has 4% alcohol.

One last note: beer temperature affects hydrometer readings, and the reading should be corrected for temperature. Personally, I do not do this. I simply make sure that my before and after readings are taken at the SAME temperature (room temp, about 70 degrees). If one sample is hotter than the other, you will need to learn how to do temperature corrections...

I hope this has helped, rather than confused you worse!
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camride View Post
Yep, duck ponds are bad.

The beer should be fine.
Way back in the day, they would make beer out of duck pond water, and it was the only way to make the water safe to drink, little did they know it was the boiling of the water that did it. However, they brewed a batch of beer and testing it after, they found no evidence of the duck pond, and gave it to several unsuspecting people who loved it.

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